Standard Presentation (90 minutes)

Standard film facilitation outline:

  • Lay the foundation and review key concepts, research on bias, and common shortcuts (50 minutes)
  • View film (10 minutes)
  • Discuss film and brainstorm strategies and best practices (30 minutes)

To prepare:

  • Gauge your audience. Are they diversity advocates, potential advocates, or do they need some convincing about the merits of diversity?
  • If presenting to a skeptical audience , you may want to start with the research on why diversity is important (see Frequently Asked Questions).
  • A sample PowerPoint presentation file can be found here.

Step 1: Introduction
Tell your audience you will watch a short film depicting a faculty search committee discussion and, as a group, analyze the search committee’s dynamics to better understand how subtle bias occurs and can thwart the diversification of the faculty. Stress that although the film is set in a computer science department, it is applicable to all disciplines where hiring decisions are made through a process of evaluation. Let the audience know that, before viewing the film, you will explore barriers within the faculty search process that prevent the fair evaluation of underrepresented candidates.

Step 2: Review Key Concepts You may ask the audience for their definitions of these key concepts first before clarifying in terms most relatable to this film. After defining, solicit examples from the audience.

Step 3: Review Research on Bias This is a chance to share the research that demonstrates the influence bias plays in evaluation settings in the academy, which impacts faculty demographics.

Step 4: Review Common Shortcuts Common shortcuts occur in common everyday situations.  How and what we speak sends messages about who is valued, who belongs, and who is included. Place an emphasis on these shortcuts because they will all manifest in the film.

Step 5: Show Film, Both Endings Pause after the first ending and ask:          

  • What did you notice in the film?
  • What privileges, biases, and cognitive shortcuts did you observe?
  • What might be motivating each of the characters’ behaviors?
  • What would you do differently?

Step 6: Group Questions After showing the second ending, open the discussion with some questions such as:

  • Who is the change agent here?
  • What might be an obstacle to being a change agent in your organization? Why do it then?
  • What other change agent behaviors or actions could one take at one’s university?
  • As leaders, how do you develop change agency in others?
  • What does diversity mean in the academy in terms of scholarship?

Step 7: Best Practices

Ask your audience for their ideas on best practices for faculty recruitment, hiring and evaluation. Share best practices identified in this guide. Ask audience what they will do differently in their next faculty search

Rob, character from film