Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE)

The Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) faculty hiring program strives to support the success of students from historically underrepresented communities by focusing tenure-track faculty searches on candidates who meet criteria aligned with SDSU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In Spring 2020, the original BIE program (see History of the Program below) was expanded so that the BIE criteria must be used in all tenured and tenure-track faculty searches. For the most up-to-date information on the process for faculty searches, see the Office of Faculty Advancement's website

For the purposes of the BIE, underrepresented populations refer to the following groups: African-American, Latinx, Native American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander, groups of varying abilities, women in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or any other group that has been documented as underrepresented in the candidate’s academic discipline. The criteria do not require the candidate to identify as part of an underrepresented population. Instead the criteria are designed to assess the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to serving and/or addressing issues related to underrepresented populations.

At the May 2020 meeting, the University Senate approved policy that says the BIE criteria "shall govern all tenured and tenure-track faculty searches. Successful candidates for all such searches must satisfy two or more of the following BIE criteria, and these criteria shall be explicitly included in any and all search advertisements."

The candidate..

  1. Is committed to engaging in service with underrepresented populations within the discipline
  2. Has demonstrated knowledge of barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline
  3. Has experience or has demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring underrepresented students
  4. Has experience or has demonstrated commitment to integrating understanding of underrepresented populations and communities into research
  5. Has experience in or has demonstrated commitment to extending knowledge of opportunities and challenges in achieving artistic/scholarly success to members of an underrepresented group
  6. Has experience in or has demonstrated commitment to research that engages underrepresented communities
  7. Has expertise or demonstrated commitment to developing expertise in cross-cultural communication and collaboration
  8. Has research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education

Once departments have selected their finalists for campus interviews, a subset of the Building on Inclusive Excellence Review Committee will review each candidate to ensure they meet the required qualifications and criteria. The BIE Review Committee is comprised of members of the Senate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Senate Tenure-Track Planning Committee, and representatives appointed by the Chief Diversity Officer. To the extent possible, the reviewing sub-committee for a given candidate will include at least one representative from the same college as the hiring department.

The original BIE program was developed by the strategic plan working group on the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty, reviewed and approved by the Senate committees on Faculty Affairs, Diversity, Equity, and Outreach (now Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Academic Policy and Planning, and Academic Resources and Planning, and authorized by the Provost. Modifications to this process were made in response to findings from the BIE self-study from the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty and from the Academic Dean’s Council. Subsequent changes were reviewed and approved by the Senate committee on Diversity, Equity, and Outreach.

Under the original program, a small pool of tenure-track faculty lines were set aside each year. Departments conducting regular faculty searches could then apply for one of those additional lines if they had qualified finalists who met two or more BIE program criteria.

In Fall 2019, the original BIE program was suspended and the original criteria were used in a process for a special cohort of accreditation-related searches approved to begin in December 2019. 

In May 2020, the University Senate voted to extend that process to all faculty hires going forward.