Through the Path to Distinction program, the Office of the Provost collaborated with colleges to incorporate research-informed strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion into faculty recruitment processes throughout campus. Departments in the pilot program indicated that their applicant pools were somewhat more diverse, in terms of race/ethnicity and gender, than their historical applicant pools based on self-reported data. The interview pools also included a significant percentage of candidates from underrepresented populations.
In addition, Path to Distinction tools and resources are available for campus use. Please explore the tools and templates on this site and contact us with questions about how to implement the pilot strategies into your faculty search populations.
The faculty recruitment process is a continual, ongoing process as illustrated in our model. Creating a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion takes intentional, continuous effort regardless of whether a faculty search is underway. In addition, building relationships and actively recruiting promising scholars is a long-term process that will help to build a pipeline for both current and future recruitment efforts. Strategies at each stage of the process will support efforts to recruit a more diverse faculty body.
How you describe the position, the department, and the campus will affect your candidate pool. Some candidates (particularly women and people of color) may choose not to apply if the position is described very narrowly, such that they don’t think they meet all of the stated qualifications or they don’t fit exactly into the narrow field or sub-field. In addition, providing information about campus resources and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion may help to attract a diverse pool of candidates. We’ve provided sample advertising language and tools to help write position advertisements that will be more attractive to a diverse candidate pool.
Be sure to use inclusive language in position postings as well as communications with potential candidates, following guidance provided in the UI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Style Guide.
The first and most critical step toward recruiting a more diverse faculty is attracting a diverse candidate pool. Active recruitment of promising and diverse scholars is a primary strategy to achieve that outcome. A planning tool is available to help search committees identify and implement active recruitment strategies. Active recruitment scripts provide guidance about how to reach out to colleagues for referrals and how to contact prospective candidates directly.
Research demonstrates that implicit bias impacts the way we evaluate others, including our evaluation of candidates during the recruitment process. A critical strategy for reducing bias is to use standard, objective evaluation criteria. We have provided samples of evaluation tools for an initial candidate evaluation and for evaluation of candidates during an on-campus interview. You may choose to use these samples, or they may serve as a reference for your department to create its own evaluation tool based on the criteria that are most relevant to your field.
- Applicant Evaluation Tool
- On-Campus Interview Evaluation Tool
- Template Communications to Candidates Related to Community Time
- Sample Reference Letter Prompt, a sample prompt for requesting references that may help to reduce bias in the reference letter.
You’ll find other tools as well, including:
- Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias and Assumptions
- Search Committee Finalist Discussion Outline, a discussion outline to facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of the finalists before reaching a final selection decision
- Legal and Illegal Interview Inquiries
- Guidance on Records Request and Retention Issues in Personnel Searches
- Faculty Search Committee Recommended Reading List
- Faculty Search Committee Practices to Advance Equity