Setting diversity, equity and inclusion goals is not illegal, nor is it a quota.
What would diversification of faculty look like in your department/program? Beyond the goals of the institution, what goals could you set for your department/program? How might these goals align with the strengths and needs of our dynamic and ever-changing community (ex. diversity of student body, faculty and staff; willingness and ability to engage across difference)?
How are you and your department/program conceptualizing the requirements of the position as they relate to research, teaching and service? Is your department/program seeking a scholar who is similar to or different from current members of faculty? How so? Be specific.
Given that you will be facilitating search and selection committee meetings, how would you describe your leadership, communication and facilitation styles? What are your strengths and your areas in need of growth? How will you use your leadership, communication and facilitation styles to support the search and selection process and the committee?
Reflect on previous searches in your department/program. What went well? What could have been improved? Did these searches include diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and practices? What were their respective outcomes?
Develop the timeline for the search.
Review the Faculty Search Committee Roles document (forthcoming).
Reach out to colleagues at Brandeis and at other universities to share that you are beginning a search and are committed to diversifying our faculty. Ask your colleagues to share this information with their professional networks, including doctoral students. Remember, potentially excellent candidates who are comfortable in their positions may not be looking through job announcements.
There are many benefits associated with working with a diverse and inclusive search committee. In this context, a diverse committee is one that is populated with people with different social identities/disciplines/roles from one another, while inclusive refers to a setting in which practices and behaviors that support collaboration and mutuality are utilized.
The benefits of diverse and inclusive committees include, but are not limited to the following:
Diverse and inclusive committees are often comprised of people who have differentperspectives from one another. These differences often lead to better problem-solving and creative decision-making processes, which in turn are more likely to yield diverse and inclusive results.
Diverse and inclusive committees are far less likely to engage in cloning behaviors — choosing candidates who too closely resemble the current department/program or outgoing faculty.
A non-exhaustive list of who could be part of a search committee include:
A faculty person from outside of the department
People with identities that are underrepresented in higher education
Junior and senior faculty members
Students (non-voting members)
Creating a broadly defined job description allows for the creation of a robust candidate pool. Avoid narrowing the pool unnecessarily by narrowing the parameters of the job.
Write your job posting using inclusive, up-to-date language. Reach out to Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) for support with this.
Avoid routine language such as: “women and minorities are encouraged to apply.” Please note that some candidates, especially those who are underrepresented in higher education, may experience the word “minorities” as offensive.
Emphasize that diversity, equity and inclusion and excellence are complementary pursuits and reflect our dynamic community.
Articulate why diversity is key to departmental/programmatic success, growth and effectiveness within the job announcement.
Link to or describe the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Request a statement from candidates about their diversity, equity and inclusion experiences and aspirations as they relate to research, teaching and/or service.
Before posting the position, it must be approved by the Dean.
Welcome and provide opportunities for committee members to introduce themselves and get to know one another (department/office, experiences, successes and challenges as they relate to search and selection, diversity, equity and inclusion, communication styles).
Create a norm for the search committee where overt conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion are a welcome and essential part of the process.
Discuss the circumstances related to and the goals of the search as they relate diversity, equity, inclusion, research, teaching and service.
Research and discuss language that is up-to-date and affirming of social identities.
Discuss the Faculty Search Committee Roles document (forthcoming).
Discuss the timeline of the search.
Develop a schedule for all search committee meetings, including meeting with the ODEI.
Discuss the Equitable Search Plan.
Discuss the process for making final decisions about candidates and offers. Who is included in this process and how?
Review and post to list serves that are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion hiring in higher education.
Seek out and contact professional organizations in your field that are focused on people from historically marginalized populations.
Send announcements to institutions that serve large numbers of Latinx, Black, Native American and Alaska Native people.
Consider contacting government, public service, research enterprises, non-peer universities to post.
Ask committee members to reach out to colleagues and professional networks at Brandeis and outside of Brandeis to share the posting.
Discuss and prioritize the criteria that are most important to the department/program.
Develop an application rubric to evaluate candidate applications that are based on these criteria. This rubric will help you make decisions about which candidates to interview.
As you review applications:
Consider scholarship or research that is unconventional or non-traditional, especially when it challenges the foundations of the field. This is how disciplinary innovation happens.
Many skills are transferable; they may be acquired through volunteer, non-academic, or alternative work experiences.
Do not underestimate demands of community service and advising and their impact on production of scholarship.
Take breaks when you are reviewing applications. During the application review period, periodically, re-read the Mitigating Implicit Bias in Search and Selection document (forthcoming).
Develop interview questions about candidates’ diversity, equity and inclusion experiences and aspirations as they relate to research, teaching and service.
Remember, some questions about social identities are illegal to ask of candidates. Review those questions. Contact Human Resources to access this information.
Develop an interview rubric to evaluate candidates that are based on the position criteria and interview questions.
Before campus interviews, ask candidates if they would like to meet with representatives outside of your department/program.
Periodically re-read the Mitigating Implicit Bias in Search and Selection during each candidate visit.
Pose interview questions about candidates’ diversity, equity and inclusion experiences and aspirations as they relate to research, teaching and service. Ask each candidate the same questions.
Create an interview rubric to evaluate candidates based on the position criteria and interview questions.
Be able to offer examples of the department/program’s diversity, equity and inclusion experiences and aspirations, as well as those of the University.
Schedule meetings for candidates with representatives outside of your department/program.
Periodically re-read the Mitigating Implicit Bias in Search and Selection during the selection phase.
Have another dialogue about the process for making final decisions about candidates and offers. Who is included in this process and how?
Review the prioritized criteria.
Discuss the completed interview rubrics.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion