2019-2021: Prioritizing Academic Excellence in Research/Teaching and Contributions to DEI

Anita Oberholster, UC Davis researcher and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology

The UC Davis Pilot Study to Prioritize Academic Excellence in Research and Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion / Phase 2: Institutionalization. $500,000 (2019-2021)

University of California Advancing Faculty Diversity Grant Program 

 

Overview

The goal of this project is to study how restructuring the recruitment process for ongoing faculty searches can help identify excellent faculty who contribute to the diversity, equity, and inclusion mission of the University. This pilot study builds upon UC Davis’ 2018-2019 grant, which demonstrated that a structured and deliberative approach to using Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statements together with conventional selection criteria leads to a pool of candidates, and ultimately faculty hires, that demonstrate scholarly excellence while also helping to serve our university’s diverse student body.

Study Design

For this pilot study, the School of Medicine and two undergraduate colleges, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering, have volunteered to participate in the 2019-2020 academic year.

The study will compare outcomes for two kinds of searches in these units:

  1. Searches using conventional practices included in the existing search plans - e.g., the recruitment committee has access to the entire application packet. These searches will effectively be “control” searches against which others are compared, and no special incentives under the grant will be provided to candidates.
  2. Searches using enhanced practices that are predicated on effective practices derived from the 2018-19 pilot study. These practices will become embedded in the search plans for the hires. These practices include:
    • Providing searches additional funds for advertising using position descriptions that include the importance of contributions to DEI (building on the knowledge we learned from our 2018-2019 recruitments).
    • Requiring that recruitment committees only read the Contributions to DEI Statements and Statements of Research first (or, if the academic units request, Statements of Teaching), and then score them using rubrics of the Recruitment Committee's choice. Only faculty scoring above a threshold determined by the Recruitment Committee will be further considered. The statements will be anonymized, but will not be redacted (as was our practice in 2018-2019).
    • Providing interviewees with a “confidential advisor” to help them prepare for their in-person interviews before arriving on-campus, and meeting with them when they are here.
    • Providing hires with Capital Resource Network (CRN) services. A one-stop concierge amenity housed in the Office of Academic Affairs, the CRN and its team of professionals support newly recruited employees and their families by easing transition stress and helping to establish personal and professional connections. They provide confidential dual career support and family integration services for newly relocated hires and their families while providing them with professional, social, and personal support during the first six months upon arrival.
    • Providing hires with enrollment in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (as we did in our 2018-2019 grant).

At the end of the two-year project period, the outcomes of these two types of searches will be compared to assess the success of the searches in hiring faculty who demonstrate excellence in research, teaching, and service while also making significant and meaningful contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Job Applicants:

Q: Is the process of relying on a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to evaluate candidates consistent with University of California policy?

A: Yes. UC APM 210.1-d which governs appointment, appraisal and promotion, recommends that faculty be both encouraged and rewarded for activity that promotes inclusive excellence:

“The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Teaching, research, professional and public service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are to be encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate's qualifications. These contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms including efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service that addresses the needs of California's diverse population, or research in a scholar's area of expertise that highlights inequities.”

It is also consistent with the University of California, Board of Regents through Regents Policy 440: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement.

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Q: Why is UC Davis requesting a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to include in my application? 

A: We encourage applicants to go to the following website to better understand why this is so important to our university: https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/why-does-uc-davis-seek-diversity-statements-applicants

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Q:  By focusing on a candidate's Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the search process, will UC Davis maintain its standards of academic excellence in research, teaching, and service?

A:  Yes. Consistent with our standards for all faculty hires at UC Davis, all candidates will be evaluated using the same standards for excellence in research, teaching, and service in APM 210 that are applied in all faculty searches at UC Davis. The process of relying on Statements of Contributions to Diversity to inform our evaluation of excellence in the areas of research, teaching and service is consistent with existing University of California Policy.  APM 210.1-d which governs appointment, appraisal and promotion, recommends that faculty be both encouraged and rewarded for activity that promotes inclusive excellence:

“The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Teaching, research, professional and public service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are to be encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate's qualifications. These contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms including efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service that addresses the needs of California's diverse population, or research in a scholar's area of expertise that highlights inequities.”

It is also consistent with the University of California, Board of Regents through Regents Policy 440: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement., which states:

"Diversity should also be integral to the University’s achievement of excellence. Diversity can enhance the ability of the University to accomplish its academic mission. Diversity aims to broaden and deepen both the educational experience and the scholarly environment, as students and faculty learn to interact effectively with each other, preparing them to participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Ideas, and practices based on those ideas, can be made richer by the process of being born and nurtured in a diverse community. The pluralistic university can model a process of proposing and testing ideas through respectful, civil communication. Educational excellence that truly incorporates diversity thus can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership."

The Chronicle of Education has recently posted on this subject as well, in their article, "In Defense of Diversity Statements" by Charlotte M. Canning and Richard J. Reddick

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Q:  Am I able to apply if I am not a US citizen? 

A:  Yes. Applications are accepted from US and non-US citizens.  Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available https://www.e-verify.gov/

International scholars can also find additional resources at the Global Affairs webpage

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Q: Will administrators check to see if my application is considered complete?

A: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documents associated with their application is uploaded appropriately and that their application is complete. Please only upload files as PDF's and Word Documents in RECRUIT. 

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