Selection criteria

Prior to beginning the search, determine evaluation and selection criteria that are 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 E can be used as a template from which to create the criteria. If no ranking system is used clearly specify what the criteria are and how they will be applied equally to all applicants.

Selection plan

Provide a detailed description of the selection plan that will be used to evaluate the applicants and choose the proposed candidate, including screening process, interview procedures, voting procedures (if relevant), etc. 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 committee members will look for to determine if applicants have met the criteria
  • The plan to evaluate candidates if the search is open to more than one rank (e.g., Assistant/Associate).

For most senate faculty searches the development of a “long list” of those under serious consideration is an intermediate step before choosing the shortlist for campus visits. Consider how the application of the selection criteria may be used differently with the entire pool, compared to those under serious consideration. Will there be different criteria used? Or, will the established criteria receive different weighting at the different stages of evaluation? 

Examples of selection criteria

  • Research area (e.g., fit with area specified in the advertisement)
  • Research productivity and/or promise
  • Vision of the research to be conducted in the next 5 years
  • Participation in the research community (e.g., presentations of work at conferences, leadership roles in discipline, design work)
  • Interest and ability to develop a new research area
  • Demonstrated ability to teach specific content
  • Demonstrated knowledge of effective pedagogy
  • Demonstrated ability to develop new courses
  • Contributions that have promoted equal opportunity for diverse students or colleagues
  • Experience working with diverse students
  • Evidence of mentoring more junior colleagues
  • Evidence of interest in graduate and undergraduate education
  • Communication skills and cross‐cultural abilities to maximize effective collaboration with a diverse community of campus and external colleagues 
  • Demonstrated ability to be a conscientious community member
  • Grant proposals obtained
  • Recognition of work (e.g., awards)
  • Letters of reference

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 faculty positions to provide a statement regarding their 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 faculty who will best serve the needs of our diverse student body and public institution.

In AP Recruit,  “Contributions to Diversity” is a default application requirement, set as “optional.” Set the document to “required” when setting the application requirements, and be sure to include the requirement in the advertisement.

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 campus visit.

  • If other evidence is brought into play, via speaking with a candidate at a conference or speaking with a candidate’s faculty advisor, the committee should try to collect similar evidence on all candidates, particularly at the short list level of evaluation. For example, if a committee member has heard about a candidate from a faculty colleague, the committee should reach out to faculty advisors of other short listed candidates as well. 

  • 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 experience or 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.

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