Search Process for Department Chair Positions

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Internal and National Searches



Recruitmen​t Authorization

Each August, the Dean reviews the list of active Chairs and their appointment terms. The Dean identifies any Chairs who will be beginning their 4th year in the role as of that September, as well as the list of chairs in their 5th year, and the Dean and AD meet with these Chairs in September or October to discuss the department and leadership planning. If the outcome of these discussions is that a search for a new chair should take place during the current chair's 5th year, a hiring request for an internal or external chair will be submitted to the Provost as part of that year's position planning process. Authorization for recruitment is issued by the Provost and the Dean, with decisions regarding searches typically being released each May. The decision is normally announced to the department during the summer in order to have a new chair in place by September 1 of the following year.

Compositio​​n of the Search Committee

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.

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 diversity and representation across disciplinary subfields. The Dean and Associate Dean review the nominations and determine the final committee composition.

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.

Committe​e Responsibilities

The committee should meet with the department to discuss the characteristics and qualifications of the next chair that are of most importance to the unit and should also engage the faculty of the department in building the applicant pool, including defining a process for committee members to contact nominees submitted by department faculty.

The committee then works to draft the materials required to launch the search, including the advertisement, description of the steps that will be taken to ensure a diverse applicant pool, rubrics, and a search timeline. The committee chair shares these materials with the Associate Dean and Dean for approval, after which point, the position will be submitted through the HR Talent Link system for approval and posting. The search committee should share their preferences around letters of recommendation with the Faculty Life Cycle Coordinator, who will make the request in the Talent Link System. Additionally, all search committee members must participate in ADVANCE training before conducting interviews.

Candidate Review: After the close/review-by dates announced in the job description have passed, the search committee reviews the applicant pool. Search committees are encouraged, but not required, to conduct multiple rounds of interviews, beginning with a preliminary interview with a larger pool by phone or video conference, and then moving to a short-list for on-campus interviews.

Semi-finalist Interviews: If a semi-finalist pool is identified, the search committee chair should send the full application file to include the CV, cover letter, and letters of recommendation if any, via email to the Associate Dean and Dean for approval. The Associate Dean will confirm ADVANCE training attendance. The search committee may have to reassess the pool based on the Associate Dean's and Dean's feedback. Once approved by the Associate Dean, the list along with the rating sheet/rubric and a short summary of how the rating sheet/rubric was applied will be emailed by the Associate Dean to the Faculty Life Cycle Coordinator (with a copy to the search committee chair) to be submitted for approval in Talent Link. Accompanying the semi-finalist pool, the search committee chair must provide, to the Associate Dean, a short summary describing how the steps outlined by the committee at the start of the search to recruit a highly qualified and diverse application pool were followed. The pool must be approved by the Associate Dean in the Talent Link System prior to the first round of interviews. Once approved in Talent Link, interviews can begin. At the semifinalist stage, interviews are conducted with the search committee and members of the department.

Finalist Interviews: Once finalists or candidates are identified for an on-campus interview the search committee chair should send the full application via email to the Associate Dean and Dean for approval. Once approved by the Dean, the Associate Dean will submit the list of names along with the rating sheet/rubric, and a short summary of how the rating sheet/rubric was applied to the Faculty Life Cycle Coordinator (with a copy to the search committee chair) for approval in Talent Link. If semi-finalists were not identified, a short summary describing how the steps outlined by the committee at the start of the search to recruit a highly qualified and diverse application pool were followed should also be included. This must be approved by the Associate Dean, Dean, and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Once approved in Talent Link, interviews can begin. At the finalist stage, the candidates should be scheduled to meet with the Associate Dean and Dean for 45 minutes. Meetings with other Chairs from the portfolio and college, as well as meetings with other members of the campus community as appropriate, should be considered. Depending on the search, a meeting with the Dean and Provost may also be scheduled.

Candidate Selection: 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 the faculty's preference. The committee then presents both the committee's recommendations and the faculty vote to the department faculty, the Associate Dean and the Dean. As instructed by the Dean in the original charging 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 department faculty, Associate Dean and Dean. It is the Dean's responsibility to choose the candidate that will be offered the position. The selected candidate will be asked back to campus for a second visit which will include a meeting with the Dean. It is the responsibility of the department to organize this visit. All further aspects of the selection process (including negotiation of terms of the appointment) are coordinated by the Dean's Office.

Revised 7/21/2022​

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