The Faculty Search Process: The Art & Science of Selecting Outstanding Faculty
October 21, 2010
Three distinguished scholars discussed their work on how decision-making factors may influence the selection process for faculty at institutions like Harvard.
Mahzarin R. Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology and Senior Adviser to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Faculty Development, Harvard University
Professor Banaji studies human thinking and feeling as it unfolds in social contexts. Her focus is primarily on mental systems that operate in implicit or unconscious mode. In particular, she is interested in the unconscious nature of assessments of self and other humans that reflect feelings and knowledge (often unintended) about their social group membership (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, gender, class) that underlie the us/them distinction. In her role as Senior Adviser to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Faculty Development, Professor Banaji is working with departments to identify and challenge any barriers that stand in the way of achieving our goal of the strongest faculty for the future.
Sheena Iyengar, S. T. Lee Professor of Business, Columbia University
Author of The Art of Choosing, Professor Iyengar is considered one of the world's experts on choice. In her book, she explores questions such as why choice is powerful, and where its power comes from; the ways in which people make choices; the relationship between how we choose and who we are; why we are so often disappointed by our choices; how much control we really have over our everyday choices; how we choose when our options are practically unlimited; and whether we should ever let others choose for us, and if so, whom and why.
Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School
A behavioral economist combining insights from economics and psychology, Professor Bohnet’s research focuses on decision-making, and on improving decision-making in organizations and society. In particular, she analyzes the causes and consequences of trust and its relevance for negotiation and decision-making. She has applied the behavioral economics concept of a “nudge” to questions of gender equality and diversity. Her work explores hiring processes and how they can be changed to increase diversity and how gender diversity in groups affects performance.