|Submission Date||Jan. 31, 2018|
Oregon State University
IN-24: Innovation A
|1.00 / 1.00||
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
Established in 2008, OSU's Search Advocate program enhances equity, validity, and diversity in university hiring. Search Advocates are OSU faculty, staff, and students who are trained as search and selection process advisors. Their preparation includes a two-part workshop series addressing current research about implicit bias, diversity, the changing legal landscape in hiring, inclusive employment principles, practical strategies for each stage of the search process, and effective ways to be an advocate on a search committee. As a quality assurance measure, advocates who wish to remain eligible beyond the first year must engage in relevant continuing education that is recorded and approved through the Search Advocate program.
The president and provost require that a search advocate participate in any Provost's Hiring Initiative and Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative search. They have committed to ensuring that designated search advocates also be included on leadership search committees. Many administrative and academic divisions have adopted policies requiring search advocates on certain types of committees as well. These leadership decisions show their trust in the quality of OSU's Search Advocate program and their desire to have these searches benefit from search advocate contributions.
Each Search Advocate is a consultant/participant who advances inclusive excellence by asking questions to help committee members test their thinking, identifying and promoting practices that advance diversity and social justice, and minimizing the impacts of cognitive and structural biases. As external committee members, advocates are able to explore assumptions, norms, and practices that an internal member might not question. The search advocate plays a vital role in position development, recruitment, screening, interviews, references, evaluation, and integration of the new faculty or staff member into the institution. In partnership with the search chair, search committee members, and hiring official, the search advocate affirms OSU's commitment to inclusive excellence.
Measurable Outcomes as of September 2016 (from the Chronicle of Higher Education article linked below):
The university has trained more than 800 people, or about 15 percent of the current faculty and staff, to become search advocates. While search advocacy is just one tool that Oregon State is using to improve hiring outcomes, it shows some promising early results. According to reviews of searches that took place in 2014-15, those with search advocates resulted in the hiring of candidates from underrepresented groups in 25 percent of the cases, compared with 11 percent for those without advocates. The number of members of underrepresented groups continues to inch upward across the campus. About 15 percent of assistant professors come from underrepresented groups, compared with 9 percent of associate professors and 5 percent of full professors.
This reflects the possible impact of the Search Advocates program on the more newly hired assistant rank.
In May 2017, the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (https://www.hercjobs.org/) sponsored a webinar about OSU's Search Advocate program, which is available here: Search Advocates – Promoting Diversity and Mitigating Bias on University Search Committees (https://vimeo.com/218043456)
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Wellbeing & Work
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Thanks to Anne Gillies for providing thorough information for this submission, and great leadership to the Search Advocates program!