The University of Missouri is a premier research institution with dedicated faculty, staff and students creating and discovering new technologies, arts, media, content and publications every day that transform lives and communities around the globe. To uphold its position as a premier research institution and remain competitive in this global society, the university must provide exposure to different people, cultures, traditions and practices — it must be a catalyst for inclusive excellence, the outcome of having a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture.

One of the best places to showcase Mizzou’s belief in inclusive excellence is through the faculty — the heart and soul of the university. Having faculty with various backgrounds and life experiences can generate perspectives and ideas that have never been considered and can add to the educational foundation of students.

Pre-Search Activities

To ensure long-term inclusive excellence, it is important to cultivate an applicant pool of people who bring valuable perspectives and research experiences from all walks of life. This requires pre-search activities to identify highly qualified individuals before the opening is announced. Pre-search activities can include the following:

  • Use your network. Maintain awareness of young scholars who exhibit high potential for success at Mizzou. Conferences provide excellent opportunities for networking with pre- and post-doctorates in the job market. Be mindful and purposeful in identifying women and other underrepresented groups who exhibit high potential for success at Mizzou.
  • Promote Mizzou at conferences and events. If your department is considering a search in the next year, promote Mizzou as a potential employer by seeking out potential applicants at events that you attend. Describe the culture of your department, the research interests of current faculty, and your perspective on life in Columbia.
  • Seek referrals from scholars. Reach out to scholars at other institutions who might be able to recommend potential applicants. Women and underrepresented minority groups in academia, in particular, might be able to recommend candidates who will offer excellence in scholarship to your department.
  • Locate fellowship programs. Become familiar with fellowship programs that offer funding to minority pre- and post-doctoral candidates. Consider attending events for such programs at major conferences to become familiar with emerging scholars and their work.
  • Host an event. Host events at Mizzou for pre- and post-doctorates to share their research. These events will offer an opportunity for potential candidates to become familiar with the department and its faculty, and for them to be introduced to life in Columbia.

Creating a Search Committee

Search committees are the candidate’s first glimpse into the culture of the unit and the culture at Mizzou. Candidates are attracted to the institution when the committee is engaged and enthused, and when the committee can demonstrate that the position is a doorway to career progression for the candidate. Search Committee Chairs should endeavor to build their committee with individuals who can present a persuasive case for the department and the institution.

In order to keep diversity, equity, and inclusion on the radar, it is crucial to include people who are committed to these ideals on the search committee. As an example, individuals who have participated in the Inclusive Excellence planning process at the departmental level should be consulted or included to ensure that candidates selected can contribute to the current and future plans of the unit.

All search committee members are responsible for considering issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, regardless of their identity group. Departments should be mindful of creating additional service/time obligations for faculty members from underrepresented groups through repeated requests to serve on search committees. Pre-tenure faculty members in particular may feel significant pressure to participate.

The committee should include members who:

  • Have worked on projects related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Are representative of different sub-sections of the population within the unit e.g. different research areas
  • Can advocate for students and staff of diverse backgrounds and experiences

A rubric to assess a candidate’s contributions on diversity, inclusion and equity can be found in the ‘Evaluating Candidates’ section below.

Diversity Recruitment Plan

To ensure inclusive excellence is at the foundation of our hiring practices, the university is requiring that faculty searches have a Diversity Recruitment Plan as part of their justification for filling faculty positions, which ensures careful thought has gone into pursuing candidates with varied backgrounds and experiences. The Office of Inclusive Engagement (OIE) will review these plans once applications are noted in the system. These plans must be specific, multifaceted and targeted towards underrepresented groups if they are to be successful. For example:

  • The search committee identified outlets to advertise this position that have broader participation among underrepresented groups. The position has been posted on the website of the job board of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, National Black Lawyers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, and has been placed on the Affirmative Action Listserv of HigherEdJobs.com.
  • The committee has identified two highly respected scholars in the field from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the University of Kansas and the University of Illinois. These individuals have agreed to circulate the job opening to their professional networks. They run labs that have graduated multiple doctoral scholars of color in the past five years.
  • The committee is aware of three individuals from underrepresented backgrounds who are employed in a similar role at other institutions. The chair of the committee has contacted them to determine their interest in applying.
  • Preferred candidates for this position would have experience working with satellite campuses. The certifying board for our academic discipline has 30 institutions with a satellite campus designation. This list of institutions was cross referenced with the Board’s list of institutions that graduate a high number of diverse scholars for possible institutions to target for recruitment. We will contact those institutions for circulation of our ad. They are the University of Texas, University of Minnesota and University of North Dakota.
  • There are three graduate programs which have been recognized for having the highest number of underrepresented minorities in this field (at Purdue, Duke, and the University of Chicago). The committee has reached out to those departments and requested that the position be circulated to their alumni.

Identifying Potential Candidates and Resources

Many fields will have online communities that can help identify female and underrepresented minority scholars who might be competitive applicants. Some websites also compile lists of doctoral students and graduates who are interested in tenure-track positions. Some suggestions are listed below:

  • Minority Postdoc: Online community that maintains a database of postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields. Dartmouth’s institutional membership provides access to contact information for many minority job candidates listed here.
  • Roster of Women & Minorities in Physics: The American Physical Society maintains a database of several hundred women and minority physicists that includes contact information, educational background, and employment history.
  • Survey of Doctorates Awarded: The National Science Foundation’s annual survey can provide broad information and trends about the market of potential applicants. While the survey does not include information about particular graduates, this can provide information about schools that graduate a high number of women and underrepresented minorities.
  • The PhD Project: Aimed at increasing minority representation among business school faculty, the PhD Project manages a comprehensive list of institutions that offer business doctoral programs and a list of universities participating in the PhD Project.
  • SREB DSP Scholar Directory: The scholar directory showcases more than 1,000 accomplished doctoral scholars and successful Ph.D. recipients who are committed to pursuing careers in the professoriate. Mizzou has one account to be used, so please contact us to facilitate.

Advertising Resources

HR will review job advertisements to ensure they provide clear minimum qualifications, which helps disposition applicants in a manner consistent with federal guidelines. Below are advertising resources you can use to ensure you are being inclusive in your search:

National Health Services Organizations and Listservs

General Resources For Recruiting Diverse Faculty

Resources compiled by Dartmouth College, University of California, Berkeley and the Ohio State University.

Interviewing Candidates

As part of the interview process, search committee members should ask questions to assess a candidate’s ability to assist the university with its inclusive excellence goals. Such questions will ensure that your candidate will fit within your work culture and be able to uphold the vision of the university. Below are a few questions that can be asked to prompt answers that reflect a candidate’s stance on inclusion.

From the UHS Hiring Toolkit created by the University of California, Berkeley.

Questions:

  • What do you see as the fundamental characteristics of institutions that create an inclusive environment?
  • What do you see as the most challenging aspect of a diverse academic environment? What steps have you taken to meet this challenge?
  • Please share an example from your professional experience that demonstrates your respect for people and their differences; and how you’ve worked to understand perspectives of others?
  • Provide an example of a time you communicated a complex concept to a staff member or student who spoke English as a second language.
  • What tools/techniques do you employ to promote collaboration among underrepresented groups?
  • What is your definition of a diverse patient population?  What behaviors, techniques, or decisions allow you to function most effectively as a provider when working with a diverse patient population? 
  • How do you define “diversity” from a professional perspective? Please give an example of your ethnicity and/or cultural identity impacting your work.
  • Please describe experiences you have had leading outreach activities for underserved student populations (e.g., developing and leading workshops, providing consultation to student service departments).

Candidates should give specific examples and convey a clear understanding of diversity rather than evade questions or give general responses (e.g. our department won a diversity award).

The best responses from candidates will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding and acceptance of equity, inclusion and diversity concepts
  • Demonstrate self-awareness in terms of understanding their own culture, identity, biases, prejudices, power, privilege and stereotypes
  • Demonstrate awareness of generational differences in work styles
  • Demonstrate a willingness to challenge and change institutional practices that present barriers to different groups
  • Infuse diversity, equity and inclusion concepts in response to questions not directly prompting them 
  • Provide concrete examples and/or experiences in these areas
  • Use inclusive language
  • Share successful experiences working with underrepresented populations

Evaluating Candidates

Search committees can and should evaluate all candidates on their ability to be inclusive, no matter the field and job title. OIE recommends the use of a rubric to ensure that the committee is evaluating candidates using the same standards and can identify tangible diversity-related skills – that is, the ability of a candidate to contribute to our inclusive excellence goals at Mizzou. This is important because hiring and employment decisions cannot be made on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

If you already have a rubric in your unit which you use for other job-related skills, you may supplement with our “IDE Evaluation Tool”, which was adapted from the University of California, Berkeley:

IDE EVALUATION TOOL (XLSX)

If your unit does not have any rubric for reviewing candidates, please use the following University of Missouri IDE Faculty Hiring Rubric and the IDE Evaluation Tool (which details each area and can be used as a guide to scoring the IDE questions on the rubric) to evaluate your candidates:

IDE FACULTY HIRING RUBRIC (XLSX)

This rubric and tool are suggestions for improving and standardizing your hiring processes. Search committees may adapt either document for their specific departmental needs.

More information about Mizzou’s recruitment guidelines can be found through HR’s Recruitment, Hiring and Classification Guides and Forms.