Why are we implementing a new way of conducting faculty searches?
We know that STEM faculty do not reflect the diversity within our society. Over the years, many institutions, departments, and individuals have made attempts at rectifying the gender and ethnicity imbalance with varying degrees of success. Although some improvements have happened over the years, diversifying STEM faculty has been painfully slow and continues to lag the rapidly changing demographics of our students. A diverse faculty can increase student diversity, and we want Swenson College to reflect the changing population of Minnesota and help these students become our next scientists and engineers.
We face tough challenges, and we need as many voices and experiences around the table as possible to solve today's problems and into the future. This is why we are implementing a new process to broaden and deepen the pool of faculty candidates.
So, what are we doing in Swenson College?
We recognize that excellence in teaching and research can come from anywhere, and we do not want outstanding candidates to self-select out of applying because they do not envision themselves as part of our faculty. You belong, and we want to make the search process as transparent as possible.
We have implemented an anonymized search process to mitigate traditional sources of implicit and explicit biases by search committee members. We are also being transparent about how the overall search works, and we are sharing the rubrics that will be used to evaluate the research and teaching statement and the statement that demonstrates a commitment to justice, equity, inclusion, and a diverse student population.