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A search committee should not use race or color as a decisive factor in evaluating candidates. While

departments should take affirmative steps to ensure they evaluate and strongly consider a diverse pool of

candidates, the best qualified person should always be selected. Candidates should not feel their race is a

factor, either positively or negatively, in the search committee’s evaluation. Questions or comments such

as the following should be avoided.

“Our department is actively trying to diversify its faculty.”

“Would you like to meet minority faculty in another department?”

Information about diversity, cultural centers, or minority related programs should be included in all

candidate packets.


Religion or religious beliefs cannot be a factor in evaluating candidates and neither should assumptions

about these beliefs. For example, search committees should not assume that because a male candidate

is Muslim he will have a difficult time working with women or that because a candidate is wearing a

religious symbol his or her beliefs will infuse his/her curriculum or affect his/her decision making.

Questions or comments about any religion or religious belief should be avoided when speaking with



The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified

individuals with disabilities, as well as persons who have a record of disability or are perceived as

disabled. It is of course not permissible to ask individuals if they have disabilities or about their

disabilities. When requesting interviews, search committees should ask candidates if they require an

accommodation to participate in the interview. It should also be made clear that the need for an

accommodation will not be a

factor in the candidate’s evaluation.

When providing directions to candidates it is important to include information about accessible entrances

and parking. If necessary, schedule interviews in a more accessible building.

Ethnicity/National Origin

Candidates should not be asked about their ethnicity or national origin and this information should not be

used as a factor in their evaluation. For example, search committees should not evaluate a person of

middle eastern decent differently given the current climate. Neither should they dismiss a candidate

because there are already a lot of faculty and/or staff members of similar ethnicity or national origin in the


Avoid the following lines of discussion with candidates:

“We certainly do have a lot of Australians, such as yourself, already in the department.”

“Where is your family originally from?”

“That is quite the Irish accent you have.”

“Mueller. Is that German?