Creating an Inclusive Search Committee

Planning for an Inclusive Environment

The best practice is for each department or unit to think about hiring as an ongoing process. This allows units and departments to think about the long-term goals, needs and research fields which are on the horizon. It also gives those departments and units the ability to think about goals in terms of adding certain perspectives and experiences to address those fields and needs.

However, the unit must keep in mind that these are merely efforts to build diverse pools and should not build unrealistic expectations that they are soft offers for a prospective vacancy.

 

Forming A Search Committee Dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion

To form an effective search committee, it is essential to ensure that the search committee members are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The committee should be diverse reflecting different race, gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, military service, age, religious affiliation or secularism, disability, language, and socioeconomic status perspectives.

If the committee only comprises one or two diverse faculty, then the other members of the committee are still responsible for considering issues related to equity, inclusion, and diversity in making the hiring decision.

If the department is having difficulty finding members from various groups, then it should look to other departments to fill in these committee positions.

The department chair or hiring decision-maker should align their production metrics and promotion considerations to reward service obligations to ensure diverse participation and to avoid imposing a diversity tax on its members.