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APM Guidelines on Search Committees

Administrative Policy Manual Chapter VI, “Special Provisions Governing Faculty Employment” 

B. Guidelines for Faculty Search Committees 

1.     Tenure-Track Searches 

a.  After a search has been approved, an appropriate search committee will be constituted by the provost in consultation with the department or program involved. The chair of the department or program will normally be the chair of the search committee. The charge of the search committee is to identify and recommend to the provost candidates whose appointment would best serve the interests of the particular department or program, and of the college. In order to carry out this charge, the procedures described below are to be followed in all searches for tenure-track faculty positions. 

b.  All search committees must include as fully enfranchised members at least one member of the faculty from outside the department or program involved, and at least one student representative selected by the department chair, in consultation with other search committee members. Other students in the department should be encouraged to provide the search committee chair with input on visiting candidates. 

c.  The provost will charge the chair and members of the search committee with the task of assuring that fairness and equity will inform the entire search process. Resources will be made available to the search committee by the dean to assist its members in such matters as implementing affirmative action guidelines, handling internal candidates, and assessing candidates' experience. 

d.  Tenure-track faculty positions shall ordinarily be filled with a national or international search. In the course of a search, the procedures and criteria applied to internal and external candidates should be as nearly alike as possible. 

e.  Insofar as possible, the entire search committee will be party to the full conduct of the search, including review of recruitment strategies, the interviewing of candidates, and other matters. Preliminary interviews of candidates at national meetings shall be conducted by a subset of the search committee (ordinarily, no more than three members). Exceptions must be approved by the provost.

f.  At the conclusion of the search, the committee will forward to the provost a written recommendation offering a rationale for its selection in terms of candidate qualifications and their relation to college priorities. A recommendation is forwarded if it has the support of the majority of the search committee, departmental or program faculty not serving on the search committee shall also be notified of the committee’s recommendation. While the final recommendation rests with the dean, he or she will usually accept the decision of the search committee.

2.     Non-Tenure-Track Searches

A full search committee as described above need not be constituted for non-tenure-track hires. The chair of the department shall consult with the provost regarding the appropriate persons to participate in the search. In general, travel to a professional meeting for the purpose of interviewing candidates is not appropriate for non-tenure-track searches.