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Case Studies

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Case Study: San Diego State University

In 2014 San Diego State University turned to Interfolio’s ByCommittee to provide concrete outcomes for their diversity initiatives around faculty hiring, professionalize its search process, and improve labor-intensive administrative workflows. After using a paper-based system for years, leaders at San Diego State sought to improve the institution’s faculty hiring by providing a clear and consistent interface for prospective faculty members. Knowing that Interfolio has led the field in faculty dossiers for more than a decade, SDSU welcomed the opportunity to use Interfolio’s platform to make new faculty positions known to potential applicants.

Seeking a More Equitable Process

Like many institutions, faculty hiring at SDSU is decentralized, and often takes place between offices (the HR office is separate from the equal opportunity office, which is separate from each department’s office). Now, through ByCommittee, all parties can see job advertisement copy and search committee composition in real time, which contributes to well-informed conversations about how to improve hiring on campus.

When choosing technology, SDSU also placed a priority on relieving some of the administrative burden that the faculty search process puts on committee members and staff. “We chose Interfolio because we wanted to streamline the process for every participant, at every stage of the process, as well as ensure an efficient and equitable process for people looking for jobs, committee members, and staff who shoulder the work of administering searches,” said Joanna Brooks, Associate Vice President of Faculty Advancement and Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Brooks’ role at SDSU is to support fair and equitable faculty processes for the institution. ByCommittee’s emphasis on transparent and equitable hiring processes, as well as its tools for concrete diversity outcomes, has made it essential in SDSU’s approach.

Creating a More Diverse Hiring Pool

Interfolio’s ByCommittee allows San Diego State University to collect information on the diversity of their faculty applicant pool in a centralized platform through self-identification forms that are included as a requirement of each application. Built-in, compliant EEO forms have allowed SDSU to assess whether they were doing a good job of attracting the diverse faculty they wanted to hire.

ByCommittee’s reporting function has also helped SDSU to produce data on the diversity status of the applicant pool. Now, Brooks finds she can collect data that helps her determine which areas need attention and improvement when seeking a diverse faculty body.

User-Friendly, Quick to Start

Fast implementation and friendly support has made ByCommittee’s adoption successful at SDSU. Users have reported that ByCommittee is easy to use and that Interfolio’s Client Success team has resolved any challenges quickly. “The ease of rollout is definitely to be celebrated,” says Brooks. “It’s so user friendly that it’s minimized any kind of problems, which is unusual in terms of any kind of faculty process.”

Making the Move to Interfolio’s ByCommittee for Promotion & Tenure

“We’ve found that bureaucratic anxiety about procedural details was overshadowing the more important effort to help faculty build their careers and advance. We’re excited about moving away from the physical demands of the box and towards a more digital, accessible solution that allow us to focus on substantive conversations about promotion and tenure.”
Joanna Brooks
Associate Vice President of Faculty Advancement and Professor of English and Comparative Literature