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College of Education > Procedural Checklist for Tenure-Track Faculty Searches

Procedural Checklist for Tenure-Track Faculty Searches

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Recruiting talented faculty is one of the most important decisions we make here in the College of Education at Penn State. The people we hire determine who and what we are. These procedures are organized chronologically to assist our search committees in successfully navigating the search, selection, and hiring process. Searches by their very nature are complex and time-consuming. This procedural guideline is designed to take you step-by-step through the process. Remember - this is only a guideline; depending on the dynamics of a particular search, the order could change. A copy of these procedural guidelines will be provided to the search chair and to the administrative support assistant providing administrative support to the search chair. Each task is preceded by a dash for you to enter the completion date as part of your search file and to assist you in tracking your progress. If you have any questions throughout the process, do not hesitate to contact the College Human Resource Strategic Partner, Gerald K. Henry, Jr.

1)________   Request for Search
Department Head submits to Dean a written request to fill a position. This request should include a rationale for the position, a draft position description, and Department Head's recommendation for the composition of the search committee.
2)________ Development of Search Committee
The Dean, in consultation with the Department Head, appoints search committee chair and search committee, notifying the Financial Officer and the College Human Resource Strategic Partner of search.
3)________ Meeting of Search Committee (first meeting)
At the first meeting convened by the search chair, the committee should meet with the Dean for the charge, the Department Head, a member of the Affirmative Action Office for a discussion about affirmative action, and the College Human Resource Strategic Partner for procedures. It is important for the administrative support assistant providing the search with administrative support to the chair of the search committee to attend this first meeting.
4)________ Position Announcement
The search committee will refine the position announcement in accordance with the template provided ( Attachment 1). This position announcement is forwarded to the Dean for final approval. Once the Dean approves the position announcement, the finalized position announcement should be forwarded to the College Human Resource Strategic Partner for posting to the College web page.
5)________ Recruitment Announcement
The College Human Resource Strategic Partner will build an ad from the finalized position announcement for placement in The Chronicle of Higher Education (this may be a joint ad announcing all positions available within the College).
However, where appropriate, another professional journal may be substituted. Additional advertisements desired by the search committee/department will be coordinated through the College Human Resource Strategic Partner. Any charges incurred will be borne by the employing unit. (Detailed Search Advertising Procedures can be found in Attachment 2).
All announcements must include the following as a requirement: "Evidence of a commitment to working collegially and with individuals from diverse backgrounds, commensurate with experience."
6) ________ Applicant Tracking
Applicant tracking is done through the Electronic Job Management System. Review of applicant material can be done through the Electronic Job Management System.
The search chair or a designated search committee member should contact references via phone, e-mail, or mail (Attachment 4).
The search committee chair should consult with the College Human Resource Strategic Partner for an initial review in the Electronic Job Management System to determine representation of women and minorities in the applicant pool.
7)________ Screening Process
The search committee prepares a screening instrument based on criteria from the position announcement. The search committee uses this instrument in the screening of all applicants to determine which applicants do not meet the minimum qualifications. When screening cover letters and vitas, the search committee should keep in mind:
  • The screening process should be completed in a timely manner.
  • Objective documentation should be kept to assist in the completion of the screening instrument.
Those applicants whose candidacy will not be pursued should receive notice that they are no longer being considered for the position (Attachment 5). This can also be accomplished automatically through the Electronic Job Management System. Please inform the College Human Resource Strategic Partner who should be closed off in the Electronic Job Management System.
8) ________ List of Certified Candidates to Department Head
By "certifying names," the search committee attests that applicants are both qualified and acceptable to continue as candidates based on available data. This list, with committee comments, is forwarded to the Department Head by the chair of the search committee.
The chair of the search committee should inform the College Human Resource Strategic Partner of all applicants no longer being considered and not on the certified list. The College Human Resource Strategic Partner will close off these applicants within the Electronic Job Management System.
9) ________ List of Certified Candidates to the Dean
The Department Head makes independent assessments of the eligibility, strengths and weaknesses of the candidates on the list of certified candidates. The list of certified candidates is forwarded to the Dean, along with the Checklist for Search Candidates Recommended for Interviews (Attachment 7).
10)________ Campus Visits by Candidates
Invitations to visit the campus are issued by the Dean of the college through the Department Head where the position exists. When arranging interview visits, explore the candidates' need for reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Ask (only): "Will you need any special accommodations for your interview?" If the candidate answers yes, explain to them that our Human Resources Office will be in touch with them shortly.
Candidates invited to campus and all participants in the interview process should receive a detailed itinerary of the visit. This itinerary should include all relevant information, i.e., travel information, accommodation information, and names and titles of individuals with whom the candidate will be meeting. A sample itinerary is attached (Attachment 8).
Note: Resources to cover expenses of candidates' travel and lodging are drawn from the Dean's Budget. The department or hiring unit shall cover expenses for meals and incidentals. Ensure that all facilities for meetings, lodgings, etc. are accessible.
11)________ Interview Questions and Campus Visit
The search committee will develop interview questions. The interview questions (telephone or otherwise) must be based upon job related duties and the position announcement. Special care must be taken to ensure all candidates are treated equally. All candidates should be asked the same questions in each interview. Any reference to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, identity, national origin, age, handicap or status as a veteran or other non-job related criterion must be avoided.
12)________ After Campus Visit
Immediately following a campus visit, all participants in the interview process should complete an evaluation form (Confidential Reaction to Candidate After Campus Visit form, Attachment 9) indicating the suitability of the candidate for the position and return it to the search committee chair.
13)________ Search Committee Deliberations
The search committee and the Department Head will review the confidential evaluation forms, and steps should be taken to involve the entire department faculty in discussions about each candidate's suitability for the position. The findings of the search committee, Department Head, and faculty are then shared with the Dean by the Department Head. The Department Head makes the official recommendation on behalf of the department.
14)________ Candidate Offer
Selection of a person to fill the vacancy is the responsibility of the Dean who seeks advice and consults with the Department Head and chair of the search committee as necessary. Negotiations for salary and rank are carried out by the Dean at the time an offer is extended to a selected applicant. In those instances where the Dean anticipates making an offer of tenure as either an associate or full professor, the Dean will consult with the department and College Tenure and Promotion Committee and initiate a formal "expedited review" as appropriate.
15)________ Closing Off the Search
The College Human Resource Strategic Partner will initiate the hiring process and will close off all remaining candidates with the Electronic Job Management System. (This should occur only after the Department Head has notified the unsuccessful candidates of their status with the search.)
16)________ Retention of Records
All applicant data and correspondence relative to the search must be collected by the search chair (or administrative support assistant assigned to the search) and must be retained within the department for a period of three years subsequent to the application deadline date. Any notes taken or emails distributed between the search committee members relative to the candidate(s) must also be collected and retained as part of the official search file. (See Attachment 11 for further retention information.)

The checklist should be sent to the College Human Resource Strategic Partner, 277 Chambers, within ten days after the vacancy has been filled.

October 2015