Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts

intro

Many Cultures, One Family

"We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams." ~Jimmy Carter

Auburn University Human Resources (AUHR) is helping our campus recruit and retain the most talented employees. One way we do this is by celebrating and encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in our workplace.

Each AUHR unit is committed to championing the university's DEI efforts. The Presidential Task Force for Opportunity and Equity includes Staff Recruitment and Retention as one of its four initiatives. We have already performed much of the work to advance this initiative. We will also continue these efforts to help Auburn become a more welcoming and desirable place to work for all employees.

Please take a few minutes to read about our ongoing and desired projects. We will regularly update this website as we continue to progress and add new goals. We have already enjoyed several successes, such as being named a Top Employer by DiversityJobs. However, our work is far from finished. In fact, our goals will continue to evolve as our campus becomes more diverse.

If you have comments or questions, please email us at univhr@auburn.edu. We commit to going above and beyond to ensure our Auburn Family remains a beautiful mosaic that represents our communities and the world. 

Items with a red checkmark denote initiatives and goals identified by the Presidential Task Force for Opportunity and Equity for the recruitment and retention of African American staff, along with other underrepresented groups. 

Dr. Christopher Wilburn, Assistant Clinical Professor, Kinesiology, is interviewed for an employee spotlight video.

 

advocates

Diversity Advocates

We are helping search committees recruit and interview a diverse pool of candidates for their respective positions. One way that we do this is by having our Employment Services team serve as diversity advocates. Their duties will include:

  • Providing policy, procedure and system guidance

  • Identifying and promoting practices that will advance diversity and minimize the impacts of unintentional and unconscious biases

  • Guiding and assisting with the development of the recruitment plan, to include recommending additional advertising options that would reach a more diverse selection of applicants

  • Serving as the liaison between the search committee and the university's Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) office when the recruitment plan must be approved

  • Reviewing and assisting with reasons for selection and non-selection

marketing

Marketing and Recruitment

We are optimizing our resources so we can strategically market our job opportunities and attract diverse and well qualified candidates. Here are a few examples:

  • HBCU Focus: We are partnering with several Historically Black Colleges and Universities to post our job openings on their career services websites. They include Alabama State, Alabama A&M and Tuskegee. We are also posting our job opportunities to www.hbcunetwork.com

  • Other Websites: We are posting announcements on the following sites:

    • Academic Keys: This site has a diversity email blast feature that allows us to share our job announcements to approximately 1 million diverse candidates.

    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC): Auburn recently joined HERC, a non-profit coalition of colleges, universities, hospitals, research labs, government agencies and other organizations. HERC is committed to diversifying the pipeline of faculty, staff and executives in academia. Auburn now has additional exposure through unlimited job postings, toolkits and cross-posting to leading job boards.

    • DiversityJobs: As referenced above, DiversityJobs recognized Auburn as a top employer in 2021. DiversityJobs scrubs our positions and posts them to 12 niche sites, including multiple sites that focus on Black job candidates.

    • Auburn Alumni Association: We are also actively promoting job opportunities on the AU Alumni Association website, including their diversity and inclusion pages. 

    • AU Employment Website: Our website displays a list of additional niche recruitment resources that we are continually adding to. Our diversity advocates will utilize these sites when additional diversity outreach is needed. Some of the sites include:

      • Diversity Nursing

      • MinorityPostdoc.org

      • Employ Diversity

      • INSIGHT Into Diversity

      • Blacks in Higher Education

      • African-American Women in Technology (AAWIT)

      • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

  • Diversity Statements and Language: We will soon add the university's official diversity statement to all AUHR webpages. We have also added proactive and specific language -- beyond the required legal statement -- in job qualifications, summary statements and/or position announcements to indicate that women and underrepresented groups are especially desired. Examples:

    • The following is included after the AA/EEO statement on the job posting: Women, underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

    • The following is included as one of the minimum qualifications on all job postings: A commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus environment.

  • Employee Stories: We will continue to feature diverse employees on our website, through social media and in other venues. We recently interviewed three employees, asking them about their respective paths to Auburn, their proudest achievements and their greatest influences. (See above) 

hiring

Inclusive Hiring

We commit to fostering inclusive hiring practices by partnering with search committees. One way is by developing a Search Committee Knowledge Center website that will provide information and resources critical to serving on a search committee, and details on the responsibilities and expectations involved in the employment process.

The Knowledge Center will offer a number of topics relevant to employment searches such as:

  • A search committee chairman/hiring manager checklist

  • Guidance on how to form a search committee

  • Knowledge of search committee roles and responsibilities

  • Guidance to understanding and overcoming bias within an employment search

retention

Employee Retention

man and woman talkEmployee retention is just as important as marketing and recruitment in advancing a diverse workforce. We are utilizing or developing multiple resources:

  • Onboarding Center: In 2020, we launched an onboarding center that provides a positive and welcoming experience for new employees. The center's role in employee retention will increase with the following measures:

    • Employee check-ins at regular intervals (30, 60, 90, 180 and 360 days): We will use a virtual platform to conduct these check-ins.

    • A "Coffee and Conversations" program for new employees. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) will regularly participate in this program.

    • Onboarding surveys for new employees that include questions about engagement and inclusivity. We are analyzing results from June-December 2020 surveys and exploring how to address the feedback that we received.

    • We will also work with OID to include the EverFi suite in our onboarding checklist. 

  • Featured Resources: We are partnering with the OID to add links to culturally-specific resources on our HR website. (Our updated Onboarding Center website includes a link to the OID website.) We have also contacted the chambers of commerce in Auburn and Opelika to identify diversity-related resources that they offer so we can share this information on our website.  

  • Exit Surveys: We are also exploring options to implement mandatory exit surveys for all employees. (Several divisions are already conducting exit surveys, though they are not shared with AUHR unless there is a disciplinary action or concern.)  

(Pictured: Onboarding Center Specialist Angela Graham welcomes Ibrahim Kareem, Matriculation and Program Specialist, Graduate School, to the Auburn Family.)

supervisor

Supervisor Training

We are training our supervisors to encourage and advance DEI initiatives in their workplaces. This is one of the most important components of Supervisor Pathways.

We launched Pathways in 2020 to train current and aspiring supervisors. Our expectation is that Pathways will help dozens of employees progress into supervisory roles, and from University Staff to Administrative/Professional positions. 

More than 200 individuals are currently part of the Pathways. The program supports Auburn's effort to bring DEI to the forefront of supervisor training. Participants have already participated in approximately 2,400 DEI-related courses. (April 2021) 

Pathways courses and measures include: 

  • Core/Required Courses: Participants are required or encouraged to take these professional development courses:

    • MG400: Management Fundamentals (covers DEI efforts and legalities in the communications and selection sections) - required

    • LG120e: Americans with Disabilities Act - required

    • LG180e: Title IX - required

    • DI200: Contemporary Issues in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion - required

    • LG240e: Legally Effective Hiring Practices - required

    • DI300: Informing an Everyday Diversity and Inclusion Mindset - elective

    • TW300: Working Among Multiple Generations - elective

    • ER500: Safe Zone - elective

  • Community of Practice: The Supervisor Pathways Community of Practice (CoP) dedicates one discussion topic per quarter on DEI issues. In 2020, the following were part of these discussions:

equitable

Equitable Pay

Auburn’s largest annual investment is employee pay. It is also our most important investment. Our Compensation and Classification team works closely with other campus units to ensure that all employees are paid fairly and competitively to the market. This helps us attract, recognize and retain a diverse and growing workforce.

For over five years, Auburn has utilized a base pay decision support tool called the Pay Evaluator©. This tool facilitates pay decisions that are fair and fiscally responsible. As a result, our pay decisions reflect a comparison between:

  • The value of an employee’s attributes and qualifications as related to the job, and

  • The job’s established minimum qualifications

Job Analysis Project

Auburn continues to modernize our approach to careers and recruiting. For example, we have changed how we make decisions about pay and how we measure performance. Now, we are reviewing every non-faculty job on campus as part of a compensation analysis project.

We have partnered with the consulting firm Mercer, along with dozens of campus stakeholders, to review how we align our pay compared to the marketplace. This is not a one-time change project or a cost-cutting move. Instead, this is an investment in our university’s most valuable resource – our employees. It is an important and transparent step that builds on our progress. It will also help our employees and supervisors plan and achieve professional career advancement opportunities.

appreciation

Appreciation and Advancement

man speaks to large crowdWe will continue to recognize our employees for their outstanding work, and provide opportunities for advancement along their Auburn journey. Pathways is just one of several ways that we are doing this. Other examples include:

  • Spirit of Excellence: Each month, Auburn recognizes as many as four employees with this honor. Employees are recognized from each of the following groups: Service/Maintenance, Secretarial/Clerical, Technical and Administrative/Professional. We continue to work with HR Liaisons and supervisors to create more program awareness and participation -- particularly in the Technical and Service/Maintenance categories. Our goal is to increase nominations for all four categories, ensuring that the optimal number of employees from all areas are recognized for their efforts.

  • Auburn University Employee Conference (formerly Administrative Professionals' Day): We want to increase participation for this professional development opportunity. Two primary goals is to obtain funding to make this a free event for employees, and to secure a larger venue so more people can attend. We have changed the event from a luncheon to a conference, so departmental training funds can be used for the employee registration and conference fees. 

  • Special Recognition: We would also like to create at least one university-level award for non-faculty that recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and tie it into Employee Appreciation Week. 

(Pictured: Thom Gossom, an Auburn alumnus who is an accomplished actor, writer, speaker and communications consultant, speaks at the 2019 Employee Conference.)

Last updated: 06/04/2021