About the Hackathon
The APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement held a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boston, chaired by Mala Htun and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. At the hackathon, teams developed strategies to address key challenges facing the profession, build partnerships, and plans to move forward. This series of PSNow posts highlights those proposals and links to more resources for the profession.
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Five suggestions to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, including diversity catalysts, search committee training, and attention to diversity and inclusion work during annual reviews.
Using a design-thinking process, our group engaged in problem scoping, writing problem statements, generating solutions, and ultimately identifying five strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty. These strategies are geared toward steps that faculty can take at their own institutions. One way in which the APSA can help is by providing funding to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies as they are implemented at universities.
#1 – Require faculty training to improve recruitment and retention of diverse faculty
For recruitment: training for faculty needs to occur BEFORE a search commences. This training should provide information on best practices for recruiting diverse faculty and on how implicit biases might influence the evaluation of application materials.
For retention: training for faculty to provide information on how to appropriately evaluate (without bias) a tenure and promotion file. It is important that the institution uses carrots to incentivize these approaches, not just sticks.Using a design-thinking process, our group engaged in problem scoping, writing problem statements, generating solutions, and ultimately identifying five strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty.
#2 – Establish stop-gap measures to ensure recruitment process is fair and free of discrimination
We suggest automatic check-in points DURING the recruitment cycle to ensure the process is fair. This helps to ensure that if problems arise along the way, the search is paused until appropriate steps are taken to ensure fairness, or the search may need to be halted altogether.
#3 – Create a diversity catalysts program
Diversity catalysts are senior-level, prestigious faculty (such as distinguished professors or named professors) who very publicly advocate for diversity at an institution. The catalysts leverage their reputation and influence to advance diversity on campus. They do such things as help lead search committee workshops to train faculty how to recruit for diversity and inclusion; serve as resource individuals within their units; and promote diversity and inclusion conversations with colleagues.For retention: training for faculty to provide information on how to appropriately evaluate (without bias) a tenure and promotion file. It is important that the institution uses carrots to incentivize these approaches, not just sticks.
#4 – Include the work of diversity and inclusion in the annual review process
To ensure that diversity and inclusion are valued, the annual review process must include an evaluation of a faculty member’s work in this area. We should be explicit about the work that is being done and that it is expected of all faculty, not just women and underrepresented minorities.
#5 – Compensate faculty of color in particular for the work of diversity and inclusion
Underrepresented minority faculty subsidize multi-million dollar institutions through their undervalued and often uncompensated work on diversity and inclusion. This must end. Universities must develop mechanisms to acknowledge, recognize, and reward underrepresented minority faculty for the additional work they do to attain a university’s diversity and inclusion goals. The business case for diversity makes clear this work should be incentivized and valued.