Academic Hiring

The Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, in cooperation with the Office of Academic Human Resources, monitors academic search and selection procedures in the academic hiring process. Specifically, the office monitors the following activities:

Recruitment Plan

The office looks for evidence of recruitment sources used to attract a highly qualified, diverse, and good-sized pool of candidates. Positions within the tenure system, unless limited to an internal search, are generally advertised nationally. Other continuing appointment system positions are generally advertised nationally or within an appropriate geographic area for the appointment. The recruitment plan should include sources that target diverse populations, with emphasis on attracting gender or racial/ethnic diversity.

The office can assist departments in identifying customized and low-cost recruitment resources.

The Faculty Search Toolkit offers guidance on conducting successful faculty searches that supplements, but does not replace, the MSU Academic Hiring Manual.

Additional Recruiting Resource

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is a national, nonprofit consortium working to advance equity and excellence in the higher education workforce. With 19 regions around the country, HERC serves over 700 higher education institutions, hospitals, labs, and affiliated employers; united by a shared commitment to cultivating a talented workforce as diverse as the people we serve. Michigan State University is the host and lead institution for the Michigan HERC, and as an MSU employee you can register for a free account on HERC’s online portal, HERConnect, to collaborate with peers at other member institutions across the state and country, and to access many great webinars and toolkits such as HERC’s Search Committee Training Toolkit and Virtual Recruitment Toolkit. Learn about HERC.

Here is a helpful video for navigating the site. Once you can access HERConnect, check out our page called Maximizing your Membership. If you have any questions about HERC; or requests for additional resources, webinar topics or MI-HERC member meeting topic suggestions; feel free to contact the Director of Michigan HERC, Maranda Holtsclaw, at Learn more about HERC’s resources

Unit-Level Hiring Pattern

The office looks for evidence of creative recruitment strategies that will attract a diverse applicant pool. Advertising a position only in traditional publications frequently results in creating only a traditional applicant pool. A position should be publicized in a manner that will bring it to the attention of women and minorities, and the search committee should actively seek to identify qualified applicants from these groups.

Applicant Pools

The office looks for evidence of a diverse pool of qualified applicants.

Final (On-Campus Interview) Pools

The office looks for evidence of a diverse interview pool. The unit should be prepared to provide a description of efforts made to increase the diversity of the applicant pool.

Note: The Academic Hiring Procedures state that search committees must not contact final candidates to set up interviews and must not send letters of rejection until the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion has approved the final candidate list.

Role of the Search Committee

Each search committee is expected to have a member (of any gender or race/ethnicity) designated to act as affirmative action advocate. This member, along with the search committee will evaluate the search on an ongoing basis, in terms of the goals and principles of affirmative action, equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and diversity. The advocate should bring deficiencies to the attention of the search committee (or as necessary to the attention of the chairperson) for corrective action.

Things to Avoid in the Search Process

  • Discriminatory bias, prejudice, or stereotyping in communications; including but not limited to committee discussions, written communications, and interview questions.
  • Inadequate/ineffective search strategies for identifying diverse qualified individuals and soliciting applications from such individuals
  • Inadequate representation of diversity among applicants or candidate pools
  • Discriminatory bias, prejudice or stereotyping in criteria for the evaluation of applicants’ materials and candidates’ interviews


Contact the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at 517-353-4563 or


Related Resources

Faculty Handbooks

Faculty Search Toolkit