relationship with the university administration to ensure the success of the search process (Smith, 2000). Identifying potential URM faculty candidates should not be limited to external searches; in many instances, potential faculty can be found among an institution’s URM graduate and postdoctoral health professions students (see example provided by Formicola et al. [2003] in section titled, “A Comprehensive Strategy to Increase URM Applications, Admission, and Success—One Dental School’s Example”).

Once qualified candidates are identified, personal support in the form of a “champion,” someone willing to facilitate communication, advise the candidate, and advocate for him or her during the search process, can ensure that the search committee has “the opportunity to fully assess the candidate’s talent” (Smith, 2000, p. 52). Finally, Smith notes, posthiring support is critical for many URM faculty. Institutional politics, the challenges of earning tenure, balancing teaching and research, and other faculty concerns may be exacerbated for faculty of color, who are often expected to assume a larger role than non-URM faculty in mentoring students, serving on committees, and other tasks (Smith, 2000).

Recruitment of Underrepresented Minority Students

As noted earlier in this chapter, increasing the proportions of underrepresented minority students in health professions training settings is an important initial step toward transforming the institutional climate. Health professions training institutions have experimented with a wide range of strategies to recruit URM students, with varying degrees of success. Recruitment efforts are affected by a number of factors, such as the quality of primary and secondary education for URM students, changes among students in career interests, competition from other nonhealth fields for talented students (e.g., almost all health professions schools have seen modest declines in the overall number of applicants since the late 1990s; Grumbach et al., 2001), and competition among health professions disciplines for students from the same applicant pool. Such competition poses particular problems for some disciplines, such as nursing, which has declined in popularity as a health professions career choice as opportunities for women and minorities in other fields have increased and as wages and working conditions for nurses have failed to improve substantially (Buerhaus and Auerbach, 1999).

Strategies for recruitment of URM students generally fall into several categories, including, but not limited to:

  • The use of targeted marketing materials, outreach, and information campaigns to interest high school and college students in health professions careers;

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