Tips for Recruiting a Diverse Faculty


  1. Review the job description to ensure that it accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities for the position, and the minimum and preferred qualifications. Analyze whether the qualifications are inclusive as opposed to exclusionary, and whether they could be modified to incorporate a less traditional perspective.

 Enlarging the Pool 

  1. Write directly to colleagues to request nominations of minority and women candidates.
  2. Write to historically Black, predominantly Latino, and tribal colleges and universities to secure lists of faculty and doctoral students graduating in relevant disciplines.
  3. Write to minorities and women one year prior to their completion of a Ph.D. or Ed.D. program to inform them of upcoming job openings. Letters should clearly state needs and interests of the program and be followed up by telephone calls.
  4. Consider women and minorities who have performed successfully as lecturers, instructors, or research associates in the department and at other institutions.
  5. Use the visiting scholar program to create opportunities for women and minorities. This contact may pave the way for recruitment to a regular tenure‑track position.
  6. Write position postings to ensure that they attract the widest possible range of candidates. For example, a labor history position might be written to indicate a specialty in labor and/or women's history. An urban sociology position might include familiarity with urban minority groups as one of its desired qualifications.
  7. Follow up on contacts at professional meetings with recruitment letters that describe your department and demonstrate interest in an individual's candidacy for faculty positions.
  8. Contact women and minorities directly to inform them of vacancies or anticipated vacancies and invite their application, as opposed to sending a letter to a school asking that they communicate the vacancy to potential women and minority candidates. Often, outstanding potential candidates do not apply for advertised positions; a member of the search committee must approach them. If an individual declines a nomination or does not respond to your letter of inquiry, you should telephone the person to determine if the reasons for declining can be addressed and resolved. A telephone call will help demonstrate to a potential candidate that the University of Arizona is serious about its efforts to have a diverse faculty.
  9. Consider a faculty exchange program with a historically Black/Hispanic College or tribal college. Consider cooperative working arrangements with such institutions.
  10. When you and other faculty attend conferences, particularly ones that attract large numbers of women and minority faculty, combine your visits with recruitment efforts for present and future positions.
  11. Send small teams of faculty, students, and administrators for visits to campuses where potential minority and women students/applicants reside.
  12. Keep resumes of prospective candidates on file and contact them when a recruitment begins.
  13. Search for senior scholars who may be employed outside of academia but who, through cutbacks or simply the desire for a career change, may be well suited to a faculty position.
  14. Contact women and minorities who have received significant grants or professional recognition and ask them to suggest promising women and minority scholars.
  15. Maintain contact with women and minorities whom your unit has unsuccessfully attempted to recruit for graduate study at the University of Arizona. As they complete their graduate studies at other universities, they may become candidates for a faculty position at the University of Arizona. They may also have women and minorities among their colleagues who are potential candidates for open positions.

 Recruiting Candidates

  1. Recognize that women and minorities need to be aggressively recruited. Competition is intense and candidates must be recruited as you would any other outstanding candidate.
  2. Women and minority faculty must also feel that they will be truly welcome at the institution; that they will find a place in the university community. Encourage other faculty, including other minority/women faculty to meet informally with candidates to give them a sense of the institution. It also helps if deans and other academic administrators make themselves available to meet with minority and women candidates during the recruitment process.

Screening Candidates

  1. Resist the impulse to label one or more candidates the "most promising" because this may interfere with giving other candidates full consideration.
  2. Do not make assumptions about candidates. Assumptions that a member of a particular racial group would not feel welcome in the community, that a woman who pursued her degree part‑time is not a serious scholar, that a military background would make one less acceptable in the classroom or as a colleague, or that an individual who looks like an excellent candidate will be heavily recruited and, therefore, is not worth pursuing, are all damaging to the candidates and will work against our diversity efforts. Also, do not make assumptions about a person's willingness to move, their spouse/partner's willingness to move, etc. Let candidates decide these issues for themselves.
  3. Committee members need to continually examine whether their judgments on a dissertation, a person's character, experience, or publications is being affected by subjective factors, stereotypes, or other assumptions.
  4. Resist the tendency to measure individuals and their credentials against one standard. Candidates who received their degrees later in life, who worked part‑time when their children were young, or whose teaching and publication experience is not "mainstream" may bring rich experiences and diverse backgrounds to the campus.
  5. Think about the new dimensions that diverse candidates will bring to the department.