USF Faculty and Librarian Diversity Hiring Guidance

During Fall 2021, the faculty and librarian diversity hiring initiative was launched to address USF’s commitment to recruit and retain a diverse faculty that better reflects the rich identities and experiences of our students and larger world.  To that end, the College, Schools, and Gleeson Library are utilizing multiple strategies and best practices for recruiting and vetting potential candidates for new full-time and part-time faculty positions. These include implementing university-wide cluster hires, strengthening our hiring practices for diversity, and expanding successful programs that ensure a diverse and thriving community of scholars.

The College, Schools, and Library strategically utilized a number of vacated lines to develop a cluster hire centered on expertise and commitment of new hires to antiracism, equity, and diversity that is inclusive. As a cluster, new hires will receive cohort-based mentoring, and supportive guidance and resources centered on their professional development and thriving in the academy to fuel their sense of belonging and retention. 

Cluster hiring requires language in the advertisement that directly addresses job competencies in the area of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Specific language can and should reflect the context and needs of the position. Examples include:

  • “Research agenda and teaching experience focused on diversity within the discipline, culturally inclusive practices, impact of the discipline on Black [or other BIPOC or diverse group(s)] communities preferred.”
  • “We are particularly interested in candidates who have experience as accomplished teachers and scholars in antiracism, critical race theory, decoloniality, and/or equity within their discipline.”
  • "Development of initiatives or contributions that exemplify awareness and sensitivity towards promoting antiracism, diversity, equity, and an inclusionary work environment.”
  • "Strong equity lens, cultural humility, and proven ability to work well in a diverse context." 
  • "Demonstrated ability and experience working with diverse faculty and students and cultivating an inclusive environment that supports USF's Jesuit mission."  

Strengthening our Diverse Faculty and Librarian Hiring Practices

  • In the advertisement of the job and during the interview process, applicants should be informed about university resources that will enhance their scholarly development and academic-life balance and speak to the needs and interests of our diverse community.  Examples of such programming and professional development opportunities include free membership to all full-time and part-time faculty, librarians, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows through our institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, and workshops, seminars, speaker presentations, consultations, mini-grant awards, and scholarly retreats offered by the USF Tracy Seeley Center for Teaching Excellence and Center for Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Excellence.
  • The hiring unit/department should include a DEI statement in the advertisement noting its commitment to diversity in hiring.
    • School of Management example: “As a Jesuit institution, diversity, equity, and inclusion are fully embraced at all levels of the University.  An applicant interested in a position in the SOM _______ department must have demonstrated commitment to social justice and cultivating an inclusive environment that supports care for the whole person, and an ability to work with a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff. In addition, applicants must have a strong equity lens, cultural humility, and a proven record of embracing differences and creating safe inclusive spaces and working environments that would support USF's Jesuit mission.”
    • “We seek faculty who are committed to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, research, and mentoring, and serving others. The department is dedicated to fostering an inclusive departmental climate for students from groups who are historically underrepresented in the field.”
  • In full-time faculty searches or internal appointments of part-time faculty to term positions, require candidates to submit a diversity statement as part of their application or appointment dossier. As one example, within the job ad in the list of requirements, it is noted: "The successful candidate must highlight their reflections on equity and demonstrate experience and success in engaging with and mentoring BIPOC students.” The diversity statement instructions should be included in the list of required materials, e.g., “DIVERSITY STATEMENT: Please submit a 1-2 page description of your thoughts and/or experiences concerning equitable education for students from marginalized communities and fostering antiracism and a sense of belonging, your commitment to or experience with broadening BIPOC participation in your field, experience working on a diverse team, and/or experience working with varied communication/learning styles.” 
  • Search committees are encouraged to use a rubric to evaluate the quality of the diversity statement. For models see Gleeson Library's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Recruitment RubricEDI Statement Rubric SOM Dean Search, and other university DEI rubrics, such as the University of California at Berkeley's sample rubric to assess contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Unit leadership can encourage USF faculty, librarians, and staff to invite qualified and promising candidates to apply.  All faculty and staff are encouraged to recruit candidates from a range of backgrounds.  With a view toward increasing our overall diversity and representation, faculty, librarian, and staff search committees should give particular notice to candidates whose identity characteristics reflect underrepresented minority backgrounds and whose experiences reflect engagement with communities from those backgrounds.
  • Place the advertisement in a wide-range of publications and job sites, and distributed to professional listservs and networks. Research existing professional associations and discipline-related organizations that center underrepresented communities in consideration for ad placement.
  • For searches and appointments of part-time faculty, department and program heads should employ diversity hiring strategies while being attentive to seniority per PHP.


Conduct search procedures that are fair and equitable

  • Search committee should include BIPOC faculty or librarians as well as gender diversity. In addition, to the extent possible, members should include first generation, women of color, LGBTQIA+, people living with disabilities. 
  • An EEO/AA diversity section should be included in the initial search report to the dean in which aggregate-level demographics (applicants’ voluntary, self-reported gender and race/ethnicity) obtained through Human Resources/Workday are noted, and measures taken to diversify the pool if it appears lacking in diversity (e.g., possibly extending the deadline and/or adding new recruitment strategies). A diversity review should be conducted of the overall pool prior to finalizing the semi-finalists, and again once the semi-finalist pool is selected. If the semi-finalist or finalist pool lacks diversity, the dean should consider asking the committee to return to the pool, or to extend the deadline and pursue additional promotional strategies.


Standardize the Interview Plan

  • The committee creates a standardized interview process 
  • The committee should use a rubric to assess key interview responses to ensure equitable evaluation of candidates
  • The committee includes interview questions about antiracism, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the context of teaching and advising, research and creative activity and service.
  • Consider centering a question (often done through a brief case description) around issues and initiatives that are areas of continued growth for the institution such as:
    • Working with transgender scholars and colleagues
    • Modeling or explaining an inclusive classroom or work environment
    • Working with students or colleagues with disabilities and providing necessary accommodations 

Conducting the Campus Interview

  • The department should consider accessibility of the campus. Try to reduce barriers that could impede mobility or accessibility 
  • Offer video conferencing or paid travel and lodging as needed for all on-campus candidates to mitigate financial impact and barriers
  • Provide information about the building(s) the candidate will be visiting
  • Provide detailed information regarding availability of gender-neutral restrooms and the physical accessibility of the building(s)
  • Provide an agenda with break times 
  • If possible, provide a private space for the candidate to store their belongings and/or relax during break times

Notification of Status

  • Contact candidates who interviewed on campus and were not offered the position to notify them of their status after a candidate has accepted an offer or the search has been closed 
  • Ensure that the search has been properly closed in Workday with all applicants notified that the search has ended, and thanking them for their interest in the position and USF.

Onboarding of hired candidate

  • The hiring unit leadership provides opportunities for mentoring, networking, and support that are of interest or are beneficial for the new hire 

Invest In a Pipeline for BIPOC: Gerardo Marín Diversity Fellowship Program

In order to build and sustain a diverse and thriving academic community, it is important to continually invest in long-term successful programming and promising new initiatives that provide renewal and sustenance. One example is the newly expanded Gerardo Marín Diversity Fellowship program for dissertation and postdoctoralfellows.  Successfully established at USF in the early 1990s (through initial funding from a multi-year James Irvine Foundation grant), this program is designed to provide mentoring and experiential preparation to increase the presence of currently underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. professoriate and at USF by supporting a cohort of predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars during a one-year research and teaching fellowship. Although fellows are welcome to apply to available faculty positions at USF, they are not guaranteed a full-time faculty appointment following completion of the year.

Procedures for hiring a Gerardo Marín Diversity Fellow:

  • At the beginning of the academic year, deans should determine whether there is budgetary support within their school or college to fund a Gerardo Marín diversity fellow in the following academic year. They should check in with their departments to determine whether there is interest in recruiting a fellow. The department should be able to provide mentoring and experiential opportunities (e.g., a fall and spring class for the fellow to instruct)
  • The AVP for the Office of ADEI will reach out to the deans to identify those departments that will recruit a fellow
  • The AVP will draft an ad to recruit a postdoctoral fellow and a dissertation fellow. Click on links for example ads
  • Ad will be post on the Careers at USF website, HR Advertising Bundle, and faculty recommended professional disciplinary websites that can attract a diverse pool of candidates
  • Finalists are selected and invited to an interview day similar to the full-time faculty hiring procedures followed in the school. Example interview day:
    • The finalist presents a research talk and a separate teaching demonstration with students in a class. Both of these are recorded so that all members of the search committee as well as the administrative staff (e.g., associate dean and/or dean) can view the candidate's presentations.
    • Meetings can be scheduled with:
      • the search committee and/or department members including the chair,
      • the dean and/or associate dean,
      • possibly with an informal student group.
    • The AVP for ADEI should be contacted for their availability so that they can meet with the finalist.
    • Interview arrangements are made by the search department/school.