Recruiting Faculty

In 1993 the faculty responded to student and faculty concerns about the need for greater diversity in the College's curriculum, admissions, and hiring, by passing a resolution that called for increased ethnic diversity among the faculty that "would enable Pomona College to pursue its educational mission more effectively." The faculty reaffirmed this resolution in 2004 and rededicated itself to promoting excellence and diversity through the College search process.


In a world in which peoples and nations with sharply different ideals and experiences are increasingly coming into contact with one another, we believe that our intellectual leaders must be as diverse as the students they will be teaching and the larger society they represent. It is striking that the southern California region in which Pomona College is located is becoming one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the United States, as the United States continues to draw immigrants from all over the world. At Pomona College our educational mission is to foster leaders by developing their power to analyze conditions and creatively imagine new ones. Our success depends upon admitting a diverse student body and hiring a diverse faculty since only through a "robust exchange of ideas," as Justice Lewis F. Powell wrote, generated out of a variety of backgrounds and experiences and types of knowledge, can we create an atmosphere that is "most conducive to speculation, experiment and creation." Central to the education our students enjoy at our residential college is the face-to-face interaction with faculty members who, because they may come from different cultural, economic, and racial backgrounds, might challenge their unexamined notions of how the world operates. This is an educational benefit that serves our entire academic community and will help prepare all of our students to develop informed, constructive, leadership roles in the world.

The College seeks to promote faculty diversity and equal opportunity by making every effort to provide a scholarly and educational environment that is welcoming, challenging, and supportive of all participants, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or political perspective. Although we do not believe that race and gender are the only important differences our faculty should embody -- indeed, there are many kinds of differences that we feel are crucial to have represented in our community even as these differences change over time -- yet we continue to believe that race and gender are of special importance, and we will continue to make efforts to recruit from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups that have experienced prejudice and discrimination.

The College should employ a variety of strategies to recruit and retain a diverse faculty. We recognize that not all disciplines are the same and that each search has its own possibilities, constraints, and applicant pool. Not all approaches or strategies will work equally well in all searches. Sensitivity to the problems in each discipline requires a flexible conceptualization of diversity. But we believe that we must also be intentional from the beginning of every search about our commitment to finding as diverse an applicant pool as possible and that our campus-wide goal is to hire a diverse faculty body. Finally, the hiring process cannot be the College's only initiative in attempting to diversify the faculty. Careful efforts to mentor all faculty, including women of all backgrounds and faculty of color, especially as junior faculty, by department chairs, program coordinators, and by the Dean of the College will be necessary to ensure their academic success.

Recruiting and Hiring

Composing the Search Committee

The Dean, Diversity Committee, and Diversity Officer will meet together with all department chairs who have authorized searches for the coming year to emphasize the College's diversity plan and to strategies ways in which the most diverse candidate pool can be developed: these might include identifying and contacting two or three distinguished faculty in their field(s) to advise them in an ongoing way about how to achieve an excellent diverse candidate pool; or, if a department lacks such expertise on their own faculty, they might consider asking a colleague from outside the department or someone from the Diversity Committee to help in outreach efforts.

The Diversity Officer will also meet with each search committee to share annual figures of faculty and color and women faculty members at the College and to discuss the specific plans departments and programs have for creating a diverse candidate pool.

Search committees should create plans that describe the availability of women and faculty of color in the field, the methods of recruitment and advertising, and the objective, non-discriminatory criteria to be used in selecting candidates.

Developing the Position Announcement and Advertising

Every effort should be made to ensure that the job advertisement reflects the needs of the College and the Department, and that it is drafted as broadly as possible to attract the largest available pool of potential qualified applicants. Job advertisements and a department's strategy to recruit a diverse pool of applicants must be approved by the Dean and Diversity Officer.

In addition to the required notice that the College is an equal opportunity employer, job announcements should contain additional language reflecting the department's interest in attracting applicants whose teaching, research, or service activities can contribute to the academic diversity of the campus. For instance, a department can say: "The department is particularly interested in candidates who have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated commitment to improving access and success to higher education for underrepresented students. Candidates should describe previous activities mentoring women, students of color, students with disabilities, or other underrepresented groups."

Searches should be broadly advertised beyond simply a department's main professional association. This should include all available avenues for publicizing the position, including national publications, personal contacts, listserves, mailing lists, professional and academic conferences, and web sites. As search committee members write letters or make phone calls to their colleagues to ask about promising candidates, they can specifically inquire about promising women and candidates of color.

Funds will be available for those who wish to attend conferences or meetings attended primarily by women and minorities in the field.

Monitoring the Selection Process

The Office of Human Resources at Pomona College will collect diversity data from candidates and tabulate results. The Dean of the College and Diversity Officer will review the applicant pool prior to campus visits in order to determine if women and applicants of color are appropriately represented in the pool at about the rate of their estimated availability in the field. Departments will be expected to review whether recruitment and outreach procedures were sufficiently broad, and if not, the department will need to consider reopening the search with expanded recruitment efforts.

The Dean and the Diversity Officer will review the longer short list to ensure that objective, non-discriminatory selection criteria were properly and consistently applied in the review of the candidates, and that those criteria were consistent with the documented academic needs of the department. If selection problems are identified, a search committee can either reopen the search to conduct additional outreach or revisit the pool of all qualified candidates and create a new list according to appropriate selection criteria. Search Committees should prepare a written report that describes the reason(s) for both including and rejecting candidates from the short list of those selected for campus interviews. The Dean and the Diversity Officer will review those documents and will examine committee selections to ensure that they meet the selection criteria listed in the position announcement.

Target of Opportunity Hires

The Pomona College faculty have two ways of recommending new and replacement tenure-track positions at the College. The first and most common is to request authorization for a national search open to all qualified applicants. A department or program initiates this process by applying to the Faculty Position Advisory Committee, whose procedures and guidelines are found in this Handbook. An alternative way to request authorization is through the uncommon vehicle of a Target of Opportunity (TOP) hire. A TOP exists when we find – either on our own campus or at another institution – a person of such outstanding quality that an appointment will bring the College distinction in the areas of teaching and scholarship, and the possibility of service to the college and community, including the mentoring and advising of a diverse student body. The College sees the hiring of this particular person as being in its strategic interest, and it has come to the view that a national search would impede this hire. A TOP is initiated by a department or program. The proposal must go to the FPAC (with a copy to the Diversity Officer), which judges the merits of adding the position, and then to the Faculty Personnel Committee, which judges the merits of this particular candidate for the position. These two recommendations then go to the Dean and the President, who choose whether or not to authorize the appointment, based in part on available funding.

Monitoring and Reporting

The College's Office of Institutional Research monitors the numbers of women of all backgrounds and faculty of color that the College employs in tenure-track and rolling contracts and disseminates this information to internal and external audiences.