Carnegie Mellon University

Guidelines for INcreasing DIverse CandidATes for OppoRtunities (INDICATOR)

January 2019

Objective: These guidelines, referred to as the INDICATOR Guidelines, are designed to increase the diversity of candidates considered for CMU opportunities.

Diversity may be defined in many ways, including, but not limited to, gender, race, LGBTQ identity and academic discipline, for example. The objective for many CMU faculty opportunities is to increase the participation of women and underrepresented faculty in levels that are at least proportional to their representation in the relevant population. In addition, when possible, these guidelines should encourage the inclusion of at least two women or members of an underrepresented group, rather than a singular “diversity representative.”

Application: The INDICATOR guidelines apply to the selection of names for a CMU-related event, activity, or opportunity that falls under the following or similar conditions:

  • A panel of speakers or discussion panel is formed for a prestigious event
  • A short list of potential speakers is delineated for the keynote at a prestigious event
  • A short list of nominations is put forward for an award or an endowed chair
  • A list of invited speakers is compiled for a featured seminar or colloquia series
  • A committee that has critical impact on the university (e.g., faculty search committee, RPT) is formed or its membership changes. This definition may exclude committees tasked with routine work, such as an exam committee

In addition to those listed above, there are several other areas of opportunity where faculty and academic leadership should pay close attention to compositional diversity. Some of these include:

  • Composition of large research teams;
  • Leadership opportunities; and
  • Developmental opportunities

Implementation: Whenever a committee or a CMU faculty or staff member creates a list of names for opportunities (such as those listed above), it is suggested that they examine their list of nominees and contributors, and consider the following questions and resources:

  • Is the list of candidates inclusive of diverse candidates (e.g. diverse by gender, race, academic discipline, or disability)
  • If the list of candidates is not diverse, what steps can be taken to attempt to achieve diversity?

If such steps are not clear, consider contacting the Vice Provost for Faculty (VPF) or diversity experts in your field for suggested strategies. Likewise, please share successful strategies that helped overcome obstacles encountered with others in your college, and with the VPF.

In some cases, we may achieve improved diversity simply by reminding organizers to think broadly about potential candidates or to systematically review lists of eligible individuals. In other cases, additional steps may be needed such as adding or increasing compensation, sending invitations out to sought-after candidates earlier, or making fundamental changes to a nomination or review process.

Some committees, such as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) Committee, have rolling membership. In such instances, diversity of membership should be considered each time a new appointment is made.

Oversight: Monitoring the level of diversity & inclusion at events that occur within a college will typically be handled by the deans and/or department heads. However, members of the CMU community who are concerned about activities, events, and opportunities for which there is insufficient diversity may report their concerns to the Vice Provost for Faculty, who will investigate the situation, speak with the organizer of the activity, and respond to the person who submitted the report. If it is found that the activity does not include representative diversity, the organizer will be expected to remedy the situation, or find that the activity may be delayed or cancelled. The VPF will handle inquiries confidentially. Inquiries and complaints can be filed via an INDICATOR hotline, 412-268-2272.

The VPF will analyze and compile relevant concerns and report them to the Provost, and other university leadership as needed. The VPF will also present a summary of the complaints that have been submitted on an annual basis to the deans.

Annual Reporting: To assess progress, colleges will be asked to include INDICATOR metrics in their Annual Report to the Provost. To facilitate appropriate record keeping, it is suggested that event organizers collect and store relevant information about each event, including successful strategies for increasing event diversity.