for STEM women on the academic career path

| HOME | MAIN | WISE Career Prep| Faculty Search | P & T | Diversity in the Academy |

The Search for the Best Faculty. Some Successful Strategies

As part of an inquiry into the disparity between the known gender composition of the faculty and the known gender composition of eligible candidates (PhD holders) posed here), we at the same time address what academic institutions can do about it.

A Model for Training Workshops for Faculty Search Committees

First we educate ourselves and our faculty colleagues in STEM about the research basis of unconscious bias , to become more aware of gender schemas and how unconscious bias leads both men and women to undervalue the abilities and accomplishments of women and overvalue those of men. Then we develop strategies to conduct a search despite the existing unconscious bias.

As a Facilitator (2003-2012) in UIC's program for advancing women faculty in STEM (WISEST), named and founded by Claudia Morrissey, CJJ was one of a cadre of search committee trainers, the SUCCEED (Supporting UIC's Commitment to a Community of Excellence, Equity and Diversity) team. The unique features of the SUCCEED model for training faculty search committees at UIC were as follows:

A Faculty Search Toolkit

The Faculty Search Toolkit authored by Cynthia Jameson and Claudia Morrissey is the outcome of a successful search for a faculty member for an engineering department which had zero women faculty at the time. The strategies developed in the process were thought to be generally useful for all STEM searches for junior faculty. The Search Toolkit is unique in providing detailed strategies for pro-active recruiting of women into the applicant pool. The set includes the following:

Case Studies for Pro-Active Recruiting

CJJ collected data for two departments where the members of the search committees bought into the ideas and procedures outlined in the Search Toolkit, including proactive recruiting. Comparisons against previous searches using standard practices in these same two departments, show that pro-active recruiting into the applicant pool can have diversifying results for new faculty hires, as shown here . The presentation of these data was incorporated into training workshops for search committees.

And Beyond ...

The evolved strategies differ from many others (such as WISELI in University of Wisconsin, as shown in this comparison presented by both teams in a GCHERC Symposium at the University of Chicago, in the emphasis on pro-active recruiting, use of STEM research-active professors rather than staff as presenters, and customizing presentations for individual departments. These efforts naturally led to being invited to present at diversity workshops (see table of presentations below) and to present to promotion and tenure committees. Some of these presentations are represented below.

For Faculty Search Committees in STEM
SUCCEED (2012) Math (2010) Physics (2011)
BioEngineering (2011)
For Faculty Search Committees in non-STEM
Anthropology (2009) Economics (2009)
for Department Head Search Committee
Head BioE
Diversity Workshops, College of LAS
Recruiting Minority Women Diversity Workshop for LAS Heads LAS Diversity Workshop
Diversity Workshop, College of Engineering
Diversity Workshop for COE Faculty
for Promotion & Tenure Committees
P&T Committee, College of LAS P&T Committee, College of Engg Campus-wide P&T Committee

The Research Studies that are the Basis for the Presentations

Presentations used data from the following sources (although we drew from others as well):

Other Examples

Links to workshops for Faculty Search Committees:

Links to Manuals and Toolkits for Faculty Search Committees: