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A Checklist for Equity in Appointments

What is Academic Freedom

The below list contains promising practices around equity in appointments drawn from collective agreements, policies, and guides. Associations should assess collective agreement language, policies, and practices at their own institutions against this list and strive to make gains.

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Before hiring:

  • A stated institutional commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) that is regularly communicated internally and externally, with an action plan and timelines that measure and address under-representation at all levels of the academy.
  • Intersectional and disaggregated equity data by unit, department and at the institution.
  • A Joint Committee on Employment Equity (JCEE) with association members that shares workforce equity data including that related to contract academic staff, sets targets, and monitors campus climate, hiring, promotions and departures.
  • Training for academic staff on JEDI agreed upon by JCEE. This training could be mutually agreed third party, through the Office of Human Rights/Equity or peer faculty like the American ADVANCE program’s Committees on Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE).
  • Targets set for diversity by unit, department, and institution and for all job types and levels.
  • JCEE agreed job advertisement language that demonstrates equity commitment and offers accommodations.
  • Proactive outreach undertaken to diverse academics, for example, through post-doc programs, visiting scholar program, networking online, at conferences and through discipline-specific associations.
  • Collective agreement language with commitment to diversity targets in hiring and promotion, a broad definition of scholarly activity for teaching, research and service, and stronger equity language.
  • A commitment to cluster hiring and a mentorship program to increase likelihood of retention.
  • Diversity on search committees and a regular rotation. If the exact same team is sent to scout for talent, the same kind of candidates are likely to be invited back, year after year. To be sure, expertise, seniority, availability, and service load (including hitting up the same underrepresented academic staff repeatedly) can limit options. A pattern that too readily assumes that certain academic staff must (or must not) serve on a search committee should be avoided.
  • A commitment to recognize the time, effort, and emotional labour of underrepresented academic staff in service work and credit this work with resources and recognition.

During Selection Process:

  • Hiring Committee agrees on the structure, form, and modes of evaluation.
  • Hiring Committee agrees specifically on job criteria related to teaching, research, and service excellence, avoiding vague notions of fit, and creates a grid system for review of applications.
  • Evaluation criteria included with the job posting.
  • Advertisements distributed in non-traditional mediums, with professional societies and affinity groups on campus and in the community to spread the word about the opportunity.
  • Proactive outreach undertaken to diverse academics and networks about the opportunity.
  • Opportunities are arranged for diverse candidates to speak to diverse academic staff about the work culture and environment.
  • Training for hiring/search committees through a peer faculty program such as STRIDE, the Office of Human Rights or Equity or an agreed third-party.
  • If the short-list for interviews does not include a self-identified member of a designated group, reasons must be provided to JCEE in writing together with the dossiers of all self-identified members of designated groups who are candidates for the position. The JCEE would review the hiring committee assessment of candidates and the evaluation criteria and advise hiring committee on next steps.

After Selection:

  • The association should meet with preferred candidate in advance of signing a letter of offer.
  • The association should receive the signed letter of offer to assist in ensuring pay equity.
  • A mentorship should be set-up for the new hires.
  • The mentor(s) and the association should assist with tenure and promotion applications.
  • The association should assist in the creation or support for identity-based groups on campus to minimize isolation.
  • Both the association and senior administration should evaluate the regular updates they receive from the JCEE on recruitment and retention.
  • If a unit or department are failing to meet diversity goals, the JCEE must assist more directly in recruitment and promotion processes.

Pre-tenure or promotion:

  • The association should hold tenure workshops and arrange to have a one-on-one with candidate for support and guidance.
  • Ensure student opinion surveys on teaching are included only at the request of the candidate.
  • Commit to diverse peer review committees and training on JEDI. Include community members, such as Elders, when appropriate.
  • Review evaluation criteria by considering bias in performance metrics, research assessment and recognition of service or teaching.
  • Make candidates aware of grievance process and procedures.