Hakkola and Dyer’s research on building diverse faculty cited in Open Campus newsletter

The Intersection, a newsletter examining race and equity in higher education, published by digital news outlet Open Campus, cited a recent journal article by assistant professor of higher education Leah Hakkola and doctoral student Sarah Dyer. Their study examined the role of faculty search chairs’ status and social identities in search committee dynamics and decisions about hiring diverse candidates. Hakkola and Dyer found that faculty rank influenced diversity and equity decisions made by search committees, and that junior faculty members who served as chairs — those who had yet to receive tenure — felt less comfortable exercising agency or discretion than senior faculty members. “Within the academic faculty structure, typically what’s expected is that when you enter the tenure track, you defer to those who are senior to you,” Hakkola said.