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Toolkit Calls for Changes in Faculty Hiring Processes

Rebecca Perdomo

by Mary Harrison

Marybeth Gasman and Rebecca Perdomo (PhD, 2019) authored a report, Achieving Equity: A Toolkit for Racially Inclusive Faculty Hiring, aimed at improving hiring processes within higher education institutions.

In the report, published by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, Gasman and Perdomo cite the persistent lack of proportional representation and growth of ethnic diversity among faculty in the United States. To improve outcomes, they write, "We aim to empower faculty and administrators … to push back against the status quo and implement the following strategies and suggestions."

Specifically, they recommend changing benchmarks of "quality," redefining the role of leaders, restructuring recruitment strategies, training search committees, reassessing committee compositions, confronting excuses and biases, and including retention goals early in the process.

"At the crux of making systematic change in higher education is a need for faculty who believe that having a diverse faculty strengthens the curriculum, bolsters the academic environment in their department and school, enriches the overall institution, and is the foundation of academic excellence," they write.

Gasman and Perdomo urge committees to end the practice of assessing candidates based on their affiliations with a predetermined list of "elite" institutions. They recommend that units have discussions on the validity of such assumptions, and they write, "[H]aving these conversations will lead to more inclusivity and a broader-although not less rigorous-definition of quality."

In their report, Gasman and Perdomo additionally stress the importance of constructing and implementing a diverse search committee to ensure inclusion and accountability in creating an applicant pool. They state, "To change the hiring process, it needs to be designed by a broad spectrum of individuals across various aspects of diversity; shared governance and faculty input must be central to the process."

Gasman and Perdomo believe that changes in the hiring processes will improve outcomes. They maintain, "The journey toward a more equitable and diverse higher education landscape demands more than mere acknowledgment; it requires action."

Read the full report: MSI_FacultyHiring_FIN_WEB.pdf (

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