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Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Office  
Best Practices for Equal Opportunity Liaisons

The work of Equal Opportunity Liaisons shall consist of assisting their administrators, deans, vice presidents, chairs, directors, in developing and implementing an effective and responsive Equal Opportunity Program, Equity Accountability Program, and Affirmative Action Plan. In addition to ensuring equal opportunity for all applicants in the search process, their work focuses on the recruitment and retention of underutilized persons in their respective colleges/divisions.

EOLs assist the Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Office in the development, implementation and monitoring of diversity, equity and affirmative action programs. They are appointed by their Vice President or dean and the appointees’ names are given to the Chief Diversity Officer of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity (DIEO) Office.

link to List of Equal Opportunity Liaisons [PDF]

Duties and Responsibilities
  1. Ensuring compliance with the USF Faculty, Administrative, and Staff Recruitment and Selection Guidelines
    • Know and Understand USF’s Equity Accountability Plan and Affirmative Action Plan as these plans pertain to the search, recruitment, and hiring processes.
    • Conduct annual review of college/division’s diversity progress as recruiting plans are formulated.
    • Encourage leadership from hiring officials.
  2. Assisting in the organization of the Search Committee by
  3. Briefing Search Committee on the Equity Accountability Plan and Affirmative Action Plan of the Hiring Unit
    • Know history of hiring in your college/division
    • Know recruiting goals
    • Know underutilization
    • Know commitment level
    • Know resource level
    • Know about successes and problems
  4. Facilitating compliance of Hiring Authorities and Search Committees with Equal Opportunity Policies
    • Refer to the DIEO Office’s web site materials that define and provide examples of unlawful discrimination.
    • Refer to USF’s Equal Opportunity Policies.
    • Pre-employment inquiries (oral, print, or electronic) - Inquiries that directly or indirectly disclose the applicant’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status or disability may violate USF policy and are subject to an investigation. The key to lawful employment inquires is to only ask questions that will provide information about the person’s ability to do the job, with or without reasonable accommodations.
    • Advertising language - USF’s Equal Opportunity Policies prohibit the use of language that reflects biases, stereotypes, or discriminates unless a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) is established. All advertisements print or electronic should be reviewed by the EOL.
  5. Assessing the acceptability of the applicant pool, which includes reviewing the
    • Job description
    • Affirmative Action Data Forms
    • Evaluation forms with criteria must match qualifications
  6. Assisting in the recruitment of members of the protected classes
    • College/Division’s goals in strategic plans, unit plans etc.
    • Clear communication by leadership
    • Use focus committee all year to engage in target recruiting
    • Develop hiring plans that include strategies
    • Valid Job qualification including essential functions
    • Develop hiring plans that include strategies
    • Examine hiring biases
    • Examine the methods to solicit applicants and determine if the methods meet the good faith efforts required
    • Before advertising or posting for open positions consider what you want an applicant to do to apply for the job. Consider the following:
      1. What documentation should a potential applicant submit to ensure fair evaluation? If you require a potential applicant to fill out a form, it must be reviewed to ensure that it does not solicit unlawful or improper information.
      2. Make sure advertised qualifications are designed to measure job success.
      3. Determine whether potential applicants who have disabilities can obtain applications. Federal and state law requires employers to accommodate the needs of applicants with disabilities.
      4. Educate personnel involved in the recruiting, screening and selection processes about EEO laws and requirements.
      5. Screening Applicants: Establish written criteria that can objectively measure job performance; apply the criteria consistently; make and keep a record of all screening instruments and how criteria was applied; review results of the selection process.
  7. Reviewing search plans for compliance with the Recruitment and Selection Guidelines and the Equal Opportunity Policies of the University
    • Position Vacancy Announcement and Job Description or Class Specification.
    • Search Committee Membership (Name, Job Title, Gender and Racial/Ethnic Background of each member).
    • Efforts made to achieve a diverse search committee, if it is not diverse.
    • Description of recruitment and hiring goals of the unit, as per Equity Accountability Plan (EAP) of the University.
    • If the EAP indicates Underutilization, then a description of the proposed minority recruitment outreach efforts is needed (e.g. mailing of announcement to minority organizations and resource persons, etc.).
    • If the EAP or AAP indicates underutilization, then a description of the proposed female recruitment outreach efforts is needed (e.g. mailing of announcement to female organizations and resource persons, etc.).
    • When, where, and how the vacancy will be posted (e.g., internal and external media, recruitment sources, colleagues and other resource persons).
    • Proposed Search Timetable (e.g., Application Review, Meetings, Interviews, etc.).
    • Description of screening/evaluation processes, including instruments (e.g. screening form, rating form, interview schedule); and identification of the person(s) responsible for the initial screening of applications.
    • Description of methods that will be used to check Reference/Work Experience.
    • Identification of the person(s) responsible for clerical support to the Search Committee.
  8. Monitoring recruitment, screening, and interviewing processes.
    • Attend meetings
    • Evaluate screening materials
    • Keep applicants informed and answer questions
    • If pool is not diverse enough notify hiring official
    • Consistency in the interviewing process
    • Collect and maintain evaluations
    • Reference check process (no hearsay)
    • Request candidate approval
    • Certificate of Employability (for faculty)
  9. Referring to the DIEO Office applicants who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination.
    • Provide a copy of the Equal Opportunity Policies and the DIEO Office’s Complaint Process (see Web site).
    • Answer questions if possible
    • Contact DIEO Office at 974-4373
  10. Reviewing Hiring Reports for compliance with Recruitment and Selection Guidelines and with college and university procedures.
    • Document the search process
    • Discrepancies must be corrected
    • In the investigation process search documents may be used as evidence