Guidelines for Tenure-Track Searches

Guidelines for Tenure-Track Searches

New tenure-track faculty members are a most important investment of the college.  Many will remain at the college for the next thirty to forty years. They bring new energy, scholarship, and approaches that invigorate our students and their colleagues. The college is committed to attracting faculty who reflect the diversity of our student body, alumni network and local community. Our future faculty colleagues must include outstanding scholars who are broadly experienced, intellectually skilled, and committed to preparing our students to function effectively as global citizens.

Below are guidelines for tenure-track searches. The process has two purposes: to ensure that the college’s needs are met and to pursue our goals of bringing to Bates a diverse faculty. The Dean of the Faculty may ask that some searches for non-tenure-track positions of more than one year follow these Guidelines for Tenure-Track Searches. If you have questions about any phase of this process, please consult the Dean of the Faculty, the VP for Equity and Inclusion in the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), a Division Chair, or an Associate Dean.

Formation of the Search Committee
A. Soon after receiving a letter authorizing a position, but not later than May 1st, the chair of the department/program makes arrangements to meet with the Division Chair to discuss the composition of a search committee that will foster a college-wide perspective. The chair of the search committee may be the chair or another member of the department or program.

B. To support a broad perspective, the tenure-track search committee includes members outside the department or program. 1) For appointments within a single department or program, the search committee shall consist of some or all members of the department or program plus two members outside of it. 2) For appointments in two departments/programs, the search committee shall be composed of no fewer than four members, with an equal number of members from each relevant department/program plus two colleagues outside their ranks, chosen in consultation with the departments/programs and the appropriate Division Chairs.

C.  Once the membership of the committee is decided, the chair of the search committee contacts the Dean of the Faculty for final approval of the committee’s composition.

Meeting with the Dean and the VP for Equity and Inclusion
As soon as possible after approval of the search committee the entire committee meets with the Dean of the Faculty or the Dean’s representative and the VP for Equity and Inclusion. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the goals and process of the search, address any concerns, and begin work on the active and inclusive search plan and the job ad. Scheduling the meeting well in advance is important.

Active and Inclusive Search Plan
The search committee refines the Active and Inclusive Search Plan with the VP for Equity and Inclusion. The Dean of the Faculty and VP for Equity and Inclusion must approve the Active and Inclusive Search Plan before the position may be posted. In creating the plan, the search committee should identify specific actions that will make the search, recruitment, and review process attentive to diversity and inclusion. For guidelines see Active and Inclusive Search Plan.

Job Description and Position Advertisement
The Dean, the VP for Equity and Inclusion and the Division Chair must also approve the Job Description and Position Advertisement before the job may be posted. Each tenure-track job ad should reflect the proposal for the position, the criteria in the letter of authorization, and the active and inclusive search plan.  For guidelines see Job Description and Position Advertisement.

Listing a Tenure-Track Position
The chair of the search committee completes the Faculty Search and Recruitment Form to track the search process and to insure that the position is correctly advertised. The Dean of the Faculty, VP for Equity and Inclusion, Division Chair, and office staff receive this material for a final review and posting.

Reviewing Dossiers
Before reviewing dossiers, search committees meet again with the VP for Equity and Inclusion to discuss processes for reviewing candidates with experience in active and inclusive teaching and to discuss the interview process. 1) Dossiers of applicants are confidential and are restricted to the search committee, the Dean of the Faculty, the appropriate Division Chair and the VP for Equity and Inclusion, unless an exception is granted by the Dean.  2) The VP for Equity and Inclusion will assist with compiling availability-pool data and recruitment information so that the search committee can assess its efforts during the recruitment phase. 3) If the Dean of the Faculty, VP for Equity and Inclusion or search committee considers that the pool of candidates does not adequately reflect the availability pool, efforts outlined in the Active and Inclusive Search Plan, or for other reasons, the position may be re-advertised with a new date.

Retrieving Applicant Dossiers
All applicants submit their materials electronically to Interfolio. Candidate materials for a search are available to all members of the appropriate search committee, the VP for Equity and Inclusion and appropriate staff, the Dean of Faculty and appropriate staff.

Selecting Finalists
After the search committee examines dossiers, it conducts any initial interviews with candidates remotely or at a conference, discusses the results, and selects finalists. 1) The chair of the search committee submits information about finalists on the Candidate Selection Form. The form calls for a brief description of the process that was used to select candidates along with a short list of finalists in preferential order and the rationale for selecting each. 2) The Dean and/or VP for Equity and Inclusion will discuss with the chair of the search committee and/or full search committee any reservations about the list. If a chair wishes, he or she may have a preliminary conversation with the Dean or VP for Equity and Inclusion before submitting the explanation and short list on the Candidate Selection Form. 3) Within one week of the submission of the Candidate Selection Form to the Dean of the Faculty and VP for Equity and Inclusion, the Dean conveys to the chair of the search committee the final approval of candidates and permission to invite candidates to campus. 4) The Dean of the Faculty makes the final decision regarding hiring of any finalist.

Scheduling On-Campus Interviews
A. Three candidates usually visit the Bates campus. An invitation to more than three requires the permission of the Dean of the Faculty. Normally candidates are invited for two days and offer formal classes, colloquia, and/or lectures along with personal interviews.

B. The chair of the search committee, with support of the AAA, also schedules meetings with a) members of the search committee, b) faculty in related/interested fields and from underrepresented groups; c) Division Chair, d) students; e) Dean of the Faculty; f) VP for Equity and Inclusion, g) College Librarian h) AIs or other appropriate staff,  i) Director, Harward Center for Community Partnerships, and (j) the President in some cases.

On-Campus Interviews
Remind colleagues that the campus visit is a process of mutual exploration. Candidates are interviewing the faculty at the same time that the faculty members are interviewing the candidate. Allow each candidate free time to look around the campus and the local area. Consider including an Admission tour.

Assistance from the AAA
1) The AAA reserves time-slots for each candidate with the Dean of the Faculty, the VP for Equity and Inclusion, and the President well in advance and confirms as soon as the candidate’s schedule is finalized. 2) The AAA works with the chair of the search committee to schedule travel and accommodations, preferably at the Dunn House (contact Christine Schwartz). 3) The AAA is responsible for communicating travel and accommodation information to the search committee via email. 4) The AAA schedules interviews and sends the interview schedule to those on the interview schedule. 5) For each candidate, the AAA prepares a folder that includes a schedule, campus map, and information about the college and the Lewiston-Auburn community. 6) The AAA announces the public presentations to the college community. 7) The AAA calls the Dean of the Faculty’s office for billing numbers and submits receipts for expenses.

Expenses for Recruitment
Recruitment expenses, including faculty and staff time, need to be managed carefully. Entertainment at dinners off-campus will be reimbursed up to $200 per candidate, upon presentation of receipts. Meals taken in Commons or catered by Bates dining may be charged to the Dean of the Faculty’s recruitment budget, using the search’s R number. Charges over $200 per candidate or more than two dinners will be billed to the department/program’s budget.

Deliberations and Communication
The search committee requests and considers feedback from all parties, including the entire search committee, the Dean of the Faculty, VP for Equity and Inclusion, relevant Division Chair(s), students, and appropriate staff, then makes a recommendation to the Dean. Neither the search committee nor faculty colleagues are to communicate recommendations to candidates. The Dean communicates any reservations to the chair of the search committee.  Once the Dean agrees to a candidate, the Dean communicates agreement to the chair of the search committee.

Offers and Negotiations
The Dean of the Faculty offers the position to the candidate, and negotiates and issues a contract contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

Informing Other Candidates
After a candidate receives a formal contract, the chair of the search committee should telephone other candidates who have visited to thank them for their interest in Bates and let them know that an offer has been made. After receipt of the signed contract, the chair of the search committee works with Academic Services on wording of a message to other candidates.

Final Records
All copies of candidates’ dossiers must be shredded per federal statutes. The college keeps records about searches that are helpful to the college and appropriate to federal guidelines. Within two weeks of the end of a search, the chair of the search committee completes and sends a form with information about the search to the VP for Equity and Inclusion and office staff listed on the form. Forms are available from the Office of Equity and Diversity.