SU Faculty Data Initiative

As a private institution, Seattle University has not historically collected or made public comprehensive data on faculty demographics, salaries, positions, and time in rank.  The SU Office of Institutional Research provides aggregated information on faculty and staff (available here). However, these data are not detailed enough to discern very much about campus climate and culture and their effects on tenure and promotion experiences. This in turn makes it difficult to identify and address equity and diversity issues affecting SU faculty.

Through the SU ADVANCE Program (funded by an NSF Institutional Transformation grant), Seattle University has expressed a commitment to improving the collection and accessibility of faculty data. As part of this commitment, SU ADVANCE has been working with HR, the Office of Institutional Research, and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to collect and analyze data on faculty, including self-identified gender and race, rank and time at rank, department and college, time at Seattle University, and a history of administrative leadership positions.

Here, we offer a brief overview of some of the faculty data we are currently examining. First, we show a breakdown of the gendered and racial composition of tenured or tenure-track SU faculty across the institution. A few issues complicate these data snapshots.  First, it only became possible for SU faculty to list gender as an "unreported category" in 2019, as prior to that, faculty had to pick either "male" or "female." Second, this analysis was complicated by the fact that race is not known for a large percentage of our faculty. This is thought to be a result of both gaps in the method of collecting this data point and also with the categories themselves (which are based on the admittedly problematic US census categories). “Under-Represented Minority” or URM as it is used here is a meta-category that includes Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander categories. “All Diversity” as a meta-category includes faculty who identify as URM or as Asian and excludes faculty who identify as White or Unknown.

Because of the focus of SU ADVANCE on the effects that gender and certain types of administrative service have on patterns of promotion, we also include the following comparison of tenured and tenure track faculty by rank and gender as of 2020. What is not captured in the graphs but what has emerged as vitally important to our qualitative analysis is the fact that administrative leadership within the university (e.g., program director, department chair, committee chair, associate provost, assistant dean) is associated with more years "stalled" at the rank of associate professor. For us, this underlines the importance of our mixed methods Participatory Action Research model, since the combination of qualitative and quantitative data provides us with a more complete picture of faculty experiences at Seattle University. Please refer to our “Reports and Products” section to see some of our qualitative research.

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Graph of Self Reported Racial Diversity of SU Tenure Track/Tenured FacultyHere, racial diversity at Seattle University over the past 10 years is measured by conventional U.S. metrics that contrast White faculty vs. Faculty of Color.

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Graph of Self Reported URM Among SU Tenure Track/Tenured Faculty

Here, the focus is specifically on Under-Represented Minority faculty at Seattle University over the past 10 years, which does explicitly exclude faculty who identify as Asian (as well as White identifying faculty), because in U.S. institutions of higher education, Asian and Asian-American faculty are relatively better represented among faculty.

 

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Graph of Self Reported Gender of SU Tenure/Tenure Track Faculity

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Graph of Tenure Track/ Tenured Faculty by Rank and Gender 2020

 

 

 

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