New search advocate program promotes equity and inclusion

January 8, 2019

Pic of Staff SenateBy Taylor Summey, Class of 2021

To bring an enhanced level of expertise and compliance to the interview and search committee process, Clemson will implement a new Search Advocate Certification Program. The initiative was created to equip select individuals involved in job search committees with the skills and knowledge necessary to promote an inclusive and equitable environment.

“Well-trained search advocates will reinforce the efforts of university search committees by rigorously screening diverse pools of job candidates with the intent of building a more diverse and inclusive work environment at Clemson,” said Emily Watrous, chief human resource officer. “Being nominated to go through this certification process is a true honor. These individuals will be viewed as search experts which provides Clemson with a great advantage when identifying and hiring top talent.”

The initial training will be targeted to 200 faculty and staff members. The training includes a six-hour orientation split into two parts, covering topics such as implicit bias, the legal environment, demographics and more. Upon completion of the training program, those certified are expected to provide support to approximately 2-3 job searches per year. In addition, advocates must participate in a minimum of three hours of continuing education every year to remain certified. Colleges and divisions will be asked to nominate faculty and staff for the first cohort, and the nomination process that will take place beginning next month. The first orientation sessions will be held August.

Offered in the fall and spring semesters, the training will prepare participants to support ClemsonFORWARD’s goals, address underrepresentation among job candidates and bring expertise on equity and inclusion to the search process.

Faculty and staff are invited to learn more about the Search Advocate Program and provide feedback:

  • Wednesday, March 6, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., Cooper Library, Room 416
  • Thursday, March 7, 1 – 4 p.m., Cooper Library, Room 416
  • Wednesday, March 27, 1 – 4 p.m., Cooper Library, Room 309
  • Thursday March 28, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., Cooper Library, Room 416

The Search Advocate Certification Program is a result of a partnership between the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Inclusion and Equity.

For more information, contact Moryah Jackson at 864-656-4238 or


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