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Search Process for Department Chair Positions

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Internal and National Searches


Authorization for recruitment is issued by the Dean and Provost. Chair searches are coordinated by the Office of the Dean, College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).

  1. In consultation with the Provost, Associate Dean, Department Chair and select faculty, the Dean determines if an internal or national chair search will occur. This decision is normally made and announced to the department at the start of the fall semester, in order to have a new chair in place by 1 September of the following year.
  2. The Dean, in consultation with the Associate Dean, normally selects a sitting chair or former chair from another department to serve as the search committee chair and invites a senior faculty member from a second department to serve as an outside member of the search committee. In certain instances, a senior faculty member from another department may be invited to chair the search.
  3. The Associate Dean and Dean solicit nominations for department faculty to serve on the search committee.  Depending on the size and complexity of the department, normally 3-5 department members will be included, with a goal of ensuring racial and gender diversity as well as representation across disciplinary subfields.
  4. The Dean’s Office secures final approval from Human Resources (HR), which ensures that all search committees have a diverse membership.
  5. The Dean and Associate Dean meet with the search committee to charge them, discuss process issues, address questions, and emphasize that the committee is expected to actively develop a diverse applicant pool.
  6. The committee chair works closely with the Associate Dean and the full committee to draft an advertisement. Samples of recent chair search advertisements can be provided by the Dean’s Office. Once the committee is satisfied with the draft advertisement, it is reviewed by the Associate Dean and approved by the Dean and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.
  7. The committee chair submits the job position advertisement to the Dean’s Office, with a list of proposed sites for advertising. The Dean’s Office will seek feedback from HR to see if other advertising placements should be considered. At this point, the Dean’s Office initiates the Request to Recruit (RTR) web form. The RTR must be approved by the search chair, Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost.  The RTR web form is then routed to HR, which coordinates the posting of the advertisement on UD Jobs and all outside venues identified.  The close date is the committee's decision, made in consultation with the Associate Dean, and normally 3-4 weeks (internal search) or 6-8 weeks (external search) after publication.
  8. Using the Interfolio® online system at UD, applicants should submit a single pdf document that includes a letter of application, which should detail leadership philosophy, a current curriculum vitae, and contact information for at least three references.  Questions regarding this position (but not applications) may be directed to the Search Committee Chair. Additional application materials may be requested by the committee at a later point. All application materials will be shared with the faculty in the relevant departments.
  9. After the deadline passes and following review of the application materials, the search committee selects the finalists for interviews.  Applications of the selected finalists are reviewed by the Associate Dean and approved by the Dean before anyone is invited for interview.  The web form is processed and the names of the finalists are vetted and approved by HR for an interview.
  10. If the search is national, candidates’ travel arrangements are coordinated by the Dean’s Office, in consultation with the search committee chair.  Whether a search is internal or national, the details of the on-campus interviews (e.g., interview itineraries, organization of meetings, coordination of escorts, etc.) are coordinated by the search committee. The Associate Dean will work with the search committee chair to arrange a joint meeting for each candidate with the Associate Dean and Dean (45 min recommended), and a subsequent joint meeting for each candidate with the Dean and Provost (30 min recommended). For internal searches, only the final candidate will meet with the Provost.
  11. After the interviews, the search committee presents its recommendations regarding the finalists to the department faculty. There will be two faculty votes conducted: 1) a faculty vote on whether each candidate is acceptable to the Department; and 2) a second vote to determine which single candidate is the faculty’s preference. The committee then presents both the committee’s recommendations and the faculty vote to the Associate Dean and Dean. As instructed by the Dean in the original charge meeting, the committee may rank order the candidates for the Dean’s consideration or provide a slate of acceptable candidates as determined by the committee and the members of the faculty. The committee’s work is completed when it presents its recommendations and the faculty vote to the Associate Dean and Dean. It is the Dean’s responsibility to choose the candidate that will be offered the position.  All further aspects of the selection process (including negotiation of terms of the appointment) are coordinated by the Dean’s Office.

Revised 12/04/2015

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