Search and Hiring, Mentoring, and Promotion and Tenure

Among the most powerful signals of our commitment to diversity and inclusion are who we hire and who we promote. Consequently, many our current initiatives related to diversity and inclusion focus on our search and hiring practices, our practices related to annual review and promotion and tenure, faculty and staff professional development and retention, and mentoring.

  1. The documents, Steps Toward Greater Inclusive Excellence in Hiring Practices and Job Search Strategies that Encourage a Diverse Pool of Candidates guide our search an hiring practices. Hiring officials are expected to hold themselves and search committee chairs accountable for these practices.
  2. At the time the charge is issued to the search committee, implicit bias and inclusive excellence training is provided. As of December 2020, all IANR department heads and school directors and over 150 faculty members have received this training. The training has also been provided to search committees within CEHS for hires conducted since August 2019. While it is important that everyone have an inclusive excellence mindset, we strive to have three people involved with every search trained, supported, and completely onboard:
    1. The unit leader. If this person is not committed and does not have a vision for inclusive excellence, it will be impossible to be successful. This person issues the charge to the committee, which includes an explicit statement of their expectation of inclusive excellence.
    2. The search advisory committee chair. This person is responsible for directing the work of the committee, the flow of information, and the deliberations about candidate materials.
    3. A search advisory committee member, in addition to the chair, who has responsibility to be an advocate for inclusive excellence throughout the search. With permission of other committee members, this person observes the process and interactions among committee members with an eye and ear tuned to identifying bias (implicit or explicit) and other threats to inclusive excellence.
  3. We intentionally select search committee chairs who are committed to inclusive excellence.
  4. An after action survey is administered to search committee members to determine the degree to which the practices identified in the Steps Toward Greater Inclusive Excellence in Hiring Practices were used.
  5. A statement identifying the IANR commitment to inclusive excellence appears toward the top of each job announcement for faculty positions.
  6. Candidates for faculty positions are required to describe their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they will contribute to an environment in which every person and every interaction matters.
  7. Annual training for P&T committee chairs/Peer Review committee chairs about roles and responsibilities and best practices for creating an environment within committee meetings where diversity and inclusive excellence are valued and promoted.
  8. As of December 2020, all members of IANR P&T committees/Peer Review committees participated in training about inclusive excellence and the role of the committee in helping to set the tone for inclusive excellence in the unit.
  9. Training for unit leaders in inclusive excellence in mentoring, faculty evaluation, and promotion and tenure.
  10. Each academic department in IANR and Nebraska Extension is expected to have a mentoring plan that addresses issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness.
  11. Contributions to inclusive work, learning, research, and extension environments are core expectations of tenure-line faculty members. This expectation is being written into job descriptions.
  12. For annual reporting, all IANR faculty members are required to describe how they have created an inclusive learning, research, extension, and/or engagement/outreach environment, and/or how they have contributed to an environment within their academic unit, division, extension center, or workplace that is inclusive of all people and all interactions.
  13. Faculty members being considered for promotion and/or tenure are encouraged to describe their contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness.
  14. Inclusive excellence is a stated expectation for all unit leaders in the Institute.
    1. This expectation is written into job descriptions of all unit leaders hired after 2017.
    2. On reappointment, unit leader position descriptions are rewritten to include explicit expectations related to inclusive excellence.
    3. Trainings on inclusive excellence are incorporated and discussed in new unit leader onboarding and in meetings with existing leaders.
    4. Inclusive excellence is a regular topic on monthly Leadership Council agendas.
    5. Inclusive excellence is evaluated in department head/school director annual reviews, and is referenced in documentation of these annual evaluations.
    6. Our systematic way of conducting reappointment reviews for unit leaders includes a data-informed assessment of the leader’s stewardship of diversity and inclusion within the unit. This includes metrics related to faculty, staff and students; policies and practices; and climate within the unit.