opportunity should be part of search process
months ago, President John T. Casteen III renewed the University's
commitment to equal opportunity in announcing that minority hiring
and other efforts would be considered in the performance evaluations
of department chairs, directors and higher-level administrators.
in the number of women or minorities in areas where they had not
been represented in large numbers is a factor to be considered
in evaluating recruitment efforts, so long as it is understood
that hiring decisions must be made independent of race or gender,"
say guidelines prepared by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.
"The Equal Opportunity
Programs office's goals are designed to help fulfill the University's
goal of finding the best person," said Karen Holt, EOP director.
"It's recognizing what we need to do to keep up with the
changing culture, the student body and the workforce," said
Holt, whose office works closely with search committees and makes
contact with the consultant firms assisting with searches. "We
ask, are there things we can do to reach out to different groups?
We want to make sure we're opening our doors wider."
University groups have echoed that concern. Two of the "charting
diversity" roundtables sent letters to the president last month
urging that the top-level searches "pay attention to diversity
issues" in choosing their short lists of candidates for administrative
and academic leadership positions, according to Marcia Day Childress,
who co-chairs the leadership and governance group.
people wouldn't necessarily think of U.Va. for a job right off
or they're already in demand. In today's job market, you have
to be more aggressive and creative," recommends Holt. Her office
prepared the following list of efforts everyone can undertake.
Ten ways to make U.Va. the institution of choice for women
Talk about the value of diversity at every opportunity. Invite
female and minority employees to meetings and events; showcase
their efforts. Make a conscious effort to note where they are
not present or represented and change that.
Network to identify qualified women and minorities when hiring.
Find out where they are; contact them and invite them to apply.
If they don't, find out why. Personal contacts work better than
Consider each vacancy from scratch. How could this position make
a difference ence -- not just in the race or gender of the person
who fills it, but in the type of person performing the function?
In addition to professional qualifications, what personal qualities
should that person bring to the workplace? State those in the
Make candidates feel they are wanted. Prepare, double-check, accommodate.
Gather information about Charlottesville to give them; ask if
they have any questions or need specific information. Make it
clear that we know we need to sell them on why they should come.
Invite constituent groups (which might be more diverse than a
search committee) to meet with them and give input on selection
-- this can build networks later on. Don't subject them to meaningless
courtesy interviews. Follow-up after their visit.
Negotiate to get good people. What will it take to make them pick
us over other institutions?
6. After they are hired, make them feel welcome -- the work isn't
over. Invite them to lunch, include them at meetings, talk to
them about how things are going. Evaluate them honestly and constructively.
If there are problems, identify them early and discuss how they
can be fixed. Mentoring means helping people succeed.
Communicate openly and honestly about what is going on in your
department and how decisions are made. Let them know that your
practices are equitable and professional. Be consistent but not
rigid -- if exceptions are warranted by the circumstances, explain
why and document.
Encourage staff to attend and participate in diversity-related
events. Attend them yourself. Talk about these events at staff
meetings. Circulate announcements and pass on information.
9. Be considerate of family obligations and outside interests.
Schedule meetings so they don't conflict with child care or family
activities. Reward quality, not just quantity, of work. Encourage
employees to have lives outside of work.
Promote tolerance and civility in word and deed, even when you
think "no one's looking." If someone uses an offensive term in
front of you, let them know you don't like it and don't want to
hear it again.