University of Texas Introduces the “Rooney Rule” for High-Level Administrative Searches

utexasThe National Football League requires its member teams to interview a minority candidate for every head coaching vacancy. This so-called “Rooney Rule,” named after the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, obliges teams to at least consider Black and other minority candidates in a league where half of the players are African Americans.

Now, William H. McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas System is instituting the Rooney Rule for all administrative searches for deans and higher posts in the 14-campus system. At least one woman and one minority candidate must be included in the final pool of candidates for all high-level administrative positions.

In an address to the university community, Chancellor McRaven said “this so-called Rooney Rule will ensure that qualified women and minorities have an opportunity to be considered for every senior-level position from dean and above. We will write it into University of Texas policy that no senior position can be filled without allowing a qualified woman or minority candidate to be interviewed all the way to the last round of the process.”

Chancellor McRaven went to say that “while this will not guarantee women or minority hires – nor should it if a candidate is not qualified – it will put more women and minorities in a position for the selection committee to recognize the great talents that may have heretofore gone unnoticed.”

The chancellor concluded his remarks on the subject by stating that “we are not doing the job we ought to be doing in driving equal opportunity and fairness in our hiring and promotion processes. Making sure our faculty and staff reflect the changing look of Texas is not just about fairness. It is also about effectiveness. We need faculty, administrators, and campus leaders who understand the people they’re serving, who come from the same kinds of places.”

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