Higher education leaders have known for many years which gaps need to be closed to create a more diverse and inclusive faculty body. So what are your peer institutions doing successfully? What methods and tools are they using?
If you are involved in ensuring an inclusive environment for faculty at your institution, here are some practical resources you can consult to understand what seems to be working today.
1. How to create transparency around applicant pool data—during the faculty hiring process
It is critical to build as much data as possible about the demographics of faculty job applicants. At some innovative institutions, such as the University of Maryland—Baltimore County or the University of Notre Dame, an appropriate administrative professional such as an associate provost or a chief diversity officer can view the aggregate, anonymized self-reported EEO data for a search, in real time. Then they can compare the search to field-wide data, such as the National Survey of Earned Doctorates. Knowing where the pool falls below national rates of demographic representation can inform the search chair and/or the dean so they can take appropriate action.
Get an overview of how your peers are improving diversity and inclusion in faculty recruitment in our recent white paper, The Modern Faculty Recruitment Playbook.
2. How to make faculty professional review processes transparent, and centrally viewable
One major factor in why inequitable patterns of faculty advancement persist—both in the US and internationally—is inconsistent documentation and communication around actual professional reviews of faculty members.
More and more modern higher education institutions (from Dartmouth College to Haverford College to Tulane University to the majority of California State Universities) are recognizing the transformative value of successfully managing faculty review workflows in a centralized way that both:
- Defines the official steps and requirements for everyone involved
- Tracks what actually happened in the decision process along the way
This type of digital transformation goes far beyond efficiency and business necessity. It is about clarity, transparency, and the humanity of the scholars.
Get an overview of how your peers are making faculty tenure, promotion, and professional reviews more equitable in our Best Practices Checklist for Promotion and Tenure Reviews.
3. How to build a reliable source of information about faculty responsibilities and advancement patterns
Finally, a key factor that leaders in higher education faculty affairs are increasingly addressing is the historic invisibility of faculty workload distribution. By strategically approaching how information is gathered and shared—or even simply making the move to treat faculty information as its own need, especially around employment agreements and expectations for success in their role—the college or university eliminates a historic cloud that obscured persistent inequalities.
Learn which concrete challenges to tackle, and how officially tracking faculty employment expectations serves equity, in our free eBook, Mapping Scholar Careers.