March 11, 2005

Video offers tips on conducting job searches

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty who serve on search committees can learn how to make sure the process meets affirmative action and equal employment opportunity goals with the help of a new training video.

"As we've talked to faculty and staff about searches, one of the things we've heard is the need for more training," said Seymour Bryson, associate chancellor for diversity, who commissioned the video.

"We have some good written procedures, but this is a more visual way of presenting essential and key components in the recruitment process. We hope people will review it when they agree to serve on search committees, particularly if they're chairing the committee."

Bryson, Affirmative Action office staff members Larry A. Davis, Marcia D. Phelps, Carmen Suarez and Media & Communication Resources Associate Director Rod Sievers all contributed to the writing of the script. Media & Communication Resources produced, taped and edited the 17-minute video.

It features volunteer actors M. Inosencia Amarante and Faye Joyner-Keene, both from the Center for Basic Skills, Pankaj Kumar from Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes, Beth M. Lingren from New Student Programs and Michael P. Ruiz from the School of Law as search committee members. Beverly J. Love from Radio-Television and J. Mark Watson from Library Affairs play narrators who debunk some common myths about diversity and explain what goes in to achieving a workforce that reflects the society in which it is set.

Love and Watson walk committee members through the steps involved in a search — from writing the advertising through the interview selection process — and close with a few quick tips.

"What's unique about this approach is that it addresses the affirmative action plan of this particular university," Bryson said.

"I don't know of any other institution that has developed this type of material specific to their own institution."

The video is available at no cost to each college and administrative office for use in ongoing training, Bryson said.

"We don't want to make it required, but we strongly suggest that search committee members become familiar with the contents."

Enhancing diversity on campus is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.