Guidelines For Recruiting Candidates for Faculty Positions
The Academic Affairs staff works closely with faculty and staff involved in faculty recruitment. These guidelines apply to searches for tenured, tenure-track, and adjunct faculty.
1. About the Search Process. Congratulations on receiving approval to conduct a search—our goal for is for you to hire the best possible candidate. The search process has these steps:
a. The initial recruiting process: form the search committee; post the position on Wesleyan’s recruiting website; advertise the position; recruit intensively for a diverse applicant pool; receive and review applications; conduct initial interviews;
b. The on-campus interview: submit a proposal to your Academic Dean with a shortlist of candidates to bring for on-campus interviews, their full dossiers, a log of all the people in the field that the search committee contacted in order to recruit for diversity, and a cover letter. The Dean, Chief Diversity Officer, and the Provost will review this proposal.
c. The offer: submit a proposal to your Academic Dean as described below.
2. Posting the position.
a. Web posting: Academic Affairs will post your advertisement for this position on the Faculty Openings web page: www.wesleyan.edu/facultyopenings.
b. Application process—online: PeopleAdmin is the program Wesleyan uses to accept and review applications online. This program allows the applicant to submit a full dossier, it automatically emails references for confidential letters of recommendation and posts these (Interfolio letters are also supported). It allows faculty members to view the applications from your eportfolio. You may view the applications online or download them as .pdfs; you may organize the pool into categories; you may create a shortlist so that the full departmental/program faculty see only the dossiers of a subset of applicants. Lisa Sacks in Academic Affairs will support you and your administrative assistant in using PeopleAdmin.
c. Application process—other methods: We encourage you to consider using PeopleAdmin rather than having dossiers mailed or posted to WesFiles because PeopleAdmin gives the most holistic environment in which to review applications with the lowest workload to your administrative assistant. If you elect to use other methods, the entire process for receiving and reviewing applications will be run by your department/program without support for this from Academic Affairs.
3. Advertisements. Academic Affairs will cover the costs of advertising, up to a maximum of $1,500, for each search. If advertising costs will exceed $1,500, the Chair should consult with Lisa Sacks before placing the ads. Advertising includes print and electronic announcements as well as any printing and mailing expenses.
a. If you are using PeopleAdmin to accept and review applications online, Lisa Sacks will give you a link for inclusion in your ad that will take applicants directly to your posting.
b. All ads must include the following statement:
Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity employer who welcomes applications from women and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiries regarding Title IX, Section 504, or any other non-discrimination policies should be directed to: Sonia Manjon, PhD, Chief Diversity Officer, 860-685-4771.
4. Candidates’ dossiers. Dossiers should contain the candidate’s vitae, at least three letters of recommendation, and samples of scholarship. You may also ask for statements of teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, a research plan, previous teaching evaluations, and any other materials appropriate for consideration at the initial stage. Candidates in the creative or performing arts should send other appropriate evidence of their work.
5. Recruiting for Inclusion. You are expected to develop a diverse pool of candidates. Search committees should develop a plan for reaching out in the field, calling on those across the field to inform potential candidates from underrepresented groups and, where appropriate, to facilitate recruitment. The Chief Diversity Officer is available to assist committees in this process. Throughout the search process, a log should be kept of all these contacts about potential candidates. In your proposal to bring candidates for on-campus interviews, you must include this log and a description of all efforts taken in order to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the candidate pool. Please review Diversifying the Faculty Checklist of Best Practices and Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias and Assumptions.
6. Initial Interviews. The first round of interviews may be conducted by Skype, phone, and/or at professional meetings. Each year, more and more search committees are reporting that Skype interviews are as good or better than conference interviews for their flexibility, ease, and for allowing the committee to consider a larger and broader range of candidates than just those who attend the meeting. To support this, several meeting rooms have been retrofitted with videoconference capabilities; Lisa Sacks can give you the list. Use the time of the initial interview to ask candidates for additional scholarship if needed by the committee to select finalists for on-campus interviews. The goal is to obtain a better sense of the quality of their work and, in some cases, whether the candidates are close to completing the Ph.D.
7. Interviewing at Professional Meetings. Academic Affairs will reimburse travel expenses, including transportation, lodging, and meals, for three representatives per authorized position to attend professional meetings to interview candidates. Please plan ahead to insure the best rates for travel. Travelers must follow the University’s travel policies available on-line at http://www.wesleyan.edu/finance/financeDept/accounts/travelpolicynew.html. Travel expense reports should be submitted to Lisa Sacks. If it is felt that a suite is necessary for interviewing, please check with Lisa Sacks. Requests for travel that don’t fit these guidelines should be directed to Sourav Guha, Assistant Provost.
8. Approval for on-Campus Interviews. Search chairs must have the approval of the Provost, the Academic Dean, and the Chief Diversity Officer before inviting candidates to visit campus. Search chairs should contact the Academic Dean to begin the process of securing these authorizations. The number of finalists invited to campus is generally three candidates, and no fewer than two. Permission to bring more than three candidates for a campus visit must be authorized by the Academic Dean.
In order to gain approval for a campus visit by candidates, departments or programs should send a written request to their Academic Dean discussing the merits of the candidates they would like to invite to campus. The written request should include:
A. A brief description of the search process;
B. Copies of the ads as they appeared in print and online, and a list of where they appeared;
C. A list of all the candidates who applied for the position, their institutional affiliations, and rank if applicable;
D. A list of all personal contacts made by search committee members to enhance the diversity of the pool;
E. A description of how the department met Wesleyan’s goal to increase faculty diversity within academic departments. In particular, it must explain what specific actions the department or program took to increase the number of candidates from underrepresented groups within the pool of applicants, and it must include documentation of all personal contacts made by members of the search committee (letters, emails, and logs of phone or personal conversations). Also, if no candidates from underrepresented groups were shortlisted for a campus visit, the department must indicate the reason.
F. A discussion of the merits of the recommended candidates. The request should discuss the candidates' accomplishments and potential as scholars and teachers (teaching ability may be hard to estimate until the campus visit). This means that the search committee will have to read the candidates' work and closely examine the vita and other parts of the dossier before recommending a campus visit. When dealing with candidates who are still working on their Ph.D. it will be important to read as much as possible of what the candidate has written and to obtain from him or her the chapters completed, a list of the work that remains to be done, and the expected date of completion. Since candidates tend to have an optimistic sense of when they will finish, obtain a list of the chapters completed, the work that remains to be done, and the expected date of completion. This should help the committee reach an independent judgment about the likelihood of completion in the near future. If the search committee can ascertain any possible problems with the candidates, they should discuss those as well.
G. Supporting material for each candidate for whom a visit is requested (if not using PeopleAdmin):
letter of application
letters of references
all the written or other work submitted
and, if applicable, a teaching statement and/or research statement
9. The Campus Visit.
a. Meetings: All candidates invited to campus will meet with the appropriate Academic Dean, a member of the Advisory Committee, and the Assistant or Associate Provost. All candidates for tenured positions will also meet with the Provost and a second member of the Advisory Committee. Contact Sarah Northgraves in Academic Affairs (ext. 2010) early in the search process to discuss the schedule for candidates to meet with the Academic Dean, Assistant/Associate Provost, and (if applicable) the Provost. Also contact the Advisory Committee representative for the search. All interviewers should receive copies of each candidate’s vita and of the interview schedule. The Academic Dean will give information to each candidate on the promotion and tenure process, faculty grants, and teaching at Wesleyan. The Assistant/Associate Provost will discuss administrative issues, benefits, the background check process, and provide an expense voucher.
Everyone who meets with candidates should refer to the attached guidelines on “Avoiding Discrimination in Hiring” which lists areas of inquiry that should be avoided in discussions with faculty candidates. Search committees should be especially conscientious about sharing this information with student groups who are meeting with candidates. Before a search committee meets to discuss the outcome of the visit and the ranking of candidates who came to campus, the committee must obtain the opinions of the Academic Dean and the Advisory Committee member(s) who met the candidates during their campus visits. The search committee must also obtain the opinion of the Provost in cases involving candidates for a tenured position.
b. Expenses: Candidates are guests of Wesleyan when visiting campus. Their expenses are paid and they are not eligible for honoraria. The University appreciates the time faculty must devote to seeing candidates on campus and extending hospitality. The Office of Academic Affairs appreciates efforts made by departments to control costs, while insuring that every candidate is treated well and has a comfortable visit. Candidates who need to stay overnight will stay at the Inn at Middletown. Departments should complete the top half of the Inn’s direct billing forms and forward them to Lisa Sacks to make reservations. Only modestly sized groups should join candidates for meals at the University's expense. Bills should not exceed $100 for lunch (maximum $20 per person) or $245 (maximum $35 per person) for dinner. (If a candidate is taken to more than one dinner, Academic Affairs will reimburse up to $245 in total for the meals.) Departmental budgets are responsible for costs in excess of these amounts. Department receptions, refreshments, and similar expenses are not reimbursed by Academic Affairs. All candidates are required to complete and sign a Travel Expense Report to receive reimbursement for travel. Bills are to be submitted to Lisa Sacks, as soon as possible after the visit.
10. Selecting the Finalist. The process for selecting a finalist should begin promptly after candidates visit campus. The faculty in the departments involved in the search should conduct extensive and informed discussion. That discussion should be based on a careful examination of substantial portions of the candidate’s work by most of the faculty in those departments. Chairs should consult all faculty in the department or core faculty in the program, except the untenured faculty in their last year, and should hold a formal vote. After this consultation, and with the affirmative vote of a majority of the tenure-track and tenured faculty, a written recommendation should be sent to the Academic Dean. The recommendation should include: a report on the votes in favor and against the recommendation, a tally of votes, and a description of the voting process; a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate in comparison to the other finalists; and, if appropriate, a discussion and ranking of other candidates to whom an offer might be made should the first-ranked candidate decline. Search committees are responsible for notifying candidates when they are no longer viable candidates for the position.
11. Speaking with a Candidate about a Possible Offer. Chairs must receive the explicit approval of the Provost, through the Academic Dean, to speak with a candidate about a possible offer. After approval has been received, the chair may contact the candidate and say that he or she is the choice of the department and that he or she will be hearing from the Dean shortly to discuss salary and additional details of the appointment.