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Academic Search Committees


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Title: Academic Search Committees

Academic Search Committees
  • What We Waste when Faculty Hiring Goes Wrong
  • COST Advertising
  • Time spent by Search Committee, Staff, Admin
  • Send Search Committee to national Conference
    for screening
  • interviews
  • Bringing finalists to campus for interviews
  • ___________________________________________
  • TOTAL First year salary of new faculty in

Responsibilities of Search Committee Chairs
  • Create a climate of trust
  • Call the meetings
  • Organize the agendas
  • Ensure process notes are shared promptly
  • Facilitate all meetings, addressing all agenda
  • Move the process forward
  • Communicate with the person who charged the
    search committee
  • Ensure all documentation is completed accurately,
    delivered to appropriate source
  • Delegate key responsibilities such as
    administrative support, schedules, candidate
  • Act as spokesperson for committee
  • Address/confront conflicts of interest other
  • Present final candidates to the person who
    charged the committee
  • Encourage a process for welcoming new hire

Responsibilities of Search Committee Members
  • Attend all meetings
  • Complete all assignments on time
  • Contribute personal and professional perspective
  • Sustain the vision for the position-keeping best
    interests of department and institution in mind
  • Communicate opinions honestly
  • Speak candidly with candidates while maintaining
    positive attitude about the position, the
    department the institution
  • Work toward consensus
  • Respect confidentiality both for candidate and
    for department
  • Abide by the agreements made by the full committee

Points for Chairs to Exert Leadership
  • Struggle over the definition of the faculty
  • Choice by Committee Decision by Committee
  • Role of internal dissent
  • Threat posed by young, ambitious talent
  • Mid-career faculty on a shopping expedition

Questions to Ask the Stakeholders
  • How does the position support the department/its
  • What expectations do you have for the person in
    this position?
  • What should the committee be looking for in a
  • What opportunities related to this position have
    been overlooked in the past as possible growth
  • What characteristics are you looking for in a
    candidate who would be an excellent fit?
  • What emerging trends and challenges in the field
    do you see will impact this position?

Elements of an Advertisement
  • Position title
  • Institution and location
  • Reporting structure
  • Primary accountabilities and responsibilities
  • Key qualifications
  • Distinctive qualities desired
  • Application process
  • Review process
  • Salary range or compensation statement
  • Statements on commitment to diversity and EEO/AA

Potential Pitfalls
  • Well know good applicants when we see them.
  • Indistinct criteria or lack of consensus
  • Confusing the function of the office the
    qualifications of the position
  • Glossing over requirements/expectations
  • Too restrictive or unrealistic requirements
  • Organizational, leadership, or perceptual biases

  • Study of 250 Mathematics Position Ads

Myths about Recruiting a Diverse Pool
  • Many institutions are competing for few
  • Scholars of color are in high demand
  • Scholars of color leave academia for lucrative
    private/government positions
  • They are all recruited by high powered
  • The few who are available are in high demand
  • Candidates from prestigious schools are only
    interested in prestigious jobs
  • Diversification means heterosexual white males
    have no chance

MYTH 1 Few are available.PROPORTION OF
  • Both the number and proportion of doctorates
    earned by minority U.S. citizens rose between
    1984 and 2004.
  • American Indian
  • 1984 0.3
  • 2004 0.5
  • Asian
  • 1984 2.2
  • 2004 5.6
  • Black
  • 1984 4.1
  • 2004 7.2
  • Hispanic
  • 1984 2.3
  • 2004 4.6
  • NOTE Proportions are based on U.S.-citizen
    recipients only.
  • SOURCE Survey of Earned Doctorates, Summary
    Report for 2004,
  • National Opinion Research Center

Myth 2 TWU is doing ok.
TWU Minority Student Enrollment 38
Strategies to Increase Diversity
  • Look for teaching experience with diverse
  • Share information about the opening with senior
    leaders and incumbents from similar institutions
    use targeted networking
  • Request personal referrals of outstanding
    candidates (let them know their referrals will
    get immediate attention)
  • Send announcements and supporting documents to
    professional associations, honor societies,
    journal editors, conference leaders
  • Post on on-line
  • Contact institutions who have recently searched
    for/hired for a similar position their sources
    of candidates? Finalists?
  • Contact women's colleges and historically
    Black/Hispanic colleges and universities for
    alumni information/leads
  • Recruit at conferences that target minority
  • Personally contact candidates and maintain
  • Have a diverse search committee
  • Be mindful of dual-career issues

Hiring Gen-X Faculty
  • Born between 1965 and 1980
  • Skeptical
  • Believe parents suffered VDD vacation deficit
  • Give me balance now, not when Im 65.
  • If they cant understand that I want a kick-ass
    career and a kick-ass life, then I dont want to
    work here.
  • Why does it matter when I come and go, as long
    as I get the work done?
  • Willing to work hard but wants to decide when,
    where, and how.
  • Source This slide and the next
  • Lancaster Stillman (2002). When Generations
  • NY HarperCollins Publishing Inc.

The GenX Academe ClashFrom Trower, Cathy A. How
to Recruit a Gen-X Faculty Member, Inside Higher
Ed Audio Conference, July 17, 2007
Self-command collaborate
Portable career
Freedom, fun, fulfillment
Will go where the right lifestyle fit exists
Job changing is not bad and may be necessary
Sorry to interrupt again, but how am I doing?
Top down hierarchy unappealing
May move on despite tenure
Where is the fun?
May move on for the right fit
No stigma, just reality
Transparency matter Up or out after six years?
Key Factors in Job ChoiceFrom Trower, Cathy A.
How to Recruit a Gen-X Faculty Member, Inside
Higher Ed Audio Conference, July 17, 2007
  • Whether the position is tenure-track or
  • Contact length
  • Mix of work between teaching and research
  • Salary
  • Prospects of tenure or contract renewal
  • Department quality/ranking
  • Institutional prestige
  • Geographic location of the institution

  • Trowers research shows that WHAT and WHERE
    matter more than prestige and salary.
  • For attractively situated institutions, no
  • For less so, market the location (just like we do
    with students!)
  • Offer an appealing balance of work
  • From Trower, Cathy A. How to Recruit a Gen-X
    Faculty Member, Inside Higher Ed Audio
    Conference, July 17, 2007

  • Post-Search

  • Search Committee Responsibilities Post-Search
  • Continue contact
  • Sequence of mailings/calls/emails
  • Assistance in Resettlement
  • Assistance in Transition to TWU (e.g., paperwork,
    benefit questions)
  • Introductions to the University/College/Department
  • Socialization into your departmental culture
  • Mentoring..

Key Factors in New Faculty Retention
  • Clarity surrounding
  • Tenure process, criteria, standards, body of
  • Expectations for scholarship, teaching, advising,
    colleagueship, campus citizenship
  • Reasonable and consistent performance
  • A climate, culture supporting great work
  • Quality of life on the job and off
  • Workload equity
  • Professional development and support

Quality of Life Factors for New Faculty
  • Where?
  • Desirable location
  • What?
  • Balance personal and professional
  • With whom?
  • Colleagueship, harmonious work life, minimal
    political squabbles, minimal administrivia
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