The Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology is committed to developing products that will be actively used by psychologists involved in teaching, research, and practice and by others throughout the nation’s academic communities. Consequently, the Commission sought rigorous and broad comment on, and engaged in repeated revision of, its draft products. This included conducting symposia at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, where Commission members described the rationale for various products and handed out hundreds of draft copies of products with comment sheets. Based on these comments, draft products were revised and placed on the meeting agendas of all APA governance boards and committees with a request for comment. At APA’s biennial consolidated governance meetings, conference committees were conducted at which representatives from interested governance groups provided comment from their various groups. Comments also were solicited from the Commission’s monitors and panels of experts.

Soliciting and receiving thoughtful comment is a cumbersome and time consuming process. The Commission wishes to acknowledge the critical role that APA’s staff liaisons to the various governance groups played in ensuring that this process proceeded in an efficient and timely manner. The Commission wishes to provide special acknowledgement to the following Association staff who served on the Commission’s Staff Work Group and assumed responsibility for coordinating the efforts of their office or directorate with those of the Commission.

American Psychological Associationof Graduate Students Office: Todd Mook
Education Directorate: Ed Bourg, PhD, Paul Nelson, PhD, and Jill Reich, PhD
Minority Fellowship Program: Ernesto Guerro and James M. Jones, PhD
Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs: Alberto Figueroa-Garcia Bertha G. Holliday, PhD
(Primary CEMRRAT Staff) Debra J. Perry and Sherry T. Wynn
Practice Directorate: Marquette Turner
Public Communications Office: Pamela Willenz
Public Interest Directorate: Henry Tomes, PhD
Public Policy Office: Brian Smedley, PhD
Research Office: Sislena Grocer and Jessica L. Kohout, PhD
Science Directorate: Merry Bullock, PhD

Appreciation also is extended to Angela Miner and Joanne Zaslow, who provided graphic art and editorial assistance.


Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology

Richard M. Suinn, PhD, Chair
Professor of Psychology
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado

Diane Adams, PhD
Assistant Professor
California School of Professional Psychology at
Alameda Campus
Alameda, California

Martha E. Bernal, PhD
Professor of Psychology and Hispanic Research
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

Cheryl A. Boyce, MA
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

A. Toy Caldwell-Colbert, PhD
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois

Allen C. Carter, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Atlanta, Georgia

Victor De La Cancela, PhD
Salud Management Associates
Riverdale, New York

Hector Garza, MPH
Director, Office of Minorities in Higher Education
American Council on Education
Washington, DC

Robin J. Hailstorks, PhD
Professor and Chair of Psychology
Prince George’s Community College
Largo, Maryland

Arthur L. McDonald, PhD
Dull Knife Memorial College
Lame Deer, Montana

Manuel Miranda, PhD
Roybal Institute on Gerontology
California State University
Los Angeles, California

Hector F. Myers, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Edward G. Singleton, PhD
Consulting Psychologist
Baltimore, Maryland

Elizabeth Todd-Bazemore, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, South Dakota

Ena Vazquez-Nuttall, EdD
Associate Dean and Director of the Graduate
School and Professor
Bouve College of Pharmacy & Health Science
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts

Reginald L. Jones, PhD, Member Emeritus
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Special Education
and Director of the National Center for Minority
Special Education
Hampton University
Hampton, Virginia

Prior to Dr. Carter’s appointment as a member of CEMRRAT, he served as the APA Board of Professional Affairs liaison to CEMRRAT.

Liaisons to the Commission

APA Board of Directors
Alice F. Chang, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Tucson, Arizona

APA Board for the Advancement of Psychology
in the Public Interest (BAPPI)
Eduardo S. Morales, PhD
San Francisco, California

APA Board of Educational Affairs
Pamela T. Reid, PhD
City University of New York
New York, New York

John Moritsugu, PhD
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Washington

APA Board of Scientific Affairs
Merry Bullock, PhD
APA Science Directorate
Washington, DC

APA Policy and Planning Board (on rotating status)
Laura S. Brown, PhD
Seattle, Washington

Gloria B. Gottsegen, PhD
Boca Raton, Florida

Janet R. Matthews, PhD
Kenner, Louisiana

Dalmas A. Taylor, PhD
University of Texas
Arlington, Texas

APA Committee on Divisions and APA Relations
Paul Leung, PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana
Champaign, Illinois

APA Committee on Psychology and AIDS
John Anderson, PhD
APA Office on AIDS
Washington, DC

APA Science Student Council
Debra Shapiro Gill
Los Angeles, CA

American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS)
Lawrence Yang
Somerville, Massachusetts

Illinois Psychological Association
Charles Davis, PhD
Oak Park, Illinois

Center for Mental Health Services
Paul Wohlford, PhD
Psychology Education, CMHS
Rockville, Maryland

National Science Foundation
Wanda E. Ward, PhD
The Directorate for Education and Human Resources, NSF
Arlington, Virginia

Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology
Richard McCarty, PhD
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia

National Council of Schools and Programs
of Professional Psychology (NCSSP)
Patricia Bricklin, PhD
Wider University
Chester, Pennsylvania

Ethnic Minority Concerns Committee
of the American Psychological Society’s Student Caucus
Lynyonne Cotton
Washington, DC

About the Commission

The APA Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology (CEMRRAT) is a 15-member advisory and governance group. The Commission was established by the APA Board of Directors in 1994 in response to a prior Association resolution that identified "the recruitment, retention, and training of ethnic minorities in psychology as one of the Association’s highest priorities..." Members of CEMRRAT, who are representative experts from federal research and mental health agencies and various domains and levels of postsecondary education, were appointed by (then) APA President Ronald E. Fox, PhD. President Fox charged the Commission to assess the status of and barriers to the participation of persons of color in American Psychology, and to develop a 5-year plan to guide the Association’s efforts in this area.

The Commission’s activities were funded primarily by special allocations from the Contingency Funds of the APA Board of Directors and Council of Representatives. Additional funding was provided by the Association’s Public Interest Directorate and by the Center for Mental Health Services (#92-MF-01645701D). Still other support was provided by the 15 organizations and APA governance groups that funded liaisons to attend and contribute to CEMRRAT’s meetings.

The Commission’s efforts were characterized by processes of inclusion and strategic product development. Numerous mechanisms were developed for encouraging substantive and broad-based comment from the Association’s staff, governance boards and committees, and other groups and individuals with vested interests in CEMRRAT’s work. Strategic product development was the responsibility of the Commission’s three Work Groups on Education and Training, Faculty Recruitment and Retention, and Student Recruitment and Retention. Many of the specific products of these Work Groups are taking the form of an integrated series of informational booklets. This publication is one of the booklets in that series.

The Commission seeks to promote creative transformation of psychology’s educational pipeline (high school through postdoctoral and continuing education studies) in ways that will ensure that, in the very near future, the proportion of psychologists who are people of color (currently 5% to 6%) will dramatically increase, and all psychologists will demonstrate multicultural competence in training, research, and practice issues. The Commission believes that actualization of this vision of our future will require all entities of organized psychology to demonstrate a fundamental commitment to diversity that is evidenced by:

  • the strengthening of linkages among departments and programs of psychology
    with varying institutional missions and at all levels of education.

  • the creation of educational and professional environments that are inclusive and
    where diversity is valued as integral to the pursuit of
    excellence and the vigor of psychology in the 21st century.

  • the infusion of multicultural considerations into all areas and
    procedures of psychological research, curricula, training, and practice.

  • the strengthening of individual efforts and organizational and institutional strategies
    for increasing the number people of color who are recruited and retained in
    psychology’s educational pipeline.

The Commission hopes this publication will provide guidance towards such a future.

Bertha G. Holliday, PhD
CEMRRAT Staff Director and Director,
APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs

How To Recruit and Hire Ethnic Minority Faculty

How to recruit and hire ethnic minority faculty is the second of three publications developed by the APA CEMRRAT Faculty Recruitment and Retention Work Group. The three publications collectively are designed:

  1. To understand and value the varied contributions ethnic minority individuals can make to programs, departments, and schools of psychology;

  2. To emphasize the need for hiring ethnic minority faculty and the use of different recruitment strategies during the search process; and

  3. To facilitate the acceptance and survival of ethnic minority faculty members within our academic institutions.

Purpose of This Publication

Although there is no one best method for hiring ethnic minority faculty, traditional or commonly used hiring practices are often limited in their effectiveness. This guide is designed to provide examples and helpful suggestions for engaging academic programs in innovative hiring strategies leading to the diversification of faculty.1 The areas addressed in this guide include:

  1. Program prerequisites for successful ethnic minority recruitment and hiring;

  2. Strategies for advertising to attract ethnic minorities to the pool of job applicants; and

  3. Strategies for successful job interview visits, for negotiating appropriate role expectations that match ethnic minority and program needs, and for selecting among candidates.

If you have not yet read the APA CEMRRAT publication Valuing diversity in faculty: A guide,1 please note that it is an important introduction to the primary issues of cultural diversification in academic settings. We suggest that it be read before this publication because the background it provides is necessary for understanding the strategies outlined here.

How to recruit and hire ethnic minority faculty is designed to examine these major questions:

  • What are some of the difficulties in commonly used methods of hiring?

  • What steps might a program take to institute different and more successful hiring strategies that would lead to the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority faculty members?

  • How should a program advertise to attract ethnic minorities to its pool of job applicants?

  • Once a candidate is recruited for a campus visit, how can a program best prepare for a successful job interview visit and negotiate the appropriate role expectations for the well-being of both the minority candidate and the program?

In addition to addressing these questions and related ones, this guide will provide examples and suggestions for engaging the faculty of an academic program in innovative hiring strategies as they seek to diversify their members for reasons that transcend goals based upon prior underrepresentations. Although equal opportunity, equal access, and equal representation have been justifications for minority recruitment in prior years, academic programs today should be aware also of pragmatic considerations in their decision-making process, some of which are discussed in Valuing diversity in faculty: A guide. These considerations speak to the changing demographics in this country that call for academic preparation to effectively work with, educate, and serve our ever expanding ethnically diverse society.

1 The term "program" will be used throughout this document to characterize any and all psychology training that occurs within schools of psychology, departments of psychology, and psychology programs set in units such as schools of education and medical school campuses. 

General Considerations in Hiring Ethnic Minority Faculty

How To Examine and Set Goals for Diversifying the Faculty

Needs assessment and the self-study process. The needs of the program and its goals for the education of its students, as well as its mission as a program of psychology, must be the basis of its decision-making. A program must first identify its needs in relation to several aspects of its educational goals. These include its course offerings, curriculum development, research interests, current as well as future faculty and student demographics, and, in particular, plans for developing a culturally diverse setting.

A needs assessment and a self-study process should be used to clarify what abilities a person should possess as a faculty member and if these abilities can best be found in ethnic minority faculty members. For example, is there an interest in incorporating or emphasizing multicultural content in course offerings? Is there a need for specific topic courses such as Black Psychology? Is there a need for faculty to conduct research on minority issues? Is there a need to provide role models and support for a growing number of minority students? These examples are neither exhaustive nor isolated from one another, and all of them may, in fact, be of equal interest to a program.

Campus climate issues. Quality of life factors and campus and community climate needs are also important components to consider when examining and setting goals for diversification. Minorities are not hired simply because they can conduct research and teach courses with a multicultural emphasis, but because they can help diversify and provide balance to the campus community. Decisions to hire faculty members, both White and ethnic minority, who can contribute to teaching both White and ethnic minority students, lead to the broadening of students’ knowledge of and sensitivity to differences (Spann, 1988). There may or may not be any expectations for an ethnic minority faculty member to address minority issues, teach multicultural courses, or engage in research that addresses issues of diversity, but that member’s contributions to the department and campus in addressing diversity by his or her mere presence is also of value.

Self-study questions. A decision to diversify the faculty of a program may reside in one or several components and should guide the program’s expectations for an ethnic minority faculty member once hired. Some questions to be considered as part of a needs assessment/self-study process are:

  • What is the stated mission of the program?

  • What are the demographics of the institution and the community in which it resides?

  • What are the demographics of prospective students who have applied or who have been admitted to the program?

  • How many students of color are majors? How many graduate students?

  • Are there strategies for recruiting ethnically diverse students?

  • How many faculty/staff of color are in the program?

  • How many courses address ethnic diversity issues? Is diversity part of the content of required courses?

  • Are students exposed to experimental opportunities/field trips that focus on diversity as part of course requirements?

  • Do guest speakers include people from diverse ethnic backgrounds addressing issues both of diversity and other topics within the field?

  • How are students of color supported academically?

  • Do students of color have ethnically diverse faculty to serve as role models on the campus?

  • Do majority faculty have an interest in working with ethnically diverse students?

  • Are students of color satisfied with the program?

  • Are there any tensions between EuroAmerican students/faculty and ethnically diverse students/faculty?

  • Do students of color have difficulty finding faculty to chair their theses or dissertations or gaining acceptance of their topics when they address issues of diversity?

  • Does the university set aside funds specifically for recruiting ethnic minority faculty?

Readiness To Hire

Program expectations. Expectations a program has of minority candidates should be equivalent to those of any faculty candidate. Adding expectations for ethnic minority activities to other full academic responsibilities and assignments could result in the candidate’s losing interest in a position or jeopardize the new faculty member’s retention, once hired. Therefore, it is important to prioritize needs based on a prioritized list of ethnic diversity activities and to exercise care in decision-making about responsibilities assigned to a new faculty member of color. Priorities should be grounded in the various aspects of diversity an ethnic minority candidate could bring to a department (see Valuing diversity in faculty: A guide) and its emerging needs in response to the above list of questions and the self-study process.

Some programs might not be interested in hiring a minority faculty candidate primarily for his or her ability to teach courses related to diversity, but for the candidate’s presence as part of a diverse university faculty community. However, when hiring faculty with work expectations centered around diversity-related activities, it is important to recognize the value of these contributions in tenure evaluation, whether the contributions are in diversity research, teaching, or service. A program must consider and acknowledge contributions to cultural diversity on par with other criteria for tenure and promotion. For example, most research universities effect some balance of research, teaching, and service in evaluating candidates for tenure. For minority candidates it is important to recognize that contributions to cultural diversity on the campus may constitute a form of service to be taken into account.

A common understanding with the program regarding these issues is a prerequisite to the search and hiring process. Without it, the minority faculty member’s work is unlikely to be properly valued. Consequently, retention of the faculty member is likely to be a problem. By contrast, with an understanding of these issues, a program is ready to move toward implementing the search process using new and different strategies to recruit and hire an ethnic minority faculty member.

Agreement regarding multicultural curriculum. A program is not ready to hire an ethnic minority faculty member when it questions the need for inclusion of ethnic minority issues in the curriculum. If a program does not believe that all students should develop some level of understanding of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, it will communicate a negative message to minority candidates about diversification.

In the same way, a program is not ready to proceed if it sees no merit in empirical research related to ethnic issues or in alternative methodologies for addressing the need for cultural sensitivity when working with ethnic minorities (Ridley, 1991). Such attitudes prevailing within a program will create a negative environment and work setting for an ethnic minority faculty member (Bernal & Padilla, 1982). One possible outcome is a negative decision at the time of tenure and promotion. Sensing the lack of program support, many minority faculty will leave prior to a tenure decision and forego the inevitable—a negative review and devaluation of their work and contributions as a faculty member (Bernal, 1994; Ridley, 1991).

On the other hand, a program is ready to search for and hire an ethnic minority faculty member when programmatic needs, goals, and values call for creating a culturally diverse academic environment. Programs arriving at this point have engaged in a needs assessment/self-study, have discussed role expectations for an ethnic minority faculty member based on these needs, and have come to a clear understanding of how diversity related teaching, research, and service activities should be valued in tenure and promotion decisions. With these understandings, a program is ready to avail itself of an infusion of new ideas, paradigms, and viewpoints that draw upon the experiences and expertise of an ethnic minority. In turn, the minority hire can be empowered as a faculty member and colleague to help the program meet a set of shared goals. This empowerment, when fostered by the program, leads to acceptance of the idea that the achievement of a culturally diverse academic climate by faculty should be considered as a criterion in tenure and promotion decisions.

Components To Consider in Developing an Ethnically Sensitive Position Announcement

How To Develop a More Attractive Academic Position Announcement

Position announcements typically contain three pieces of information: (a) overview of the department/institution, (b) primary job responsibilities, and (c) qualifications for the position. An ethnically sensitive position announcement should include this information. It should also, however, incorporate content that addresses the importance of issues of diversity, the value placed upon those who can share and teach differing points of view, and a description of an atmosphere where ethnic minority faculty members can receive support from other ethnic minority faculty members.

The institutional overview. Information on the makeup of the ethnic student population and/or some information on institutional goals that identify commitment to diversity can oftentimes be easily included in the program/institutional overview portion of an advertisement. In the overview, a clear message may be written about the campus climate and the value placed on ethnic minority representation and/or faculty diversification (Green, 1988; Silver, 1987). Consider conveying the following information in a portion of the position announcement when trying to attract ethnic minority applicants.


  • The university has a student body of 12,000 undergraduates and graduates, including more than 900 students of color and 718 international students from 73 countries.

  • The college aspires to become a leader among its peer institutions in making meaningful and lasting progress in responding to the needs and concerns of minorities and women (Silver, 1987, p. 7).

  • The university has implemented a new general education program that incorporates a multicultural component.

  • The university places a high priority on the creation of an environment supportive of the promotion of ethnic minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

  • The University of [ ] seeks to create a work environment and organizational culture that reflect the society and community in which it is located and a climate for the success of every employee by appreciating the uniqueness that each one brings to the workplace.

  • In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of all ethnic groups underrepresented in higher education.

2 Note: All examples in the next few sections appearing in italics have been either extracted directly from advertisements appearing in The APA Monitor or Chronicle of Higher Education or are modified statements found in advertisements of these publications and adapted for purposes of this document.

Conveying job responsibilities. A program should identify job responsibilities in association with its needs, goals, and/or mission. The aim is to inform potential applicants of the program’s genuine interest in them and the expertise they bring to the workplace in helping achieve a more culturally diverse academic environment.

The responsibilities of a position should be clearly stated. For example, "the program seeks faculty for teaching specific courses such as Latino Psychology." In an instance of broad based curricular needs, an advertisement might identify the need for a person with the skills necessary to develop courses that incorporate issues of ethnic diversity. Another job responsibility might be to work with and advise students representing various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Or, a program may simply want to have diverse viewpoints represented among its membership to promote academic excellence. As previously indicated, none of these responsibilities need be unique, but could be used in combination in developing an advertisement, as noted below in the examples.


  • Develop a program in Asian-American Psychology

  • Develop training models and curricula designed to reduce physical and mental health risk in ethnically diverse populations

  • Serve as role models for African-American, Latino, or Native American students

How To Write Specific and Well-Developed Job Qualifications

Once a program decides that its faculty needs to hire an ethnic minority, it can develop the job qualifications. Two main requirements in developing qualifications are: (a) clarity and specificity, and (b) flexibility. Poorly specified or unclear job qualifications increase the risk that excellent ethnic minority candidates will be eliminated for various undefined reasons, such as that they were "not qualified" as faculty for the program. A tendency toward the comfort of homogeneity also results in committees’ not hiring candidates that fit their own model (ACE, 1988). Moving away from being satisfied with candidates who are most similar to existing faculty to considering candidates that are different involves more expanded and innovative ways of thinking about faculty positions. This flexibility in thinking about job qualifications is part of understanding and valuing diversity and creates the opportunity for attracting ethnic minority applicants who can make significant contributions, initiate new ways of thinking, and introduce more diverse ideologies.

Search committees need to understand that career paths for ethnic minorities may vary in comparison to mainstream and/or White candidates. Therefore, when developing job qualifications, committees need to identify characteristics that allow for more varied backgrounds and experiences. This helps to prevent ethnic minorities and others who may have less traditional career paths from being eliminated from the pool of viable candidates for a position.

For example:

  • If a candidate has not had extensive experience, a situation that may be the result of past discriminatory practice, should that rule out his or her ability to perform the job successfully if given the opportunity?

  • Can a similar, but not parallel, work history provide enough experience for an applicant to assume a position, even though on paper it may not be immediately apparent?

  • Does the candidate have potential that with support and mentoring could develop the ingredients of a successful faculty member?

Committees must be sensitive to differences and guided by this awareness when outlining the important and unique qualifications desired in a job applicant. Although this way of thinking may not be new, its use in developing job qualifications that are later used in the selection and screening process can contribute to broadening the committee’s perspective, thus promoting and supporting diversification in the pool of candidates to be considered for a given position.

Qualifications described in the position announcement should focus upon opening the pool to a wide range of applicants, in particular to ethnic minority candidates. Use of a broader definition of scholarship that encompasses specialties in ethnic minority issues and abilities to teach in a number of areas should be the aim in developing the list of qualifications. A search committee would find it useful to keep in mind that the experiences of ethnic minority candidates may not mirror those of majority candidates, but that does not mean that ethnic minorities are less able or less qualified.

For instance:

  • When reviewing research manuscripts and/or research studies, reviewers may consider that traditional experimental matched control research designs might not be possible in research studies involving certain minority neighborhoods or communities.

  • A candidate may have discontinued education for awhile to earn money to support finishing graduate school; hence, such time off is not reflective of poor motivation, but rather heightened motivation.

Search committees must keep focused on the goals of the identified qualifications, which are to determine a person’s ability to perform the job responsibilities and to assess the contributions he or she can make to the program. In the case of an ethnic minority candidate, the search committee must also assess potential contributions based on the candidate’s ethnicity and/or cultural background.

A candidate’s promise as a contributing member of the faculty in relation to program goals should be an important factor in the assessment of the candidate’s qualifications. Because of the limited number of ethnic minority doctoral recipients, programs should consider their own ethnic minority alumni as viable and qualified candidates who can enlarge their pool of job applicants. In some institutions, programs should be open to hiring candidates who may be close to completion of the terminal degree and show potential for securing that degree in a timely fashion and achieving tenure within the program. Plans should be developed at the outset for assuring ample opportunity and support for a person to complete the degree.

When developing job qualifications, the search committee must focus upon identified needs of the program and university and take care to not develop requirements that could either exclude ethnic minority candidates during the search and screening process or discourage candidates from applying when they read a position announcement (Green, 1988). The examples below of how identified needs may be listed, some of which may not be appropriate for every type of institution, are written to provide an array of statements that could be used to expand the pool of potential job applicants. By defining job specialties in a broad way, institutions move toward inclusion, versus exclusion, which will help welcome scholars who have multicultural research and teaching interests (Spann, 1988).


  • Research program that focuses on issues relevant to ethnic minority populations . . .

  • Ability to work effectively with ethnically diverse populations …

  • Preference will be given to candidates who are able to teach courses that integrate ethnic minority content and issues.

  • Teaching and/or research area is open, but an emphasis in Multicultural Counseling, Community Counseling, or Counseling At-Risk Groups is preferred.

  • Proficiency in one of the following areas is desirable: child clinical, community psychology with emphasis on ethnic minority or rural populations.

  • Interest, training, and demonstrated expertise in counseling and programming to meet the personal, career, and academic concerns of African-American students.

Preparing the Position Announcement

What Is Attractive to Minority Candidates About an Academic Position?

Ethnic minority candidates are attracted to an academic position for many of the same reasons that nonminority candidates are. However, other salient factors also distinguish or enhance a job applicant’s interest and a position’s attractiveness for ethnic minority candidates. Among these factors are:

  • Campus and community demographics;

  • Special research opportunities with specific groups or in specific situations, e.g., migrant farmers, inner city communities, special library collections, state/federal prisons, Native American reservations, industrial plants;

  • Availability of ethnic minorities to serve as research subjects;

  • Presence of other faculty of color;

  • Administrative support for people of color to assume leadership positions;

  • Possibility of achieving tenure and being promoted in rank;

  • Faculty development opportunities and mentors;

  • Success of other faculty of color in the program and/or on campus;

  • Infusion of diversity issues into the curriculum;

  • Social support network in the community;

  • Community resources that include ethnic churches, stores, restaurants, hair stylists, and professionals of color to provide medical, dental, and legal services; and

  • Availability of a large metropolitan area within a short traveling distance when institutions are located in small communities.

Programs should work to hire more than one or two minority faculty to help establish an intradepartmental base of support for ethnic minority faculty members (Ridley, 1991). Candidates do not want to be considered the token minority of a program and, in some instances, may not want to be the only minority faculty member within a program.

Because programs often become complacent after hiring their first ethnic minority, or opportunities for new hires become limited because of the lack of available resources, programs need at the outset to establish search goals for recruiting multiple members of ethnic minorities to their academic unit. In turn, preparing the position announcement to convey the goal of filling two or more positions with ethnic minority faculty will serve a useful recruitment purpose (Bernal, 1994). This will let potential minority candidates anticipate the presence of other minority faculty, who would provide support for dealing with the negative forces of tokenism or be available for discussing shared concerns. Ethnic minorities can be attracted to a position and a campus even in the absence of a large ethnic minority community, student body, and faculty if they perceive the program to be a supportive environment committed to their interests and well-being as prospective ethnic minority faculty members.

Another pivotal factor enhancing the attractiveness of a position to ethnic minority applicants is the use of statements that convey an interest in the contributions that ethnic minority candidates can make and the impact their work can have on the overall training and goals of the academic program. A commonly used phrase such as "women and minorities are encouraged to apply" is limited in its ability to convey the broader messages associated with more direct statements about the contributions that an ethnic minority member can bring to a position. Moreover, more specific statements help dispel concerns often associated with affirmative action hires.

These factors affect the development of the position announcement in several ways, serve as noticeable features to potential minority applicants, and may spark interest in and attraction to a particular program and its faculty position on a specific campus. In reading the following two examples of job announcements, notice the different ways that these factors have been incorporated to aid in the development of a more ethnically sensitive position announcement. Note especially the wording in bold face.

EDUCATION School Psychology

The College and Graduate School of Education invites applications for two openings for the position of: assistant/associate professor of School Psychology to begin Fall [ ]. The University seeks to attract an active, culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber, skilled in the scholarship of teaching, discovery, application, and integration of knowledge. The University is a doctoral granting public institution that enrolls about 32,000 students, including nearly 8,500 ethnic minorities. Twenty-five doctoral programs are offered, and approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in graduate programs. The College and Graduate School of Education has been recognized nationally for its leadership in the preparation of educational professionals and as a principal contributor to the professional literature. In addition to the baccalaureate, master’s, and EdS degrees, a PhD degree is available in five major program areas. The College and Graduate School of Education is fully committed to a culturally diverse faculty and student body. The faculty have identified six mission priorities for the College, which are: (a) work in "at-risk settings"; (b) development of multicultural educational environments that affirm the value of cultural diversity; (c) establishment of formal collaborative partnerships designed to achieve professional impact; (d) development of the College as a learning community; (e) engagement in systematic inquiry; and (f) development of improved methods of evaluation and research. Successful candidates will evidence commitment to those priorities and also contribute to the attainment of extramural funding in support of collaborative projects and increased utilization of technologies to improve professional education.

Position Description: Two Assistant/Associate Professors, tenure-track positions in School Psychology. The successful candidates will teach graduate courses, supplement the program’s needs in doctoral and EdS advising of an ethnically diverse student body, direct dissertations, supervise the doctoral professional residency seminars, and conduct research studies. Minimum qualifications include: (a) an earned doctorate in school psychology (ideally from an APA accredited program) and school psychology credentials and/or licensure; (b) evidence of scholarly productivity, research, and teaching effectiveness; (c) experience with ethnic minority school populations; and (d) commitment to building collaborative service delivery systems that link a variety of educational, human service, and health agencies. Salary and benefits: Competitive salary dependent upon qualifications and experience, with full benefits package. Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin after [ ]; applications will be accepted until the position(s) is filled. Submit letter of application, curriculum vita, and names of three references to [ ].

Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer

PSYCHOLOGY Applied Psychology

The Department of Psychology invites applications for two tenure track position openings at the assistant or associate professor level in nonclinical applied psychology to begin August [ ]. PhD required. $32,712 to $57,156 AY. The university and department have a strong commitment to achieving diversity among faculty and staff. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from members of underrepresented groups and strongly encourage women and persons of color to apply for these positions. Applicants should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: survey research, applied measurement, program evaluation, impact assessment, personnel organizational behavior, group and team process, cross-cultural issues. Applicants should have an established research program in a substantive area such as community psychology, applied social psychology, public health, or industrial/organizational psychology. Candidates should be prepared to teach undergraduates and graduates as well as supervise in core competency area (theory, assessment, multicultural issues, research, and both master’s and doctoral project development) and be committed to diversity as a core value. Initial review of materials begins [ ]. Applicants should send letter of application, a statement of teaching and research interests, curriculum vita, reprints/manuscripts in progress, and three letters of recommendation to: [ ].

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Title IX Employer

The idea, as demonstrated by these two examples, is to develop position announcements that convey the value of ethnic diversity and the importance of attracting candidates who bring that added dimension and can facilitate further growth in creating a more culturally and ethnically diverse setting within a department.

Circulating the Job Announcement

Moving Away From Traditional Recruitment Strategies

Work centered around developing a position announcement that conveys the value of ethnic diversity within a program is lost if similar attention is not given to where the position is advertised or announced to help increase or expand the pool of ethnic minority candidates applying. Just as traditionally developed position announcements are limited in their ability to attract ethnic minority candidates, so are traditional methods of posting job announcements. In recruiting ethnic minorities, recruitment strategies must be more aggressive than circulating an advertisement and waiting for candidates to forward their applications and resumes (ACE, 1988).

Working closely with an Affirmative Action Officer, a search committee can compile an extensive list of advertisement sources. Ideas for circulating announcements should include but extend beyond the minority academic community to encompass ethnic minority candidates who work in businesses, corporations, governmental agencies, and the military. Another important avenue to explore when announcing a psychology position centers around ethnic minorities working in independent research institutions and human resource agencies. Ethnic minorities who have received grants and/or professional recognition can serve as excellent resource persons for referrals (Silver, 1987). Recruiting via personal contact and referral is more successful than reliance primarily on placement of advertisements in psychology publications or higher education journals if the goal is to attract an increased number of ethnic minority applicants (Green, 1988; Silver, Dennis, & Spikes, 1988).

New waves in information technology have resulted in other more viable and inexpensive mechanisms for advertising positions. Online databases and Internet servers allow job seekers to respond to posted position announcements and to apply and forward resumes with a few key strokes. The Consortium to Identify and Promote Hispanic Professionals and the Federal Information Exchange, Inc., are two groups that manage electronic databases and networking bulletin boards specifically designed to identify and promote ethnic minorities interested in employment with academic institutions (Mintz, 1993). Psychology programs with access to the Internet would be remiss in not utilizing these two resources to circulate position advertisements and identify ethnic minority job applicants. The following list contains other ideas for circulating job advertisements.

  • Write directly to colleagues to request nominations of ethnic minority candidates.

  • Contact job placement services and/or offices that function locally, statewide, and nationally. This may be especially helpful for institutions located in large metropolitan and urban areas.

  • Contact temples, mosques, and churches that might list job announcements in bulletins or announce them tothe congregation.

  • Contact APA’s Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs to access the Job Bank Database of over 2,500 ethnic minority professionals in psychology.

  • Contact Midwest Consortium of Latino Research for a position listing on the E-mail network - MCLR List Server.

  • Contact the National and/or State Black or Hispanic Caucus organizations and state and local legislators and representatives.

  • Place advertisements in periodicals and communications such as Black Enterprise, The Black Resource Guide, Black Issues in Higher Education, The Black Collegian, Hispanic, and American Visions.

  • Write to historically Black, predominantly Latino, and tribal colleges and universities to secure lists of doctoral students graduating in psychology.

  • Write to institutions that have a high level of minority graduate and postdoctoral students and request nominations of their students for positions.

  • Contact APA for students who have received the minority fellowship award and are interested in academic positions.

  • Contact officers of APA divisions, AABT special interest groups, the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), the National Hispanic Psychological Association (NHPA), the Society of Indian Psychologists (SIP), the Asian American Psychological Assocation (AAPA), and other psychology organizations that can recommend ethnic minority applicants or provide information on advertising in newsletters.

  • Contact local and statewide psychological associations to secure a list of ethnic minority members.

  • Write to ethnic minority caucus groups (e.g., Black Coalitions of Higher Education) that may have a network of psychologists within their organization.

  • Contact corporations that publish newsletters and or communications that include job announcements.

  • Send job announcements to health/service and/or social organizations (Black Greek sororities and fraternities, COSSMHO, LULAC, and the NAACP). Better yet, ask to speak at one of their meetings to talk about the department and the open position.

The above suggestions will vary in fees and costs. Implementing some of the suggestions may be cost-free, and others require as little as the cost of postage. Because advertisements in national publications are expensive and have not been the most effective method of increasing the ethnic applicant pool, search committees are encouraged to consider other means that will cost less, but may require more in the investment of time for making personal contacts (Green, 1988; Silver, Dennis & Spikes, 1988; Spann, 1988). The results of this time investment will, however, yield worthwhile outcomes. For more ideas on where to circulate a position announcement, see the ACE’s publication Sources: Diversity initiatives in higher education (Mintz, 1993).

Selecting the Top Candidates

What To Consider During the Screening Process

Before the search committee reviews and screens applicants, it should reexamine the position description containing the listing of responsibilities. Committee members may benefit from developing an applicant rating sheet to maintain their focus on programmatic needs and the desirable qualifications of applicants. (See Appendix A for one example.) Using a rating sheet helps foster a common understanding about these qualifications and clarifies ambiguities in advance of the screening process, allowing members to focus on the priorities of the hire. If it does not use a rating sheet, the search committee must in some way clearly identify and agree upon a set of qualifications to use when screening applicants, in keeping with the position announcement.

The search committee also should review any university-wide staffing plans that indicate expectations for programs with underrepresentation of minorities. Such programs should be allowed ". . . to give ethnic/racial diversity an important weight in assessing the qualifications of candidates" (Spann, 1988, p. 29), thus providing additional leverage for search committee members involved in the screening process. Keeping in mind that the goal is inclusion and not exclusion, the following are additional suggestions for committees to consider prior to and during the screening process. Implementing some of these suggestions may strengthen the committee and its work and prevent premature elimination of an ethnic minority applicant from the pool of viable candidates.

  • Appoint a member of the search committee to serve as diversity advocate, responsible for ensuring fairness and advocacy throughout the committee’s screening and selection activities.

  • When there are no available ethnic minorities within a program to serve on a search committee, consider appointing an ethnic minority from another department.

  • Search committee members should be encouraged to write or talk about their reasons for eliminating applicants and to address potential biases during the screening and selection process.

  • Rather than eliminate a candidate because of insufficient information on the resume/vita, committee members should consider contacting him or her to secure additional information or to clarify items in the materials submitted (Spann, 1988).

  • Quality work experience outside of academe should be viewed as an indication of potential for success in an academic setting. Successful nonacademic professionals should be given credit for their experience when vying for associate professor and/or senior level positions.

  • Ethnic minorities have experienced publication barriers in prestigious journals and limited access to publishers. These barriers have necessitated publication via ethnic journals (that have not historically been considered as prestigious) or personally published works. Search committees should be sensitive to such barriers and not give less weight to these publications during the screening process.

Ethnic minority status as a "plus factor." Given a positive commitment to introducing diversity, the faculty should adopt the view that a candidate’s minority status is a plus factor. In effect, screening methods implicitly rely upon plus factors. In the first screening, candidates who meet minimal standards should be retained, e.g., a doctorate, an internship, an ability to teach the needed topics, a potential for a research program. A second screening takes into account "pluses"—e.g., those who come from strong doctoral programs, or who can teach more than one needed course, or who have presented papers in annual conferences. At some point in this or the next screening, a set of applicants may emerge whose academic and professional credentials are equally strong. This is when selection of the "short list" of candidates to be invited for a recruiting visit should take into account cultural diversity and its relationship to these three questions: (a) What are the goals and needs of the program? (b) What are the qualifications required? (c) Do the staffing plans of the institution give ethnic/racial diversity important weight in screening candidates in view of program needs?

This is not to say that nonethnic minority candidates should not be considered. However, selection of candidates should be based on the cultural, ideological, and personal differences that candidates can bring to their research and teaching. Therefore, cultural diversity can be viewed as a plus factor, carrying positive value, rather than being interpreted automatically as a negative.

The Recruiting Visit

What To Consider as Recruitment Strategies

The need for ongoing activities. The most successful search committees consider recruitment ongoing and do not engage in one-shot recruiting invitations to a campus. When seeking to hire ethnic minority candidates, an ongoing approach may make the difference between a successful hire and a failed search. Therefore, committees should look for as many opportunities as possible to maintain contact with ethnic minorities/potential applicants.

Ongoing contacts help erode a potential candidate’s false assumptions of not being valued and wanted as an ethnic minority (see Valuing diversity in faculty: A guide). Another important strategy is the establishment of a network and potential referral source for ethnic minorities considering employment within a particular academic program. The use of telecommunications is one way to contact potential candidates easily. Another powerful recruitment tool is communication from members of the university community, ranging from presidents to faculty and students, who express enthusiasm for the candidate. If a minority has been identified as a potential applicant before the formal search process begins, continued contacts are important to maintain his or her interest in the position, as well as to maintain a strong program and faculty interest in the candidate.

Successful ongoing recruitment activities include:

  • Sending small teams of faculty, students, and administrators for visits to campuses where potential ethnic minority students/applicants reside;

  • Contacting applicants during the screening process (see earlier section, page 18.

  • Meeting with ethnic minority groups, e.g., APA’s Division 45, Division 12 Section VI, and AABT’s Hispanic Special Interest Group, during national/regional conferences. Possible meeting times include business meetings, social hours, and informal gatherings of the membership; and

  • Writing to ethnic minorities one year prior to their completion of a PhD, EdD, or PsyD program to inform them of upcoming job openings. Letters should clearly state needs and interests of the program and be followed up by telephone calls.

Meeting with the candidate personally during his or her visit to campus is the primary form recruitment takes. However, even after a campus visit, committees must consider recruitment ongoing. "Minority faculty candidates are only going to deal with you if you become a voice to them and later a face to them. They have to sense your sincerity" (Spann, 1988, p. 23). Ongoing activities facilitate this.

Preparing for the recruiting visit. In discussions with a candidate in preparation for a campus visit, it is important to learn the candidate’s cultural and language background and the correct pronunciation of his or her name and to prepare faculty and students to be culturally sensitive. Materials sent in advance of the recruitment visit might include information about the ethnic minority community. A resource sheet should be included listing places of worship, ethnic restaurants, ethnic businesses, names of ethnic minorities holding leadership positions in city government, ethnic minority professionals, public school teachers and administrators, and psychologists, as well as ethnic minority social clubs and/or service organizations. This resource sheet also should include community demographics and historical information relevant to the ethnic minority community. (See Appendix B for an example.) A resource sheet not sent in advance could be shared during the visit. Faculty, students, and staff should be familiar with the contents of the sheet so they can be prepared for questions about the ethnic minority community.

Similar information should be compiled about the campus community and the specific program involved in the search process. Resource information might include:

  • Enrollment figures of the campus at large;

  • Number of undergraduate and graduate majors in psychology, designated by ethnicity;

  • Number of students graduating according to ethnic background;

  • Number and names of ethnic minority faculty, staff, and administrators;

  • Ethnic minority fellowships, scholarships, and postdoctoral opportunities;

  • Listing of program courses that address ethnic minority or multicultural issues;

  • Names of recognized ethnic minority faculty/administrative/student campus groups and organizations; and

  • Mission statement of the program.

In planning a recruitment visit, planners should arrange for a candidate to meet and be interviewed by minority faculty, staff, and community representatives and other faculty and administrators. Discussions with the program’s ethnic minority faculty or with other minority faculty on campus can provide valuable information about how the candidate might fit into a particular setting. If the candidate has family or friends in the location of the institution, planners may arrange for the candidate to visit with them after the formal visit, as that might increase the attractiveness of the position.

Life beyond the profession. Search committees must be prepared to address both the professional life and personal life of an applicant. When seeking to hire ethnic minorities, this may require additional information gathering on the part of committee members. By placing themselves in the position of an ethnic minority applicant, committee members can gain the applicant’s perspective and begin to explore issues, raise questions, and seek out information to better prepare themselves as recruiters for the applicant’s campus visit.

Examples of Information Gathering

  • Considerations about relocation from an urban area to a smaller university community in the Midwest require sensitivity to changes the candidate will encounter in both working and living environments.

  • Child care services; housing, schools, and churches; maternity leave policy; the ethnic minority community and racial climate on campus and off; quality of life factors; and other aspects of the local community might make a difference to a candidate who may be leaving a bicultural environment where strong ties exist to family and friends.

Search committees must allow time for candidates to examine these aspects of relocation during the recruitment visit. Ethnic minority candidates may want to make multiple visits to campus, and committees must be prepared for the possibility. Committees should seize the opportunity and view it as an aspect of continuous recruitment. How the campus/program is able to communicate a good fit, a supportive environment, openness and acceptance, along with professional and personal opportunities may outweigh its contrast to the environment the ethnic minority knows so well (Spann, 1988).

Spousal placement. Recognizing that marital status is not a criterion in the selection process, in preparing for the visit, however, committees cannot overlook the needs of dual career couples. Several studies indicate that a critical aspect of attracting and retaining ethnic minorities is finding jobs for two professionals who often are both academics (Green, 1988; Justus, 1987; & Spann, 1988). In preparing for the visit, search committees should find out about available campus resources that can assist in finding employment for a spouse or significant other. The search committee should develop these job sources and set up job interviews for the spouse whenever possible. Candidates typically will take it upon themselves to raise these issues, and the search committee need not broach the subject if candidates do not initiate it. Nevertheless, some universities have special services and/or offices that handle these employment needs.

Other avenues for consideration are:

  • Affirmative Action Offices, which can circulate vitae and resumes on campus or in the community;

  • Chairs informally contacting faculty/chairs at nearby institutions that may have openings;

  • Grant-supported positions on campus; and

  • Split or shared appointments between spouses when additional resources for a single position are available to an academic unit.

What Should Occur During the Interview Process?

Expectations of a new hire. Interviewers should have a list of items regarding the position to discuss with a candidate. In going over this list with the candidate, interviewers should address any concerns or issues the candidate may have about the position. The program chair typically discusses in detail these items. However, other faculty and administrators also may address them. Below are examples of possible items interviewers may address regarding the position.

  • Interviewers should discuss the institution’s and program’s status regarding cultural diversity in its teaching, research, and service functions, including on-campus ethnic minority faculty groups and student organizations. Presenting ongoing and future plans for cultural diversification with enthusiasm and optimism is important, as is requesting the applicant’s view of his or her role in these plans.

  • Interviewers should ask the candidate about his or her teaching and research interests and their fit with the program’s teaching and research needs for this position, particularly contributions to integration of multicultural content into the curriculum and to research on ethnic minority issues.

  • Interviewers should explore the candidate’s interests in the diversification of the undergraduate and graduate student body and views of the candidate’s role in this endeavor.

  • The candidate should be apprised of program and university-wide faculty whose teaching and research might be compatible with his or her interests. Presenting the faculty roster that includes research interests may be helpful.

  • Interviewers should review tenure and promotion criteria, especially where these may reward teaching, research, service, and student/faculty recruitment activities that promote cultural diversity.

  • Opportunities for joint appointments with other academic units should be explored. Candidates should be informed of the pros and cons of such appointments on workload and productivity in relation to tenure and promotion decisions.

  • Interviewers should make the candidate aware of available sources of financial and other support for such areas as faculty development, research and teaching assistants, and release time for research or special assignments.

  • The salary/benefits package should be discussed along with any previous or anticipated cuts or increases that might affect the salary/benefits package. Interviewers should emphasize ways in which the program and institution will support the retention of faculty.

The salary incentive package. Although salary is not necessarily an issue in hiring a faculty member of color, some promising ethnic minority candidates will command higher than anticipated salaries. The institution and program need to weigh the advantages of the cost of such hires against the disadvantages of losing a candidate in the same way they weigh the cost of hiring other excellent scholars. Yet, a highly competitive salary is not the sole incentive; candidates will examine the fit between themselves and the program and institutional climate. Suinn and Witt (1982) and Suinn (1995) reported that, although salary level was the most important reason minority faculty turned down a position (in both the 1982 survey and the initial analysis of the 1995 replication), the second, third, and fourth ranked variables in 1982 were geographic location, lack of concentration of minorities in the local community, and teaching load. In 1995, the order was geographic location, impression of a more supportive environment elsewhere, and lack of concentration of minorities in the local community. Most important in evaluating the person-environment fit is the unequivocal commitment the program and institution to support the candidate’s career development in ways described in Valuing diversity in faculty: A guide.

Sensitivity to market supply and demand must be folded into hiring considerations. According to Green (1988), it is the scarcity of minority faculty that may require a higher salary offer when compared to those made to majority candidates. Salaries need not be exorbitant and may reflect only one or two thousand dollars above the average for most junior level faculty appointments. Senior level ethnic minority scholars, on the other hand, should be offered competitive salaries similar to those demanded by and awarded to outstanding majority scholars in the field. In either case, program chairs must make reasonable offers to prospective ethnic minority faculty and not lose sight of the realities of competition among institutions that are also looking to recruit and hire ethnic minority faculty. Making a final offer to a candidate may require negotiating other types of compensation besides salary. Other types of compensation may include those listed below.

  • Geographic locale may present other compensation considerations. Housing costs, changes in cost of living, and relocation expenses may require institutions to provide subsidies, assistance in moving, or salaries that vary either up or down from the average.

  • Funds for research travel and attendance at professional meetings may be offered.

  • Funds for research equipment, tests, and lab remodeling may be offered.

Sensitivity to additional forms of compensation, coupled with agreeable terms of appointment, present the opportunity for a program to make an attractive offer that may result in a successful hire.

Assessing the fit. The search process has come full circle following the campus recruitment visit. Both the program and job applicant should be at the point of reviewing program needs and goals and the specific position. It is the responsibility of the search committee/academic unit to review established job responsibilities, needs, and goals alongside the personal interests, attributes, and qualifications of the applicant. At the same time, a candidate will be reviewing and assessing personal fit with the program, his or her ability and desire to meet the program’s job expectations, and opportunities to reach professional and personal goals as an academic in that community at that particular institution. It may be advantageous at this time for the search committee chair to make a contact to see if any additional questions or informational needs have emerged since the campus recruitment interview.

As a result of the on-campus interview and other contacts with candidates, the program should be knowledgeable about the candidate along these lines:

  • Genuine interest in the position;

  • Personal makeup, interpersonal skills, and other attributes;

  • Teaching interests and abilities for meeting current and future curriculum needs of the program;

  • Ethnic/cultural experiences and background that will contribute to sharing diverse points of view and promoting academic excellence in students;

  • Research interests and needs for conducting research;

  • Sense of fit and views about the mission and goals of the program; and

  • Direct observation of the candidate’s ability to perform the job (Marchese & Lawrence, 1989).

If a committee is looking at multiple candidates, variations among candidates on the above characteristics will occur, and a decision to extend an offer will be based on these variations. Even if a program implements most or several of the strategies outlined in this guide, it is conceivable that no one candidate will rise to the top. In such a situation, even if the goal is to hire an ethnic minority, the committee should not feel compelled to hire the candidate if it is not a good fit. A decision to hire under these circumstances in all likelihood will not benefit either the program or the ethnic minority candidate. In contrast, an ethnic minority candidate who is a good fit for the program may decline a program’s offer of employment. As stated earlier, personal reasons for not accepting may range from being offered a higher salary elsewhere, teaching load, geographic location, perceived ability to achieve tenure, lack of minority mentors for support, and limited numbers of ethnic minorities on campus and in the community (Suinn & Witt, 1982). Despite either of these outcomes, programs should not abandon their goals of hiring an ethnic minority. Instead, they should consider reinstituting the search process after evaluating the effectiveness of the activities and strategies utilized during the current search. 


The opportunities—for an ethnic minority candidate to join a program that has the right climate (or one that is striving for cultural diversity), to teach courses important to the candidate’s values and interests, to pursue a personally meaningful line of research with knowledgeable collaborators, to reach an otherwise inaccessible research population, to participate fully in academic life with colleagues who respect and support the candidate’s professional and social development—are the ingredients of a successful hiring effort. Even in universities traditionally known for their "Whiteness" and isolated locations, the possibility of creating the kind of climate and opportunities that attract ethnic minority candidates exists.


How to recruit and hire ethnic minority faculty outlines key considerations and strategies for recruiting more aggressively and hiring ethnic minorities into academic positions. It provides a series of examples and specific activities for search committees to consider in their efforts to hire ethnic minorities. The information presented is meant to help readers appreciate the need for not only more activities, but new and different recruitment strategies than those typically followed in searches. In reviewing the variety of examples and recommendations cited, readers are encouraged to keep in mind that because of the diversity in types of postsecondary institutions, some examples and recommendations may be more appropriate than others.

This guide encourages programs and search committees to begin with a needs assessment and self-study process in developing their recruitment, hiring, and diversity goals. Once these needs and goals have been identified, a committee is in the best position to develop a job announcement and include language sensitive to the interests of the program and potential ethnic minority applicants. Moreover, advertisements communicating a genuine interest in and value placed on the contributions an ethnic minority faculty member can make to a program are of the greatest worth in expanding the pool of applicants for a position. This guide includes examples of advertisements that take into consideration the outlined recommendations for attracting and recruiting ethnic minorities.

Recruitment strategies begin immediately with decisions about communicating the position opening and circulating the advertisement. Search committees are encouraged to use ongoing recruitment strategies, which will yield positive outcomes during the search and for the future and will establish a resource network and referrals for other ethnic minority applicants. Emphasis is placed on making personal contacts when trying to recruit and hire ethnic minorities, and information is included about barriers that deter ethnic minorities from considering academic appointments. Common barriers such as campus climate, role expectations, and quality of life are discussed with suggested activities for search committees to help overcome such barriers. Notably, meeting with ethnic minorities on campus and in the community may be critical to eroding barriers and assisting potential candidates in making a decision to relocate to a new environment and geographic locale.

This guide concludes with a section on interviewing strategies, communicating expectations of the position, assessing opportunities for dual career couples, and reviewing the adequacy of salary compensation. Ongoing recruitment activities are encouraged even after the campus recruitment visit, leaving open the option of a second visit. Higher salary offers from other institutions, geographic locale, tenure policies, limited number of ethnic minority faculty and community citizens, and lack of mentors are reasons given when ethnic minorities decline offers of employment. If the unit senses a good fit between its needs and the ethnic minority candidate’s interests, it should give serious consideration to hiring that candidate.


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