The Lead Diversity Search Advisors report jointly to the Vice Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity, and the Executive Director of the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA).

Lead DSA Key Responsibilities

1. Serve as resource for DSAs in promoting the goals of the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) and the University for faculty diversity and inclusion, and regarding faculty searches, faculty tracks, and appointments.

2. Assess, develop, and promote best practices in developing the broadest and strongest faculty candidate pools and attracting diverse, qualified candidates

3. Work with departmental leadership and PSOM leadership to ensure that appropriate and compliant searches are conducted; Provide information and training to DSAs on Penn and PSOM faculty recruiting guidelines, particularly those related to unconscious bias;
4. Work with PSOM leadership to develop retention programs to enhance faculty diversity
5. Serve as the DSA Representative to the Advisory Council of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity
6. Collaborate with Vice Dean, OIDE and Academic Affairs Office to update school-wide agenda in faculty diversity


Diversity Search Advisors (DSAs) and Search Committee Chairs each hold unique roles in ensuring searches are conducted in accordance with University of Pennsylvania policy and guidelines, including certifying at the conclusion of each search using the Faculty Search Report Form.  Search Committee Chairs and DSAs should work closely with Faculty Coordinators throughout the process to ensure FCs, as the administrative managers of the search, receive all necessary search documentation to properly document the selection process in Interfolio Faculty Search.

DSA Roles and Responsibilities Select Best Practices
1. Maintain a working knowledge of Penn and PSOM policies and procedures related to faculty searches, faculty tracks and appointments
  • DSA serves as ex officio member of search committees to assure that best practices are followed and polices are adhered to and that every candidate is given fair consideration.
  • Works with Department leadership, the Vice Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (OIDE) and Office of Academic Affairs (FAPD) to ensure that appropriate and compliant faculty searches are conducted
  • Attends first search committee meeting for each faculty search in the department


2. Review and approve the faculty position description in Interfolio Faculty Search before
  • Consult with Department Chair and Search Chair on the Faculty Position Description, ensuring that the responsibilities and goals align with the faculty track.
  • Ensure that the faculty position description is sufficiently broad to capture all qualified individuals, while still providing candidates with a sufficiently specific description of the job and its requirements.

3. Serve as a resource for Search Committee composition and defining the faculty position

  • Work with the Search Chair in the formation of the committee. Where feasible, the DSA should be a member of the committee or assign a designee. 
  • Wherever possible, search committees should have members with a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences as well as individuals with clinical and research interests that align with those sought through the search.

4. Provide information and guidace to Search Committee 

  • Works diligently to promote the goals of the Perelman School of Medicine Plan for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion
  • In collaboration with the Search Committee Chair, ensure that the search committee members are familiar with university and PSOM policies for faculty searches, Affirmative Action Guidelines, appropriate interview questions, and unconscious bias. 
  • Throughout the process, the DSA is the resource for any candidate or faculty member who may have a question concerning the process and as a resource for the faculty coordinator.
5. Ensure that the Search Chair has taken appropriate steps to expand the applicant pool. 
  • DSAs may determine that additional outreach may be needed to ensure that departments areable to attract the broadest, most qualified applicant pool. 
6. Final Review of Search and Certification

Faculty members involved in searches are expected to participate in some form of bias education at least once every three years. To meet this requirement, DSAs and search committee members may complete bias training provided by the Provost’s Office, Schools, departments, and other organizations. Proof of training should be retained in the faculty member's training file in case of an audit. We provide examples below, but other bias education training will fulfill the requirement. 
  • UPenn's Unconscious Bias Training for Faculty, Staff, and Students (Source: PSOM-Workday Learning)
  • Faculty Bias Training (Source: UPenn Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty - Workday Learning)
    This asynchronous course is evidence based, developed for faculty by faculty, and contains specific scenarios that occur during faculty searches and other aspects of faculty work. The training was developed by faculty at the University of New Hampshire with funding from the National Science Foundation.
  • Additional in person faculty bias training workshops through Provost's Office (periodic) 
  • Bias education training offered through UPenn Schools, departments, and other organizations will also fulfill this requirement. 
  • The department should retain proof of training in the faculty file for any course taken outside of UPenn's Workday Learning System. This may be needed in case of audit.

DSAs are charged by the University of Pennsylvania and Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) with ensuring that faculty search processes are broad, inclusive, and designed to bring outstanding professors to Penn. DSAs are appointed by department Chairs and must be tenured members of the Standing Faculty and senior members (Associate Professor or Professor) of the Standing Faculty Clinician-Educator track. The most recent guidelines for the role of DSA can be found in the Vice Provost for Faculty memo Diversity Search Advisor Updates and Guidelines.

There are important action items that must be completed by the Office of Academic Affairs when DSAs transition in and out of the role. Please notify Kim Haebel whenever a new DSA is appointed or will be leaving the role. If your department experiences challenges in finding new DSAs in the relevant tracks and ranks, please contact Kim Haebel in OAA


  • Login to
  • Select ‘Interfolio’ under ‘Faculty Administration’
  • Select ‘Positions’ under ‘Faculty Search’ to view Faculty Positions

Special Recruitment Considerations