Introduction and Commitment
Blue Ridge Community College is fully committed to equal opportunity in employment (EEO) in all aspects of employment. We will seek to take affirmative actions (AA) as appropriate to address protected classes that are currently, or have been traditionally, under-represented. With the development of this plan, the College reaffirms its continuing commitment to recruit, employ and retain Faculty members in these protected classes. This plan only addresses the College’s EEO commitment and is not intended to be a formal hiring policy. The College will follow DHRM and VCCS hiring policies in regard to the specific requirements of the recruitment process.
The College’s internal review of its human resources and employment practices demonstrates that the College in no way discriminates, and that personnel are employed without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
The College’s hiring practices have not led to a significant disparity in the number of female employees versus the available population. Therefore, the affirmative action aspects of this plan will emphasize actions and activities intended to recruit highly qualified minority faculty members.
All college personnel involved in the selection process are thoroughly apprised of the recruitment objectives of the EEO/AA Plan and the seriousness with which the College approaches its commitment to these objectives. Appropriate staff members may also attend periodic EEO/AA recruitment and interviewing training seminars to ensure that they are fully informed regarding current laws affecting EEO/AA, as well as the intentions and expectations of the College concerning the implementation of this plan.
The College participates in state-sponsored programs to enhance minority recruitment and retention, including the VCCS’ Search Liaison program. Blue Ridge Community College faculty and administrators are well aware of the difficulties of recruiting and retaining minority faculty, and even more aware of the difficulties of recruiting minority professionals to the Shenandoah Valley. The College is therefore committed to supporting statewide minority faculty recruitment programs; and participating, as appropriate, in other statewide programs developed to enhance faculty recruitment, promotion, and retention.
Dissemination of Policy
Equal Employment and Enrollment Opportunity Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Virginia Community College System and Blue Ridge Community College to maintain and promote equal employment opportunity without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation in all terms and conditions of employment.
The following statement is typically included in postings for any college position:
“Blue Ridge Community College is an Equal Opportunity Employer that fully supports the Commonwealth’s commitment to diversity, opportunity, and inclusion. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.”
Responsibility for Implementation
The president of the College has the overall responsibility for the College’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policy for the College. The President has delegated the authority for the administration of the plan to the Vice-President of Finance and Administration (VPFA) and the HR Director. The VPFA and HR Director assist college officers, faculty and staff in the interpretation and administration of the College’s plan and will prepare pertinent EEO/AA reports and plans.
The HR Director is responsible for monitoring employment procedures and practices to ensure the effective use of human resources in compliance with Federal regulations and State equal employment practices.
Each administrator will be responsible for ensuring that the EEO/AA plan is carried out within his/her respective area.
Recruitment and Hiring Practices
- The following is a description of the College’s recruitment and hiring practices.
- Blue Ridge Community College seeks to locate and employ highly qualified and dedicated individuals for available faculty positions. To accomplish this task, thorough planning and open communications are necessary at all stages of the recruitment and selection process.
- The selection process used at BRCC for all full-time teaching, professional, and administrative faculty appointments is as follows:
- Vacancy announcements are prepared by HR, in consultation with the appropriate VP, Hiring Manager, and the identified Search Liaison. Vacancies are advertised nationally, statewide, and locally (with an emphasis on advertising with diverse professional organizations and publications) — unless an exception is granted by the VCCS Systems Office. In the case of vacancies for restricted appointments, the option of nationally advertising the position will be at the discretion of the appropriate VP in consultation with the hiring manager.
- A screening committee (including the Search Liaison) is appointed by the VP or President in consultation with HR and the immediate supervisor to whom the successful candidate will report. Prior to reviewing application materials, an HR representative should meet with the screening committee to discuss the recruitment and interview process, unless all members of the committee have been recently trained in the college’s recruitment process. This meeting will provide committee members information regarding the overall recruitment/selection process, the EEO/AA Plan, and relevant legal aspects of hiring (including information on aspects of implicit bias).
- To expedite the screening process, the committee should meet with HR soon after the position is posted; then applications/materials may be screened as they come in, so that interviews may be conducted as soon as practicable after the position closes.
- The committee determines specific job-related qualifications and selection criteria on the basis of the position description and/or job posting. These criteria may also be reviewed by the appropriate VP and/or Human Resources.
- HR and/or the search committee review applications to determine which applicants have submitted complete application materials and which are most competitive for an interview. The college is especially interested in highly-qualified candidates who can contribute to the continued diversity and excellence of the college community.
- The screening committee recommends to the VP, and reports to HR, those candidates who have been selected for interview. If none of the candidates selected is a minority and there are minority applicants who meet the minimum job qualifications, the committee reviews again the files of the minimally qualified minority applicants and, in consultation with the hiring manager and HR, determines whether any of the minority candidates could be considered as reasonably competitive candidates worthy of an interview. If the committee believes any of the minority candidates would be reasonably competitive, then they recommend to the VP to extend an offer to interview.
- In certain circumstances, the initial screening interview of top candidates may be conducted electronically (Zoom, Skype, etc.). The same media/method should be used for all selected candidates in this initial interview stage, and consistent interview questions/documentation should be maintained.
- Applicants invited for an in-person interview should be sent written notification by the hiring manager containing information about the time and place of the interview. The notification should include a statement such as: “If you have a disability for which you need to request an accommodation during the interview, please make your request in writing at least two working days prior to the interview.” After the request is received, the supervisor and HR Director will determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable. This determination may require that additional documentation concerning the disability be obtained from the applicant.
- The candidates are interviewed by the screening committee, the hiring manager, and/or the VP. The President may also choose to interview the candidate. A consistent format is used for all interviews, including an established list of questions that are asked in the same order during each interview. While additional follow-up questions may be asked, it is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that they are job-related. If possible, at least one diversity-related question should be asked during the interview. The chair of the committee is responsible for ensuring appropriate notes are maintained on each interview.
- The committee submits a list of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the interviewed candidates to the appropriate VP, the President, and HR. The supervisor, VP, HR and/or President may meet with the committee to discuss the list of strengths and weaknesses, clarifying any questions and soliciting any further comments from committee members. The supervisor, VP, HR and/or President consult regarding a hiring recommendation. Reference checks are generally performed by the immediate supervisor or his/her designee. The President then determines to whom to extend an offer to hire.
- After an appropriate pay rate has been calculated and approved by the appropriate VP and President, the position is offered to the selected candidate.
- Background checks are conducted as a condition of employment in accordance with VCCS policy. For criminal violations, recency, relevancy, and severity of the identified violations will be the main criteria evaluated by the President in regard to whether an applicant is acceptable for employment with BRCC.
- If an acceptable candidate is not found among those interviewed, the applications are reviewed again. If no qualified candidates are obtained or selected in the first recruitment effort, the search may be extended and/or re-advertised.
Targeted Recruitment Activities
The following activities are continued from prior programs and are intended to attract a large, diverse, and qualified applicant pool.
- Vacancies may be advertised in local and regional newspapers as appropriate.
- Vacancies will be advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education (and/or selected national professional and trade journals for specialized fields).
- Positions may be shared with various minority contacts and advertised in appropriate minority publications and/or websites, with a special emphasis on advertising with diverse professional organizations.
- When appropriate, the College may send a representative to appropriate regional/national meetings/conferences (such as the National Association of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education) to gain exposure for the institution among potential applicants and sources of applicants as well as recruitment and strategy ideas.
- The College may solicit advice as appropriate from members of the local minority communities on improving the response to vacancy announcements from qualified minority candidates.
- Through various ongoing programs and efforts, the college makes a concerted effort to identify qualified minority faculty to teach on a part-time basis.
Accountability and Documentation
The following are actions to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the EEO Plan.
- The following records are maintained by HR for a period of at least three years from the date the position is filled: position description, records related to recruitment efforts, copies of advertisements, employment applications, race and gender data on all applicants, screening and selection criteria applied, interview questions and notes on applicant response, and reference checks.
- The Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee may include in its annual report to the president its internal assessment of the Faculty EEO/AA Plan, making recommendations as appropriate for corrective actions or modifications to the EEO/AA Plan.
Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee
The Health, Safety and Human Resources (HSHR) Committee is appointed in accordance with the College governance structure. This Committee represents a cross-section of the College’s employees.
- This committee represents the administration, classified employees, and faculty, for one to three-year terms.
- Among other things, the duties and responsibilities of this committee include the following:
- Serve as an independent channel for individuals and groups within the College for expression of views on equal opportunity matters.
- Assist in reviewing appropriate EEO/AA plans and reports as requested by the Vice- President of Finance and Administration.
- Meetings are held periodically during the academic year.
- The agenda is developed by the committee chair with input from members.
- The minutes are published in the College’s Intranet along with other committee meeting minutes.
- These duties may be further delegated to a HR Subcommittee of the HSHR Committee.