Action plan for recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty
Adopted with the Unanimous Vote of the Faculty, November 30, 2016
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law is committed to supporting and promoting diversity and inclusiveness among its faculty, students, and staff. We believe that all components of our academic mission—teaching, research, and service—are enriched by faculty, students, and staff with diverse experiences. We seek to actively create, develop, and sustain an inclusive academic environment in which individuals from different backgrounds are valued and respected. The diversity of our community and ideas is an integral element of our strength and competitiveness, advancing our commitment to excellence as a global law school that benefits Indiana, the nation, and the world.
Guiding Policies and Best Practices
Building a Diverse Pool of Candidates
We recognize that building a diverse pool of candidates can facilitate our objective of hiring the most qualified and talented faculty possible. We employ multiple strategies to achieve that objective, including:
- The faculty appointments committee and the lecturer and clinical ranks committee
discuss our school’s commitment to diversity and members of the committees are asked to read the IU Bloomington recruitment guide, “Policies, Procedures, and Best Practices for Faculty Recruitment: A Guide for Search Committees and Administrators.”
- A representative of the faculty appointments committee and of the lecturer and clinical ranks committee attends the mandatory orientation for search committee chairs sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic
- All printed advertisements published or made available on-line include a statement emphasizing that we are an equal employment / affirmative action employer, that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, and that we encourage applications from candidates with diverse cultural
- We endeavor to disseminate advertisements for open positions on networks that may increase the diversity of our applicant pool, such as the Minority Law Teachers group with the Association of American Law Schools and the Minority Law Teachers
- We encourage all of our faculty members to use their own informal networks to encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds to apply for any open
- We maintain a list of promising candidates, including those from under-represented backgrounds, who may be considered for potential recruitment in future years. This list should include candidates for tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure track, and adjunct positions. It should be updated periodically, and relevant portions will be provided to committees involved in faculty
- We are mindful that curricular flexibility enlarges search
- When feasible, we endeavor, as we’ve done in the past to promote faculty diversity and excellence, to hire for multiple positions
Reviewing Candidates Fairly
We recognize that our strength as an institution is enhanced by the diversity of our faculty. Committees involved in faculty hiring discuss the criteria that will be used to assess candidates prior to review of application materials. This includes a discussion of the benefits that diversity—across all relevant characteristics—can bring to our school.
We are sensitive to research that has established that implicit bias may disadvantage female candidates and candidates from under-represented backgrounds and may advantage in-group candidates. Faculty committees involved in hiring discuss this research and review resources for countering such bias, such as those provided by the OVPFAA and other similar resources (e.g., UCLA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s offices, https://equity.ucla.edu/programs-resources/educational-materials/implicit-bias-resources/).
Recruiting Candidates After an Offer Has Been Extended
We strive to make all potential faculty members feel welcomed and valued into the law school, the university as a whole, and the Bloomington community. We endeavor to ensure that all potential faculty members understand we are happy to be a resource in addressing any particular needs or concerns they may have. We ask all potential faculty members if they would like us to help connect them with individuals within the law school or the larger community that share common interests, backgrounds, religious beliefs, etc.
Retaining Excellent Faculty and Helping Faculty Excel
We are committed to ensuring that all members of our faculty feel supported in all facets of their work (including research, teaching, and service, as relevant for the position). We are particularly interested in assuring that junior faculty members have the mentoring and guidance they need to succeed. Towards this end, we have developed a mentoring program that supplements and complements the formal annual review processes conducted by the promotion and tenure committee (for tenure-track faculty) and the lecturer and clinical ranks committee (for lecturers, clinicians, and professors-of-practice).
Upon arrival on campus, each junior faculty member is assigned two mentors (one relatively senior member of the faculty and one more-recently-tenured or promoted member of the faculty) who share intellectual interests, methodological research approaches, or teaching interests with the junior faculty member. These mentors provide advice and support to junior faculty members on their research, teaching, and service obligations, as appropriate. This includes discussing potential research projects; reviewing draft papers; advising on effective teaching strategies; assisting with building connections to faculty with related interests at other schools; etc. We also encourage all faculty members to form informal mentoring relationships with junior faculty, and we hope junior faculty members will take advantage of mentoring opportunities sponsored by the university, such as the Faculty Success Program and the Faculty Writing Groups program.
The Dean and the committees involved in faculty personnel matters, including the promotion and tenure committee, the clinical and lecturer ranks committee, and the policy committee, discuss research on implicit bias and in-group preferences. The Dean and members of these committees are mindful of the need to counter potential bias in the annual review of junior faculty, the promotion and tenure process, and the annual salary setting process. This includes recognizing that research has established that bias often unfairly lowers the student evaluations of female teachers and teachers from under-represented backgrounds.
Additionally, in considering committee assignments and leadership roles within the law school, the Dean and the policy committee are mindful of the benefits that can be provided by racial, ethnic, gender, and other forms of diversity, and the importance of recognizing and valuing such service contributions.
Implementation and Accountability
The faculty appointments committee and the clinical and lecturer ranks committee, both of which include the Executive Associate Dean as an ex officio member, are responsible for regularly reviewing faculty recruitment plans for the future and for assessing our success in recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty. The committees assess the extent to which we have complied with the guiding policies and best practices set out above and will recommend modifications or additional policies as appropriate.