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Filling gaps in faculty applicant pool diversity

Interfolio Faculty Search | Topics in Higher Education

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This is one post in a series on contemporary strategies for increasing faculty diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education. For a fuller picture, take a look at our free best practices checklist.

Are you gathering enough data about your faculty applicant pool to accurately monitor the success of your faculty diversity initiatives?

If applicant pools aren’t diverse and well-represented, faculty searches won’t produce hires that represent the diversity of that academic field. Yet most institutions still use decades-old processes that reveal applicant pool diversity long after the deadline for submitting applications.  And because only a small portion of candidates complete EEO surveys, the data that institutions do collect gives little insight into actual applicant pool diversity.

Institutions successfully tracking applicant diversity get 100% of candidates to submit EEO data by making the surveys a required step in submitting the online application. Candidates may select “prefer not to disclose” for any question, but fewer than 10% of candidates typically choose this response. The result is that institutions get an accurate picture of pool diversity as applications arrive.

Progressive colleges and universities also give search chairs the tools to monitor pool diversity during the submission window—not after it. Chairs can see the aggregate diversity of the pool in real time, which allows them to increase efforts to recruit candidates from underrepresented groups in time to impact the diversity of the final pool.

How does your institution compare?

To see how your school’s current practices lines up with contemporary leading strategies for advancing faculty diversity and inclusive excellence, take a look at our free best practices checklist.