Interrupting Bias in the Faculty Search Process: Film & Facilitation Guide
Excellence in Faculty Hiring
Recruiting excellent faculty is the ultimate goal of any department. Achieving excellence in faculty hiring requires careful attention to the entire faculty hiring process. Recruiting diverse faculty is a multi-step process where evaluation plays a major role. Ideally all candidates will be impartially evaluated on their abilities and potential. However, research repeatedly demonstrates that evaluation processes often underestimate the qualifications of people from historically underrepresented groups in higher education. By providing opportunities for search committee skill-building, faculty will be better equipped to identify subtle biases and engage their colleagues on assumptions of competence and fit.
The process of hiring candidates must change if we want outcomes that reproduce something other than the status quo. The “Interrupting Bias in the Faculty Search Process” film and facilitation guide has the potential to encourage conversations about how faculty candidates are evaluated and transform the hiring process for a more diverse faculty.
“Interrupting Bias in the Faculty Search Process” Film
This live action film features a faculty search committee debating candidate qualifications for an open position. Meant to be viewed in conjunction with a facilitated discussion on faculty evaluation, the goal is to help the audience:
- Demystify subtle discrimination and identify biases that occur during evaluation of faculty and faculty candidates.
- Examine assumptions of competence and best-fit.
- Become change-agents in their departments and transform the hiring process.
Thus, the film and facilitation guide has the potential to encourage conversations about how faculty candidates are evaluated and transform the hiring process for a more diverse faculty.
This film is intended to be presented within the context of a carefully facilitated presentation on bias and shortcuts in the faculty search process, both of which lead to erroneous conclusions about the competence of faculty candidates from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. The following resources will help guide your facilitated discussion about diversity in faculty hiring at colleges and universities.
- Film Facilitation Guide - Step-by-step guidance for viewing and discussing the film.
- Sample PowerPoint Presentation - Sample PowerPoint presentation for use at a facilitated viewing.
- Further Reading - Additional research on bias and shortcuts in evaluation.
Prepare your audience using the following handouts during a facilitated viewing.
- Key Concepts - Provides your audience with effective language to frame ideas and interventions related to diversity.
- Research on Bias - Explore selected studies that support the existence of evaluation bias against underrepresented groups.
- Common Shortcuts - Learn how implicit biases cloud assessments and lead to erroneous conclusions.
- Faculty Recruitment and Hiring - Tips and resources for the faculty recruitment and hiring process to ensure recruitment of a diverse faculty.
- UW Handbook of Best Practices for Faculty Searches: The University of Washington’s Handbook of Best Practices for Faculty Searches has many excellent ideas for all stages of the faculty recruitment, selection, and hiring process.
- Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias & Assumptions (WISELI) - A resource for research on bias and assumptions and advice for minimizing their influence on the hiring process
This project was made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant funded the creation of a facilitation guide and the dissemination of the film and guide as a teaching tool to programs and universities across the country. The film was first shown at UW ADVANCE’s National Leadership Excellence for Academic Diversity Workshop in June 2009. This project was led by former UW ADVANCE Research Associate Coleen Carrigan (who is now an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies at California Polytechnic University) and UW ADVANCE Director Dr. Joyce Yen.
Please feel free to contact us with your comments and/or questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.