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Hiring & Retention Working Group

Introduction

Dartmouth strives to hire exceptional employees and to create a work environment that is welcoming as well as supportive. Fundamental to its hiring practices is the effort to achieve a diverse and inclusive campus; the Dartmouth community should reflect the heterogeneity and complexity of the nation and world in which its students will live and work.

The Working Group has met regularly since May. These meetings have included two open sessions, each of which was attended by approximately 40 to 50 people, to get feedback from the broader college community. Michelle Meyers, the acting director of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity (“IDE”), and Traci Nordberg, the Chief Human Resources Officer and head of the Office of Human Resources (“HR”), each met with the committee twice. The Working Group also examined comparative information from approximately twenty campuses, gathered largely through the efforts of Jessica Friedman in HR operations, and conducted a phone interview with Cornell’s head of HR as well as the head of their Office of Workforce Diversity, Equity and Life Quality. (Cornell was identified as a school that appears to have made significant strides toward some of the goals that Dartmouth seeks to achieve.) [see note #2]

Our focus has largely been on searches for non-faculty, exempt positions, though some portions of our recommendations will also apply to non-exempt positions. Faculty searches remain under the purview of the respective deans.

The following issues came to the fore early in the committee’s deliberations; these were the focus of subsequent meetings and have guided the directions of the report:

(1) Many managers and search committee participants see the hiring process as overly complex and slow. Many have commented on slow responses from HR, IDE, and the Budget Committee at stages of the search process when permission is needed to proceed.

(2) Those involved with searches feel inadequately supported, both in terms of receiving basic information (about search protocols, the use of search firms, etc.) and in developing a pool.

(3) While Dartmouth states that we are trying to develop a more diverse work force, participants in the search process do not always fully incorporate the goals of diversity in the search process, and many of those who attempt to focus on diversity issues feel insufficiently supported in their efforts to identify a diverse applicant pool.

(4) Due diligence in checking references and other qualifications is not carried out consistently.

This Working Group also examined the issue of staff retention in detail. The majority of our remarks on retention, however, are not presented here but instead are incorporated in a separate report prepared jointly by this Working Group and the Communication and Culture Working Group chaired by Sheila Culbert. Both Working Groups found that the chief issues concerning retention centered on workplace matters, and therefore determined that they were best addressed in a separate focused report. One retention and community issue this report does address is Dartmouth’s grievance procedures because, like hiring procedures, they are entwined with the structural roles of HR and IDE.

We note at the outset that we are making a number of recommendations regarding both HR and IDE. Because these recommendations involve implementing changes in both organizations, we also recommend the creation of a time-limited advisory committee to work with HR and IDE in carrying out the changes.

Implementing several of the recommendations would place additional responsibilities within HR and thus would require additional staffing. While alternative locations were considered for some of these functions, the Working Group concluded that the College would be best served by placing these functions within the HR office and working to ensure that HR has the necessary resources to carry out these tasks.

< Report Contents | Back to Main | Search and Recruitment Process >

(2) Throughout the report, use of the term IDE refers to the entire office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. In referring to functions that relate specifically to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action only, this report uses the abbreviation IDE/EO-AA.

Last updated: 01/31/07