Inside Higher Ed, Open Searches and Diversity:
Hoping to increase faculty diversity, UC Davis is holding eight open searches focused on candidates' contributions to diversity, instead of narrow disciplinary expertise.
The University of California, Davis, is launching a pilot hiring program that eliminates the requirement — typical in department searches — that candidates have a specific disciplinary specialty. Davis says the research-backed approach will help it increase faculty diversity. ...
Davis is funding the program with some $422,000 of a $7 million University of California System-wide investment in faculty diversity, in addition to existing campus funds.
The eight school- and college-wide searches that make up the pilot program will, in the university’s words, “cast a broad net and reach out to candidates who are contributing to enhancing diversity and inclusive environments through their research, teaching and service.”
The idea is that a diverse search will lead to a diverse candidate pool. Instead of a focusing on a particular disciplinary expertise, search teams will look for candidates with proven commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion among underrepresented groups, namely black, Latino, Chicano and Native American applicants.
Statements of contributions to diversity already are mandatory for faculty applicants across the California system, but search committees will put greater emphasis on these statements in selecting candidates for interviews. Individual search committees will decide just how to evaluate the documents and other evidence of commitment to diversity, however.
Finalists will be assigned faculty members to serve as confidential advisers and may ask one who has no role in the selection process questions about campus life and climate.
Hires will get up to $12,500 for hiring their own students, traveling or writing workshops, and enrollment in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s program for research productivity and work-life balance.
Participating programs are the Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Engineering, along with the Graduate School of Management and the Schools of Education, Law, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Deans of all these colleges expressed interest in the program, according to Davis. ...
Search committees will soon be formed, with the goal of hiring these new professors by July. Davis will pay up to $85,000 toward the salary of each hire. Individual schools or colleges will be responsible for pay above that, and the professors’ entire salaries after five years. ...
Davis’s faculty is currently 9.2 percent underrepresented minority. The university is moving toward becoming a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution. One qualification for that recognition is that, for at least one year, one-quarter of domestic, full-time students be Hispanic. Davis says it will reach that threshold this fall.