Diversity Hiring Initiative
Oregon State University
"We value diversity because it enhances our education and because it provides tools to be culturally respectful, professionally competent and civically responsible." (Oregon State University Mission Statement) In support of this value, OSU seeks to build an organizational culture that will allow each individual to enter, participate and thrive, unimpaired by her/his identity-group status. In this culture, each of us will be valued for our uniqueness. This initiative is designed to help us select employees who can best demonstrate their commitment and skills to promote, sustain and enhance this ideal. To that end:
1. All leadership positions require a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
This requirement applies to all members of the University Cabinet, the President's Council, the Provost's Council, deans, directors, department heads and chairs, and all other leadership positions, including those related to the aforementioned list with titles of assistant, associate, vice, and their equivalents.
2. All other positions have, as a preferred qualification, a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity
This preference applies to all unclassified and classified positions at the university, except the leadership positions listed in #1 that require this qualification.
Diversity Initiative Implementation Guide Includes:
-- position description language
-- announcement and advertisement language
-- evaluating candidates
-- contact information for further questions
Position Description Language
Leadership positions: Any written position descriptions for members of the University Cabinet, the President's Council, the Provost's Council, deans, directors, department heads and chairs, and all other leadership positions, including those related to the aforementioned list with titles of assistant, associate, vice, and their equivalents shall include as one required qualification: "a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity."
Other unclassified positions: Faculty Position Descriptions for Professional Faculty, Faculty Research Assistant, Athletic Trainers, as well as any other positions for which a description is used, shall include a preferred qualification on page 3 that states: "Preferred qualification: a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity." If the position has other preferred qualifications, they should be listed here as well.
Classified positions: classified position descriptions shall include as part of page 1, Section 2, C: Special Requirements: "Preferred qualification: a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity." Any other preferred qualifications should be listed here as well.
Announcement and Advertising Language
Announcements and ads for President's Cabinet, Deans, Department Chairs, Department Heads, Directors, and all other leadership positions as indicated above must include language addressing the required qualification of "a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity."
Announcements and ads for unclassified and classified positions other than those positions listed above must include as one of the preferred qualifications " a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity" wherever qualifications are listed. This qualification should be included in a list with any other preferred qualifications you have identified for the position.
Evaluating candidates' demonstrable commitment
People involved in the search process are in the best position to determine candidates' strengths with respect to this or any required or preferred qualifications. Briefly, the steps might include:
1. Think about how or in what way this criterion is relevant to the particular position you are seeking to fill; use your understanding of this relevance as part of the context in which you evaluate candidates.
2. Develop one or more interview questions to elicit information from candidates about their experiences in or their thoughts about promoting and enhancing diversity. These questions should not be used to obtain personal information about the candidate's identity status, but rather to determine what skills they bring to an increasingly diverse workplace. Your question might be to simply ask candidates to describe how their background has prepared them to be effective in an organization that values diversity. Another variation is to give each candidate a copy of the OSU Mission Statement, draw their attention to the value statement about diversity, and ask them to describe how their background and experience have prepared them to be effective in an environment that holds this value. For a list of other sample questions you might consider, click here.
3. Use follow-up questions to encourage each candidate to respond to the diversity question as fully as possible. Candidates may assume that only experience with racial/ethnic diversity "counts." As needed, encourage candidates to think about the many characteristics by which people differ (these might include age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, learning style, country of origin, social class, cultural background, ability/disability, race, ethnicity, or other characteristics by which people identify themselves with a group) and ask them to use this broader definition of diversity to inform their answers. Document candidate answers as you would for any other question.
4. Check your assessments of the candidates' qualifications when you check references.
5. On the basis of all information you receive--written materials, interview, references--evaluate each candidate in terms of how fully s/he demonstrated a commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, and how relevant her/his experience or thinking is to the needs of the position. At the same time, consider whether a candidate's experience might demonstrate a transferable skill that could be used effectively in this position. For example, that experience may be with an identity group or in a setting that is different from what s/he is likely to encounter here. You are the experts about the position you are filling; look for evidence that the candidate will be active in and committed to meeting the needs of the position as you have identified them.
6. Consider the full range of qualifications for each candidate in making your final decision about the position. Which candidate presents the best combination of knowledge, skills, experiences, commitment, and potential for the position as you envision it?
Documenting Candidate Assessments
Your assessment of the extent to which each finalist meets the diversity criterion will become a permanent part of the search record, along with your assessment of other strengths and weaknesses each candidate brings.
When it is a required qualification: in the Proposal for Academic Appointment packet, please describe how your proposed appointee meets this requirement.
When it is a preferred qualification…
- for a classified position: when you contact Employment Services for approval to appoint, be ready to indicate how this qualification was addressed in your search/recruitment process.
- for an unclassified position: in the Proposal for Academic Appointment packet, indicate how this preferred qualification was addressed in your search/recruitment process.
For questions or implementation concerns, contact: