Affirmative Action: Faculty Searches
The affirmative action process is one of many steps taken to ensure a diverse pool in each search conducted on our campus. The five steps in the process are outlined below, with links to forms where appropriate. This process runs in concert with the search procedures outlined in the Guide to Recruiting and Hiring Faculty. Questions about the affirmative action process should be directed to Lisa Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about the hiring process should be directed your dean or to Carl Moses at email@example.com.
When you send applicants an acknowledgement of application, please include a link to the online Applicant Survey Form, which replaces the affirmative action cards that were sent with a business reply envelope. The following language should be included in your acknowledgement:
Susquehanna University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. As such, the University is required to request and collect information on the gender and race/ethnicity of candidates for open positions. We would appreciate your completing the Applicant Survey Form available on the Susquehanna University Web site. All responses are completely voluntary and are used only in connection with our affirmative action program.
Because there are often a number of searches active at the same time, please specify Job Code: (insert assigned job code here) when completing the survey.
If candidates do not provide a valid e-mail address, the paper cards for distribution via U.S. Postal Service are available from the President's Office.
The Affirmative Action Meeting
Prior to conducting phone interviews (if planned) or inviting candidates for on-campus interviews, an affirmative action meeting is held with the affirmative action officer, the provost, the appropriate school dean and department head. The meeting is designed to review the pool with respect to race/ethnicity profile and gender balance, with the goal of taking every opportunity to act affirmatively in the selection of finalists.
Susquehanna's goal is to capitalize on opportunities to act affirmatively in our searches for open positions. That means that when a female or minority candidate has the requisite skills/experience for the advertised position, we should make every effort to invite him/her to be interviewed. If women and minorities are not appropriately represented, the senior staff member or the Affirmative Action Officer may direct that the interview list be expanded or the search expanded or reopened.
A summary profile of the affirmative action data that has been received, including gender and race/ethnicity, as well as a list of the names of self-identified female or minority applicants, if available, will be provided. Because name is optional on the affirmative action card, we may not be able to identify each person who supplied information.
The dean or department head should be prepared to reflect on the qualifications of the pool during this meeting; as such it is recommended that a Mid Search Applicant Analysis be prepared for the meeting, as well as a list of Reasons for Candidate Non-Selection for all candidates.
The affirmative action meeting will be guided by the following questions:
- Were you satisfied with the pool?
- What was the gender breakdown of applicants?
- What efforts did you make to ensure a diverse pool of candidates? (This may include specific places that were advertised or other types of outreach you did.)
- Who are your finalists?
- Does the list of finalists approximate the gender balance and race/ethnicity profile of the pool?
- If candidates from protected groups are not selected for an interview, why?
Fair Consideration of Applicants
The Guide to Non-Discriminatory Interviewing provides guidance on appropriate and inappropriate questions to ask candidates. While there are questions that are legally appropriate to ask, it is illegal to use the information they might produce in a manner that discriminates against candidates.
Preferential treatment, such as "courtesy" interviews to internal applicants or persons with whom you have connections, is inappropriate. Consider these persons only if their qualifications and credentials warrant it. Otherwise, any rejected candidate with similar qualifications has grounds for a claim of discrimination.
Similarly, familiarity with certain applicants must not preclude the active consideration of other unknown, but potentially more qualified and appropriate candidates.
Age, salary, or current title are not legitimate reasons for eliminating an applicant from the pool. Assuming that an applicant is too old or young to fulfill the requirements of the position or that s/he would not accept it because it appears to offer a lesser salary or title is inappropriate. Persons change jobs or careers for many reasons and a search committee should not try to prejudge those motives.
When evaluating applicants, please use the objective criteria from the Reasons for Candidate Non-Selection list to help minimize subjective judgments that might be called into question.
Hiring Decisions That Value the Contributions of Diversity
In recruiting, assessing, and recommending candidates for final consideration, we must all be willing to consider and promote the potential role that greater diversity can play in helping us achieve our institutional goals.
The Affirmative Action Report
Upon the conclusion of your search, please submit the Affirmative Action Report to the Affirmative Action Officer so that the search may be closed out.