JoAnn Moody, director of the Northeast Consortium for Faculty Diversity, spoke about hiring practices to faculty and staff at a series of forums earlier this month.
Moody addressed the mistakes that can be made when interviewing potential candidates for faculty and staff positions.
She stressed that at a university such as La Verne - with its ethnically diverse student body - the faculty should mirror that diversity.
Unfortunately, she said, those charged with hiring tend to stay within their comfort zones and employ the same personality type, race or gender, Moody said.
“This does not work because it does not leave room for diversity or different personalities,” she said.
Increasing diversity in faculty hiring at the University is the goal of the Campus Diversity Initiative and ULV’s Mosaic Cultural Institute.
Moody, a consultant to various universities throughout the United States, who has a doctorate in English, has written extensively on the topic.
At the forums, held Sept. 13 and 14 in the President’s Dining Room, Moody laid out the issues and also distributed handouts with excerpts from her book on diversity in hiring.
Many of the issues she addressed seemed to be based on “common sense errors” – such as negative stereotyping and first impressions, said University President Steve Morgan. “(But) the reality is that it’s always possible to do these things. By bringing Dr. Moody to our campus it’s less likely to occur in the future.”
“Diversity (is) important at any level,” said Rita Thakur, professor of management and associate dean of the College of Business and Public Management.
“We need to hire people that can lead with a diverse background,” Thakur said. “We need to see how it can be applied to ULV and move us forward.”
Moody’s approach was not to lecture, but instead to engage her audience and to make them think about certain scenarios.
“It’s important for everyone to be pro-active to bring more diversity to the University and Board of Trustees,” Morgan said.
“The research process needs to be more evidence based,” Moody added.
Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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