Evaluations are central to the mission of any Dean’s office. And “getting it right” is vitally important to efforts to improve the quality of our faculty and therefore the quality of the institution.
With fierce competition and economic conditions, the best institutions are working hard to make great decisions with respect to their faculty. But, bias is a monumental barrier to good decision making.
We see this bias in many different permutations. Did personal relationships have undue influence? Did the candidate’s race, gender, or sexual orientation factor in? Was collegiality over-valued? Did we make the decision because the candidate had “put in the time?” Eliminating bias is challenging and requires continuous effort and ongoing focus.
From our vantage point as a software provider, we see the importance of having effective evaluation processes. Processes that are applied consistently for all candidates. We also see the importance of having good data and ensuring that the data plays a key role in decision making.
Some steps that are helpful include:
- Get clarity on the evaluation processes you will use and then make sure they are applied consistently
- Consolidate faculty information in a format that works for you and in a system that enables sharing, reporting, and analysis
- Create incentives and accountability to keep this information up to date
We’re excited to be doing our part to help clients with this important issue. We know that the further our clients go down this path, the more they realize the journey is worth it.