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Race and Hiring: Examining Implicit Biases of Search Committees and their Influence on Hiring Racially Minoritized Staff at a Predominantly White Institution

Koleny, Mary Anne S. (2022) Race and Hiring: Examining Implicit Biases of Search Committees and their Influence on Hiring Racially Minoritized Staff at a Predominantly White Institution. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Lack of racially minoritized staff is a complex problem, requiring the examination of implicit biases of search committees to better inform and improve institutional hiring practices. Implicit bias describes the attitudes and prejudice we have towards other people, along with the associated stereotypes, without our conscious knowledge, and usually in a way considered to be unfair (EverFi, 2021). After examining this problem at Western Penn University (WPU), a pseudonym for the University, and its organizational system, in the context of a predominantly White institution, the primary drivers of this problem include demographics, campus climate, and methods and processes. Assessing the racial diversity problem at WPU provides insights regarding how attitudes and beliefs influence racial diversity hiring practices on a predominantly White campus.
The focus of this dissertation was to implement a training intervention for search committees to better inform their selection and hiring decisions. This problem recognizes the impact beyond the human resources function and considers the effect on WPU’s future growth and sustainability. Hiring managers, including administrators, are full-time and regular part-time staff employed on campus. Employee groups outside the scope of the problem examined include faculty, part-time coaches, contract workers, student workers and temporary employees.
The problem of racial diversity in higher education can be effectively addressed by implementing change ideas, such as training for search committees. The intervention primarily addressed attitudes and beliefs, by intentionally training search committee members in recognizing and managing their implicit biases, to improve racial diversity of staff at WPU, through their selection and hiring decisions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Koleny, Mary Anne S.msk59@pitt.edumsk590000-0003-0893-9445
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorSchuster, Maximilianschustermt@pitt.eduschustermt
Committee ChairPerry, Jilljperry@pitt.edujperry
Committee ChairPickett, Clydecwp19@pitt.educwp19
Date: 31 August 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 June 2022
Approval Date: 31 August 2022
Submission Date: 2 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 112
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Implicit bias, managing biases, mixed methods, racially minoritized, training intervention
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 17:49
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 17:49


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