Page 1

Emerson: A Culture of Inclusion Faculty Search Committee Orientation 2012-13

PRESENTED BY Richard Zauft, MFA Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Sylvia Spears, PhD Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

PURPOSE The Faculty Handbook, Section 5: Mandatory Search Committee Training, states: ”All members of any search committee approved by Academic Affairs are required to attend a search committee orientation authorized by the Office of Academic Affairs. If a search committee member fails to attend, the member is no longer eligible to serve on that search committee and the administrator who called for the search may appoint an appropriate replacement, who must attend the orientation.” The purpose of these orientations is to: • discuss best practices in the search and screen process • maximize the opportunities to hire qualified and diverse faculty members These orientations will address the following topics: • search and screen best practices • diversity and inclusion best practices • introductory training for PeopleAdmin software to access applications


To provide you with the tools necessary for a successful search process

To provide you with a conceptual framework for understanding inclusive excellence and the ways in which search committees contribute to inclusive excellence

To increase your understanding of how cognitive errors undermine inclusive search practices

To increase awareness of inclusive practices in the search process

EMERSON’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION “Emerson College values and has placed an institutional priority on multiculturalism in the campus community. Through its constantly evolving curriculum it prepares students for success in an increasingly multicultural society.” “Emerson College believes diversity enriches the educational experience by providing students with the opportunity to learn from individuals who differ from themselves, promoting personal growth and a healthy society by challenging stereotyped preconceptions, and encouraging critical thinking to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds.” “The College has set as its goal the hiring of a diverse workforce. All individuals within the college involved in recruitment, hiring, and promotions should exert their best efforts to achieve a diverse workforce by insuring a non-discriminatory process of recruitment, hiring, and promotion for women, members of minority groups, qualified disabled individuals, and veterans at all levels of employment throughout the College.” You can learn more about the mission of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as core institutional values at:

SEARCH COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES The primary responsibilities of the search committee are: • review applications • conduct candidate interviews • present recommendations to the Dean for approval • arrange and host approved candidate campus visits • present recommendations for hire to the department faculty

The Faculty Handbook, Section 6: Guidelines for Search and Appointment, outline the six steps that detail these procedures.

SEARCH COMMITTEE BEST PRACTICES • Hallmarks of a good search is CONSISTENCY and CONFIDENTIALITY. • Treat all applications and candidates the same way. • Treat “internal” candidates the same as all other applicants. • Do not discuss the search or applicants with department colleagues. Discuss the search only with the search committee, Chair, Dean, HR, and Academic Affairs. • Attend all search committee meetings, review all applications, participate in discussions, help determine recommendations, and participate in the interviews. Search committee members who do not fully participate cannot offer a complete and consistent consideration of all candidates. • Select a single spokesperson to respond to inquiries so applicants don’t get different information from different people.

SEARCH COMMITTEE BEST PRACTICES • Do not rely on and use unsubstantiated information about a candidate found on the web. • Conduct active recruitment to expand the application pool to include diverse candidates. Search committee members can contact potential candidates as part of their active recruitment efforts. • Do not discuss privileged department information that might give a candidate insider information that would give them an unfair advantage over other candidates. Do not make promises to a candidate. Do not discuss department politics or other internal issues. • Be a good ambassador for Emerson and Boston. We are trying to sell the candidate on us as much as we are trying to determine if a candidate is a good match for our needs. • Refer candidate questions you cannot answer, or feel uncomfortable answering, to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion or Academic Affairs.

SEARCH COMMITTEE BEST PRACTICES Developing Review Criteria • Search committees should develop and agree upon review criteria that closely matches the job ad requirements before applications are reviewed. • Review criteria consists of the minimum qualifications stated in the ad, job responsibilities, teaching assignments, and other duties or desirable experience.

SEARCH COMMITTEE BEST PRACTICES Reference Checks • Once the search committee has conduced the initial review of applicants and has narrowed the applicant pool down to potential candidates, applicants should be notified that their references will be contacted. • Search committees are not restricted to contacting only the references provided by applicants – inform applicants you may be contacting other professional colleagues. • Search committees may NOT use unverified information found on the web when considering applicants. • Search committee should develop specific questions to ask references – questions must be job-related.

SEARCH COMMITTEE BEST PRACTICES Active Recruitment Strategies • Post job ads on professional web sites, including diversity job banks. • Network with professional colleagues via phone or email – ask if they are interested or know someone who might be. • Send the job ad to leading professionals in your field. • When attending conferences or professional meetings, distribute job ads and talk to potential candidates. • Identify potential candidates at other institutions or in your professional and discuss with your Dean about inviting them to apply.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND EXCELLENCE • Diversity: Individual differences (personality, learning styles, & life experiences) and group/social differences (race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, & ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) • Compositional Diversity: The numerical & proportional representation of racial and ethic groups • Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in every aspect of college life—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical)—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. • Inclusive Excellence: Although, work toward compositional diversity within the campus community is important, it is not sufficient. Inclusive excellence inextricably links how we engage with diversity to the achievement of institutional excellence. (AAUC, 2007)

HOW CAN SEARCH COMMITTEES CONTRIBUTE TO INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE? 1.Conduct a thoughtful, respectful and fair search process 2.Increase access for underrepresented groups: - Think carefully about the ways in which your draft position qualifications include or exclude potential candidates - Recognize that you are always recruiting and our reputation impacts our ability to attract candidates - Cast a wide net and conduct targeted outreach in addition to mainstream publications 3.Take time to discuss what you need to see for a candidate to meet your qualifications 4.Seek out candidates who can contribute to compositional diversity 5.Seek out candidates who have demonstrated experience working effectively with people from diverse backgrounds 6.Seek out candidates who can facilitate the intercultural development of students within your discipline 7.Seek out candidates who bring diversity of background, thought, and perspective



Relying on First Impressions

Myths and Assumptions


Wishful Thinking

Raising the Bar in Process

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Premature Ranking


Attributing Behaviors to Character Instead of Context

Good Fit/Bad Fit

Momentum of the Group


(Moody, 2012)

BEST PRACTICES FOR INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE IN THE SEARCH PROCESS • Consult about long term departmental needs and strategic priorities • Take time to determine position qualifications, how you will describe those criteria, and what evidence you need to see for a candidate to meet the criteria • Include diversity as a required criteria and seek evidence of it • Take the time to establish rules of engagement for the search committee • Put measures in place that will help you rise above cognitive errors • Develop a set list of questions and pose those questions to all candidates • Remember that the on-campus interview is also part of the recruiting process • Commit to Inclusive practices and self-monitor adherence to those practices

INTERVIEWS • Search committees may choose to conduct phone interviews to identify a smaller, manageable pool of applicants before the final pool of candidates are recommended to the Dean. • Phone and Skype interviews should be conducted according to the same guidelines as in-person interviews. • Interviews begin the moment a candidate arrives and end when the candidate departs. Social events and search committee dinners are all part of the interview visit. • Search committees and department Chairs will be asked to submit a recruitment report to the Dean before permission is granted to interview candidates. • Searches that do not follow procedures, do not generate a sufficient pool of applicants, or do not generate an acceptable pool of candidates may be postponed or cancelled by the Dean.

ITINERARY FOR CAMPUS VISITS Once a final candidate is approved for campus visit, search committees should arrange the itinerary. If multiple candidates visit campus, then each candidate must be given the same time and opportunities. • • • • • • • • • • •

All candidates should give a presentation to the home department faculty. Interview with the search committee. Interview working dinner with search committee. Interview individually with the Chair. Interview individually with the VPAA or Associate VPAA. Interview with the President if the candidate has tenure and tenure transfer is a possibility. Meet with HR. Meet department faculty and staff at an open reception or lunch. The search committee serves as the host for all candidate visits. A member of the search committee should accompany candidates to all campus meetings and provide introductions. Department faculty and staff members (other than Chairs, Deans and Senior administrators) should not meet alone with candidates in order to avoid future potential accusations of unfair practices, harassment, or for inside information or personal agendas being discussed.

INTERVIEW STRUCTURE AND CONSIDERATIONS • Welcome candidate. • Introduce everyone. • Consider dividing the interview into four parts: o o o o

Pre-determined questions the search committee asks all candidates. Follow-up questions based on candidate’s responses. Questions specific to that candidate’s experience. Questions from the candidate to the search committee. • Designate who will ask what questions – share the questions so it’s not just the search committee chair doing all the asking. • Interviews should be scheduled for 90 minutes to avoid running out of time for all questions. • All candidate interviews should follow the same structure and time in order to be consistent • Questions can only be job-related. • Cannot ask questions that might indirectly reveal protected status information. • Dinner with candidates are part of the interview process.

INTERVIEW DOS AND DON’TS • Put the applicant at ease with introductory and welcoming remarks. • Stick to the job-related interview questions determined ahead of time. • Ask open-ended questions that focus on behavioral descriptions rather than simply “yes or no” questions (i.e. have them describe a work situation in which they handled stress well rather than asking if they can “handle stress well”). • Recognize illegal questions – intervene if they are asked and return to asking job-related questions. • Stay away from questions about personal lifestyles rather than job experience – phrase the question so that the answer will describe on-the-job qualities instead of personal qualities – if the question is not related to performance on the job, it should not be asked. • Don’t make any contractual offers, promises, or conduct negotiations with candidates. Only Deans are authorized to do these things. • Listen – don’t do all the talking.

SEARCH COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES • Subsequent to the on-campus interviews, the search committee reports its findings and recommendations to the full-time faculty of the Department. • After consideration of the search committee’s report and recommendations, the eligible fulltime faculty and teaching staff (as determined by the Department) first votes on the acceptability of each candidate interviewed and then rank orders the acceptable candidates. When applicable, the recommendation includes suggested rank and/or tenure transfer. • The Chair of the search committee forwards a written recommendation on the acceptability and rank ordering of the candidate(s) through the Department Chair to the Dean. • The Department Chair forwards his or her independent written recommendation on the acceptability and rank ordering of the candidate(s) to the Dean. The search committee Chair, the Department Chair and the Dean (with the possible inclusion of the search committee) meet to discuss the recommendations if necessary.


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the primary federal law that prohibits employment discrimination. Title VII prohibits employers from making employment related decision based on a person’s protected classes. e.g. race, color, gender, religion, national origin.

Practices prohibited by U.S. anti-discrimination laws include disparate treatment of employees based on race, national origin, color, sex, age or physical disability. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) enforces the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other legislation that calls for fair employment practices.

EMPLOYMENT LAWS & EMERSON’S EEO POLICIES • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits an employer from refusing to hire or otherwise discriminate against employees or job applicants over the age of 40. • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA and also ADAAA) is a federal law that protects qualified employees and job applicants with disabilities from discrimination by employers. It also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to support a disabled individual’s ability to perform essential job functions and tasks. • Affirmative Obligation and Diversity each broaden the concept of equal employment opportunity. Affirmative Action/Obligation ensures inclusion and equal employment opportunities for (women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities), and also highlight certain metrics that assess the effectiveness of employment practices and/or identification of process focused objectives. • Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Law 2012 is a state law that prohibits discrimination and retaliation based on gender identity.

Faculty Search Committee Orientation  

Faculty Search Committee Orientation

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you