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Faculty Searches 2013-2014 October 28, 2013 Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Thanks to Dean Virginia Sapiro for sharing.

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Presentation on theme: "Faculty Searches 2013-2014 October 28, 2013 Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Thanks to Dean Virginia Sapiro for sharing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faculty Searches 2013-2014 October 28, 2013 Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Thanks to Dean Virginia Sapiro for sharing her slides from an earlier presentation presenting data on implicit bias and stereotypes. 1

2 We have developed an on-line Search Manual that suggests best practices and includes many resources. Available at: We have also provided each search committee chair with the newest edition of the parent search manual: Searching for Excellence and Diversity (National Edition, 2012) 2

3 Outline COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL – Attend to this throughout the process SEARCH BROADLY AIM HIGH – We need to recruit from above, not below SCREENING – Establish criteria on which to assess all candidates – Be aware of unintended bias RECRUITING – Tips for a successful on-campus visit – Interviewing – Problem questions vs. Need-to-Know (and how to help) MAKING THE DECISION – Best practices and hiring the best, final steps 3

4 Communication: Plan Ahead & Follow Up – Acknowledge receipt of materials check up often if a support person is supposed to do it for you – Respond to questions develop a party line in case queries come to committee members instead of/in addition to the SC chair know your timeline – this is a very common question – Confidentiality – Send No thank you responses to all who need them dont forget to close the loop with ALL candidates/inquirers 4

5 Search Broadly We automatically advertise for you in Inside Higher Ed, Higher Ed Jobs, BU HR,, and HERC – Let us know when your job is filled so we can cancel your ad Know the market and the availability for your position – we must reach great candidates in all markets in order to hire the best – you and BU will be judged on whether our pool of candidates reflects or exceeds the market in terms of diversity metrics – Steve Marois is your main contact in the Provosts Office for help with the search process itself. – – 617-358-4843 5

6 Our Faculty vs. Availability (2011 data) Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2010 Data Tables ( Association of American Law Schools ( BU faculty data as of January 1, 2011. Minority designation includes respondents who self-identified as Hispanic. They may have also self-identified as White. 6

7 CAS Only: % URM Faculty vs. Availability (FT, Unmodified, of the Practice, & Clinical Ranks) Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2010 Data Tables ( ** - Availability statistics include Atmospheric, Geological, Ocean/Marine, and Natural Resources fields - Includes Creative Writing, Editorial Institute, and Writing Program - Includes American & New England Studies Minority designation includes respondents who self-identified as Hispanic. They may have also self-identified as White. BU faculty data as of January 1, 2011. 7

8 Without a diverse applicant pool we may overlook great candidates There are general compendia of potential applicants, such as the CIC Doctoral Directory You will need extra effort to enrich your pool Specialized advertising venues/job boards: – IM Diversity – Journal of Blacks in Higher Ed – Association for Women in Science – Longer list at: 8

9 Keeping Track of your Pool You enter applicant e-mail addresses into an on- line tool called AARF (See /recruitment-2/aarf-instructions/) AARF sends an e-mail to applicants, asking them to self-ID by race/ethnicity and gender There is a firewall that prevents us from matching responses to any individual; legal requirement The sooner you do it, the more responses we get Waiting until the end is not acceptable 9

10 AARF, continued Once a month, or upon request, we send the search chair and the dean the data we have on the composition of your pool, by search This is self-ID, the only legal option Deans will be asked about the diversity of the applicants, interviews and offers in his or her annual review We are exploring ways to intervene in searches if the pool is not diverse 10

11 Aim High We should strive to interview and hire from the top 20 schools in the discipline – and well up in that group, if your department/school is already in the top 20. You should be cautious and we will be skeptical about a candidate who is underplaced, or hopes to accelerate his or her scholarly work by coming here. If you recruit such a person, we will be looking for objective evidence that the recruit is better than other finalists in your search from peer-plus institutions. Aiming high is NOT in conflict with diversity goals. We will provide extra resources to recruit people who bring extra value to BU. Great candidates are valuable. 11

12 Previous Institution Ranking for New T/TT Faculty Percent of New Faculty USNWR Ranking of Previous Institution 12

13 Screening Develop a method and timeline in advance Agree on screening criteria in advance – what is required, what is desirable? See sample checklists on p. 64 and 67 of printed search book Screening with previously established explicit criteria – helps minimize decisions based on hearsay – helps ensure that all applicants get due consideration – saves time 13

14 Issues In Evaluating Candidates Your explicit criteria should not be so narrow or rigid that they only identify clones of the current faculty Look for someone more than merely satisfactory and sufficient – consider future impact – we must strive to hire people who are better than we were at that stage. Issues of biases and judgment ---- 14

15 Making Good Judgments: Being Alert To Biases Of All Sorts How do we make unbiased judgments about a candidates future potential, when we are used to trusting our own judgment? How can we discriminate among candidates without discriminating against candidates? Awareness of implicit stereotypes and unconscious bias can help. 15

16 Complex tasks Cognitive overload Time pressure Need for quick judgments Fatigue Lack of clarity about standards Lack of accountability Unwarranted faith in your own fairness and objectivity Factors Known to Activate Discriminatory Cognition (even if you care about fairness & equality) 16

17 Stereotypes = assumptions about groups consciously or unconsciously applied to individuals Prior social knowledge and experience becomes a resource for current decision-making. Unconscious assumptions about categories of people allow us to organize and retrieve information – to make judgments and understand – quickly and economically. These unconscious assumptions drive perceptions of people. Unconscious assumptions based on social categories (e.g. race/ethnicity, sex, and age) shape consequential evaluations in the workplace, even among people who value equality. Check out Your experience might surprise you. 17

18 Trix and Psenka, Discourse & Soc 14: 2003 ( 312 letters of recommendation for medical faculty hired at a large U.S. medical school; Content analysis shows gender differences; letters for women were: –Significantly shorter –Provided minimal assurance (lacked detail): 15% 6% –Included more gender terms (e.g. intelligent young lady; insightful woman): 10% 5% –Included more Doubt Raisers: 24% 12% –Had more stereotypic adjectives: accomplishment/achievement 3% 13%; compassionate/relates well 16% 4% –Included more grindstone adjectives: 34% 23% and fewer standout adjectives (outstanding, excellent) Are letters objective information? 18

19 Semantic realms following possessive adjectives (e.g. her training; his research) 19

20 See Wennerás and Wold, Nature 387, 1997 ( 0.pdf) 114 applications for prestigious research postdocs to Swedish MRC (52 women): actual peer review Measured productivity by # publications; journal reputation, first author, citations, etc. Women had to be 2.5x as productive as men to get the same score To even the score, women needed equivalent of 3 extra papers in a prestigious journal like Science or Nature or 20 extra papers in a less prestigious journal. Arent CVs objective information? 20

21 Summary of Unintended Bias in Evaluations Remember, it is usually unintended. In multiple contexts, women and men exhibit the same biases about gender and competence. How to counteract it? – be aware, biases are pervasive and often unconscious – establish criteria at the beginning against which ALL candidates are assessed – read (and write) letters in a more self-conscious way; try substituting genders when reading or writing recommendation letters – see how odd they sound! 21

22 From Applicant Pool to Short List of Candidates to Campus Visits Screen pool of applicants against established criteria & narrow down to approx. 3 that you will invite to visit. Invitations to campus… be as clear as possible about expectations, schedule, etc. put yourself in the candidates shoes and answer the questions they may not ask – like how to pay for the trip. Visits are as much recruitment as evaluation. – We want everyone who visits BU to be positive about us afterwards. – Showcase the strengths of your department. Keep war stories to a minimum. Search Committees must hear what the candidate needs and wants, but avoid illegal questions. 22

23 Need-to -Know vs. Illegal Questions You might want to be helpful by finding out if a potential faculty member needs information about family-friendly policies, or has a partner who needs a job, but… you may not ask about these things. – whether someone has or plans to have children, or has a spouse or partner is not a qualification (or disqualification) for a faculty job. The Search Manual has a list of legal and illegal questions. 23

24 Strategies to Provide Information If you provide the same information to all candidates proactively, that is a good recruiting tool, and perfectly legal. If the candidate initiates a conversation about a topic, you may discuss it with them. You can ask if theres anything that would make it difficult for them to come to Boston University if they were offered the job. – If that candidate is the top choice, wed like to make our offer as attractive as possible. 24

25 Questions During the Visit If you do hear about a particular need, try to gather more information quickly. – Speak with your Dean about partner situations ASAP so we can start seeing what might be possible. – BU belongs to HERC, which facilitates jobs for both faculty and non-faculty partners at other member institutions in New England, but partner hires are especially tough when both need/want TT jobs. – We have a new website with resources for Dual Career couples: resources/dual-career-resources/ resources/dual-career-resources/ 25

26 More Tips for the Campus Visit – Devise a sensible schedule; send it in advance; keep it humane – Transportation from the airport; guides around campus; provide a contact phone number – We need well-attended job talks – Consider arranging meetings with other people in the Boston area and invite those people to the talk – Final interview with the search chair or department chair to wrap up, answer last questions, etc. 26

27 Making The Decision Collect preliminary reactions right after the visit The Department should deliberate face-to-face. Many departments prohibit proxy votes. It is best if these rules are decided before any candidates are considered Consider asking department faculty to privately rate each candidate on several dimensions before discussion begins – our search manual has sample rating sheets you might want to use. This can help counteract one person who dominates the discussion. Know what your Dean wants (priority list, or X acceptable options) Dont settle for someone merely sufficient – Many searches roll over to next year if the first search didnt yield an excellent person. – Remember – we are aiming high, and even average choices for senior faculty will not survive review at the higher levels. Weak choices at the junior level damage the credibility of the department and school and are highly risky for promotion/tenure. The Search Chair or Department Chair should communicate to the Dean immediately after the decision, with the departments recommendations and the gist of the discussion. 27

28 Final Words BU will commit exceptional resources to exceptional faculty candidates. – We can provide extra resources to candidates who bring extra value. – If you need extra resources to help recruit an outstanding candidate who will add to the diversity of the faculty, let the Provosts Office know. We rely on you who are searching to identify, select, and help us recruit exceptional faculty Please let us know how we can help. Thank you! 28

29 Julie Sandell and Steve Marois are available at any time during the search process for assistance. 29

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