The Austin metropolitan area is vibrant and complex. Our student body reflects this diversity and to ensure that we meet their needs, Austin Community College (ACC) has committed to efforts that foster equity-mindedness across the institution. These efforts include opportunities for faculty to learn about culturally responsive and active and engaged teaching strategies, for example. It has also led the college to reexamine its faculty hiring practices.
As we face growing numbers of faculty retirements, we also want to ensure that we hire new faculty who bring a dedication to equity and inclusion to the classroom and workplace. Over the past year, a committee composed of department chairs, deans, and staff has worked to place a commitment to equity-mindedness at the center of our faculty hiring processes. Gerry Tucker, vice president of Human Resources; Gaye Lynn Scott, associate vice president-Transfer Programs; and Suzanne Wilson Summers, History faculty, jointly chaired the committee. All members of the committee underwent equity training.
The work of the committee resulted in the revision of hiring guidelines and processes. Those guidelines included new, mandatory equity training for all members of departmental hiring committees. The training is intended to address issues of implicit bias and an understanding of what equity and inclusion are and how they differ from older diversity practices. A commitment to equity-mindedness as reflected in teaching practice is essential to help ACC's students meet their academic goals.
As we hire new faculty, we want to ensure that they are prepared to teach students who come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The goal of these revised hiring policies is to help us identify faculty who can do just that.