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The following information was compiled to address challenges within the hiring process for Student Affairs, to better address racial and other inequities that affect hiring, promotion and retention of staff from underrepresented backgrounds. The Student Affairs Branch expects that members of its hiring committees represent the diversity found on MSU Denver’s campus. After reviewing the committee’s five charges listed on the menu to the left (or you can click here to download the full Equitable Hiring Practices Packet), your search committee is required to complete the three training and assessment videos on Canvas: Equitable Hiring Practices (11 min.), Implicit Bias in Searches (32 min.) and Professional Competency Areas and Evaluation (3 min).
With special thanks to the following employees for their tireless work on this project: Katia Campbell, Ally Garcia, Eric Silva, Bridgette Coble, Josh Gabrielson, Evelynn Guzman, Steve Willich, Amber Mozet, Chalane Lechuga, Adrienne Martinez, Jeremy VanHooser, Kate Bolos, Sophia Montano, Tanya Rogowsky, Araceli Cortez, Thomas Hernandez.
The work towards an equitable institution is to build a community where a person’s identities are valued and celebrated and systems of power, privilege, and oppression are disrupted and replaced with systems in which everyone belongs, participates, engages, and thrives. In action, this is achieved through the intentional shaping of beliefs, values, practices, and policies and the sharing of power. Pursuing equity means applying this knowledge and creating effective and sustainable counter measures.
MSU Denver assumes the ongoing responsibility to be informed about and respond to the realities that adversely impact our campus community’s experiences and outcomes. We do this by acknowledging and learning from current and historical systemic inequities and how we reinforce these inequities in our beliefs, values, practices, and policies. Pursuing equity means applying this knowledge and creating effective and sustainable counter measures.
The following statement should be included in all postings: Metropolitan State University of Denver is a unique, access-oriented campus community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are a designated Hispanic Serving Institution located in downtown Denver. Our student population consists of nearly 50% first-generation students and over 45% students of ethnic/racial minority backgrounds.
We create an equitable learning and working environment with individuals who consistently demonstrate commitment to equity and inclusion. We value the diverse identities and perspectives of our students, faculty, and staff and recognize that to achieve a just and equitable society, diversity must go beyond simple representation. It requires critical inquiry and dialogue and a commitment to action. We strive to provide a culture of belonging where all community members feel valued to achieve personal and professional success.
Based on the recommendations that HR provided that lean away from using many required or preferred qualifications, we developed a tool that we would like to see utilized to help determine a candidate’s commitment to equity and justice work. The columns are created based on the level of competency required for various roles and could be used to help hiring managers determine the skill-level needed based on the type of onboarding and training they can provide. Competencies were based on the ACPA and NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators handbook. The use of these competencies as required/preferred qualifications allows us to signal our institutional values and hold candidates accountable for meeting these standards once hired. We encourage supervisors to use these competencies as examples and modify them to meet the needs of the specific position while maintaining a similar level of expectation.
What to look for in an application:
Examples to look for when assessing a resume and cover letter:
Evaluation: As a Hiring Committee, we’d like you to discuss the following questions:
Develop a prompt and guidance around a potential supplemental question or required candidate diversity statement. Include question(s) on all job applications that ask about demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
Assessment (Points 1-3) (Exceptional, Good, Marginal, Poor)
(3) Demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of equity, inclusion and diversity concepts, and that they are broader than just race, ethnicity, and gender
(2) Demonstrates self-awareness, in terms of understanding their own culture, identity, biases, prejudices, power, privilege and stereotypes
(2) Demonstrates willingness to challenge and change institutional practices that present barriers to different groups
(2) Able to provide concrete examples and/or experiences in these areas
(1) Infuses equity, inclusion and diversity concepts in response to questions not directly prompting for them
(1) Uses inclusive language
(1) Shares successful experiences working with underrepresented populations
To best utilize these questions, we recommend that hiring committees spend time answering the questions as a group to identify how to differentiate between strong answers that demonstrate depth and experience and answers that simply utilize buzzwords. It is important for consistency that each candidate receive the same questions.
Write up case studies or scenarios related to equity and justice for candidates to respond to. Allow candidates time to read the case study and write their answers out to then present to the hiring committee. Support the introvert in not having to respond immediately on the spot, and allow for answers to demonstrate more depth of experience.
Hiring authorities could also invite candidates to bring samples or evidence of work that supports their involvement with social justice and equity (program reports, press coverage, etc.). This could also be discussed at some point in the interview. Instructions should be vague to allow for all types of representations (poem, keynote speech, etc.).
When assessing whether an applicant is open and committed to issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), a candidate should:
If interviewing for a management position:
Campus core competencies for inclusiveness:
Assessment Activity: Take some time to complete the following activity to help integrate what you have learned in this section.
Identify additional locations to post your positions that target under-represented campus populations. Information on areas to post can be found at the Equitable Hiring Group SharePoint site. Conversations with HR should help you determine what budget you may have to post on sponsored sites.