Hiring Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty (94xx)
Steps in Conducting a National Search for a Tenure-Track or Tenured Faculty Member
NOTE: Starred (*) items indicate required steps.
Each administrative unit establishes its own authorization process to fill a vacancy or create a new position. Check with your supervising administrative unit for instructions on how to gain approval to begin the search process.
*Consult with Unit Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action (EOAA) Liaison
Hiring authorities are required to consult with their unit EOAA Liaison about the search process as well as the decision on whom they wish to hire. Unless the dean or unit administrator decides differently, such consultation does not require approval by the unit EOAA liaison.
*Consult with Unit Human Resources (HR) Staff
Hiring authorities are required to consult with their unit HR staff about the search process as well as the decision on whom they wish to hire. Unless the dean or unit administrator decides differently, such consultation does not require approval by the HR consultant. If the unit does not have unit HR staff, the central HR consultant who serves the unit should perform this role.
*Prepare Position Description and Complete Requisition
A position description must be completed for all tenure track and tenured faculty positions. This should include a description of the major functions and responsibilities, as well as basic terms and conditions, of the position. For appointments with more than one title (e.g., department chair plus professor), information about all titles should be included (see the Full Position Description and Essential Qualifications and Preferred Qualifications in Appendix G: Documentation for Recruiting and Appointing Academic Personnel).
*Appoint Search Committee
A search committee with a well-defined charge will be assembled by the appointing authority, in consultation with the department's regular faculty and/or appropriate administrators, the dean or appropriate unit administrator, and the unit EOAA Liaison (see Appendix D – Getting the Most from the Search Committee Process).
*Prepare Search Plan
After the position description is prepared, the appointing authority must prepare the search plan. To develop the plan, the appointing authority should consult with the search chair, particularly regarding recruitment strategies (see Appendix A – Recruiting A Diverse, Qualified Pool of Applicants).
In formulating and executing the search plan, the appointing authority should begin by reviewing the departmental composition, availability of women and minority individuals in the discipline(s) and specialty area(s), applicable goals for women and minority individuals, and results from previous recruiting and searches. These data are available from the unit EOAA Liaison. (See Appendix G – Documentation for Recruiting and Appointing Academic Personnel for instructions on preparing search plan and approval to hire documentation.)
*Begin Selection Process with Final Approval Granted at Dean/Administrative Unit Head Level
Establishing parameters for academic staffing decisions is the responsibility of the senior administrator of each campus, college, or major administrative unit. The President, Executive Vice President and Provost, Senior Vice President, Vice Presidents, and Chancellors are responsible for defining required approval procedures for units within their administrative areas. For colleges, it is the dean, in consultation with the senior administrator to whom the dean reports, who is responsible for defining required approval procedures for departments and units within their colleges.
A national advertising strategy should target appropriate professional journals, publications, and electronic media designed to attract a diverse, qualified applicant pool. The advertising sources chosen will depend on the position's qualifications and discipline(s) or specialty area(s). When planning an advertising strategy, keep in mind the need for an open public search and the need to attract a diverse pool (see the Advertising Your Position section in Appendix A – Recruiting a Diverse, Qualified Pool of Applicants).
If an academic search is likely to attract international (namely non-U.S. citizen) applicants, employers in certain circumstances can use an electronic or web-based national professional journal, instead of the more expensive required print journal advertisement, to meet U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) labor certification standards. An electronic or web-based national professional journal advertisement can be used under these circumstances:
- The advertisement for the job opportunity for which certification is sought must be posted for at least 30 calendar days on the journal's website.
- Documentation of the placement of an advertisement in an electronic or web-based national professional journal must include evidence of the start and end dates of the advertisement placement and the text of the advertisement. in the form of printouts of the ad from the start date and from the 30th date of posting (or later), or a bill/invoice (with a printout of the ad or attached text of the ad) showing the ad was placed at least 30 days, and listing the start and end dates.
Because these circumstances are limited, departments should continue to place at least one advertisement in a national print journal unless they are confident that at least one web-based journal ad will meet these strict requirements. You can contact International Student and Scholar Services for more information on whether a particular advertisement or journal would qualify and other guidance on visa requirements for international scholars.
In addition to standard forms of advertising, search committees are encouraged to identify alternative recruitment strategies early in the search process. Search committees are expected to engage in aggressive recruitment as a means of attracting a qualified, diverse pool of applicants (see Appendix A – Recruiting A Diverse, Quality Pool of Applicants).
*Screen Applicants and Evaluate the Pool Composition
To evaluate the effectiveness of search strategies, the search committee must screen applicants to determine which candidates meet the essential qualifications, identify a tentative list of candidates to interview and, if required, receive appropriate pool approval.
*Conduct Interviews, Select Finalists and Forward Recommendations
Based on a thorough screening and review of the application materials, a pool of applicants is identified for interview by members of the search committee. The search committee interviews applicants, makes assessment and compiles recommendations. Recommendations are forwarded to the department head/chair or appointing authority (see Appendix F – Building A Positive Relationship with A Future Colleague).
*Review Search Committee Recommendations
The department head/chair or appointing authority reviews the search committee's evaluation of all candidates who were interviewed, the list of candidates who were not recommended for selection, and the reasons candidates interviewed by the search committee were not referred for selection. The appointing authority and unit EOAA Liaison and HR staff should review the goals for the department at this point.
The appointing authority may now:
- Initiate the interview process for the finalists following campus, collegiate, or administrative unit procedures; or
- Determine the pool of finalists is not adequate and ask the committee to reevaluate the pool and examine files of any/all applicants in the pool at any point; or
- Determine the pool of finalists is not adequate and personally reevaluate the candidates and examine files of any/all applicants in the pool at any point; or
- Reopen the search process to expand the pool of applicants (see the Reopening a Search section in Appendix A – Recruiting a Diverse, Qualified Pool of Applicants); or
- Close the search and possibly reopen at a later time.
*Recommend Appointment with Tenure
If the appointment involves the conferral of tenure, University and collegiate policies require that the appointment may only be made at the rank of associate professor or professor. Such appointments may be made only after receiving the recommendation of the regular faculty holding indefinite tenure in the academic unit concerned. If a timely recommendation of the regular faculty is not possible, the appointment may only be offered with the condition that it is contingent upon a positive recommendation by the tenured faculty of the academic unit.
*Obtain Approval for Appointment with Tenure
For tenured faculty positions, the Executive Vice President and Provost must review the credentials of the proposed candidate and provide approval to the dean or the administrative unit head before the hire can be made.
*Obtain Final Approval to Make Offer (Granted at Dean/Administrative Unit Head Level)
Approval by the appropriate unit administrator(s) is required before extending an offer. Establishing parameters for academic staffing decisions is the responsibility of the senior administrator of each unit. The President, Executive Vice President and Provost, Senior Vice President, Vice Presidents, and Chancellors are responsible for defining required approval procedures for units within their administrative areas. For colleges it is the dean, in consultation with the senior administrator to whom the dean reports, who is responsible for defining required approval procedures for departments and units within their colleges.
*Prepare Letter of Offer
Once official approval to hire has been granted, a draft letter of offer must be prepared by the appointing authority. Such letters should include information about the terms and conditions of the appointment. University policy requires approval of each letter of offer by the appointing authority's responsible administrator before it can be given to the candidate.