Guidelines for Staff Diversity in Employment


The mission of Luther College explicitly affirms the educational, social, and civic benefits of diversity: “As people of all backgrounds, we embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community, to discern our callings and to serve with distinction for the common good.” The college fulfills this mission, in part, by seeking a diverse staff.

Luther College views staff diversity broadly to include, among other things, men and women of different colors, races, cultures, religions, ages, intellectual traditions, and economic and social backgrounds.

These guidelines clarify the steps that Luther College endorses to support the retention and promotion of a diverse staff. Within this broader context, a significant benchmark for the success of these guidelines involves a good faith effort to increase the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the current staff.

II. Purpose of the Guidelines

The purpose of the Luther College Guidelines for Staff Diversity in Employment is to comply with federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring and to promote academic excellence by ensuring that our faculty, staff, and students are part of a broadly diverse campus community that will be perceived by people from all backgrounds as welcoming. These guidelines seek to achieve the specified goals by establishing procedures designed to increase the pool of qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds that apply for staff positions at the college.

III. Non-Discrimination Statement

Luther College is committed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere where all members of the community—students, faculty, staff, and visitors—are treated with respect and dignity.

It is the policy of Luther College to provide equal educational opportunities and equal access to facilities for all qualified persons. The college does not discriminate in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal or state law. This commitment includes the provision of a campus environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. The college will not tolerate any form of illegal discrimination or harassment and will not condone any actions or words that constitute such.

IV. Recruitment and Hiring

The following procedures seek to ensure that a reasonable effort has been made to identify and fairly consider diverse candidates and to document the search process so that the effectiveness of our efforts can be assessed over time.

A. In accord with the Staff Recruitment Policy under the “luther_common on Administration Storage Server,” in a folder labeled “Policies and Procedures,” supervisors who seek to fill a vacant position or to add a new position must submit a position requisition to their respective vice president for approval.

B. The supervisor’s request for a position will include a job description that specifies the qualifications for the position.

C. All position announcements will specify that the college is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

D. Once the position is approved, the immediate supervisor/search coordinator or search committee will conduct the search.

E. Prior to beginning the search, the supervisor/search coordinator will meet with the staff diversity liaison (Director of Human Resources) to review the specific provisions of these guidelines. This review is designed to assist the supervisor/search coordinator to comply with non-discrimination laws, to understand the practices that institutions of higher education use to broaden the search pool.

F. The supervisor/search coordinator and the Director of Human Resources will prepare and submit the written search plan. The plan will include an account of specific efforts to seek diverse candidates. For instance, the plan could include the names and contacts for appropriate professional listings, publications, or programs. Where appropriate, the plan should also list where the position can be announced on list serves, bulletin boards, and other internet-based sites that serve women or qualified candidates from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds or people with disabilities or veterans. The plan may also include a list of contacts for personalized job announcements to alumnae/i, qualified women, and staff of color. 

G. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that each candidate receives and is invited to return a voluntary form used to keep information on the diversity of the applicant pool. Human Resources will note all applications received and record the available information about the candidate pool to help determine if the recruitment process has engaged qualified candidates of color and women.

H. Reviewing applications, interviewing candidates by phone, ranking candidates according to relevant criteria, conducting candidate interviews and making appropriate hiring recommendations to the vice president are the responsibility of the supervisor/search coordinator and the Director of Human Resources. 

I. The supervisor/search coordinator is also responsible to provide a list of the final candidates for the position to the Director of Human Resources. When necessary, the Director of Human Resources will work with the supervisor/search committee prior to inviting finalists to campus to ensure that a broad range of candidates were given the opportunity to be considered for the position.

J. The Director of Human Resources and the Vice President are responsible for ensuring that each step of the process—recruitment, interviewing, evaluation, selection of candidates, and the offer of employment—is consistent with applicable college policies. Accordingly, the Director of Human Resources and the Vice President have the responsibility to suspend the search if the proper procedures specified in the search plan are not followed, or if there is evidence that an insufficient effort was made to include qualified women and persons of color in the applicant pool. 

V. Diversity Liaison

To ensure that these guidelines are followed effectively, the staff diversity liaison will be a resource for supervisors/search coordinators. The Director of Human Resources will produce an annual report on staff hiring, including information on the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of positions covered under these guidelines.

The diversity liaison at Luther College advises senior administration, supervisors, and search coordinators to ensure the effective implementation of these guidelines. The diversity liaison also ensures that the appropriate activities are available to assist the college in retaining a diverse staff. The diversity liaison must stay informed on federal and state laws and on institutional policies affecting hiring practices.

The specific responsibilities for the diversity liaison are as follows:

  1. Advise the President’s Cabinet on matters related to staff search procedures and retention programs that affect staff diversity.
  2. Work with supervisors/search coordinators to support efforts to recruit and retain a highly qualified and diverse staff.
  3. Review staff search plans to ensure compliance with these guidelines and work with supervisors/search coordinators to improve insufficient plans.
  4. Conduct training to insure that all members of Luther’s staff understand these guidelines.
  5. Produce for the President’s Cabinet an annual report on staff hiring and on the effectiveness of these guidelines in achieving their stated purpose, including recommendations for changes, when appropriate.

VI. Encouraging Opportunity in Hiring

The College encourages departments to develop networks that can identify candidates with expertise and experiences that will enhance diversity at the college. To achieve this goal, it is valuable for departments to recruit women and persons from traditionally underrepresented groups for long-term and short-term positions.

VII. Review of Guidelines

We regard these guidelines as a working document that should be reviewed and improved as our experience in seeking a diverse staff grows. Such review should take place no less than once every three years and should be reported by the Director of Human Resources in coordination with the faculty diversity liaison.