Making the Final Selection

Every department or school should have established protocols for making the final candidate selection in faculty searches, including procedures for evaluating, discussing, voting and making recommendations on top candidates. The department or school protocol should be followed consistently for each faculty search. Any significant departures from the established protocol should be discussed and agreed upon in advance.

General guidelines for selection protocols and voting procedures

  • The role of the search committee in putting forward a recommendation about the finalists: Will the search committee be tasked with recommending a single candidate? Providing a ranking of the finalists (first, second, third)? Writing a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the finalists? Whatever the method, the search committee should know at the outset of the search what the expected outcome is.
  • Differences of opinion: Determine how differences of opinion about the finalists among the search committee members will be handled. Does each member provide their own rank ordered list? Does the committee need to come to consensus on the finalists? Is there a vote taken among search committee members to determine the order of the finalists?
  • Presentation to the faculty: Determine how the search committee recommendation or summary will be presented to the department faculty.
  • Department voting procedures: Candidates should be evaluated on their own merit. Votes taken should be based on individuals rather than in relation to other candidates. It is sometimes necessary to hold several if/then votes if there are multiple strong finalists. For example: (1) Is Candidate X above the bar for appointment at Berkeley? (2) Is Candidate Y above the bar for appointment at Berkeley? (3) (If votes are positive for both candidates) Which of the two candidates do you recommend for appointment, Candidate X or Y? (4) (Depending on whether X or Y receives the most votes) Do you recommend making an offer to (the other one) if (the first one) declines?

Communicating with Candidates

  • Maintain communication with candidates. Keep them informed about where the department or school is in the process, so they know whether or not they are still under consideration. These processes are often long and drawn out, which is not understood by some prospective first‐time faculty. 
  • Respect unsuccessful candidates’ time by notifying them of their non‐selection as soon as a firm decision has been made, and prior to public announcement of appointments, rather than waiting until the entire search process has been completed. As soon as possible after an offer is accepted, finalists not chosen should be notified.

Discussing the Offer

  • The discussion of the soft offer should make it clear that all terms are contingent on approval by the Chancellor. The discussion should include salary, anticipated start date, start-up needs, space requirements, housing support and partner hiring or child care needs (if any).
  • Be careful not to make promises that you cannot keep. Offers should not include guarantees on matters such as child care, housing, or transfers of sabbatical credit. If something is beyond your immediate control or not supported by UC policy, do not promise or imply it in the process of making the offer or in hiring‐related conversations.

Evaluating the Process

Debrief as a committee after each search to evaluate the process and explore aspects that can be improved in future searches.

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