Faculty TipSheet Recruiting Diverse Faculty Considerations to keep in mind when creating diverse and supportive communities

Students and faculty at the Hate Will Never Win rally

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln strives for excellence through diversity and inclusion. A diverse faculty supports success among our diverse student body; improves classroom discussions; and provides our students with better preparation for excellence in the global marketplace. Moreover, diverse perspectives within a field of study support and maintain stronger and richer scholarship and research. It is crucial that we prioritize diversity and inclusion in all our searches. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when creating diverse and supportive communities.

  1. Know your audience. When approaching groups and organizations that are serving and addressing concerns and issues relevant to belonging and inclusion of groups traditionally underrepresented in your field, be sure to research the mission, practices, and goals of the groups. Know what they are doing and how they are doing it. Assign one or two persons to be department ambassadors for that group. Establish regular opportunities for engagement. Even outside of the time of specific recruitment, regular contact with the group is beneficial. Find ways to support and assist the group’s activities. In each discipline typically there is huge competition for talent, and establishing credibility, strong relationships, and exposure is critical.
  2. Make effective and enhanced use of conferences and professional meetings. At conferences and meetings, look for and establish relationships with persons who would contribute to the research, teaching and service mission of the department, college, and university. Invite that person to campus to present their research. Although that person may not be available for a work or career opportunity at UNL, with a good relationship they would be inclined to add to the department’s brand by spreading the word about the university and employment opportunities.
  3. Create ownership. Help each faculty member in the department know that their help and contribution to the diversity efforts of the department, college, and university is critical for success in building a diverse and inclusive campus.
  4. Know the data. Prior to beginning a search, examine the diversity makeup of the department and discuss and plan for addressing those diversity needs when filling vacancies. Be intentional.
  5. Develop and train faculty. Provide faculty ambassadors with diversity and inclusion training to recognize diversity opportunities, how to help the departments benefit from those opportunities, and how to interact with diverse groups and populations.
  6. Critically examine the search process. Make definitive plans for how the search process can be used to promote belonging and inclusion for all applicants. An example would be the readiness to include a variety of individuals during scheduled lunches or dinners that can provide candidates with diverse views about the university environment and the Lincoln community.
  7. Tap your professional networks. If you have colleagues in other colleges and departments who are from underrepresented groups, or have current or former students who are, ask them for recommendations. Communicate your vacancy through their networks. Post the position announcement on discipline-specific listservs geared to underrepresented groups that would help to broaden your search.