Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

12.11 Affirmative Action Policy Statement for Faculty Hiring


The Affirmative Action Policy Statement for Faculty hiring at Macalester College (henceforth, the Affirmative Action Policy or the Policy) sets out the principles, policies and procedures that support the diversification of faculty with respect to US racial minorities and women. The Affirmative Action Policy is a part of the larger efforts to promote multiculturalism as described in the College Mission Statement, and is therefore complementary to Affirmative Action Policies administered by the Office of Employment Services, diversity policies employed in College Admissions, and supporting statements of principles by the Board of Trustees and the President acting on its behalf.

This document reflects the contributions and the assessments of the President, Provost, Faculty Advisory Council, Allocations Committee, the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Campus Community, and is proposed to the voting faculty of Macalester College for ratification. The policies and guidelines described within are congruent with similar policies developed for the Macalester College Staff Affirmative Action Plan and with guidelines suggested in the American Association of University Professors Policy Documents and Reports for 1995. Modifications to the elements of the Policy will proceed through the Faculty governance structure.


Macalester College considers a diverse faculty a matter of strategic importance for several reasons. The mission statement for the College explicitly states its commitment to diversity, not only in the makeup of its student body, but also in curriculum, intellectual inquiry outside of the classroom, and in the quality of work and life across the campus. A diverse faculty supports these elements of the mission statement. The variety of perspectives that flow across a diverse campus contributes to an intellectually exciting atmosphere. This encourages the transformation of students into active learners which is at the heart of a liberal arts education. The interest in diversity also stems from the College’s concern for social justice; we recognize the lengthy history of discrimination and restricted opportunity that has only begun to erode in recent years. By making the commitment to diversity, the College plays its part in reversing the impact of that history, and thereby provides new hope to succeeding generations of scholars.

In order to establish and maintain a diverse faculty, the College has established affirmative action policies and procedures for US racial minorities and women. Implementation of these policies and procedures advances the College’s ability to recruit, employ and promote persons in these groups at all levels, particularly where they are underrepresented. The value of diversity will be an integral element in the evaluation of all applicants. Through its Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policies, the College institutionalizes an ongoing critical assessment of standards and practices and ensures the institution’s access to the skills and vitality of the entire population, as well as ensuring the general population’s access to employment at Macalester.


Affirmative Action: Policies that include, but are not limited to, the following elements:

  1. performing an analysis of the Faculty to determine whether females or US racial minorities are underrepresented relative to the number of Ph.D.s available in given fields;
  2. scrutinizing employment practices, procedures, or conditions which have resulted in under-representation;
  3. increasing visibility of faculty positions to potential female and US minority applicants through recruitment, advertising and networking with appropriate female and minority professional associations, community organizations, or publications;
  4. establishing formal policies and procedures to guide academic departments/program in carrying out their responsibilities in hiring, retaining and advancement that uphold the principles of non-discrimination and that are uniformly applied to all applicants and faculty;
  5. assessing and evaluating the success of the College’s efforts by means of regular reports to the Faculty and the Macalester Community at large.

Equal Opportunity: Administering programs and treating all persons without regard to age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, except where such a distinction is required by law or proved to be a bona fide occupational qualification. This shall not exclude from consideration the value of an individual’s ability to enhance service to the College and performance of their job responsibilities as a result of his/her diverse background.

Minority: The term minority for our purposes refers to “deep American minorities” which generally includes US citizens who identify themselves as belonging to one or several of the following population groups as defined by Federal agencies:

  • African American (Black–Not of Hispanic Origin) A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • Asian or Pacific Islander- A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent or the Pacific Islands.
  • Latino/a (Hispanic)–A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Caribbean, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
  • Native American (American Indian or Alaskan Native)–A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.


  • Board of Trustees and the President: As the ultimate institutional authority for the College, the Board of Trustees has charged the President with the responsibility and authority to ensure that there is a significant presence of women and minority persons in the faculty, student body, and staff. The President is responsible for supporting all affirmative action policies and procedures by allocating appropriate resources to implement efforts, and by directing members of senior staff to develop and appraise affirmative action efforts for the divisions under their supervision. The President will review affirmative action efforts and report any significant problems or achievements to the Board.
  • Provost: As the chief academic officer of the College, the Provost is responsible for implementing the Faculty Affirmative Action Policy. To facilitate that work, the Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Council, appoints a Faculty Affirmative Action Officer who is or will become trained for this position. As a member of the Allocations Committee, the Provost makes sure that multi-cultural goals are considered when determining which departments should be allotted positions. The Provost works with the Curriculum Committee to ascertain how those positions shall be described in advertising. Before authorizing candidate visits to campus, the Provost requires an Affirmative Action report from each search committee, showing what steps they have taken regarding the hiring guidelines contained in the Affirmative Action Policy. The Provost will consult with the Affirmative Action Officer regarding the report and will respond to the department/program in a timely fashion. The Provost has the authority to delay, defer or suspend the search if it has not adequately followed Faculty policies and procedures. At the end of each hiring season, the Provost will report to the Allocations Committee the extent to which Affirmative Action procedures have been effective, and will outline objectives for the following year.
  • Faculty Affirmative Action Officer: The Faculty Affirmative Action Officer should have had faculty experience. This means that the Officer could be a current faculty member or a staff member who has had previous faculty experience. The Officer will prepare and disseminate statistics on the availability of potential minority and female candidates in various academic disciplines. The Officer will develop, in consultation with the Provost, guidelines to be used by search committees. The Officer will consult with all search committees to facilitate their work, and will review the Affirmative Action reports required by the Provost. The Officer will advise the Provost on all matters touching Affirmative Action policies and procedures.
  • Chairs of Search Committees: Chairs are responsible for managing the operations of their respective committees so as to effect the Policy. In considering new hires, departments/programs should place no more disciplinary limitations on applicants than are academically necessary and should consider the potential contributions of a new member of the department to interdisciplinary programs that support multiculturalism. The Faculty Affirmative Action Officer should consult with Chairs about the availability of US minorities and women applicants and enlist the Officer’s participation where appropriate. Each search committee must submit an Affirmative Action Report to the Provost, including: the recent hiring history of the department with regard to diversity, efforts made to recruit and publicize the position to historically underrepresented groups; an analysis of the applicant pool showing numbers of applicants from those groups and relating them to the makeup of the national pool; brief appraisals of top applicants from those groups whether or not they are recommended for campus interviews.


  • General principles
    1. Appointments should be made on the basis of individual merit. Careful consideration should be given to the criteria traditionally used for merit to be certain that they serve to further academic excellence. The need for an institution to justify a criterion as appropriate rises in direct proportion to its exclusionary effect.
    2. Application dossiers and other personnel records shall require the same information from all applicants. Screening procedures, such as interviews, shall be uniformly applied to all applicants.
    3. All identified applicants for a position will be requested to complete a voluntary pre-employment questionnaire identifying their gender and racial/ethnic background. This information will be made available to the Provost and the Faculty Affirmative Action Officer and later to the appropriate search committees after they have narrowed the pool to the final ten candidates.
  • The Search Process
    1. The search for a new hire shall proceed as described in Section I.2.a of the Faculty Handbook. Of particular interest are the following clauses: (1) “…departments should provide a written rationale for how their description has been crafted in a manner most likely to attract women and minority candidates.” Generally, this means that the description should be crafted to be as broad as possible without compromising the curricular needs of the department/program. (2) departments should also indicate “…how the new hire will best meet the needs of the College-wide curriculum, especially in terms of the College’s commitments to academic excellence, multiculturalism, internationalism, and service.”
    2. In consultation with the Affirmative Action Officer and appropriate resources in the discipline, search committees will develop a list of advertising sources and contacts to recruit and publicize the position most effectively for women and minority applicants. Such advertising sources can include professional publications, newsletters of minority and women’s groups, publications of minority and women’s caucuses or professional organizations, and electronic versions of the same. Contacts include colleagues serving in graduate programs serving the discipline, staff and faculty at other institutions concerned with the recruitment of minorities and women, alumni and former members of the department, and appropriate women and minority groups on campus. Most of the responsibility for this process will lie with the Chair of the Search Committee. Because this is a laborious process, the Provost should, where deemed necessary, recognize this additional effort through a course release or in other appropriate ways (eg. relief from other committee duties or extra compensation in the form of some summer support for work done furthering this effort).
    3. The department/program in consultation with the Provost and Faculty Affirmative Action Officer should decide on the Chair of the Search Committee.
    4. A pool of money may be available for Search Chairs and/or the Faculty Affirmative Action Officer to attend meetings in which minority candidates might likely be found.
    5. All notices, advertisements, and publications specifying a new hire must contain notices that Macalester is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The search committee should make every effort to advise those it contacts of the College’s non-discrimination and affirmative action policies.
    6. The fact that the pool of US minority persons and women candidates for a particular vacancy is small or difficult to ascertain requires additional efforts to recruit such candidates and to make other efforts described in point 2 above.
    7. Search committees should make every effort to include women and US minority persons among the applicants considered for campus interview. Before receiving authorization to invite finalists to the campus for interviews, search committees must submit an Affirmative Action Report to the Provost which includes: the recent hiring history of the department with regard to diversity, efforts made to recruit and publicize the position to historically underrepresented groups; an analysis of the applicant pool showing numbers of applicants from those groups and relating them to the makeup of the national pool; brief appraisals of top applicants from those groups whether or not they are recommended for campus interviews.
    8. On occasion, a department/program may identify a scholar of great promise that can also enhance faculty diversity and may petition the Provost to perform a “hire that does not require a national search.” In that case, the Provost, Allocations Committee and Curriculum Committee examine the rationale put forward by the department/program and follow the established procedures (Section 9 of the Faculty Handbook; to be inserted) for pursuing the candidacy.
  • Professional Advancement
    1. Criteria for reappointment, promotion, or tenure should be made clear to the candidate at the time of appointment. Departments should not introduce sexual or racial qualifications for reappointment, promotion, or the granting of tenure. Nevertheless, the interest of diversifying faculty is a legitimate factor in the appointment and promotion process.
  • Monitoring
    1. The Provost will present the annual Faculty Affirmative Action Report to the Faculty, President’s Senior Staff, the student body and the Board of Trustees at appropriate times in mid-Spring. The Report will be prepared by the Affirmative Action Officer in consultation with the Allocations Committee, academic departments/programs and the Provost. The Report should contain a summary of the Affirmative Action documents submitted by search committees, a summary of hiring actions taken, and an assessment of performance.
    2. The Affirmative Action Officer will work with departments/programs to provide training on the tenets and execution of the Faculty Affirmative Action Policy. Faculty will be provided opportunities to learn how to be aware of and responsive to individual differences which may be based on age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation among other factors, in the interest of promoting equitable treatment in a multicultural environment.