“Towards Excellence and Equity: Unconscious Bias Training”

Over 15 Committees have been trained as of February 13, 2015.

HU ADVANCE-IT Unconscious Bias Education initiative aims to ensure Howard University remains competitive in attracting and retaining outstanding faculty candidates.  Unconscious biases may prevent women faculty candidates from becoming finalists in a search or from receiving an impartial evaluation for promotion. Most of these decisions are made by well-intentioned people who are not aware of the unconscious processes they use to make decisions.  This training will occur at the department, school/college, and university levels and will introduce the core concepts of unconscious bias and then suggest strategies to combat bias in the function of each committee.

President Wayne Frederick on Unconscious Bias in Academic Medicine

Unconscious Bias Training for Department Search and APT Committees.
All tenured faculty members comprise a department’s APT committee although search committees may contain untenured faculty and a student representative. HU ADVANCE-IT proposes to work with the Provost and STEM Deans to ensure that each departmental APT committee and each Faculty Search committee has unconscious bias training.

Unconscious Bias Training for School/College APT Committees. The Howard University Faculty Handbook dictates that School/College APT committee members serve two-year terms. Committees are reformulated at the beginning of each academic year by replacing members whose terms have expired. HU-ADVANCE provides each School/Division/College APT committee unconscious bias training.

  • Reservations for Unconscious Bias Trainings are by Committee (group) only.  We do not schedule individual participants.
  • Unconscious Bias Training is for the entire Search and APT committee (all Committee Members must attend).
  • Training sessions are at least 2 hours and at most 3 hours.
  • Training sessions must be reserved for the entire committee.
  • If a Committee has less than 12 people, combined trainings are feasible.  However, there should be no more than 30 participants per training session.
  • Given the maximum number of participants above (30), a Committee or department with more, can schedule multiple sessions to accommodate everyone.
  • Training sessions are reserved on a first-come (with confirmation), first-served basis.

Committee Responsibilities

  • The Committee communicates with HU ADVANCE-IT via a point of contact (POC).
  • POC reviews several date and time options with ENTIRE Committee below and shares them with HU ADVANCE-IT, at least one week in advance.
  • POC/Sponsoring Committee reserves location.  Location must have a projector, a screen, and audio capabilities.  
  • Participants are expected to sign-in and submit training evaluation forms, both provided by HU ADVANCE-IT.

HU ADVANCE-IT Responsibilities

  • HU ADVANCE-IT provides light meals/snacks for each training session.
  • HU ADVANCE-IT provides trainer and training materials.
  • HU ADVANCE-IT will work with all committees to ensure smooth logistics and comfortable planning experiences.

Currently Scheduled Training Times and Dates

Dates that have a strikethrough have already been reserved.

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017
    • Session I: 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
    • Session II: 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Location: HURB-1 Conference Room 143  (1840 7th Street NW)

If you are interested in scheduling a training session, please send the following to huadvanceit@howard.edu:

1.  POC
2.  Number of committee members/participants
3.  Proposed location
4.  Preferred training date and time (see list above)
5.  Indicate type of Committee (Search or APT)
6.  Additional questions

We will respond with a date and time confirmation and work diligently with the POC to reserve and confirm the schedule and other details.


Presentation Slide Deck – UnconsciousBiasInTalentManagement_Password

Bibliography – bibliographySTEM

Kirwan Institute-State of the Science-Implicit Bias Review 2014

Rise Above Cognitive Errors: Improving Searches, Evaluation, and Decision-Making – Article by JoAnn Moody

Rise Above Cognitive ErrorsGuidelines for Search, Tenure Review, and other Evaluation Committees