We fully endorse the Guiding Principles of the Recommendations. Several individual recommendations are only partially implemented, as follows:
Our search committees generally consist of three or four people; one member is assigned to be an affirmative action advocate. Assigning two committee members to serve as advocates seems unnecessary. Outside of the search committee, the Department Head and a Dean’s Committee both serve as affirmative action advocates and reviewers.
Recommendation A.4: Develop policies encouraging flexible means of accommodating dual-career couples.
We support the principle but are concerned about a lack of clarity. “Develop policies” might be interpreted by some to mean “Develop spousal hiring policies”. We do not make faculty appointments to anyone who fails to meet our appointment standard. We do assist partners and spouses with searches and occasionally do offer them MIT research track or faculty appointments.
“Open process” can be interpreted a number of ways, including breaching of the confidentiality of letters, which is unacceptable. The phrase “specific criteria” is also worrisome because we would never agree to a quantitative accounting of contributions to research, teaching, or service. Our process is fully described on the web and is explained when job offers are made during faculty recruitment.