Recruiting Excellent & Diverse Faculty

Diversity Search Advisors

Penn is committed to recruiting, hiring, and supporting an excellent and diverse faculty. We encourage search committees to use the resources below. Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty with questions and for additional resources.

Diversity Search Advisors (“DSAs”) are charged with ensuring that faculty search processes are broad, inclusive, and designed to bring outstanding professors to Penn. In directly shaping the professoriate for years to come, DSA service is vital to Penn’s mission.

The DSA is expected to:

  • assist with the formation of the search committee;
  • serve on the search committee or task a designee to do so;
  • assess the needs and requirements of the position;
  • evaluate the pool of potential candidates for the position;
  • assess the diversity of applicants and finalists, considering gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and disability status; and
  • certify that a search was conducted in accordance with federal law and University policy.

The Recruitment Process

  • 1


    Forming a Search Committee

    Wherever possible, search committees should have members from groups underrepresented on the Penn faculty, proponents of diversity, and individuals with clinical and research interests compatible with those sought through the search.

  • 2

    The Position

    Developing the Position Description

    The DSA should approve the position description for breadth and clear notice of position qualifications, as well as inclusion of diversity-related qualifications, including cultural competency, working with diverse populations, mentorship of diverse students, and research interests compatible with work of others in the school.

  • 3


    Posting the Position Announcement

    Faculty Positions published in Interfolio Faculty Search are automatically posted to Penn’s Faculty Job Board. The University provides support for posting positions at several other outlets. Departments should also post descriptions on job boards, listservs, conferences, and other forms of outreach specific to the field and sub-fields, including outlets targeted to underrepresented groups.

  • 4


    Encouraging Excellent Diverse Applicants

    Personalized outreach and connections are essential in reaching and encouraging applications from excellent diverse faculty candidates, including those who are members of underrepresented groups. Schools and departments should proactively identify and follow outstanding potential diverse faculty hires who can present opportunities for future appointments.

  • 5


    Evaluating and Selecting Candidates

    The DSA should review and approve the short list of candidates before a finalist(s) is selected. If this initial list is not representative of the pool of applicants, the committee should consider whether qualified underrepresented candidates have been overlooked and whether further outreach should be conducted to expand the pool. All candidates should be evaluated in the same manner and using the same criteria. Search committees are encouraged to read applicants’ work and not be swayed by subjective and irrelevant criteria.

  • 6


    Recruiting the Finalist and Assisting with the Transition

    The committee should stay in touch with other candidates while offers are outstanding. The committee should also promote an open and inclusive environment during recruitment. During recruitment and transition processes, the committee should also work with the candidate to address individual needs and concerns (e.g., caregiving, K12 schooling, dual career ).

Addressing Bias in Recruitment and Hiring

Training & Resources

Since 2017, the University has required latent bias training for faculty members involved in searches.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty offers a new asynchronous course through Workday Learning, as well as in-person bias training workshops. The asynchronous course and in-person workshops are open to all interested faculty members, specifically faculty search committee members and new Diversity Search Advisors. Read more about bias training for faculty here.

Schools and Departments may also be interested in additional trainings. For more information, contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty:

DSA Guidelines
Faculty Search Report Form
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Compliance
Faculty Inclusion Report
Best practices for Faculty Hiring from Perception Institute
Affirmative Action Guidelines
Review of Research on Faculty Life and Latent Bias
Sample candidate evaluation template
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Penn Funding for Recruitment and Retention

The University offers two programs to support recruitment and retention of Penn faculty: the Faculty Opportunity Fund and the Dual Career Fund. Department chairs are encouraged to reach out to their deans and Vice Provost for Faculty to discuss these opportunities.

Faculty Opportunity Fund: Financial support to Departments for faculty recruitments that contribute to the excellence and diversity of Penn’s faculty
Dual Career Fund: Financial support to Departments for partners of faculty hires