Issuing the Charge to the Search Committee

The hiring official should meet with the search committee to issue a specific charge to increase the diversity of the department or unit. This provides an explicit reference point for search committee members to see the important role they play in this process and connect the commitment of inclusive excellence to the unit/department programmatic needs (see Appendix II, Section A).

The charge should include at minimum the following:

  • Statement from the hiring official of the value they place on diversity and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the functioning of the unit; and their expectations that inclusive excellence will be demonstrated in all aspects of the search and hiring process; and a clear description of the role of the committee in the search process
  • Expectation that the committee will develop and implement a plan for reaching qualified applicants who are underrepresented, and for achieving a deep and diverse applicant pool.
  • Timeline for the search, including the launch and date when applications will be reviewed.
  • Expectations for their participation in developing the interview schedule and participating in the interviews and soliciting feedback from others; especially expectations for feedback to the hiring official from the search committee.
  • Importance of recognizing and addressing bias throughout the process.

It is a best practice for the hiring manager/official to document the charge in writing, the documentation of which is given to each member of the search committee so that they can refer to it, as necessary. For searches where UNL Human Resources indicate that a search committee may not be convened, assuring the above expectations are the responsibility of the hiring official and those directing the search. An example of a charge letter is included in Appendix II, Section C.