Hiring - Maine College of Art

Strategies to Increase Diversity and Awareness Among Faculty and Staff

Hiring

In the fall of 2016, a working group of the Diversity Committee was formed to research best practices around hiring with diversity, inclusion, and equity in mind. The findings of the working group have been reviewed by MECA Leadership and implemented with the goal of placing diversity at the forefront of hiring practices. The following is a non-exhaustive list of changes that have been made:

  • Language in all outgoing job descriptions has been updated to better reflect the College’s commitment to diversity
  • Candidates applying for full-time faculty positions are expected to submit a Diversity Statement along with their application materials
  • A member of the College’s Diversity Committee will serve on each search committee
  • A hiring procedures document, which will be distributed to search committees at the beginning of each search, will encompass best practices from the literature around increasing diversity on campus

Training

Over 100 faculty and staff, including all of the member’s of MECA’s Leadership Team, participated in full-day anti-bias trainings facilitated by Community Change Inc. The trainings took place in the spring of 2018 over the course of two days and helped faculty and staff move from an individual understanding of racism to a systemic understanding of how prejudice and discrimination are based on the social construct of race.

At the end of the spring semester, a learning objective prompt was developed for faculty. The goal of the prompt was for faculty to identify ideas and artists who position diversity as a core value in their work. Faculty from each area of the BFA program, MFA, MAT, and SALT shared specific insights connected to their area of expertise at the staff and faculty meeting in May. Faculty discussed how these artists fit within existing objectives and course goals. The exercise generated conversation and provides shared resources for curriculum and 2018/2019 syllabi planning.

As a necessary follow-up to the spring training, the Dean’s Office provided funding to bring diversity curriculum consultant and writer Matthew Shenoda to MECA in fall 2018. Matthew will work with program chairs and the full faculty on strategies and models to evaluate curriculum and identify opportunities to integrate, expand and update course content and implement inclusive pedagogy across the college.

Additional Resources

Color Blind or Color Brave
In this TED Talk Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.

Confronting Racial Bias at Work
“Published the week of the 2016 presidential election, Confronting Racial Bias at Work: Challenges and Solutions for 21st Century Employment Discrimination reviews the systemic barriers impacting workers of color drawing upon academic research, interviews with discrimination lawyers and EEOC officials, and surveys of worker advocates.”

Best Practices and Articles on Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Diverse Faculty
This list of resources prepared by the University of Texas at San Antonio Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Support cover best practices around recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse faculty.

Strategies for Recruiting a Diverse Faculty
The document contains strategies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Making Diversity Happen
Boston College and UC Riverside share how they quickly hired more faculty members from underrepresented minority groups, without relying on hard numerical targets or costly initiatives

Project Implicit
“The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about.”