Selection criteria

It is best practice with non-senate searches to provide a description of the selection criteria to be used in evaluating the candidates, but this is not required.

Although you do not need to submit the criteria for review, it is important to determine evaluation and selection criteria prior to beginning the search in order to equitably evaluate all applicants. These criteria should be job related and taken from the position description. Choose selection criteria that can be consistently applied to all candidates, and consider quantifying the evaluations with a ranking system. The Candidate Evaluation Form in Appendix D can be used as a template from which to create the criteria.

Selection plan

It is best practice with non-senate searches to provide a description of the selection plan to be used in evaluating the candidates, but this is not required.

Although you do not need to submit the selection plan for review, it is important to have a selection plan to evaluate the applicants and choose the proposed candidate. The selection plan should include the screening process, interview procedures, voting procedures (if relevant), etc. If using a search committee, ensure that all members agree on how the evaluation and selection criteria should be interpreted and how they relate to the goals for the search. For example, the search committee should discuss:

  • The qualifications that an applicant must demonstrate in order to be considered for the position
  • The specific attributes or dimensions along which qualified applicants will be distinguished
  • The evidence the committee members will look for to determine if applicants have met the criteria

Do’s and don’ts for selection criteria and evaluation

  • The search committee should rely on evidence in the discussion of candidates’ qualifications. Statements about candidates should be supported by materials in the application or from the interview. 
  • The search committee should not use criteria that are difficult to defend with evidence.
  • Be able to explain your decision for rejecting or retaining a candidate based on evidence in the candidate’s file that follows agreed upon evaluation criteria.
  • Review the evaluation of candidates at each stage of the search to be sure that the criteria are applied uniformly.
  • Do not use years of experience since Ph.D., or anything age‐related as a criterion. If the criterion is education in a specific, recently developed sub‐discipline, state the criterion in terms of the sub‐discipline, not years since degree.
  • Do not require uninterrupted periods of employment, as this may adversely affect women in their childbearing years and persons with medical conditions or disabilities.
  • Do not use demographic characteristics to describe why a candidate either would or would not be a good fit for a position. For example, rather than stating that a candidate would be a good role model for graduate students because he is African American, focus on the candidate’s contributions to diversity through research or service activities.

The role of contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity

The University of California Academic Personnel Manual (APM 210-d) states that search committees should consider contributions to diversity in their evaluation of candidates for faculty positions at Berkeley.

The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Teaching, research, professional and public service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are to be encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications. These contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms including efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service that addresses the needs of California’s diverse population, or research in a scholar’s area of expertise that highlights inequalities.

The ideal way to evaluate contributions to diversity is to require applicants for academic positions to provide a statement regarding their past or potential future contributions as part of their application in AP Recruit. This allows search committees to have clear information to evaluate, rather than having to guess or rely on applicants’ other materials. It also communicates to applicants the University’s commitment to hiring academic employees who will best serve the needs of our diverse student body and public institution. AP Recruit has a default “Contributions to Diversity” application requirement, set as “optional.” To require the statement of all applicants set the document to “required” when creating the application requirements, and include the requirement in the advertisement. 

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