Kaler on diversity

Forum question: How will you increase diversity and access?

I have a very strong commitment to diversity, both racial and gender.

As for gender, when I was at the engineering college, I moved the female share of the faculty from 4 percent to 15 percent by insisting on an aggressive search. Success with our faculty of color was more challenging. We got two African-American faculty members, one of which was a PhD student at the University of Minnesota.

Both of those were rifle shots. There really is a pipeline issue.

A program I’d like to replicate at the U is Stony Brook’s Educational Opportunity Program. It has mentoring, a boot camp, advising, and a structured program that brings students with no expectation of going to Stony Brook — and they graduate at a higher rate than other students.

Stony Brook has the largest black-white graduation gap in the country — and it’s positive. African-American students graduate at a higher rate at Stony Brook than do white students.