Advisory Committee Policy on the Role of Advisory Committee Members in Faculty Searches

[Approved by the Advisory Committee, September 30, 2011]

Meetings with Candidates for Faculty Positions

Every candidate who visits campus to interview for a tenure-track faculty position must meet with a current member of the Advisory Committee, and candidates for senior positions must meet with two members of Advisory. Chairs of departments with authorized searches are informed of this requirement by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and are responsible for scheduling this meeting as part of the candidate’s visit. In the beginning of the academic year the members of the Advisory Committee will agree on a list of interviewing assignments. Normally, the same member (or the same two members in senior searches) of the Committee will see all of the candidates for a particular position, and the Advisory interviewer may not be a member of the searching department or program. If a scheduling conflict arises, another representative of the Advisory Committee should be enlisted to meet with the candidate.

Purposes of the interview

(1) Description of the Wesleyan tenure and promotion process. In the course of the discussion, the member of Advisory should describe in some detail the procedures followed in the consideration of tenure cases. This presentation should include a discussion of the three criteria applied to this evaluation and the methods by which information is gathered. The Advisory member should indicate the role of the department in soliciting outside letters on the candidate’s scholarship, the role of student evaluations, the consideration departments normally give to tenure cases, and the nature of the recommendations and supporting information forwarded to Advisory. The discussion should also include a description of the deliberations within the Advisory Committee, including the meeting with the tenured faculty of the recommending department (and program, if applicable). The role of the Review and Appeals Board should be described. Additional topics may include the responsibilities of senior colleagues in mentoring junior faculty, and the procedures for reappointment and second and fifth year reviews.

(2) A Forum for Candidate Questions. Candidates should be informed that the meeting with the Advisory member provides them with an opportunity to pose questions that they might not wish to air with members of the department or with the Academic Dean. Many candidates, including successful candidates who are currently members of the Wesleyan faculty, have found this to be an invaluable source of information and a welcome feature of their interview visit. All discussions with the Advisory member are confidential. Since candidates are encouraged to use this meeting to ask sensitive questions, they should be made aware in advance that the Advisory member will not transmit any information to the department or program.