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Equity-Minded Faculty Hiring Practices: Promoting Fairness, Inclusion, and Faculty Diversity to Support Student Success in Higher Education

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In June 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina overruled 45 years of precedent by prohibiting race-conscious college admissions practices. Although the decision focused on college admissions, there are valid concerns that the ruling will have additional impacts beyond this limited scope, affecting college policies and practices far beyond admissions offices at selective colleges and universities. Such policies could include those that focus on hiring and on efforts to create welcoming and supportive environments for minoritized students.

Diversity in college leadership is necessary to prepare all students to succeed in a diverse society and global marketplace. How can state and college leaders act to diversify higher education leadership? In Equity-Minded Faculty Hiring Practices, Dr. J. Luke Wood and Dr. Frank Harris III discuss equity-minded faculty practices and provide resources to support equity-minded faculty hiring. The brief highlights practices that can be enacted before, during, and after the search process, including aligning institutional and departmental commitments, forming search committees that are representative of diverse constituencies, and ensuring an environment of success for new hires.  

The political attacks on efforts that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in colleges and universities are both alarming and indicative of the need for higher education leaders to be more strategic and intentional in faculty hiring, with inclusive and equitable practices in place to help produce racial/ethnic diversity. Having the authority and capacity to assure robust faculty diversity to advance institutional DEI goals is an essential tool for colleges and universities that are committed to student success.