When conducting a faculty search, attention must be given to the federal, state, and local laws governing employment discrimination, and to the Northwestern University Policy on Discrimination and Harassment. Taken together, these laws and policies generally prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of any of the following characteristics:
The law in areas of equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action is evolving and can be complex. The Northwestern University Office of General Counsel, Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark Street (tel: 847.491.5605), works closely with the Office of the Provost on these issues.
The following guidelines are based on federal, state, and local law and Northwestern University policy. As a general rule, ask only what you need to know (questions relating to the requirements of the job) and not what you would like to know (questions that do not pertain to the job and/or are personal in nature). Similarly, you should only include interview questions that you also ask the other candidates.
|Topic||Questions to avoid||Permissible questions|
|Age||Age, birth date, date of graduation||Questions to a PhD candidate regarding expected completion of degree requirements|
Whether candidate is a U.S. citizen
Place of birth
|Whether person is eligible to work in the U.S.|
Any question about a candidate’s health, medical condition, or illness
Any question that is for the purpose of eliciting information about a disability
Questions about how candidate would perform the job
Questions about whether candidate could perform teaching, research, and other related job functions with or without reasonable accommodation
|Marital and family status||Questions about marital status, child care, children, pregnancy, or future plans with respect to these matters||May inform candidate that information regarding Northwestern family policies and services is available, referring candidate to appropriate campus resources (Office of the Provost, Office of Human Resources)|
|Race and ethnicity||Any question about candidate’s race, national origin, ethnicity, or (unless job-related) languages spoken||None|
|Religion||Questions about religious affiliation||None|