It Depends on the Lens: Faculty Recruitment Workshop

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The Faculty Recruitment Workshop led by Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble on September 28, 2012 was attended by about 40 faculty plus staff and administrators. The low-blame, high accountability program stretched participants by bearing witness via video to a based-on-real-life, but hypothetical search committee meeting and then exploring the actions and motives of the different members. The focus was on realizing we all have unconscious biases which serve as cognitive shortcuts when we are faced with high pressure, high information-load situations, but that there are strategic things we can do to prevent those biases from derailing the process. Another important learning point is that everyone on the search committee comes to the process with a goal of seeking quality candidates to benefit the department and university; remembering that common objective helps us to be inclusive and keep emotions in check. Data on the impact of successful recruitment strategies on enhancing excellence and diversity were a key part of the session. Participants at Lehigh found the candidate evaluation template and the sample job ad language very useful. More formal feedback is being compiled. Lehigh's Provost Office and ADVANCE Grant will continue to work with faculty and search committees to deliver resources that reinforce the best practices for recruiting for diversity and excellence that were highlighted in this program.