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PRODiG Initiative

PRODiG meetingOn Feb. 28, the Chief Diversity Officer joined 63 other SUNY Campuses to attend the PRODiG Conference in Binghamton, NY.  

At this conference, Chief Diversity Officers from across New York State engaged in conversation and dialogue regarding the initiative and how to create a comprehensive application to assist with statewide faculty diversity.  The conference was coordinated by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Special Initiatives and the Chief Diversity Officer, Teresa Miller.

According to the SUNY Faculty Diversity Guidelines, PRODiG stands for “Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth,” and aims to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty at SUNY, including underrepresented minority (“URM”) faculty in general and women faculty of all races in STEM fields (“WSTEM”).

This is consistent with SUNY’s role in creating pathways to social and economic opportunity for all our students, as well as personal and intellectual fulfilment. Each of these underrepresented groups face persistent barriers to social and economic mobility both as students and after graduation.

Increasing the representation of faculty members who understand, and have overcome, race- and gender-based barriers and biases is important to the success and well-being of our students. And where other groups are underrepresented in a field due to the persistence of barriers to social and economic mobility, efforts to address this underrepresentation will receive consideration for PRODiG funding as well.


As announced in the Chancellor’s 2019 State of the University System address, PRODiG is designed to create changes in faculty recruitment and retention processes that will result in the hiring of underrepresented faculty and provide support to campuses for the hiring and retention of up to ~1,000 underrepresented faculty members in the next decade, or roughly doubling the diversity of our full-time faculty.

National higher education policy research suggests that four factors are the primary impediments to faculty diversity: (a) narrow pipelines and pathways into academic careers for underrepresented students, (b) outdated faculty recruitment and retention practices, (c) faculty diversity myths that abound in higher education (including the view that faculty diversity is incompatible with academic excellence), and (d) the decentralized administrative culture of the academy.


PRODig meeting at SBUOn April 26, the Sr. Vice Chancellor Teresa Miller and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Jennie Marie Duran, visited Stony Brook University to have a formal conversation with faculty, staff, employees, and students from the West and East Campus.  Stony Brook Community members were able to ask questions directly to the SUNY Leadership, as well as share suggestions regarding best practices and strategies for diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Students met with the SUNY leadership in the UNITI Cultural Center, and shared their accomplishments and concerns for historically underrepresented undergraduates at Stony Brook University.  On both occasions, the SUNY leadership took copious notes and developed new relationships with our Stony Brook community.

During the week of May 13th, PRODiG Advisory Committee was established and there were certain sub-committees charged with adding content to the comprehensive PRODiG Application.

Here is a list of the sub-committees that make up the PRODiG Advisory Committee:

Recruitment Strategies: Colette Brown and Tracey Walters (co-chairs), Nancy Tomes, Jennifer Rossler, Joseph Pierce, Antonio Ferrantino, Alexandra Guillaume, Daifeng Wang, Miguel Garcia-Diaz

Retention Strategies: Crystal Fleming and Stella Tsirka (co-chairs), Robbye Kinkade, Bonita London, Hakeem Farquharson, Allison McLarty, Barbara Nemesure, Ezekiel Young, Liz Montegary

Pipeline Initiatives: Inel Lewis and Karian Wright (co-chairs), Angel Gonzalez, Yvonne Spreckels, Jennie Williams, Paul Siegel, Christine Veloso, David Ferguson, Spencer Opoku, Lisa Johnson, Erik Flynn, Cindy Leiton, Monica Bugallo

Statistics and Hiring Practices: Braden Hosch (chair), Lin Wu Tiedemann, Karen Wilk, Janice Rivera-Palmer

Alignment of University Plan for Diversity and PRODiG Guidelines: Jarvis Watson and Marvin Colson (co-chairs), Marjolie Leonard, Rachelle Germana, Frances Brisbane, Cheryl Chambers, Chris Tanaka, Lynda Perdomo-Ayala, Catherine Polster

Deadline for Application is July 15, 2019.

Once approved, align initiative with Phase 2 of Diversity Plan (Please see video, below)