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Search Committees

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Search Committees

Search Committees for Regular Faculty (See Special Searches for information on special searches or considerations) It is the responsibility of the unit chair/director in consultation with the dean of the college to form the search committee. 

The Formation of the Search Committee 

  1. It is the expectation of the Provost’s Office that all search committees include at least one member from outside the academic unit.
  2. Ensure that the search committee is appropriately diverse (gender, discipline as appropriate, perspectives, time in rank, background) and includes members with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and broadening participation of traditionally underrepresented groups.
  3. Research has indicated that including a graduate student in the search committee promotes consideration of diversity and inclusion and an important additional perspective.
  4. Discuss the strategic importance of the position to the unit, college, and the university.
  5. Establish rules for the committee on expectations, confidentiality, diversity of the applicant pool, steps of the search process, familiarity with best practices, and the timeline. Discuss processes and procedures, ground rules and decision-making processes (e.g., unanimous, majority, consensus, role of the committee in defining a short list, mechanisms for engaging with and reporting to the faculty as a whole during the search process, etc.).
  6. Have all committee members complete available search committee training and bias training.
  7. Develop a schedule of search committee meetings to cover all necessary topics.
  8. Discuss implicit/hidden bias phenomena with the committee members and make the evaluation process as clear and transparent as possible to minimize all types of possible biases.
  • Implicit bias: tendency to underrate the credentials of women, candidates of color, people with disabilities, and other members of underrepresented groups
  • Rater drift: tendency for evaluators’ standards to shift over time, so similar credentials are rated differently 
  • Overemphasis on “fit”: tendency to discount the achievements of people whose methods, topics, or social identities are marginalized in the field
  • Matthew Effect: tendency of further advantages to be heaped on those who have experienced early advantages, thereby inflating their credentials

Training on Implicit Bias

Implicit or Hidden Bias refers to attitudes that influence one's decisions in an unconscious way. Everyone holds some forms of unconscious or implicit biases, even those who are openly and deeply committed to equity. The first step in reducing one’s implicit bias is understand what it is, when it is likely to occur, and how it can affect one’s decision making.  Below are suggested articles and videos that may provide additional information on implicit bias.

Reports & Journal Articles 

Videos and Talks

Implicit Bias Video Series, UCLA (approximately 30 minutes total) 

Understanding Bias, PwC (approximately 12 minutes total)

Standalone videos

  • Managing Unconscious Bias – Facebook’s internal training program on managing unconscious bias.
  • Immaculate perceptions – UCLA law professor Jerry Kang exposes the phenomenon of automatic processing and how it relates to explicit and implicit bias.
  • The Impact of Implicit Bias – The Ohio State University video discussing how unconscious biases influence behaviors and their impact on hiring and promotion.


General Resources