Guidance for faculty candidates
San Diego State has a deep commitment to equity and inclusion in everything we do and we hope that all who join our community will share those values. In particular, our University Policy File notes, “Because academic discourse is informed and enriched by diverse ideas, the university shall diversify its faculty to meet the academic need for various perspectives and experiences, to address our student demographics, and to prepare students for the world in which they will live and work”
To that end, we require that all newly-hired tenure-track faculty submit a separate Diversity Statement as part of their application materials and meet at least two of the eight Building on Inclusive Excellence criteria. The information below is intended to help faculty candidates prepare a statement that will be effective for San Diego State search committees.
Definition of Inclusive Excellence
The AAC&U provides the following definitions of the core concepts of inclusive excellence:
Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)
Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions
Equity: The creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion
Equity-Mindedness: "The term 'Equity-Mindedness' refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education." (Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California)
The Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) faculty hiring program strives to support the success of students from historically underrepresented communities and seeks out candidates who meet criteria aligned with SDSU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The BIE program applies to tenure and tenure-track faculty searches. For the purposes of the BIE program, underrepresented populations refer to the following groups: African-American, Latinx, Native American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander, groups of varying abilities, women in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or any other group that has been documented as underrepresented in the candidate’s academic discipline. The criteria do not require the candidate to identify as part of an underrepresented population. Instead the criteria are designed to assess the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to serving and/or addressing issues related to underrepresented populations.
BIE criteria, as stated in the University Policy File state:
- Is committed to engaging in service with underrepresented populations within the discipline
- Has demonstrated knowledge of barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline
- Has experience or has demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring underrepresented students
- Has experience or has demonstrated commitment to integrating understanding of underrepresented populations and communities into research
- Has experience in or has demonstrated commitment to extending knowledge of opportunities and challenges in achieving artistic/scholarly success to members of an underrepresented group
- Has experience in or has demonstrated commitment to research that engages underrepresented communities
- Has expertise or demonstrated commitment to developing expertise in cross-cultural communication and collaboration
- Has research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education
Examples of appropriate evidence for the BIE criteria
Common examples of activities, efforts and achievements that demonstrate appropriate evidence of the BIE criteria are provided in this document. Candidates should include appropriate evidence like these, and others, in their Diversity Statement. Candidates may also include these examples in other application materials, interviews, presentations and campus visits.
FAQ's for Faculty Applicants
As shown in the BIE Criteria and Evidence guide, BIE criteria can be addressed by articulating awareness of barriers, focusing on future plans and personal experience and educational background. However, please note that a demonstrated record of past effort is given greater weight than articulating awareness of barriers or stating future plans. Whenever possible, please provide a demonstrated record of past efforts and evidence of activities.
Some faculty candidates may not have substantial past activities. However, even while in graduate school, most candidates have many opportunities to get involved with activities that demonstrate their commitment to equity and inclusion. These might include membership in diversity-related organizations or committees (either at your institution or through your disciplinary professional organization); participation in inclusive teaching workshops or programs such as those offered by your institution’s teaching center or at professional conferences; adopting inclusive practices in your teaching if you are working as a teaching assistant or lecturer.
In the United States, specifically North American histories of colonization, slavery, and exclusion have created systemic, widespread inequities in the life opportunities enjoyed by members of different social groups. As a public-serving institution, SDSU is committed to addressing these inequities. Through the Building on Inclusive Excellence program, we seek to actively recruit faculty who have experience addressing inequities through their work as teachers, researchers / scholars / artists, members of a university community, and public servants. If you are an applicant for a faculty position at SDSU who does not have primary experience working with inequities in a United States context, you are invited to reflect on the systemic, widespread inequities that shape the lives of social groups in the places where you have studied and worked. You may respond to the Building on Inclusive Excellence criteria by sharing your experience in higher education settings working as a teacher, researcher / scholar / artist, a member of the university community, or public servant to address these inequities. While in the US, we often focus on race and ethnicity, your experience may center more around working to address widespread, systemic inequities that impact different social groups on the basis of their gender, regional / provincial culture or background, age, language, class, caste, citizenship / migration status, religion, disability, etc. Please share this experience with us. Whenever possible, provide a demonstrated record of past efforts and evidence of activities.
In addition, most candidates who attend graduate school in the United States have many opportunities to get involved with activities that demonstrate their commitment to equity and inclusion (see above).
For questions or assistance regarding the BIE program or the Diversity Statement requirement, please contact [email protected].