DEI Development Program for Faculty Searches

Compositional Diversity Among Faculty In Higher Education

Faculty at institutions of higher education across the United States remain predominantly white, cisgender, and heterosexual despite the steady increase of BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and LGBTQIAAP scholars in many field areas.  When departments and programs have diversified their faculty, often retention remains a challenge because the academy has had a long history of exclusionary and inequitable practices and policies that predominate to this day. Colorado College is committed to sustaining a DEI-centered faculty development program that supports all faculty through candidacy to emeriti status. We strive to create an environment where all faculty feel supported and can thrive.

DEI Among CC Faculty

At CC, we believe it is vitally important for our faculty searches to be inclusive and equitable We promote diversity at every step of the process to increase the likelihood that we will hire excellent scholars who will increase the compositional diversity of faculty. The DEI Development Program for Faculty Searches supports hiring departments in their efforts to conduct equitable and inclusive searches that support the College’s efforts to increase the compositional diversity of the faculty. A diverse faculty is a central component of our commitment to becoming an antiracist institution.

The Program

Peony Fhagen, Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, & Faculty Development, developed and facilitates the program.


  • to decrease bias during the faculty search process 
  • to give search committees the tools and strategies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the search process 


  • to foster inclusive and equitable search processes 
  • to increase compositional diversity in all the steps of the search process   
  • to increase the likelihood of hiring excellent candidates who diversify the faculty and the curriculum 

Structure & Organization:

  • Just-in-time and flipped classroom approach 
  • Four steps in the development program spread across the academic year 
  • Information provided through recorded PowerPoint presentations and readings in Fine & Handelsman’s Searching for Excellence and Diversity: A Guide for Search Committees (2012) (see resources below) 
  • Separate development sessions for each search committee so members can discuss how they will apply DEI strategies and an antiracist lens to their search  

NOTE: In the final session, faculty will have an opportunity to discuss best practices for welcoming and retaining new faculty and creating a healthy department/program climate. We will also review data from PeopleAdmin to better understand compositional diversity achieved at each phase of the process and discuss ways to further improve the search process. 

Zoom Recorded Presentations:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

PowerPoint Slides for Presentations:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

Meeting Session Agendas:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

Additional Resources:

Checklist for Position Description (Step 1)
Applicant Material Review Process (Step 2)
Affinity Bias Activity Sheet (Step 3)
Program & Tenure Track Searches Report AY 20-21

Questions Addressed in Each Program Step:

Step 1: DEI & the Position Description (July or August)

  • How do we define diversity, equity, and inclusion for the purposes of this training? 
  • What does compositional diversity look like among faculty nationally and at Colorado College? 
  • What is bias? 
  • What is the relationship between bias, categorizing, generalizing, & stereotyping? 
  • What does research tell us about bias and the search process?  
  • How do you attract a diverse candidate pool? 
  • How do you create a position description that encourages a diverse candidate pool? 

Step 2: Reviewing Applicants (Blocks 1 or 2)

  • What is an antiracist approach and how does it relate to DEI? 
  • How do you sustain DEI throughout the search process? 
  • What does your bias look like? 
  • What are the characteristics of everyone’s bias? 
  • How do you minimize bias when reviewing applicants? 
  • How do you review applicants equitably? 

Step 3: Interviewing Candidates (Blocks 3 or 4)

  • What kind of interview process is typically used at CC? 
  • What are effective interview questions? 
  • What are inappropriate interview questions? 
  • What are DEI challenges in the interview process? 
  • What is affinity bias? 
  • What is the purpose of candidate’s meeting with the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion, & Faculty Development? 
  • How should candidate interviews be evaluated? 

Step 4: Welcoming New Faculty & Retention, Reflecting on the Search Process & the Program (Blocks 6 or 7) 

  • What is workplace climate? 
  • What characteristics of an unhealthy department/program climate that inhibit faculty from thriving professionally? 
  • What characteristics of a healthy department/program that promote faculty success? 
  • How do you welcome new faculty? 
  • How do you retain faculty? 

NOTE: All faculty who participated in AY 20-21, please complete the survey on the effectiveness of this program, which can be accessed here.

 Resources for Faculty Search Process

Resources for Departments/Programs

General Resource

  • Stewart, A. J., & Valian, V. (2018). An inclusive academy: achieving diversity and excellence. The MIT Press. (This resource is available as an e-book from Tutt Library) 
Report an issue - Last updated: 05/18/2022