What are the goals of the module?
Guiding a department through the process of hiring new faculty to sustain the mission of the University is perhaps the most important responsibility a Chair has. Considering that such hiring can mean an investment in someone whose relationship with the University can last decades, it is vital to bring in the very best candidate possible consistent with the superior standards of excellence expected of UC faculty. This module will introduce the hiring process and promote best practices for recruitment and retention.
Who is the audience for the module?
- Faculty, in particular department chairs
- Deans and Associate Deans who handle academic personnel
- Faculty who will be serving on search committees
- Administrators, particularly those in a position to influence campus hiring policies and practices
Why is the topic important?
Hiring the right person can lead to transformative change within a department (and beyond), but it must be done with circumspection and adopting paradigms that recognize excellence in ways that are sometimes nontraditional. Universities have prescribed practices outlined in Search Plans (which are approved by deans) and adopted in UC RECRUIT that must be followed to avoid failed searches and even legal challenges. There is also growing recognition of the value of training search committee members about recognizing and mitigating implicit biases, which arise in many forms (and are covered in another module), and about the use “contributions to diversity” statements to better recognize and value the ability of faculty applicants willing to reach out to students traditionally underrepresented in their disciplines or who may be first-generation college students. It is also important to provide a good foundation for success for new faculty through sustained mentoring and inclusion practices.
Suggested options for module delivery
Multiple in-person meetings will be used for one or more topics, including:
- Developing a Search Plan
- Demonstrating the use of the UC RECRUIT website, which is mandatory for all faculty hires.
- Promoting and discussing the establishment of department practices for using contributions to diversity statements.
- Developing conflict of interest forms for search committee members, and best practices when such conflicts of interest arise
- Developing departmental faculty mentoring forms to enhance accountability
- Holding a question and answer session about best practices and what to do when something in the course of a search goes wrong
Resources for developing the module
Each university will have (or should be developing) its own academic hiring manual that should be reviewed. Good examples include those at UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, University of Minnesota, and University of Michigan. Relevant sections of the UC Academic Personnel Manual will also be reviewed. Recommendations for good hiring practices can also be found at various universities’ ADVANCE websites.
The module on implicit bias should be completed prior to undertaking this module.
University of Colorado’s Strategies for Effecting Gender Equity and Institutional Change: https://www.colorado.edu/eer/research/strategic.html