Diversity needed in De Anza hiring process

Saman Mashayekhi, Staff Reporter

Social sciences and humanities division faculty members selected volunteers to create a dean’s hiring committee for reviewing the application and statements of the applicants that are applying to be a faculty member at De Anza. 

The senate reviewed and confirmed three volunteers from the list to be part of the hiring committee, and based on previous discussions, members wanted to place a part-time faculty member in the committee.

Anthropology professor Ameeta Tiwana, social sciences professor Steve Nava and psychology professor Susan Thomas were confirmed by the senate to be part of the committee.

The appointments opened up conversation about the diversity of faculty members at De Anza, and how the senate can ensure that the hiring process and the hiring committee is more inclusive.

Part-time kinesiology and health professor Mary Donahue said she suggested this guideline to be an addition to the 150 word statement that the applicants submit already. 

“It would be better to have a template with all these as bullet points, for people to be able to glance at them and go over them quickly,” director of health and wellness Mary Sullivan said. 

Thomas said she suggested to “ask them to incorporate these bullet points in their statements rather than stand-alone questions in their application.” 

Both Thomas and chemistry professor Erik Woodbury voiced concerns about asking people directly about how they are identifying. Thomas said she believed it would be better to have them include it in their statement. 

Part-time political science professor Ishmael Tarikh raised the concern of using the new guidelines for current candidates within different departments. 

Chow informed the members that this is for future candidates and not the current ones as they have not come up with a set language for this matter yet. 

The Academic Senate unanimously decided for a timeline to be set, some volunteers to be picked to work on the language and add the new guidelines to the hiring process.