Searching for Excellence & Diversity®

A Workshop Series for Faculty Search Committees

Each fall semester, WISELI provides workshops for faculty search committees.  These workshops aim to help faculty conduct effective searches and to recruit and hire excellent and diverse faculty.  The workshop provides  information, advice, and strategies for the following elements of a search:

  1. Running effective and efficient search committees
  2. Recruiting a highly qualified pool of diverse candidates
  3. Understanding the potential influence of unconscious bias on evaluation of candidates
  4. Ensuring a fair and thorough review of candidates
  5. Developing and implementing an effective interview process
  6. Successfully hiring selected candidates

NEW this year:

  1. Prior to participating in the workshop, search committee members should complete our new online module.  It covers Element 1, part of Element 2, and includes a tool for writing and assessing your job listing (PVL).  Search committee members should receive a link to the online module when approval to conduct a search is provided and/or upon workshop registration.
  2. All workshops will be offered as a single 3-hour session.  Previously campus-wide workshops were presented as a series of two 2-hour sessions.

Returning:  We will again offer a “Refresher/Update” session for faculty and staff who have participated in at least two complete workshop series during previous years (that is, they have attended both Session 1 and Session 2 of the two-part workshop series twice, or have attended a combined session twice).  Participants in the refresher session should also complete the new online module discussed above. The “refresher” session will consist primarily of discussions that will focus on:

  1. Sharing experiences and strategies for recruiting diverse and excellent applicants
  2. Considering how evaluation of candidates has been conducted and effective strategies for reducing bias
  3. Providing information on new resources, new research, and new evidence-based strategies.

Workshop Materials  |  Resources for search committees

Not at UW-Madison?

We’ve held Searching for Excellence & Diversity® workshops at dozens of colleges and universities, and can arrange to come to yours.


Workshop Schedule

Summer 2020:  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, WISELI will host a virtual workshop series

Session 1 of the two-session series will be offered on the following two dates:

This 1.5-hour session is intended for members of faculty search committees that will begin recruiting applicants before the fall semester. It will cover the early stages of the search process: Running an effective committee, recruiting a diverse and excellent applicant pool, and conducting fair and equitable evaluations.

Session 2 will be scheduled in consultation with those who participate in Session 1.

Fall 2020: Please check back here in August 2020 for the Fall schedule.

NOTE:  Any fall sessions will likely be conducted virtually.

Please contact WISELI for more information or to schedule a session for a particular school or college.

Workshop Schedule - Fall 2021

Cross-College Workshops — 2021

CALS, COE, L&S, and all other schools and colleges

This workshop will be offered as one 3-hour session. To meet the scheduling needs of faculty search committee members its will be offered on several different dates. A decision about whether to hold each workshop virtually or in-person will be made close to the workshop date.

Please complete your registration at least one week before the date of the workshop you plan to attend. If you cannot attend any of the scheduled sessions, please contact Eve Fine ( for additional options.

Thurs. September 23, 1:00-4:00pm | REGISTER by September 16

Fri. October 8, 9:00am-12:00noon | REGISTER by October 1

Tues. October 26, 9:00am-12noon | REGISTER by October 19

Session 1 — 2020

Thu Sept 17, 2:00-4:00pm | REGISTER

Fri Oct 2, 9:30-11:30am| REGISTER

Course links will be provided to registered participants via email

Session 2 — 2020

Thu Oct 29, 2:00-4:00pm | REGISTER
For committees who have completed substantial evaluations of candidates on/before this date and plan to begin interviews in November

Thu Nov 19, 2:00-4:00pm | REGISTER

Fri Dec 11, 9:30am-11:30am | REGISTER

Course links will be provided to registered participants via email

Health Sciences Workshop — 2021


Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine

Mon. September 13, 12:30-3:30pm | REGISTER by September 6

Refresher/Update — 2021

Fri. Oct. 15, 9:30-11:30am| REGISTER by Oct. 8

Prerequisite:  Completion of at least two complete workshop series during previous years (that is, attending both Session 1 and Session 2 of the two-part workshop series twice, or attending a combined session twice).

Workshop materials

Searching for Excellence and Diversity: A Guide for Search Committees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PDF). Members of the UW–‍Madison community can contact WISELI to obtain hard copies of this guidebook.

Reviewing Applicants:  Research on Bias and Assumptions (PDF). A brochure summarizing research on unintentional biases and assumptions and their potential influence on evaluation of faculty candidates. Members of the UW–‍Madison community can contact WISELI to obtain printed copies of this brochure.


WISELI Resources

UW-Madison Resources

Office of the Provost

Office of Equity and Diversity (OED)

The Office of Equity and Diversity provides valuable resources for diversifying the workforce including:

The Office of Human Resources (OHR)

The Office of Human Resources produces the online Recruitment Toolkit which provides valuable information and resources for recruiting applicants. OHR employs a Recruitment Specialist, Adin Palau, who can provide you with advice and recommendations for recruiting diverse and excellent applicants. OHR also provide information about UW-Madison and its benefits to prospective faculty.

Relevant Publications

Media Coverage