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Creators/Authors contains: "Simpson, Caroline E."

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  1. Abstract

    Administrators and faculty at many colleges and universities are dedicated to making the faculty hiring process fair and equitable. One program that has shown promise is to train and appoint a Diversity Advocate (DA) to serve on each faculty search and screen committee. In this study, we created and examined the early stages of a DA program at a single institution. After undergoing special training, the DA works on the search committee to encourage best practices and to discourage schemas and stereotypes from interfering with the process. Our DA program differs from some in that efforts are made to train DAs who are demographically in the majority, work in the area where the search is taking place, and have earned tenure or promotion. Training those who are demographically in the majority helps meet our goal of broadening the responsibility for evidence-based and equitable hiring practices across faculty members. While reliable data on hiring outcomes is not yet available, we developed a survey to evaluate the DA training and conducted focus groups to understand the DA experience better. Our results highlight how DAs intervened in the search process to make it more equitable. The interventions included encouraging the use of best practices, such as leading the committee in creating a rubric for evaluating candidates and intervening when bias was present. Our study provides evidence that a DA program is one way to expand the pool of faculty committed to inclusive excellence.

     
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