Shortened Presentation (40 minutes)

If you do not have a full hour and a half with your audience, follow Steps 1 through 4 of the standard presentation covering only the highlighted items in each section. Then, after showing the five minute film (Step 5), discuss at least one of the group questions in Step 6. Even under a compressed timeline, it is important the audience have some time to reflect collectively and share their thoughts on the film.

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.

(For the shortened presentation, review only concepts highlighted in green)

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.

(For the shortened presentation, review only concepts highlighted in green)

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.

(For the shortened presentation, review only concepts highlighted in green)

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 (discuss only one question in the shortened presentation)

After showing the second ending, open the discussion with one of the following questions:

  • 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?



Patricia, character from film