Information for Diversity Search Advisors

Information to provide guidance regarding your responsibilities, compliance procedures, search and selection processes for faculty can be found on the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty website.

As Diversity Search Advisors, you play an important role in monitoring compliance with and disseminating information about Penn's affirmative action policies and procedures. Together, we can help ensure that search, selection and other employment activities fulfill the letter and spirit of the University's commitment to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. 

Diversity Search Advisor Responsibilities

In each of the University's twelve Schools, one or more Faculty Affirmative Action Officer is selected by the Dean to monitor equal opportunity compliance in the faculty appointment and promotion process within the School. These officers are tenured or senior clinician-educator faculty member(s) who hold no administrative position.

Each fall the Dean will forward the name(s) of the School's Diversity Search Advisor(s) to the Associate Provost and the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs by September 15. The Faculty Affirmative Action Officer(s) may be given released time from some other duties in order to serve in this capacity.

The Diversity Search Advisor's responsibilities include:

  • Providing affirmative action/equal opportunity information to Department Chairs, the Chairs of search committees, and individual faculty members;
  • Consulting at a very early stage in the process with search committees and Department Chairs on affirmative action/equal opportunity policies, the placement and wording of advertisements, the wording of letters soliciting candidates and requesting evaluations, and special efforts to contact women's and minority organizations;
  • Reviewing all faculty equal opportunity compliance forms for the School;
  • Periodically reviewing availability data with the Deans and Department Chairs.

In the faculty appointment and promotion process, substantive decisions on academic merit and staffing needs are the responsibility of the faculty of the appointing Department, the School personnel committee, the Deans and the Provost. If the affirmative action officer perceives a problem with the procedures proposed for a faculty search or in reviewing the equal opportunity compliance form and accompanying documentation, the officer should first attempt to address these issues with the participating faculty members. If, after consulting with the participating faculty members, the affirmative action officer continues to believe that an issue exists, the affirmative action officer shall notify the Department Chair or the Dean immediately. If the problem is not resolved readily by the provision of further documentation or explanations on the part of the Department Chair, the Dean should mediate and assist in the matter and the problem should be brought to the attention of the Associate Provost