Focus Area 2

Talent Acquisition, Promotion and Retention

Provide resources to enhance current processes for recruitment, retention, and promotion to increase the number of historically excluded and underrepresented faculty and staff and improve their sense of community.  

Over the last year, the College of Engineering has made several transformative changes to the hiring process that will enable increased recruitment and retention of a more diverse faculty and staff and create a hiring process with equity and inclusion at the center. In addition, we have been forward-thinking about building strategy around our shared values. We have been transparent about the negative impact bias, racism, and other social injustices have had on hiring, promotion, and retention. Implementing training for all search committee members and using an inclusive hiring checklist will allow us to measure and communicate our performance outcomes and work towards continuous improvement. These updates in practices enable us to achieve our long-term goal of a more diverse, equitable hiring, promotion, and retention process.

2020 -2021 Actions Taken:

Action Step 2.1

We shall ensure that all aspects of the COE commitment to diversity as it relates to specific job functions and responsibilities are described with clarity for all COE position postings

  • Inclusive Excellence hiring resources have been updated and enhanced: rubrics for interviews, diversity statement wording for inclusion into position posting, and inclusive search strategies.  
  • Advertisement for faculty positions now includes COE commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence.

Action Step 2.2

We shall require implicit bias training for all persons involved in the hiring process.

  • A limited number of faculty searches were approved for FY 2021 and FY 2022. All search committee members were required to complete the Kirwan Implicit Bias training as well as the Harvard Implicit Bias Test prior to beginning the search process. 

Action Step 2.3

We shall require hiring committees to have an outside observer from another department/unit/center to ensure women and underrepresented minority candidates are being properly considered.

  • All search committees have a diversity advocate; instituted periodic support meetings for diversity advocates
  • Prior to being able to interview candidates, search committees must report the steps they have taken to create an inclusive pool and their hiring pool must be assessed for appropriate diversity.  The comparison is the demographics in the NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates. They cannot continue on to interviews until they get college approval.  The steps to take are taken from the CoE Guide to Effective Searches and the Discovery Themes best practices.
  • Dual career hires are given priority as a way to support the recruitment and retention of faculty from under-represented groups.

Action Step 2.4

We shall modify systems of incentive and assessment to include and reward diversity and inclusion action and competence, including annual reviews and promotion and tenure guidelines.

  • Added compensation philosophy to college Pattern of Administration (POA) that includes assessing engagement in University values, especially equity, and inclusion.
  • Added guidelines for including equity and inclusion activities in faculty annual reports to the college POA
  • Added language in the annual review section of the college Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (APT) document concerning the assessment of equity and inclusion in annual reviews.
  • To support and encourage increased awareness and professional development for both staff and faculty in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the college has increased financial support and hired a dedicated staff member for the Inclusive Excellence Certificate program, which recognizes and rewards staff efforts and builds community in DEI.

Future Actions: Improved support for talent development, recruitment, and onboarding combined with professional development and training for existing faculty and staff will create greater access and success of efforts to increase diversity and sustain an environment that reflects the shared values of the University. A strong partnership and alignment with Human Resources are necessary for the greatest impact. 

Key Performance Indicators: (1) percentage of staff and faculty serving on committees who have completed Understanding and Interrupting Bias training (2) increase in the overall representation of historically excluded and minoritized groups in candidate pools for staff and faculty positions (3) increase in the overall representation of historically excluded and minoritized groups in staff and faculty positions and senior leadership roles

Resources Allocated: funds were allocated to hire an assistant dean level position focused on faculty recruitment and hiring as well as support diversity, equity and inclusive excellence professional development training for faculty involved in hiring and mentoring. Funds have been committed to supporting the LEGACY Post-Doctoral program.  LEGACY is a new initiative designed to prepare and diversify the next generation of engineering leaders in academia.

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