U. of C. focuses on diversity in higher ed

By SAM RAPPAPORT
Staff Writer

The University of Chicago (U. of C.) announced on Dec. 15 that it will join the Creating Connections Consortium (C3), a select group of research institutions and liberal arts colleges working to promote diversity in higher education by finding better ways to hire and support graduate students from underrepresented groups in tenure-track faculty positions.

“The University of Chicago is honored to be a part of C3,” said Sian Beilock, vice provost for academic initiatives and head of UChicagoGRAD, which provides programs and services to help graduate students navigate their academic and professional careers. “This resource is one of an increasing number of options available to our graduate students. We are eager to create opportunities for our students and to help contribute to the national dialogue on diversity in graduate education and academia.”

U. of C.’s membership in C3 allows for the school’s graduate students in the humanities, social sciences and math to apply for two-year postdoctoral fellowships at any one of the consortium’s four lead liberal arts member institutions: Bates College, Connecticut College, Middlebury College and Williams College.

Additionally, U. of C. will begin offering undergraduate fellowships to bring underrepresented students enrolled at liberal arts institutions to Hyde Park to participate in summer research.

In Spring 2016, representatives from C3 member liberal arts schools will visit U. of C. as part of an effort to recruit graduate students to tenure-track positions.

Celina Chatman Nelson, assistant director of graduate career development at U. of C., said “This gives students a leg up; it’s an opportunity for them to build relationships with the people who are making decisions about these positions.”

U. of C. pledged to collaborate with other C3 partners to develop strategies for educational institutions to encourage participation from historically underrepresented groups.

s.rappaport@hpherald.com