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Broadening the Search for Faculty

Over the past two years, Arts, Sciences, and Engineering has instituted a number of tactics to effectively increase the pool of candidates for our available faculty positions. While other plans are being implemented at the central administrative (Provost) level, our local strategies include: encouraging search committees to advertise their positions in a wide variety of places, placing College-wide advertisements in minority-focused publications, attending conferences and recruitment events that attract a high percentage of underrepresented minority graduate students, accepting applications for dissertation year fellows, developing direct relationships with colleagues and programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and working to increase the diversity of our graduate student applicant pools.

While some of these strategies can have an impact in the short term, others will not have an impact until further down the line. Likewise, some of these strategies can be developed and implemented by the deans, but others can be handled only by the hiring department. Therefore, the question I would like to pose is: what are we missing? What else can–or should–Arts, Sciences and Engineering be doing to help our departments to broaden the reach of their faculty searches?

Beth Olivares
Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives
Arts, Sciences, and Engineering


Comment from Caroline Nestro
Time: December 9, 2008, 8:48 am

An alternative strategy to “broadening” our search might be to actually narrow it and focus much more energy on “growing our own” future students, staff and faculty from the Rochester community and from the University community. While I know there are efforts going on toward this goal, e.g. the Healthcare Technology Youth Apprenticeship Program of which The Office of Mental Health Promotion where I work is a beneficiary along with other innovative HR programs, there remains obvious differences in the diversity of our environmental and support staff co-workers for instance as compared to our co-workers in faculty and administrative positions. (These differences are especially obvious to newcomers to our area from other settings that are much more diversified.) Creating, encouraging and investing in more ways to reach into these local pools of potential might be the better way to go.

Comment from Beth Olivares
Time: December 9, 2008, 11:35 am

I agree. In Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, we host a number of pipeline programs. These include Upward Bound and Upward bound Math/Science, which work with high school students in the RCSD; McNair, whose goal is to increase the numbers of URM and low-income, first-generation college students entering PhD study (we have 38 PhD grads to-date), and the Kearns Center, where we work with students along the academic pipeline in science, from 7th grade through graduate study.

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