The University of Missouri is committed to diversifying its faculty, and the most highly qualified candidates from underrepresented groups are in high demand, therefore, early preparation is essential. Cultivating an applicant pool that includes many candidates who bring valuable perspectives and research experiences requires building a network to identify highly qualified individuals before the opening is announced.

Pre-Search Activities

  • Maintain awareness of young scholars, especially women and individuals from underrepresented minority groups, who exhibit high potential for success at Mizzou. Conferences are excellent opportunities for networking with pre- and post-doctorates in the job market.
  • If your department is considering a search in the next year, promote Mizzou at conferences as a potential employer by seeking out potential applicants. Describe the culture of your department, the research interests of current faculty, and your perspective on life in Columbia.
  • Reach out to scholars at other institutions who might be able to recommend potential applicants. Women and underrepresented minorities in academia, in particular, might be especially able to recommend candidates who will offer diverse perspectives and scholarship to your department.
  • 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 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 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

Diversity Recruitment Plan

The university expects academic departments to provide a diversity recruitment plan as part of their justification for filling faculty positions. 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 National Black Lawyers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, and has been placed on the Affirmative Action Listserv of HigherEdJobs.com, and on the job board of Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
  • 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 who have agreed to circulate the job 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.
  • 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 under-represented 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 from Dartmouth College 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.
  • Ford Foundation Fellow Directory: A directory compiled by the National Academy of Sciences cataloguing Ford Foundation Fellowship recipients, including current position and contact information.
  • 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

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

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).

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