In summer 2020, following the senseless deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, in addition to those of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless other Black Americans, it became even clearer that it is Georgia State’s responsibility to foster difficult conversations and identify solutions as an institution of higher education.
The university established the Task Force for Racial Equality in June 2020, to address these issues, foster the conversations and identify solutions the university can place into action for its students, faculty, staff and our greater society.
An action plan was implemented, and a report on its results was issued in 2022, with more than 90 percent of goals either achieved or in progress by the time of the report's publication. Work continues. You can read the report through the relevant link below.
As Georgia State is recognized as one of the most innovative universities in the nation, it has achieved extraordinary success in using a data-driven approach to tackle challenges students face. It is also one of the most diverse universities in the country, proving that students from all backgrounds can succeed.
With this spirit of innovation, Georgia State’s Commission for the Next Generation of Faculty was tasked to identify challenges and opportunities to further build a faculty which reflects the students the university serves.
Following the issuance of the Commission’s report, an implementation steering committee was formed to advise the Provost on how to put the Commission’s transformative recommendations into action.
Learn more information by selecting the buttons below.
The report was delivered by the commission in September 2019. Click “Commission Report” to read it. You can also select “Video Presentation” to view a recording of the Sept. 4, 2019 public presentation.
Implementation Steering Committee
Following the fall 2019 report of the Commission of the Next Generation of Faculty, Provost Wendy Hensel solicited nominations of faculty to serve on an implementation steering committee. The Commission recommended the steering committee to guide the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations and facilitate the university’s progress.
In consultation with key colleagues, during October 2019 Provost Hensel selected inaugural members of the committee to reflect the broadest possible representation across colleges, backgrounds, faculty status and interests.
The ISC is charged with:
- Providing advice and guidance on how to best implement the recommendations and best practices initiatives as outlined in the report
- Serving as a liaison between the provost and university community on matters relating to the implementation of Commission recommendations and best practices initiatives
- Assisting with the publication of an annual report to the university community identifying action steps taken and progress toward achievement of recommendations and best practices initiatives.
In June 2020, ISC submitted an initial report with recommendations and guidance following the spring 2020 semester. You can read the report by selecting the appropriate button below
In the report of the Commission for the Next Generation of Faculty, tasked to identify challenges and opportunities for addressing faculty inclusion and belonging, the commission highlighted the need to promote conversations and community engagement among faculty, especially those from underrepresented groups.
In response to this recommendation, the Next Generation of Faculty’s Implementation Steering Committee proposed establishing organizations of faculty interested in engagement, community-building and advocacy among individuals who share the same identity or interests.
After surveying the faculty for interest in April 2020, a huge response was received, and several groups formed:
- Faculty of the African Diaspora Association (FADA)
- LACCHI Faculty Affinity Group (Latina/o/x, Chicana/o/x, Caribbean, Hispanic and Indigenous)
- Asian/Asian American Faculty Identity Group (AAAFIG)
- PRISM (Pride, Inclusion, Respect, Support and Movement) - LGBTQ+
- GSUVETS (Georgia State University Veteran Employees Team Support)
Additionally, the following group was formed during the fall 2021 semester:
- GSU Chairs (university department chairs)
The following group began during the 2022-23 Academic Year:
- Non-Tenure Track Faculty Group
At their discretion, groups may choose to include to open membership to staff as well. Those groups include
Click the button below to learn more and sign up.
This program brings to Georgia State University promising and leading faculty from across the globe for short-term (1-2 week) visits. This program serves a two-fold purpose: These visitors will enrich the intellectual life of the campus at the department level and above, and they will be positioned to communicate Georgia State University’s strengths to potential future faculty members, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In this way, the program will enhance ongoing faculty recruitment efforts.
Georgia State University is an institutional member of the NCFDD.
NCFDD is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community for over 83,000 faculty, post-docs, and grad students, dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers. The organization offers workshops, professional development training, and intensive mentorship programs that provide concrete, empirically tested strategies for increasing productivity, and pays special attention to the challenges faced by underrepresented faculty.
Georgia State faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are eligible enroll in a free sub-account to access the center’s online resources on topics such as increasing writing productivity, prioritizing and managing time, cultivating mentors, securing external funding, and maintaining work-life balance.
For more information on how to sign up, visit the Office of Faculty Affairs at https://faculty.gsu.edu/for-faculty/ncfdd/.
The Office of Faculty Affairs provides supportive infrastructure and programming to recruit, appoint, retain, and support Georgia State faculty members and to help them achieve their full potential.
Toward this end, the Office of Faculty Affairs provides support in the following areas:
- Faculty-related policies and procedures such as those related to appointment, leaves, and promotion and tenure;
- Faculty development programs, workshops, and fellowships, many of which are offered through our outstanding Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning;
- Leadership programming for university administrators and department chairs; and
- Management of Georgia State’s awards process to recognize outstanding faculty through a range of university-wide and system-wide awards.
The University Senate Cultural Diversity Committee advises and makes recommendations to the University Senate on matters regarding cultural diversity, including equal treatment, ways in which the campus climate might be made more supportive of diversity, including in the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, and more.
On July 27, 2020, President Mark Becker announced the establishment of a scholarship in honor of three Black women - Myra Payne Elliott, Barbara Pace Hunt and Iris Mae Welch - who sued to integrate Georgia State in the 1950s. Although the women were still blocked from enrolling at Georgia State - despite winning the court case - their court case helped to form the precedent that led to desegregation of other universities across the Southeast.
This "ground crew" was honored during the inaugural Provost's Groundbreaker Lecture in February 2020, with a talk by Dr. Maurice C. Daniels, "Ground Crew: The Fight to End Segregation at Georgia State," the showing of a mini-documentary by the university's School of Film, Media & Theatre, and a special presentation to Ms. Elliott, her family and the family of the late Ms. Hunt. (Unfortunately, the Provost's Office was unable to locate family for Ms. Welch at the time of the event in 2020; when honorary degrees were conferred in 2023, a family member of Ms. Welch was recognized in her honor.)
Without these women’s determination and fearlessness, Georgia State would not exist as it does today. Our diversity is one of our key strengths, and our pathbreaking work ensuring students of all backgrounds succeed without disparities based on race, ethnicity or income spring from their courageous acts more than 50 years ago.
President Becker is personally endowing the Ground Crew Groundbreaker scholarship to provide financial support to students who embody the commitment to social justice exemplified by these pioneers. President Becker invites others to join him in supporting the scholarship so that in future years it can serve many worthy students and remind us all of the importance “groundbreakers” have in the lives of others.
Select the button below to contribute to the new scholarship in honor of the "Ground Crew."
This initiative supports the advancement of women faculty, administrators and staff in academic and administrative leadership positions in the university. Run through the Office of Faculty Affairs, it offers a variety of development, mentoring, and networking opportunities to support women faculty, staff and administrators in their professional growth and advancement. Programs include the Executive Leadership Academy as well as the Women Inspire lecture series. Learn more here.
The Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA) is part of Georgia State’s strategic plan to strengthen graduate and professional programs to develop the next generation of researchers and societal leaders. Founded in 2017 by the Office of Graduate Programs, CASA seeks to address the issue of diversity in pathways through graduate or professional education, which is often necessary to gain leadership roles throughout society, including academia, medicine, law and other professions.
CASA identifies and encourages promising students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue graduate or professional education. The center’s work includes research into a potential analytics-based Early Identification System to identify promising students and also includes programming such as professional development workshops, support for standardized tests used for graduate admissions, assistance in developing strong applications to advanced degree programs, alumni panels, workspaces and walk-in hours to ask questions and gain advice from faculty and staff.
The CASA needs you. Faculty and instructional staff members are the main conduit of information from the university to our target audience: students and alumni. Join our mission by making advanced degree programs part of your everyday discussion with our undergraduates.