Resources for Enhancing Diversity

Although the passage of Initiative 200 has changed how the University goes about increasing diversity on campus, the University commitment to do so has been strengthened. According to a diversity compact signed by the President and Board of Regents in October of 2000, “the long-term objective is a campus community of students, faculty and staff that fully reflects the human diversity of our State and our world. While equitable representation of racial and ethnic minorities is one of the most challenging aspects of our diversity goals, we are all committed to improving our University’s diversity, with regard to race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, culture and physical ability.”

When it comes to actually recruiting diverse faculty members, many search committees report that they cannot find qualified women or people of color to apply for their open positions. Research, however, has shown that committees succeed in hiring women and people of color when they transform the search process, are committed to diversity and are proactive about building a diverse applicant pool.

Transforming the search process requires that the committee do more than simply place ads and wait for applicants to express interest. Search committees can use personal and professional networks of existing faculty and students, and discipline-based organizations, and take advantage of publications and web sites that specialize in the recruitment of diverse faculty members. The following tips can help committees transform the search process.

Existing Faculty and Students

Use existing faculty and graduate students to market open positions. Ask faculty and students to take along copies of the job announcement when they travel to academic conferences and meetings. Further, ask that they contact their colleagues and inquire about promising graduate students or new scholars from underrepresented groups. When using faculty and students in this manner it is important to encourage them to seek candidates beyond those who are most like themselves.

Discipline-based organizations

All academic disciplines have professional organizations associated with them. Many have subcommittees on women and/or people of color. In addition, most have both national and regional meetings, newsletters, email mailing lists and web sites. These organizational resources can be key in departmental recruiting efforts. Poll faculty members to determine which organizations are active in the discipline area related to the open faculty position. Distribute job announcements to regional contacts or committee chairs. Follow-up with phone calls to discuss the department’s needs and how best to identify promising scholars in the field. Examples of discipline-based organizations include:

Publications/Web Sites

  • NORC Career Outcomes of Doctoral Recipients.
    Each year the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the US Department of Education and the US Department of Agriculture issue the results of their Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). Their report includes data on the number and characteristics of individuals receiving research doctoral degrees from U.S. institutions. It is  used frequently to determine the availability of new scholars in a specific field. The data is listed by gender and field, and by race/ethnicity and field.
  • nemnet
    Nemnet is a national minority recruitment firm committed to helping schools and organizations in the identification and recruitment of minority candidates. Since 1994 it has worked with over 200 schools, colleges and universities and organizations. It posts academic jobs on its web site and gathers vitas from students and professionals of color.
    Formerly known as the Minorities’ Job Bank, was established by the Black Collegian Magazine. The site is dedicated to providing career and self-development information to all minorities, specifically African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women. It maintains a large database of available jobs, candidate resumes and information on workplace diversity.
  • The Directory of Minority Candidates
    An on-line directory of minority Ph.D, M.F.A., and M.L.S. candidates and recipients at schools that are a part of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The Minority Directory, which is open to Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans in all fields and Asian Americans in humanities and social science, is a valuable resource for those looking to hire minorities from these fields. Those listed have completed the Ph.D. within the last year or expect to complete the degree within a year at one of the CIC institutions.
  • Ford Foundation Fellows
    Ford Foundation Fellows recipients include Alaskan Natives (Eskimo or Aleut), Native American Indians, Black/African Americans, Mexican Americans/Chicanos, Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesian or Micronesian) and Puerto Ricans in physical and life sciences, mathematics, behavioral and social sciences, engineering, and humanities. This directory contains contact information for Ford Foundation Postdoctoral fellowship recipients awarded since 1980 and Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation fellowship recipients awarded since 1986. This database only includes those awards administered by the National Research Council.
  • The Faculty for The Future Project
    Administered by WEPAN (The Women in Engineering Program and Advocates Network), the website offers a forum for students to post resumes and search for positions and for employers to post positions and search for candidates. The website focuses on linking women and minority candidates from engineering, science, and business with faculty and research positions at universities.
  • Rice University’s NSF ADVANCE Program’s National Database of Underrepresented Ph.D. Students and Postdocs
    This searchable database contains application entries and CVs of underrepresented graduate students and postdocs in science, engineering, and psychology fields.

Additional References on Diversity

Determining where an ad is placed is as important as what language is used in the advertisement. Departments should be cautious about spending large sums of money to advertise in special diversity newsletters or publications. Reputable publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education or those distributed by national discipline-based organizations can be counted on to actually reach intended audiences. The growth of the Internet has introduced a large number of additional venues for placing ads. Many online services offer an institutional subscription rate for placing ads. Search committees are advised to check with Academic Human Resources if you have questions before making a financial commitment to a web site or publication.

Faculty can be hired only at the ranks included in the advertisement. Be sure that the description of rank in the advertisement reflects the full range of levels authorized by the dean. See Advertising and Other Forms of Recruitment for more suggestions.

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