Faculty Search Committee Workshop
Recruiting top faculty to UT Austin is one of the most important things the university does every year. The provost’s office holds workshops for faculty search committees because we want to ensure that the university is recruiting the best faculty to the Forty Acres across all disciplines.
The workshops provide information to help search committee members understand how to yield a wide and diverse pool of candidates, and how to fairly and equitably evaluate them. Topics covered during the workshop include:
- Legal dos and don’ts during a search
- Managing a search committee
- How to conduct active recruiting
- Excellence and diversity
- Implicit biases
- Best ways to conduct an interview process
- Closing the deal
Part 1 is the online self-guided faculty search committee course. This part of the workshop will take approximately 60 minutes. Part 1 of the workshop will prepare you for a quiz about inclusive hiring practices and legalities. You must correctly answer at least 80% of the questions in order to pass this portion of the workshop. Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2. Part 2 is the in person workshop that faculty search committees should attend as a group. The search committee chair should help organize committee members to attend together as much as possible.
Follow-Up Discussions are 60-minute informal live Zoom meetings hosted once a month throughout the school year for faculty who have taken Parts 1 or 2 of the workshop and would like to discuss anything pertaining to the search process, with topics including support and guidance for best practices and legalities.
For more information about faculty search committee workshops contact Dr. Grayson Hunt, Director of Equity Outreach and Resources
1. Taking this workshop takes time. Why is it so important?
- Recruiting faculty is one of the most significant ways by which we impact the University;
- The University is best served when it has a highly talented and diverse pool of interested and qualified applicants and a selection process designed to ensure unbiased and inclusive recruitment;
- In part 2 of the workshop, search committees attend together as a committee and with other search committees. We are a big university and this is one of the few times that we come together as a faculty, across our units to discuss best practices;
- It is a great opportunity to keep growing in our own personal paths towards learning how to achieve inclusion and minimize bias in all aspects of what we do.
2. How often do we participate in this workshop? Why participate more than once?
- Faculty are being asked to complete Part 1 every three years with a quick one-page refresher every year.
- Faculty are being asked to complete Part 2 once each year they serve on a search committee.
The reasoning is that things change, new best practices emerge, people forget and benefit from the reminder.
- Part 2 is like the pre-meeting for your search committee — you’ll meet each other and get on the same page, which is why it important that committees attend together.
- Each experience of the workshop will be different because the people participating shift, including ourselves as we learn and grow.
- Things that were permissible a few years ago have shifted, in part because the landscape has changed.
3. Who has participated in the workshop so far?
- Faculty, staff and students participating in faculty search committees all join these conversations.
- During the 21-22 academic year, 600 people took it.
- Since 2018, there have been 1,100 attendees. All attendees receive credit in UT Learn.
- Most deans on campus are requiring participation for faculty that choose to be in a search committee.
4. What are the advantages of attending this workshop before beginning the hiring process?
- Gives the committee time to get on the same page, learn about what each committee members prioritizes, discuss concerns and best practices that will be adopted in the abstract.
- Much easier to discuss things like rubrics, and importance of different criteria for each member in the absence of a particular candidate.
- Helpful for committee to discuss difficult scenarios that might arise in the process. Addressing hypothetical issues preventatively can enable better conversations later, where members feel more comfortable advocating their thoughts.
5. Why is recruiting a diversity of faculty so important?
- To remain globally competitive, we have to attract the best faculty that can bring different experiences and skillsets so that we can educate our students and prepare them to succeed in a diverse world.
- It is important that we don’t merely replicate ourselves in hiring new faculty.
- For work satisfaction of our current faculty: our faculty agree that increasing diverse representation amongst the faculty is a top priority: In our last COACHE climate survey, 87% of faculty agree that is a priority to work in a place with a diverse group of students, faculty and staff.
6. Why is it important to have someone on the search committee record the demographics of the pool?
- Attaining diversity in the applicant pool is the only point at which demographics can be discussed; it must be done deliberately and carefully.
- The committee can recommend stopping and/or prolonging the search if the pool is not diverse enough.
- Understanding applicant pool, particularly trends in the applicant pools that a department sees year to year, is also key to strategizing proactive initiatives that are targeted to augment the diversity of the demographics found in the pool; this is encouraged and legal.
- As part of the University’s strategic plan for faculty diversity, a key priority is also to audit the faculty search process and tracking.
- The Provost’s Office is interested in documenting all steps of this process and will be auditing search committees yearly on their processes and benchmarks, so deliberately keeping track of all stages of the process will become more important.
7. Why does it matter whether our searches are inclusive?
- Barriers in place that prevent people from working here may be discriminatory and those barriers can get in the way of us achieving excellence.
- We can be at risk of cloning ourselves rather than diversifying the talent and range of ideas and areas of research.
8. What is the benefit for faculty already here to do inclusive recruiting?
- Being able to achieve inclusive practices and diverse results takes time and innovative thinking. There is a lot of room for trying, making mistakes, and learning from each other.
- Learning curves are different in this area depending on all our experiences.
- As a campus we need everyone across the spectrum to make a difference in how we think of helping everyone feel included and be successful.
- It is equally important for those that are excelling in this area to feel responsible to uplift others.
- Every year these conversations will be different with consistent changes around our campus policies.
- Conversations will also be different with continual learning as we experience hiring and life in general on campus.
9. What are some best practices that recommended to address and avoid bias when we’re working quickly and with a lot of applicants.
- Using rubrics to help faculty evaluate candidates according to shared measurements.
- Rubrics take time but they really help judge candidates against the job requirements, rather than against each other.
- Only review the applicants once the entire pool has been decided.
10. What constitutes the applicant pool?
- The pool is the group of interested and qualified applicants who have applied for the position.
- At this level, we are not designating clear “winners or losers” that will advance or not to the next stage. We are simply attracting all talents to apply to our positions.
- At this level we can and should be highly proactive in finding creative ways to ensure we have a large pool that is demographically diverse based on skillsets and experiences but also based on categories like gender, race, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, age, etc.
- It takes energy and time to achieve diverse applicant pools. It is important to realize that candidates will not just come to us; we have to actively find them, track them over time, and encourage them to apply.
11. What is the importance of having a committee chair?
- Committee chairs should ensure that all perspectives get heard in the committees.
- They should also watch out for and call attention to instances that could represent bias.
- They can also recommend stopping/prolonging searches if applicant pools are not diverse enough.
- Their leadership is extremely importance in this process.
- We also know from data that committee member engagement and participation in the workshops are highly correlated with participation and involvement of the committee chair in these workshops.
12. What resources does the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity have to help committees increase diversity of an applicant pool and inclusion in the recruitment process?
- Within the Provost Office, there are a number of initiatives that financially support creative ways to recruit diversity into our applicant pools. One of them is the PIPES (Proactive Initiatives for Pool Excellence in Searches) program. Through this program, we can help fund social media recruitment advertisement, early visits of potential diverse candidates to our campus, conferences that bring in diverse scholars to campus, special recruitment faculty visits to other campuses, departmental/CSU presence at conferences that can lead to broader recruitment, advertisement of job announcements in broader mediums etc.
- This is really there to support faculty creativity in helping us attract more diverse faculty applicants. Last year awards ranged from $2,500-$7,000 for participating departments across the university.
- We have also developed trainings and will conduct these trainings this year to support Interfolio use to assist committees in tracking the diversity of their applicant pools. Our hope is that this will also facilitate the reporting that we will ask for them to do in our audits.
- We have informal “office hour” times to support throughout the search processes. These have been useful venues for faculty to get together and discuss challenges, ask questions, get feedback on their specific processes etc.
- During the process, we have assisted departments in helping them connect their candidates to other members of campus that could offer unique insights to them regarding issues of particular interest; in many cases the VP of Faculty Diversity office has met with candidates directly during the interview processes, at the request of the committees.
- We also offer a beginning of year panel to “kick off” the search season, where faculty around campus can debrief and discuss challenges, opportunities, and best practices that they experienced in the previous season to help us learn from one another and better tailor our committee workshop in the context of these campus experiences. You can register here for the September 8, 2022 event.
Thu, Aug 18, 2022, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Fri, Sep 16, 2022, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Mon, Oct 3, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Tue, Oct 4, 2022, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Tue, Oct 11, 2022, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Wed, Oct 12, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tue, Oct 18, 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Thu, Oct 20, 2022, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Tue, Oct 25, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tue, Nov 1, 2022, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Thu, Nov 10, 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Tue, Nov 15, 2022, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tue, Dec 6, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Tue, Jan 24, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Wed, Feb 22, 2023, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Thu, Mar 23, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Wed, Apr 12, 2023, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Wed, Sep 21, 2022, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Wed, Oct 26, 2022, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Tue, Jan 31, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Tue, Feb 28, 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Wed, Apr 19, 2023, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM