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Diverse Faculty Hiring: Promising Practices

A diverse faculty body is essential for excellence in research, teaching, service, and patient care, and contributes to a climate of inclusion on campus. Hiring and promoting faculty from diverse backgrounds also diversifies the senior administrative leadership pipeline. Despite our best efforts, however, many universities are struggling to achieve faculty diversity goals. Promising hiring practices exist, but there is a need for greater evidence to support implementation and scaling.

Next Thursday, February 2, 2017, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the USU/APLU and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) will co-host a webinar on faculty hiring practices designed to increase diversity. This webinar is part of a series intended to stimulate discussion and engage university leaders around topics from the recent report Increasing Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce: Actions for Improving Evidence, supported by the National Institutes of Health. During this webinar, speakers will explore evidence-based practices for faculty hiring as well as promising practices that could benefit from further testing.

For example, we know that expanding recruitment efforts into new networks helps generate a diverse pool of candidates, which in turn increases the likelihood that scholars from underrepresented backgrounds will be hired. Using objective evaluation criteria and processes (e.g., structured interviews) may reduce the potential for bias. In addition, the NSF ADVANCE recipients have generated a robust knowledge base to support hiring practices that advance female scholars and have shown potential for increasing diversity in other areas as well.

Although many evidence-based practices exist, we know less about the extent to which institutions are using them, and if they are applied consistently across departments. Other promising practices, such as applicant diversity statements and faculty “cluster” hiring, have been used effectively at some institutions but need additional evidence in order to be brought to scale. The webinar speakers will address these promising practices and share information about upcoming efforts to pilot them and improve the evidence base.

Speakers include:

  1. Hannah Valantine, M.D., Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, National Institutes of Health

  2. Nancy Absersold, Founder and Executive Director, Higher Education Recruitment Consortium

  3. Douglas Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Director, UCI ADVANCE Program, University of California, Irvine

  4. Elebeoba May, Ph.D., Director for Biomedical Engineering Research Program and Associate Professor, University of Houston


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