Implicit Bias Training

NIU's implicit bias training is called Achieving Excellence in Recruiting: Reducing Implicit Bias in Search Committees. This training emphasizes best practices for diversity in NIU's hiring process. It covers the following topics:

  • Key definitions related to bias and diversity.
  • The role of search committee members. 
  • The impact unconscious assumptions could have on the search process.
  • Strategies to limit or avoid implicit bias affecting a search committee.

The training is available on Blackboard. It includes three 15-minute videos and a brief quiz.

Do I Need to Take the Training?

If you're on a search committee for a faculty or supportive professional staff (SPS) position, you must complete the training. The training is good for a year, during which time you can serve on as many search committees as needed. When the year is up, you must retake the training before you can serve on another search committee.

Though not required, we encourage faculty and staff who are not serving on search committees to complete the training each year. This will raise awareness of the negative impact of implicit bias and help prevent delays in the search process.

How to Take the Training

To take the training, have a department designee send the names of those who need to take it to affirmativeaction@niu.edu. We'll arrange for access to the training. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. Select Organizations.
  3. Select Achieving Excellence in Recruiting: Reducing Implicit Bias in Search Committees.
  4. Watch the first video all the way through and select Yes to verify you've watched it. Select Submit and refresh the page to go to the next video.
  5. Take the 10-question quiz and get a score of at least 80%. You can take the quiz as many times as needed.
  6. Verify your score in the Blackboard gradebook, then contact affirmativeaction@niu.edu to let us know you're done (or ask your department designee to do so).

Frequently Asked Questions

When are members of civil service search committees required to complete the training?

Members of civil service search committees are not currently required to complete the implicit bias training. Until the requirement for this classification goes into effect, it is strongly recommended that departments follow the same practices and processes used in faculty and SPS searches.

Where can I learn more about effective recruiting, hiring processes and guidelines for faculty, SPS and civil service positions?

Read more about best practices for recruitment and the search process. If you have any questions, contact us at affirmativeaction@niu.edu.

How should I verify if a search committee member has completed the training?

At the time the search committee is established, the department designee should send the list of proposed search committee members to affirmativeaction@niu.edu to verify if they have completed training.

Can someone who is not an NIU employee serve on a search committee?

Yes. Departments are encouraged to include individuals with diverse perspectives on the committee. However, each member must complete implicit bias training.

How often do the search committee members need to be trained?

Committee members need to be trained annually (every 12 months).