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Aligning Staff Recruitment Strategies with School-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategies

Strauss, Robert (2022) Aligning Staff Recruitment Strategies with School-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation in-practice analyzes the impact of reforming the staff hiring process and its potential to affect culture within the campus racial climate. The study uses the improvement science model, which is a methodological approach built on pragmatism and science that uses disciplined inquiry to solve problems of practice (Perry et al., 2020). Through an intervention focused on the staff hiring process and all of the components involved, this study analyzes the impact of redacting resumes and cover letters, requiring implicit bias training for search committees, and using clear criteria and characteristics to rate, rank, and interview candidates. The Hurtado (2008) campus racial climate framework is used to align the intervention with research and better understand the dimensions of a campus climate that must be addressed in order to encourage cultural change.

The three interventions all played a role in creating an equitable search process, and the data includes interviews with the search committee, surveys, and detailed documentation of the process. Throughout the interviews with the search committee, it was clear that the redacted resumes and cover letters helped the search committee members focus on the skills and experience in relation to the established characteristics that the committee was looking for, instead of allowing bias to enter the process. The establishment of clear criteria and characteristics helped to create a sense of familiarity among the committee for what skills and attributes they were actually looking for in the candidates from the beginning of the search to the end. Lastly, there was consensus that the implicit bias training helped limit bias for each member individually, as well as helping them better understand their own attitudes and stereotypes.

The search committee members voiced that the structure within the process helped create an equitable process for all and allowed each of them to experience a sense of consistency throughout the process. Although the process was effective, the study also includes future considerations to improve the process and ensure sustainability. A reformed staff hiring process is a step in the right direction when working to create culture change in higher education.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Strauss, Robertrjs131@pitt.edurjs1310000-0001-8845-2455
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGunzenhauser,
Committee MemberSchuster,
Committee MemberBrandon,
Date: 6 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 June 2022
Approval Date: 6 September 2022
Submission Date: 11 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 113
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: Equitable hiring, equity, diversity, inclusion, culture change, belonging, search committee, redaction, redacted, resumes, implicit bias training, competencies, characteristics, interviews, campus climate, Sylvia Hurtado, staff hiring, higher education, human resources.
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 14:17
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 14:17


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