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Faculty Search Toolbox | Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity
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Resources, Templates and Breakthrough Practices

Faculty Search Toolbox

The Faculty Search Toolbox contains resources, templates and breakthrough practices for recruiting diverse faculty to NC State. It lays out recommended processes for search committees and who to contact for help with implementation.

The Academic Case for Faculty Diversity

What is the academic case for faculty diversity? What are the most effective practices departments can implement? There are compelling reasons for institutions to take measures to increase faculty diversity:

  1. Stereotype inoculation: Academic contact with successful female scientists benefits female students’ self-perception and motivation in STEM. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Dasgupta, et al, 2011.)
  2. Cognitive benefits for students and faculty: Interaction with diverse faculty and student body promotes enhanced perspective-taking, increased self-awareness, better cross-cultural skills and teamwork and an expanded comfort zone.
  3. Access to the best talent: Our society cannot afford to do without Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American and women faculty. All of these groups are currently highly underrepresented among university faculty. Women are roughly half the population and Native Americans, Latinos and African Americans make up roughly 30% of the population.
  4. Foster innovation: “Research by my colleagues and me suggests that university administrators who do not work hard to attract and retain African-American faculty may well be missing out on an important benefit: academic departments that are more diverse may produce more unorthodox ideas and do more original work…” (“Want More Innovation? Get More Diversity,)
Tools for Identifying Potential Candidates
Recruiting Diverse Faculty Program

The Recruiting Diverse Faculty program assists search committees at their first committee meeting by providing an introduction to the academic case for diversity and some of the resources available for identifying potential candidates in their discipline, along with a general orientation to the standard processes and best practices of search committees. The orientation provides answers to many frequently asked questions about who is responsible for what, confidentiality and conducting interviews in the search process.

At a subsequent meeting of the search committee, RDF hosts a discussion about best practices for evaluating candidates, group decision-making, the effects of unconscious bias in faculty searches and how faculty can recognize and interrupt unconscious bias. This discussion is held at the point when search committee members begin reviewing the applications.

Throughout the search process, RDF holds discussions about the demographics of the applicant pool with the college affirmative action officer and the department head.

A similar process has been used by all of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Search Committees and is having a measurable impact on the diversity of faculty hired.

An article about the impact of the University of Wisconsin’s search committee workshops, Minimizing the Influence of Gender Bias on the Faculty Search Process (Eve Fine, Jennifer Sheridan, Molly Carnes, Jo Handelsman, Christine Pribbenow, Julia Savoy, and Amy Wendt) found that faculty members are becoming aware of the role bias can play in evaluating faculty applicants and are learning strategies for minimizing bias. In departments where women are underrepresented, workshop participation is associated with a significant increase in the odds of making a job offer to a female candidate, with a non-significant increase in the odds of hiring a woman.

Target of Opportunity Hiring Program

Purpose
Target of Opportunity hiring allows departments speed and flexibility in securing outstanding candidates who can help improve the quality and  diversity of NC State’s faculty and professional staff. The target of opportunity hiring program accelerates the hiring process by allowing departments to take advantage of the availability of a specific scholar instead of requesting a new position and then searching for candidates who fit the description.

Reasons for engaging in the Target of Opportunity process

  • hiring nationally renowned scholars in targeted curricular growth areas;
  • attracting outstanding senior scholars;
  • adding senior leadership to a program;
  • diversifying the faculty;
  • accommodating spousal or partner hires.

How are ToP positions funded?

The provost may fully or partially fund the position; agreements are made between departments and the administration (dean and/or provost) on a case-by-case basis. The provost’s funding may be provided permanently or for a fixed period after which the department will be expected to assume responsibility for the position. Funding for Target of Opportunity hiring can come from department, college or provost’s funds.

How to Use the ToP Program

The department head first must secure the approval of the dean. The dean should then contact the vice provost for faculty affairs to discuss resource requests and submit the request to the provost.

How many ToP hires are made annually?

From 2005-2012, 19 faculty have been hired under the ToP program using funds provided by the Office of the Provost. Many more have been hired under the ToP program without requiring funds from the provost.

Candidate Meetings with Diverse Faculty

As part of the interview process for faculty positions, please invite candidates to request a meeting with the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) or with any particular group they are interested in. We are available to meet with candidates for faculty positions or to arrange meetings for them. If they would like an opportunity to interact with any particular group of students, faculty, and/or staff to gain an additional understanding of our campus climate, please contact Dr. Linda McCabe Smith, vice provost for institutional equity and diversity. We will make every effort to facilitate those meetings.

Diversity Recruiting Initiatives in the Colleges

The College of Education has developed a diversity checklist for faculty search committees. The checklist incorporates the elements of the pilot program for recruiting diverse faculty. In addition, it includes several recommendations about ways to attract a diverse pool of applicants and suggestions about conducting the campus visit. The checklist is available on request from Valerie Faulkner, chair of the College of Education Committee on Multicultural Initiatives and Diversity (COMID).

The College of Natural Resources (CNR) has adopted a standard operating procedure for faculty searches. The dean of the college charges each search committee, making the academic case for diversity among the faculty, and actively tracks the composition of the applicant pools with the chairs of the search committees. Each search committee in the college participated in the pilot program for recruiting diverse faculty, and the college held a special meeting for all faculty to discuss faculty diversity. The standard operating procedure is available on request from Thomas Easley, chair of the CNR Diversity Committee.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) launched an initiative in August 2013 requiring every department to prepare a diversity plan. Under the guidance of Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi, assistant dean for diversity and professor of English, with the assistance of the CHASS Diversity Advisory Committee, every department crafted a faculty-written plan for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty. The process of debating and writing these plans resulted in possibly the most diverse group of entering tenure-track and tenured faculty in College of Humanities and Social Sciences history in 2015. In 2016-17, the dean required each search committee to participate in the RDF program. The dean and assistant dean for diversity personally charged each search committee with the academic case for diversity at the search committee’s first meeting.

The combination of the dean actively promoting faculty diversity and departments participating in the Recruiting Diverse Faculty program has been the most effective approach to increasing diversity in recruiting faculty at NC State to date.