Implementing an anonymized and scaffolded search at a primarily undergraduate institution

11 July 2022, Version 3
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


In 2021, the JMU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry conducted a search for tenure track and renewable term appointment faculty. The search was anonymized and scaffolded to attract a diverse and highly qualified candidate pool and minimize bias during the hiring process. The department attracted a broad pool through national and targeted advertising. Candidates submitted a cover letter and curriculum vita which were redacted and reviewed using a rubric. Candidates who addressed the criteria in the job advertisement were invited to submit anonymized teaching and diversity statements (all candidates) and research statements (tenure track candidates) which were also reviewed using a rubric. Candidates who scored highly were invited to participate in a masked phone interview, and the top applicants were brought to campus for on site interviews. This process produced a candidate pool that became more diverse as the search continued. In this paper we describe the philosophy of the search process, describe how it was implemented, and provide recommendations for programs that wish to employ a similar process.


broadening participation
academic searches
professional development
marginalized populations

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