Diversity Statement Guidelines for Faculty Applicants

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SJSU’s Diversity Statement Guidelines for Applicants to Faculty Positions


San Jose State University understands that faculty success leads to greater student success. We are proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPISI) Serving Institution. Many of our 36,000 students are historically underserved, the first in their families to pursue post-secondary degrees, and Pell recipients. We seek to recruit faculty who reflect the increasing diversity of our students.

SJSU requires a diversity statement from faculty applicants because we are interested in understanding the lived and professional experiences and commitment you may bring to our campus community.  As we seek to create a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive campus climate for all, we see this statement as a tool that can help you explain the value you might add to this endeavor.

Key Definitions

  • Diversity: The variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance.
  • Equity: The act of overcoming systemic societal barriers including racism, sexism and socioeconomic challenges that prevent the full participation of individuals from all groups.
  • Inclusion: Effort through personal actions, programs, and policies to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, respected, supported, and valued.
  • Belonging: Knowing that what one is doing has purpose and meaning to themselves and others.

Guidelines for Writing Your Diversity Statement

Strong diversity statements (suggested length of 2 pages) will discuss the following:

1. Understanding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB): How do you think about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? What factors influence underrepresented groups in academia, and the experiences of individuals from particular groups within academia?

  • Your understanding could be shaped by personal experience. Please let us know, but only if you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Your understanding could be shaped by scholarship in your core discipline. If so, please be specific.
  • Your understanding could be shaped by reading outside your core discipline. If so, what did you read and what did you learn? Please be specific.
  • Your understanding could be shaped by your professional experiences in academia at the campus level, or regional/national disciplinary level. 

2. Track Record on DEIB: Have you been involved in activities to advance or promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment or institution? Such activities could be large and organized or they could be specific and personal. Please tell us the role that you played, what you did, what happened, and what you learned from the experience.

  • You could have volunteered for an organization. Please let us know.
  • You could have mentored others, either formally or informally. Why did you do it and what happened?
  • You could have taken a position on an issue. What was it, and why?

3. Plans to further enhance or develop DEIB: Coming into a new institution will involve significant change. Please let us know how you plan to integrate DEIB into your faculty role, including new or existing initiatives you would like to be involved with.

  • You might be interested in contributing to specific campus or academic services or you might be interested in benefiting from them. Please let us know and be specific.
  • You might have ideas about how to incorporate DEIB into the classroom. Please let us know your ideas, and be specific.
  • Is there a future path to your research that might include DEIB? If so, please let us know.

These guidelines have been gratefully adapted from those developed by UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.