This guide provides policy information and procedures for faculty to conduct successful, equitable searches for senate faculty. The guide is organized broadly by information and tasks necessary to create a search plan prior to launching a search, to evaluate candidates during the search, and to complete the search report once a proposed candidate has been selected. Additional resources are available for analysts supporting non-senate searches including checklists and a Quick Guide on the activities to complete during the search. Scholarly resources are also available to support the search process.
Creating the Search Plan
Use the following format for the title: “Job title – approved search area – unit.”
Assistant Professor – Modern Hebrew Literature – Department of Comparative Literature
Associate/Full Professor – Metabolic Biology – Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology
This format provides consistency with our centrally funded automatic online advertising.
The “open/close/final” format is used for senate faculty recruitments. The “open date” is the date when the search opens to potential applicants, the “close date” is the last day for individuals to begin an application, and the “final date” is the last day for applicants to modify their application. The close and final dates are typically the same.
All applications must be complete by 11:59pm on the final date. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Applications are “complete” when all required materials are uploaded and letters of reference have been requested through the system (if letters are required), even if the reference letters have not arrived.
Example applicant instructions for open-rank (multilevel) searches
Level 1 name: Assistant Professor
"Individuals should submit their application at this level if they meet one of the following conditions: Current or recent PhD candidate or graduate; current or recent postdoc; current assistant professor (including those who are “senior” assistant professors near tenure). Please note that this level determination is only for application review purposes, not the ultimate appointment level of the finalist."
Level 2 name: Associate Professor
"Individuals should submit their application at this level if they meet one of the following conditions: Current tenured professor; position equivalent to tenured professor (ie., at an international university). Please note that this level determination is only for application review purposes, not the ultimate appointment level of the finalist."
For multilevel faculty searches that do not align with the above example (e.g., searches where the normal degree expectation is not the doctorate), please contact the Dean’s Office for recommended language, or sign up for OFEW office hours to discuss in person.
The description field text is the advertisement that AP Recruit displays to potential job applicants (refer to the senate search plan checklist for a list of requirements for the advertisement). A carefully drafted and complete description is an important component of a broad and inclusive search.
The job description serves as a significant signal to applicants about the department and University, including whether Berkeley is a place potential candidates would want to work. Advertisements that are written with the intention to be welcoming and inclusive, as opposed to implying that candidates should “walk on water,” are more likely to result in strong, diverse applicant pools. Additionally, job descriptions that state a broad range of academic areas typically yield a richer, more diverse pool of candidates.
Advancing equity and inclusion is fundamental to our UC Berkeley Principles of Community, which states that “every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring and humane environment in which these values can thrive,” and the University of California policy on diversity, which states that, “The University particularly acknowledges the acute need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented.” Consistent with the University’s goals, recruitments should make clear their interest in candidates who value diversity, equity, and inclusion by integrating language into the description, such as:
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at UC Berkeley and [department X]. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.”
We strongly suggest that this kind of language appear early in the description section, and be integrated with the description of the position, rather than being a standalone item that appears to be compliance related.
Document & Reference Requirements
The choice of application requirements should be considered carefully - too many documents can result in poor applicant pools, particularly at the senior/tenured level. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.
For open-rank searches (“multilevel”) different documents can be requested for candidates at each level.
All applications require a Curriculum Vitae. The default assumption in AP Recruit (with standard auto-populated language) is to require a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as part of the initial application. Given the requirement to assess DEI as part of the evaluation process, the majority of committees choose to ask for such a statement up front. Requiring a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion from all applicants indicates that the department is interested and committed to this area, which can be particularly important for candidates who want to join an institution that shares their values in this area. That said, some committees opt to review the statements in detail at a later stage in the search process, for example with the smaller group under serious consideration (“the long list”).
Other documents are optional, and can also be added at a later point in the search process (e.g., only for the short list candidates). Required documents cannot be changed after the search opens.
Letters of reference are often an important part of candidate evaluation. However, because a large body of data indicates that women and candidates from minority groups on average receive more negative evaluations regardless of the level of their qualifications, care should be taken when giving them weight (articles on this topic can be viewed here). Even a single “doubt raiser” phrase among many positive accolades (e.g., “the candidate has a somewhat challenging personality,” “she may be a good leader in the future”) is sufficient to skew search committees’ overall assessment of a candidate. Some search committees now routinely wait to review letters of reference until a later phase of the search process, even for assistant professor positions.
Letters may be obtained by asking candidates to request letters at the time of application, or by asking candidates for referee contact information only. This requirement can be set by level for multilevel searches. Carefully choose the number of letters or contact information to request. It is common to provide a range (e.g., 3 - 5 or 2 - 4). We do not recommend requesting letters at the time of application for tenured level applicants. Candidates at this level are often uncomfortable revealing the fact that they have applied to another position, and will therefore not apply if they must request letters at the time of application. Letters can only be received through AP Recruit or directly from the referee to the department analyst. Additional letters submitted on behalf of a candidate cannot be accepted or considered.
The minimum number of required letters should be received prior to proposing candidates for the short list (when applicants simply request the letter they are marked as “complete” by AP Recruit). Analysts can send reminders to applicants regarding missing letters of reference, but if a reminder is sent to one applicant it should be sent to all who are similarly situated. Applicants can also re-request letters of reference from their referees even after the application deadline. Consider including a statement in the advertisement about the date by when letters of reference should be submitted.
All potential referees must be given notice of the University of California policy on disclosure and confidentiality of academic personnel review files, including when the letters are provided via a third party such as a dossier service or career center. The link to the policy is: apo.berkeley.edu/ucb-confidentiality-policy. Referees who upload their letter into AP Recruit will receive notice of the policy.
Applicant Pool Demographic Benchmarks and Goals
There are two data representations that provide demographic benchmarks and goals for academic recruitments: (1) “Availability Demographics” provide information about the national availability pool for a particular position by gender and race/ethnicity; and (2) “Affirmative Action Goals” provide information about demographic groups in broad job areas that are currently “underutilized” at Berkeley according to their national availability. Neither of these data sources are “perfect,” but they do provide a helpful benchmark from which to guide outreach plans, and to then measure general effectiveness of those outreach efforts.
Departments may also wish to view their own departmental data demographics, both currently and over time. These tables are updated yearly and available through OFEW upon request. They provide a specific benchmark pipeline for the department, by gender and race/ethnicity, over the last approximately 20 years. Please note that we do not currently have sufficient numbers, nor national availability information for other demographic categories such as gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, among others. However, the university values and seeks a more diverse faculty across all categories and intersectionalities.
The availability demographics serve as the benchmark by which the applicant pool should be compared, by gender and race/ethnicity. For most positions at Berkeley the data come from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, and provide information about the national availability of PhD recipients over a relevant recent time period (typically five years for non-senate academic positions).
The search committee should review the availability data, and compare the applicant pool to this information in order to evaluate the general effectiveness of the search and recruitment outreach efforts.
AP Recruit invites all individuals to voluntarily self-identify their gender, gender identy, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, disability status, and status as a protected veteran. While we are required to ask individuals this information, they may decline to state with no negative repercussions. The gender and race/ethnicity information provided is presented in aggregate as a comparison with the benchmark data.
Affirmative action goals
As a federal contractor, UC Berkeley establishes and maintains an Affirmative Action Program and a yearly written Affirmative Action Plan (“AAP”), and fulfills requirements established by the Federal Department of Labor, Office for Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) to provide equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination in hiring and personnel processes. The UC Berkeley AAP provides yearly data on groups that are “underutilized” on the Berkeley campus by broad job type and by schools and colleges. Underutilization is defined as having fewer minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, or protected veterans in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected given their availability in the job market.
The Affirmative Action goals for searches reflect this underutilization (shaded cells in the Affirmative Action goals table denote current underutilization of a group). Annual goals are equal to availability for underutilized job groups; the University must make good faith efforts to address the underutilization through recruiting a broad and inclusive pool of applicants. Outreach to individuals from particular groups is often necessary to meet the goals.
It is important to know the distinction between federal affirmative action law that requires efforts to address underutilization in our workforce, and California law, which prohibits the selection of individuals based on their demographic characteristics. California Proposition 209 prohibits discrimination against or preferential treatment to “any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, education or contracting.” It does not, however, prohibit actions necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in loss of federal funds to the University. Therefore, UC Berkeley is obligated to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity in employment, but we may not set aside positions for individuals from specific groups.
The prohibition against discrimination described in Proposition 209 is consistent with University policy prohibiting discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer‐related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. The prohibition against discrimination supports the University’s commitment to address the barriers that face underrepresented groups in academic careers and to serve the needs of our diverse state.
Outreach & Advertising
Planned Search and Recruitment Efforts
Cultivating a highly qualified, diverse applicant pool is one of the most important aspects of a successful search. Doing so is a significant investment of time and resources; it is not the case that “the best will hear about our position and apply.” Findings from the Berkeley search committee chair survey (click here for the full report) indicate that intensive outreach is effective at identifying strong candidates who may not otherwise apply, particularly women and underrepresented minorities. Sending a standard letter to dozens (or more) department chairs at peer institutions is not typically successful. Identifying candidates with stellar records who would also make valuable contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion and contacting them personally via email or phone to encourage them to apply (without promising an interview or position) is effective. Candidates identified in this way have a higher likelihood of reaching the short list of finalists. Templated outreach emails are available here. Suggestions to identify strong potential applicants include:
Utilizing directories of prestigious fellowship programs at both the dissertation and postdoctoral levels that support individuals from diverse backgrounds, among others. The UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) should be given particular attention because of its national prestige and the fact that all PPFPs have been identified as excellent in their commitment and contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. A searchable database is available online at the above link;
Reviewing the literature in top journals for the subject area of the search to identify new and exciting research (graduate students can often be included in this process);
Asking graduate student affinity groups (e.g., "Women in Economics") to suggest potential candidates;
- Expanding the usual list of contact departments and schools to a broader range of institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Hispanic serving institutions;
Expanding personal contacts and networks to identify candidates who are currently under‐placed and excelling at less well‐ranked institutions;
Attending conferences that provide opportunities to recruit a diverse pool of applicants and include contacts with organizations serving underrepresented groups in the field;
Approaching and/or interviewing underrepresented candidates at professional meetings or conferences and encouraging them to submit an application;
Searching for individuals with non‐traditional career paths who may have taken time off for family reasons (e.g., to provide care to children, a disabled family member, or elderly parents) or who have achieved excellence in careers outside academe (e.g., in professional or industry service);
Many departments also create long-term strategies for tracking potential candidates by creating a visiting scholars program, distinguished seminar series, or other programs featuring scholars with a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
After the search plan is approved, the description field text should be used for all external ad postings. If the unit intends to distribute multiple versions of the advertisement, upload only the shortened versions (medium and/or short ads) as PDFs to the Ad Documents section of AP Recruit. These additional medium or short ads should be labeled clearly to avoid confusion. Only advertisements that have been approved as part of the search plan may be posted or published.
Posting and publishing advertisements
All advertisements for academic recruitments are automatically posted to the following locations:
- AP Recruit
- Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (Norcal HERC)
- Higher Ed Jobs
- Inside Higher Ed
- Academic Keys
- America's Job Exchange (AJE)
- AJE Veterans Exchange
- AJE Disability Exchange
- AJE State Exchange for California
- Job Opportunities for Disabled American Veterans (JOFDAV)
- Disabled Person
- Diversity Working
- The California State Workforce Site (CalJobs)
- Bay Area Career One Stop Center Representatives
- Community Outreach Organizations
Support for posting job advertisements in additional locations through Job Elephant
Job Elephant is available to assist with most advertising, at no additional cost from the normal posting fees. The Berkeley campus representative is Michael Ang (email@example.com).
Prior to submitting the search plan and advertisement to the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare, email Michael Ang to discuss possible external outreach options.
The OFCCP, U.S, Department of Labor, requires that basic requirements be established and listed for all academic positions. These requirements must be met at the time of application and are necessary for consideration as an applicant for the position. Individuals who do not meet the basic qualifications listed for the job cannot be hired.
Each individual who applies for an academic position will be considered “unknown” until assessed by the analyst or chair for meeting the requirements. The assessment will move the individual to the “qualified” or “unqualified” group. Only those individuals who meet the basic qualifications will be considered applicants according to the federal government. Individuals with incomplete applications should remain in the “unknown”category and should not be assessed for the basic qualifications.
It is best practice to review applicants for the basic qualifications as soon as they apply because they cannot be considered further if they do not.
Basic and additional qualifications are those that are:
Non-Comparative (e.g., three years’ experience in a particular position, rather than a comparative requirement such as “must have the most years’ experience, among all candidates”)
Objective (e.g., "an advanced degree or enrolled in an advanced degree program at the time of application" but not “a technical degree from a good school”)
Relevant to the performance of the particular position
Verifiable by evidence or statements in the applicant’s submitted materials (or through an interview for additional qualifications)
A PhD cannot be required at the time of application for assistant professor positions unless postdoctoral experience is a standard prerequisite. For those positions we strongly recommend using the following language for the basic qualifications: "PhD (or equivalent international degree), or enrolled in PhD or equivalent international degree-granting program at the time of application." Similarly, assistant professor positions without postdoctoral experience as a standard prerequisite may not state a date by which the PhD must be held (e.g., advertisements may not state: "PhD or equivalent international degree must be held by start date" or "PhD or equivalent international degree must be obtained within one year of start date."
For senior faculty positions (or junior positions that typically require postdoctoral experience) we recommend: "PhD or equivalent international degree at the time of application." For multilevel searches the basic qualifications must be the same for all levels; select the lowest common requirement.
Additional qualifications are the minimum requirements necessary to perform the job. They must be met by the start date of the position. Failure to meet one of the additional qualifications disqualifies the person for hire. For senate faculty positions there are often no additional qualifications listed.
Preferred qualifications are those that are preferred but not required. The majority of all qualifications should be preferred. Use this section to signal what level of experience is desired, particular preferred degree, the field/discipline possibilities, etc.
Search Committee Membership & Authority
Search committees are typically assigned by the department chair, with one member as the chair of the committee. All search committee members should demonstrate an active commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Berkeley. Having diverse demographic representation is also important, including women and underrepresented minorities.
Search Committee Membership
The usual committee composition includes the chair, two to four other faculty from the department, a graduate student, the equity advisor, and sometimes a faculty member from outside the department. If non‐senate faculty are included on the search committee, their role on the committee should be clarified at the outset.
For searches that are open area (e.g., all areas of Chemistry), be aware of the tendency to assign faculty to the committee who will "represent" each major subfield in the discipline (e.g., two faculty each to represent organic, inorganic, physical, and theoretical chemistry). In these searches a common pitfall is for committee members in each subfield to put forward "the best" in their area. This approach often completely misses candidates who are working between or outside the boundaries because they don't rise to the top of any dominant subfield list.
Equity advisors: Departmental equity advisors may or may not serve on the search committee. If the Equity Advisor is not a search committee member, one member of the committee should be appointed as the “equity liaison” for the search, and communicate with the equity advisor throughout the search process. See the Equity Advisor Role page for information on the role of the equity advisor in faculty searches. At a minimum, equity advisors must sign off on search plans, applicant pools, short lists, and search reports; ideally they are consulted throughout the search process. Proactive discussion with the search committee about candidate outreach and fair search practices should be standard practice. When evaluating applicant pools and shortlists, equity advisors should consider if sufficient effort was made to attract a diverse pool of candidates, especially for the long list. They can also serve as an excellent resource for search committees, including:
- Ideas for proactive, personal outreach
- Advising on the rating/evaluation plan for all candidates
- Interviewing short list candidates during the campus visit
- Providing a written summary of each finalist’s potential to contribute to equity and inclusion, based on both the evaluation of the Statement on Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as the campus visit and in-person meeting.
Graduate students: Graduate students are involved to some extent in the majority of faculty searches at Berkeley. It is recommended that one or more graduate students serve as members of the committee. Practices vary as to whether or not the graduate student is a voting member of the committee (if committee votes are taken) and if he/she has access to letters of recommendation. A common practice is for the graduate student to formally poll the full graduate student population in the department/school and present summary results to the committee. It is advisable that a graduate student serving on the committee not be an advisee of one of the search committee members. The role of graduate students on the search committee can include:
- The creation of a graduate student committee, with one member serving on the search committee
- Clear expectations to all graduate students regarding what kind of feedback they will be asked to provide, and how that feedback will be used by the search committee
- Invitations to all graduate students to attend job talks, have an opportunity to meet with each finalist as part of a meal (as a group), and to submit individual written feedback via a Google Form after each campus visit is complete.
- The graduate student committee can collect feedback from all students and present a written summary to the search committee on behalf of the graduate student body regarding each of the finalists, as well as a recommendation of a proposed candidate.
- All graduate students participating in evaluating candidates should receive information about the selection criteria being used by the committee, including norming/calibration.
Role of the department chair in the search process: The rights and responsibilities of the department chair should be clear. It is advisable that the chair moderate the full faculty discussion of candidates without stating his/her opinion. The chair’s letter on the case should express the sentiment of the faculty; faculty members are entitled to review the letter the chair writes. If the chair has a different opinion from that of the faculty, he or she may write a personal letter.
Conflicts of interest: It is important to establish a standard protocol for handling consideration of an applicant who was a recent graduate student or postdoc in the department or who has been, or is currently, a close collaborator of one of more departmental faculty. Information on likely applicants should be taken into account when establishing the membership of the search committee. In an ideal process, a candidate’s formal advisor, or other faculty members who have worked closely with a candidate should not serve on the search committee. Should there be appropriate reasons for a different process, OFEW is available to consult on appropriate modifications consistent with the goals of conducting a process that is fair to all applicants, and approve any such modifications as part of the search plan or as situations arise during the process. Refer to the Conflicts of Interest information in the During the Search section below for the full policy on conflicts of interest in faculty searches.
Search committee authority during the search process
There are a number of points during the faculty search process where it is important for departments/schools to have pre-established practices for the level of autonomy given to the search committee, and for the level and timing of inclusion of the department chair and the department/school faculty during the search process. These decisions should be made and agreed upon by the department prior to launching the search.
Agreement on the purpose and scope of the search: An important role of the search chair is to ensure that the committee has a shared understanding and agreement on how the position is conceptualized and defined, beyond what the FTE allocation states. Any differences of opinion should be examined and managed prior to evaluating any candidates. Unspoken or unaddressed disagreements regarding the focus of the search is a common reason that searches fail.
Search description in the advertisement: Typically, the search committee has the authority to write the description of the position consistent with the approved language in the FTE allocation. This authority may also be given to the department chair per department policy. In some units, the description is shared for discussion with the full department prior to the search. It is important that the advertisement description clearly reflect the goals of the search in terms of area, scope of the position, and desired qualifications.
Consideration of applicants by faculty not on the search committee: Each department should have a process that specifies who can give input and at which stages of the search. It is strongly advised that the search committee not accept input on candidates from department faculty until a long list of candidates for serious consideration has been established. Faculty who are not on the search committee often want to advocate for a candidate known to them, or conversely to highlight a candidate they feel is not well qualified. But unless faculty members have reviewed all candidates at that stage and used the criteria established by the search committee, input of this type might give an unfair advantage or disadvantage for certain candidates.
Creating the “long list”: It is typical for the search committee to have the autonomy to create the long list (those under Serious Consideration). If the long list is presented to the full faculty for discussion, it is expected that each department faculty member will review the complete files for all the long list candidates using the same criteria as the search committee before offering feedback on any candidate. A process for gathering input for selecting candidates to be invited for an interview should be determined in advance.
Creating the “short list”: The practices regarding generation of the short list are more varied. In some units, the search committee is given this authority, and sometimes their deliberations are confidential. In other units, there is extensive discussion with the full faculty, and sometimes a vote is taken. The practice should be determined in advance, and common selection criteria used.
After campus visits by candidates on the short list: It is necessary to be clear how feedback will be gathered from all faculty who participated in the candidate visits. The best practice is to gather formal feedback from faculty, postdocs, and students after each visit, using an online tool. In many departments, the department faculty convene to discuss the candidates after all campus visits are complete. It is important that faculty who participate in discussions attend all candidate interviews, and that remarks focus on evidence related to the established selection and evaluation criteria rather than general impressions or hearsay.
- Voting: All departments should have transparent voting policies and procedures. In some units the search committee makes a clear recommendation for a first choice candidate (sometimes with an alternate), while in other departments, the faculty discuss the pros and cons of each finalist and then vote. If the faculty meet to discuss more than one candidate, there should be two separate considerations. First, each candidate should be considered independently to determine if she/he meets Berkeley’s standards for appointment. For those that do, there needs to be further discussion and voting regarding the top choice.
Selection Criteria & Planned Evaluation Process
The University strives not only to hire new faculty who excel or will excel in research, but also faculty who are committed to all of the University's objectives. In particular, successful candidates should also demonstrate a commitment to education, mentorship of students, service, and to equity and inclusion. Selection criteria should assess all of these dimensions of excellence.
A broad "holistic," or a narrow approach to the development of selection criteria – “we know the best when we see it” or "the candidate is clearly excellent if they have X number of citations by X career stage" – ignores consideration of a nuanced and complex set of values and candidate characteristics that will truly add distinction to Berkeley. If applicants applying will be at different career levels (e.g., starting the first assistant professor position versus being a current assistant or associate professor), it is important to create a clear plan for how to evaluate candidates with such different experience. It is also important to consider the relative weighting of the established criteria, and whether the weighting will change at the different stages of evaluation.
Most importantly, ensure that all committee members agree on what the selection criteria are and how they should be evaluated (including what evidence they will look for to determine the extent to which candidates meet the criteria). Most committees meet in person for discussion and decision-making at this step.
General questions for selection criteria consideration include:
What kind of questions is the candidate asking in his/her research?
Has the candidate adopted a distinctive approach?
What would the impact be if the candidate is successful?
How wide-ranging is the impact? Does the impact span the subfield, field, and/or bridge into other fields?
What are the qualities of mind revealed by written and oral presentations by the candidate? What is the evidence for creativity, rigor, leadership, defining new research, etc.
What evidence is there that the candidate will engage in productive research collaborations within or beyond the Department?
What is the evidence that the candidate will engage productively with undergraduate and graduate students in lecture sections, seminars, and as research mentors?
What is the evidence that the individual will work well with a diverse group of students, understanding differences in needs and the importance of removing barriers to success for all students?
What is the evidence that the candidate will actively advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through their research, teaching, and/or service?
Is there the promise that the candidate will work effectively to build and sustain Berkeley as a strong institution? For example, Berkeley is strong when it supports academic excellence through faculty leadership, promotes a diverse range of scholarly inquiries, and creates equal opportunities for faculty colleagues and students.
A rating system based on the overall selection criteria for the search can assess each candidate in the areas of research, teaching, and service, with consideration for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and contributing to a positive campus climate as part of all three areas. Rather than using a basic system, such as 1 = interview, 2 = discuss, and 3 = do not interview, which tends to be subjective, create a points system or other evidence-based system for each of the major selection criteria. A candidate evaluation tool for faculty searches can be found here. A rubric specifically for assessing candidate contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found here. We recommend conducting a calibration exercise for reviewing each area. Instructions can be found on the DEI rubric.
Consider creating a cut-off score for advancing equity and inclusion, below which a candidate would not move forward in the search process (would be considered “below the bar”), regardless of their scores in other areas, similar to what would be done for research quality or plans. For example, if 5 points are given for various components of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g., understanding 5 points, track record 5 points, and plans 5 points), assign a value below which a candidate would not be considered competitive and would not move forward regardless of their scores in other areas (e.g., any single 0 or 1 out of 5 would disqualify a candidate from further consideration).
Fair and equitable evaluation process
Once applicants have applied to our faculty positions, there are a number of important considerations to ensure that all are fairly evaluated. By federal law and University policy we must ensure that our employment processes are fair and equitable, and offer equal employment opportunity. We also have a vested interest in hiring outstanding faculty who will make extraordinary contributions in their research, teaching, and service while sharing our University values of equity and inclusion, and our public mandate to serve a diverse student body. There is little that is of greater importance for Berkeley’s future than careful selection of new colleagues. For suggestions about how to incorporate an evaluation of candidate contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the search process see the Support for Faculty Search Committees page.
Search plans should specify in detail the process by which they will evaluate all applicants, including decisions about the authority of the search committee in the various stages of the process:
The process for assigning committee members to review applications, including how many readers for each application
Role of committee members generally - equity advisor or liaison, graduate student, etc.
Confidentiality and the handling of unsolicited information
Role of the department faculty not on the search committee
How the conflicts of interest policy will be followed
The evidence-based system to be used for evaluating candidates (e.g. a scoring system), including how to handle widely divergent scoring of individual applicants by search committee members
How the “long list” of candidates under serious consideration will be developed
The role of the equity advisor in the evaluation process
Evaluation of long list candidates
The process by which the short list will be selected
The campus visit process, including job talks, interviews, meetings with equity advisors, meetings with graduate students, etc.
Refer to the Applicant Evaluation information in the During the Search section below for guidelines on evaluating applicants during the search process.
Search Plan Submission and Approval
Refer to the Senate Search Plan checklist for a list of all items that must be complete prior to submitting search plans for approval. When all checklist items have been confirmed the search plan can be submitted for approval. The Recruitment will be in a “Draft” state and edits can continue to be made as needed until the search plan receives final approval by OFEW. However, once OFEW starts review please do not make additional changes.
Use the following approval chain for senate search plans:
Search Committee Chair – assign the correct name if not auto-populated
Department Chair – assign the correct name (for professional schools with no department chair the department analyst name can be put here)
Dean’s Analyst – assign the correct name
Dean – assign the correct name
OFEW (“Diversity Office”) – names are auto-populated (do not add an alternate name)
Once approved, the final search plan PDF serves as the permanent record of what was approved. Publish the recruitment so it can begin accepting applications.
During the Search
Once the search plan has been approved and the search is published, conduct all outreach and advertising, as specified in the search plan.
Assessment of Basic Qualifications
The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Department of Labor requires the assessment of basic qualifications for all academic positions. These requirements must be met at the time of application and are necessary for consideration as an applicant for the position. After the final date passes, use the basic qualifications as stated in the advertisement to assess each complete applicant. It is recommended that each individual is assessed as soon as possible after the deadline.
Reviewing the Applicant Pool
Applicant pool review
To assess the value of outreach efforts review the demographic profile of the applicant pool now that it includes only individuals who met the basic qualifications, and compare it to the diversity benchmarks available in AP Recruit on the diversity tab for the search. The recruitment can easily be extended if the pool is small and/or lacks diversity.
Submit the applicant pool for review and approval
As soon as possible following the closing date for applications, the department analyst is responsible for creating a report of the demographics of the applicant pool in AP Recruit (benchmarking availability data will be included in the report), and submitting it for approval by the search committee chair and the equity advisor. As part of the applicant pool report, confirm whether all proposed outreach efforts were conducted in the 'actual search and recruitment efforts' field (if not, indicate what the differences were). If the applicant pool is sufficiently diverse compared to the availability pool, both the search committee chair and the equity advisor should approve the pool. This will trigger a notification to the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare to review the pool, and if appropriate, approve it as well. Please note that only individuals who meet the basic qualifications will appear as applicants on the report.
If the applicant pool is not sufficiently diverse compared to the availability pool, the department or school must review whether outreach and recruitment efforts have been sufficiently broad and inclusive. If the decision is made to extend the search and put forth efforts to invite additional applicants to apply to broaden the pool, a request to extend the deadline must be submitted to OFEW.
Request to extend the deadline date of a search
If you decide that you want to extend the deadline date for submitting applications, email OFEW at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information for review:
1. Search number: JPFxxxxx
2. Reason why the deadline needs to be extended
3. If the purpose is to broaden the pool, describe efforts that will be taken to encourage additional applications
4. Requested new close date in AP Recruit
5. Requested new final date in AP Recruit
Once approval is granted, OFEW will make the updates to the deadline dates and description in AP Recruit
Conflicts of Interest - updated October 2020
The guidelines below set forth procedures to minimize potential risks and preserve fair processes when search committees consider candidates who have worked closely with faculty at Berkeley. Such candidates might include our own recent PhDs or postdoctoral scholars, or individuals who have close personal or professional relationships with Berkeley faculty.
When considering such candidates, we need to be mindful of several possible risks, including:
We may appear to compromise the fairness and equity of the search process. For example, upon hearing that Berkeley made an offer to one of its own PhD students, or a candidate who collaborates with a committee member, other candidates may conclude that the selected candidate had an unfair advantage.
There is a special burden on a faculty member asked to assess a candidate who is/was an advisee or close collaborator. For example, after working hard to provide strong mentoring and support to a PhD student, it may pose a challenge to make comparative assessments with other applicants. Since collaborators, by definition, have worked with the candidate, evaluating a collaborator puts a faculty member in the position of having to evaluate their own work.
The interplay of differing points of view within a department may be especially complex when the candidate is a recent PhD or postdoctoral scholar. For example, other faculty may feel that they need to defer to a colleague who is advocating for her/his own advisee.
The goal of these guidelines is to minimize such risks, while simultaneously treating all applicants as fairly as possible. We should not discourage or prevent any candidate from applying for faculty positions at Berkeley. Nor, of course, should we set the bar higher for one group of candidates than for others.
A first step in reaching these goals is for faculty members involved in candidate selection to disclose conflicts of interest they have with any of the applicants (including committees that involve department colleagues in evaluation or discussion of candidates). Conflicts of interest typically include:
An emotional relationship with a candidate (such as a personal friend, near relative or current/former romantic partner).
A business or commercial relationship with a candidate.
A mentoring relationship with a candidate, such as the doctoral or postdoctoral advisor.
Having been mentored by a candidate.
A professional relationship, including current or former collaborators on academic work (e.g., articles, essays, chapters, contributions to conference proceedings, books, creative work, grant applications, software, technology, and intellectual property).
As a general guide, faculty members with a conflict of interest with an applicant should not serve on the search committee or participate in faculty deliberations to select a finalist. The risks are greatest if a candidate under consideration is a recent PhD student or postdoctoral scholar, or recent or current collaborator (within the past five years), especially when the candidate has not held an intervening faculty position elsewhere.
Fewer special risks are at issue when hiring holders of Berkeley PhDs or postdoctoral fellowships if their careers as teachers and independent researchers have already been well established in a faculty position at a peer institution, or in cases where collaboration occurred many years ago, or was limited (e.g., collaborated on a single project a decade ago, or co-authorship was the result of completely independent work). Depending on the extent and timing of the relationship, it may be possible for a faculty member with the conflict of interest to participate in the search, as long as a process for minimizing risks is discussed with OFEW. There are no exceptions for romantic and business relationships.
Faculty who supervised postdoctoral scholars who were fully independent (e.g., no financial connection, an independent research agenda, no collaboration or co-publication), as is sometimes the case with programs such as the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP), may not represent a conflict of interest and should consult for advice.
The guidelines below are intended to assist departments in minimizing potential risks while preserving fair processes, and should be followed in most cases. Given the significant differences between academic disciplines, including the role of scholarly collaborations in some fields, a one-size-fits-all approach is not possible. Sometimes there may be appropriate reasons for a different process. OFEW is available to consult on appropriate modifications consistent with the goals of conducting a process that is fair to all applicants. Common situations requiring discussion include searches in very small departments or very narrow fields, professional collaborations with completely independent work, or unforeseeable situations that arise during the process.
Guidelines for managing risks associated with conflicts of interest
1. Search committee membership: Information on likely candidates should be taken into account when establishing the membership of the search committee. In situations where a conflict of interest is known ahead of time, the faculty member in question should not serve on the search committee for the period during which the candidate is under consideration. In smaller departments, in which search committee constitution is always more challenging, departments can exercise the option of inviting appropriate faculty from outside of the department to serve on the search committee.
2. Search Plan: All search plans should include a description of the process by which conflicts of interest will be handled in the search process.
3. Candidate review: As soon as the full applicant pool is available, and before candidate materials are assigned for review, committee members should indicate with which candidates they have a conflict of interest, if any. Committee members who may ultimately need to recuse themselves from the committee can participate in the initial review process if they are not assigned any candidates with whom they have a conflict of interest. Once a candidate with whom a committee member has a conflict of interest makes it to the “long list,” the committee member should be recused from the search committee for the remainder of time in which the candidate remains under consideration. It is typically not sufficient to simply “step out of the room” when the candidate is under discussion.
4. Letters of recommendation: If a committee member provides a letter of recommendation for a candidate, it is likely that the conflict of interest threshold has been met. In these cases, recusal from the search committee is generally necessary to assure fairness in the process. Simply refraining from providing a letter may not be sufficient to avoid recusal, and could disadvantage the candidate. Committee members who write a letter of recommendation for a candidate and also remain on the committee would have, in effect, twice the influence in the evaluation process.
5. Proposed short list: A memo must accompany all proposed short lists for faculty candidates, stating all conflicts of interest that were identified and how they were handled (uploaded into AP Recruit).
6. Departmental discussions and voting: The candidate’s formal advisor, or other faculty members who have collaborated with the candidate, should not attend departmental discussions concerning the search for the period of time during which the candidate is under consideration. They should also make an effort to minimize inequities by refraining from informal conversations that promote their advisee or collaborator or make favorable comparisons at the expense of other candidates. In cases where the expertise of the faculty member is needed, the faculty member may participate in one of two ways: provide noncomparative written comments on all candidates on the shortlist; or attend a committee or unit discussion to answer specific questions posed by the committee regarding the candidate’s scholarship. The faculty member with the conflict of interest should not interject opinions or information beyond what is asked.
If a unit holds a vote of all unit faculty to decide who among the finalists will be the candidate to be voted upon for an offer, advisors and collaborators may vote. However, to avoid undue influence, any such vote must be by secret ballot. Once a preferred finalist has been selected, all department faculty may vote on whether to extend an offer to that individual.
7. Appointment letters: Campus policies require at least three external letters for appointment at the Assistant Professor level. External letters are those that are written by referees who are not Berkeley faculty or members of its affiliated laboratories and institutes. This requirement applies to all candidates recommended for appointment, including those who are recent Berkeley PhDs or postdoctoral fellows. After deciding upon the candidate or candidates being recommended for appointment, the unit should solicit additional letters as needed. Any letters from Berkeley affiliates provided in the original application dossier should, of course, also be included with the appointment case.
Use the agreed upon selection criteria and process to evaluate the applicants through the following stages:
Initial review of the entire pool to determine the long list of candidates under serious consideration. For large applicant pools the candidates are typically divided among the search committee, with all candidates receiving evaluation by a minimum of two committee members. The number of initial reviews should generally be the same for all applicants. However, in some cases an additional review is necessary, for example when the first two evaluations are significantly divergent, or when additional scholarly expertise is needed to make an informed assessment.
Review of the long list to determine the short list of finalists for campus visits. At this stage all candidates are reviewed by the entire committee. Some committees opt to conduct "soft interviews" of long list candidates either in person at academic conferences or by video conference. Soft interviews should be conducted uniformly, with the same questions asked of all candidates.
Determining the final proposed candidate. The selection of the proposed candidate relies on formal feedback from students, postdocs, and department faculty.
Guidelines for search committee evaluation of applicants
Adequate time to evaluate the applicants. The amount of time needed obviously depends greatly on the size of the applicant pool, but committee members should agree that the timeline is sufficient to allow for their full review of the selection criteria for each candidate. Rushing or spending too little time with an application increases reliance on proxies of excellence, as well as the role of unconscious bias. Excellent candidates are overlooked.
Unconscious bias. It is important that those involved in the selection of a new colleague reflect on stereotypic preconceptions, unrelated to quality and talent, which can play a role in choosing one individual over another. Most faculty work hard to overcome such preconceptions (add link to research page).
Be careful not to inadvertently subject women or minority candidates to different expectations. The work, ideas, and findings of women or minorities may be undervalued or unfairly attributed to a research director or collaborators despite contrary evidence in publications or letters of reference.
When evaluating statements on contributions to diversity, take care not to inadvertently hold differing expectations for different groups. All candidates should be held to the same standard and expectations. For example, individuals from certain groups should not be assumed to “naturally” contribute more in this area, nor should other candidates be praised for doing what is actually less than others, or international candidates evaluated more cautiously. There can also be a tendency to rationalize an anemic record in advancing equity and inclusion if the candidate’s research is stellar. Excuses may include stating that the candidate just hasn’t had a chance to do anything yet, that the institution they’re at doesn’t provide opportunities for this kind of work, or that when the person comes to Berkeley “where it matters” they will begin engaging. The campus is looking for candidates who have already developed a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, and have a consequential track record in this area.
Tendency to over-rely on “proxies” for excellence. Review all of the written materials submitted by the candidates using the agreed upon selection criteria, rather than relying on factors such as PhD institution and PhD advisor, postdoc institution and postdoc advisor, publication locations (candidates working at the boundaries of fields may not publish in the dominate journals), number of publications, or citation index to determine “excellence.” These factors also assume that excellence consists only of research accomplishments, rather than the range of values and strengths considered important for success at Berkeley.
Family/partner status. Be careful not to make assumptions about possible family responsibilities and their effect on the candidate’s career path that would negatively influence evaluation of a candidate’s merit, despite evidence of productivity. Considerations of potential spouse/partner hiring needs cannot be taken into account when evaluating or discussing candidates.
Informal information. It is nearly impossible to avoid receiving informal information about candidates outside of materials submitted by candidates with their application. Indeed, certain types of informal information are quite valuable in identifying promising candidates, or following up on identified concerns. There are a few important guidelines for consideration of such information:
Some types of information should not be shared, especially hearsay.
Every effort should be made to gather similar information for all candidates at a given stage.
If references are contacted, there should be a consistent set of questions asked for all candidates.
If additional letters are obtained, the committee should obtain consent from the candidate.
Confidentiality. Candidates have the expectation that their application is shared on a need-to-know basis. This means that faculty members who have access to applications should not be discussing candidate information outside of the faculty in the department/school, and especially not with colleagues at other institutions. In addition, search committee members have an expectation of confidentiality during committee deliberations.
Using the agreed upon selection criteria for the search, propose a short list of candidates to invite for campus visits. In most searches the short list is developed from a longer list of candidates under serious consideration. Nearly all short lists have a minimum of three candidates (consult with OFEW if an exception should be considered).
All candidates proposed for the short list should be “above the bar” in their knowledge, understanding, and track record with respect to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, taking into account their career stage (see the Support for Faculty Search Committees page for more information).
When the proposed short list is ready for consideration, the department analyst is responsible for ensuring that each individual has the status of “Recommend for interview” in AP Recruit and submitting the short list report for approval by the equity advisor and OFEW. The equity advisor cannot share the gender and race/ethnicity of particular applicants with anyone on the search committee, but instead should discuss whether the short list is sufficiently diverse compared to the applicant pool, and whether all candidates meet the expectations for contributions to diversity.
All proposed short lists must include a memo (uploaded in the Documentation section) stating all conflicts of interest that were identified and how they were handled, according to the conflicts of interest policy.
OFEW nearly always reviews the short list within 24 hours of submission. OFEW questions regarding the short list are directed to the department equity advisor. Allow enough time: the short list must be approved prior to inviting candidates to campus for interviews.
Be welcoming! The candidates are evaluating the department/school and the University. First impressions are important on both sides. The goal is to both assess the candidates and also to market Berkeley as the best place to thrive in their academic career.
Provide each candidate with the same opportunities during the campus visit.
Identify primary staff support to coordinate all necessary documentation, travel arrangements and reimbursements.
Use the campus visit as an important opportunity to learn more from the finalists about their commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, and to share information about the department’s commitment as well.
Use standard welcoming language for the invitation for a campus visit/interview - convey enthusiasm for their candidacy.
Ask each candidate what would help make their visit to Berkeley a success - are there particular individuals or groups on campus they would like the opportunity to meet with?
If asking candidates to give a talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, consider using this invitation language:
“As part of your interview, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the department/college’s commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, and to discuss your own vision for how you propose to contribute to these efforts. Please be prepared to share any prior experience and concrete ideas that you have for: developing your understanding of diversity-related issues; creating inclusive learning environments; outreach activities; and supporting underrepresented students, staff, and faculty.”
Ask each candidate to provide their preferred gender pronouns with their reply, and ensure that all department students, staff, and faculty they interact with know and use them appropriately.
Ask each candidate if they need any accommodations to be successful during their visit. Needs may include physical access, breaks, dietary restrictions, prevention from exposure to scents, etc. Please see the disabiliity section of the OFEW website for more information. In addition to physical access, the University is required by law to provide accommodations such as a sign language interpreter, captioner, written materials in an alternate medium, or flexibility when scheduling appointments. Every effort should be made to accommodate other types of requests.
In addition to assessing strength in research and teaching, use the campus visit as an important opportunity to learn more about the candidates’ commitment to advancing equity and inclusion (often also part of their research or teaching). Opportunities include interviews with the equity advisor, meetings with graduate student committees, and a presentation as part of the job talk.
Prepare an agenda for the candidate’s visit ahead of time. Provide the agenda to the candidate and to appropriate members of the department or school (faculty/students/staff). Clearly define the expectations for the seminar, job talk, etc. to the candidate.
Provide candidates the opportunity to interact with faculty and students in multiple venues.
Discuss the variety of programs currently taking place in the department and/or college to advance equity and inclusion.
If the candidate is from a group underrepresented in the department or school, make an effort to include a broad cross‐section of the campus community in the visit.
Distribute information about family responsive policies (dual career, maternity leave, ASMD, etc.) to all candidates.
Do not ask candidates for certain types of personal information, especially such questions that might be perceived as a criterion for appointment (gender, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, religion, national origin, age, etc.), including during informal conversations such as those that often take place at candidate dinners or other gatherings. Department faculty who attend informal dinners may need to be reminded ahead of time about the legal prohibition on asking these types of questions.
Interviews and Job Talks
In advance of the job talk, give each candidate clear instructions about what is expected. For example, clarify whether the department or school is interested in hearing about a specific research topic or a broad overview of research programs and future plans.
Prior to each presentation briefly review appropriate behavior with audience members (students, faculty, staff), including making clear to all if, when, and how questions/interruptions during the presentations are allowed (for example, questions will only be allowed by addressing a raised hand, no questions will be taken for at least the first ten minutes of the presentation, talks should not be "held hostage" with lengthy back-and-forth). The search committee chair or department chair should moderate the session, paying attention to who has already been called on, who may have been overlooked, and generally considering courtesy and respectful behavior.
- Additional ground rules to consider: Faculty who need to leave before the end of a talk should sit near the back and make as little disruption as possible. All audience members should refrain from using electronics (laptops, tablets, or phones) during the presentation. Audience members should avoid sidebar conversations with other participants to reduce distraction for the presenter.
Introduce all faculty candidates in the same manner, being careful to use formal names (Mr./Ms./Dr.) rather than first names, include only information relevant to the candidate’s research and other accomplishments, use positive language when describing the candidate, and ensure the length of the introduction is similar for all candidates. Avoid leading with "pedigree."
In conducting interviews and job talks, use a consistent format for each candidate, focusing on information relevant to the selection criteria agreed upon in advance. Use a standardized Google Form to collect feedback on each candidate from both graduate students and faculty (may be different forms).
Ask candidates to give a talk and answer questions about their record and plans for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. This can be part of the research presentation/job talk/chalk talk, or as a standalone presentation. Some questions to consider:
What types of experience do you have related to equity and inclusion?
What specific ideas do you have for how you would like to contribute to advancing equity and inclusion at UC Berkeley?
How do you plan to be an effective mentor and create and inclusive research climate for your research group?
What strategies are you familiar with or do you use to create inclusive teaching environments?
Interview Topics to Avoid
Are you married?
What is your spouse's name?
What is your maiden name?
Do you have any children or plans to have them?
Are you pregnant?
What are your childcare arrangements?
|Race||What is your race?|
What is your religion?
Which church do you attend?
What are your religious holidays?
|Sex||Are you male or female?|
|Arrests or Convictions of a Crime||Have you ever been arrested?|
|Citizenship or Nationality||Are you a U.S. citizen?|
Are you disabled?
What is the nature or severity of your disability?
What is your condition?
Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations?
In what branches of the armed forces did you serve?
If you've been in the military were you honorably discharged?
Letters of Reference
Letters of reference are often an important part of candidate evaluation. However, because a large body of data indicates that women and candidates from minority groups on average receive more negative evaluations regardless of the level of their qualifications, care should be taken when giving them weight (reference articles here). Even a single “doubt raiser” phrase among many positive accolades (e.g., “the candidate has a somewhat challenging personality,” “she may be a good leader in the future”) is sufficient to skew search committees’ overall assessment of a candidate. Some search committees now routinely wait to review letters of reference until a later phase of the search process, even for assistant professor positions.
The minimum number of required letters should be received prior to proposing candidates for the short list, but the search committee is not obligated to contact references named by candidates (“contact information only”). However, if letters are requested of one short listed candidate they should be requested of all.
Unsolicited letters cannot be reviewed or considered as part of the candidate materials.
Selecting the Final Candidate
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. If department faculty will engage in discussion regarding the candidates put in place a standard protocol, ensuring that the discussion focuses on the selection criteria rather than one-off comments, or individual experiences.
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, 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 soft offer and updating applicant statuses
When the top candidate has been identified through a vote and the unit has communicated this to the individual, assign the status of 'soft offer extended.' The discussion of the 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 cannot be kept. 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.
When the candidate has agreed to the preliminary soft offer (agreement "in principle"), move the status to 'proposed candidate' and put forward a search report and appointment case. If the candidate declines the soft offer at any point before the campus makes an official offer, use 'soft offer declined.'
Evaluating the Process
Debrief as a committee after each search to evaluate the process and explore aspects that can be improved in future searches.
Completing the Search
Creating the Search Report
At the end of the search it is necessary to document the search process, and provide justification for the selection of the proposed candidate(s) and deselection of all other applicants. This information is included in the search report in AP Recruit, which must be submitted and approved prior to submitting the appointment case to the Academic Personnel Office.
The search report includes:
- completion of the search committee chair survey by the chair
- up-to-date applicant statuses
- disposition reasons for all candidates not selected
- documentation of all search and recruitment efforts
- documentation of all evaluation processes and input received through formal methods (ie., google form surveys)
- search committee narrative
A search report continues to “live update” with any new information or edits made to the search in AP Recruit until the search report is approved by OFEW, when it becomes the final, legal record of the search.
Updating Applicant Statuses
Review all complete candidates in AP Recruit to confirm that they have the appropriate candidate status. Please make sure all statuses are marked in the correct sequence and do not skip statuses (e.g., if a candidate is interviewed and selected for hire, update their status to 'Interviewed' before updating them to 'proposed candidate,' and do not skip from ‘complete’ to ‘proposed candidate’).
Individuals who were deemed unqualified specifically with respect to the basic qualifications should be marked "does not meet" and should be in the “unqualified” section.
Applicants who met the basic qualifications should be marked “meets basic” and appear in the “qualified” section.
Applicants who withdrew should be marked "withdrawn," and those who withdrew prior to being named on the short list will automatically appear in the “unqualified” section.
Duplicate applications should be marked as "withdrawn."
Applicants who were on the “long short list” or otherwise under serious consideration should have the final status “serious consideration” if they did not proceed to a further round of consideration.
Applicants who were interviewed should have the status “interviewed.” If an applicant withdrew after being recommended for an interview they will have the status “withdrew after recommend for interview.” Please note that "recommend for interview" is not a terminal status.
Applicants being put forward to the campus for consideration should have the status “proposed candidate.”
No applicants should have a status beyond “proposed candidate” at the time the search report is submitted for review and approval. If the candidate withdrew after becoming the proposed candidate, but before a formal campus offer was made, they will have the status “soft offer declined.”
One or more reasons for deselection should be provided to all individuals who submitted a complete application for the position (with the exception of the proposed candidate). Select from the list of disposition reasons provided in the system or write a custom disposition comment that explains why the applicant was not selected for the position.
Disposition reasons/comments must be relevant to the description of the position and stated qualifications. Additionally, applicants cannot be deselected based on assumptions (e.g., assuming a current associate professor would not want to accept a position allocated only at the assistant professor level).
All relevant documentation created during the search must be uploaded to the documentation section of AP Recruit.
Search and recruitment efforts
This includes advertising, emails, personal contacts, etc.
Upload any of the following:
- Evaluation/rating forms/scales
- Spreadsheets of committee scores or assessments
- Standardized questions used for soft interviews
- Soft interview summaries
- Summary of overall graduate student input provided to the committee
- Surveys/questionnaires provided to department students and faculty following each candidate job talk
Search Committee Narrative
The purpose of the search committee narrative is (1) to document the search process and the candidates considered for the position, and (2) to provide a compelling case for the candidate who is selected.
Provide a brief overview of the search area, efforts made to attract a diverse pool of applicants, and the extent to which the efforts were successful in achieving a broad and inclusive pool.
- Overview of the evaluation process
How were the applicants reviewed and evaluated through the different stages of the search process?
What selection criteria and/or rating scales were used?
How were the finalists for interview selected?
How were campus visits conducted?
How did the committee rank the finalists (if applicable)?
How was the selected candidate ultimately chosen (e.g., faculty vote process and outcome)?
- Brief narrative description of the finalists
Provide a brief description of the academic strengths of the finalists (everyone who was interviewed) as measured against the selection criteria, including contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and ultimately why individuals were deselected or became a selected candidate (or alternate). Although comparing strengths and weaknesses between candidates is a necessary part of the search committee's evaluation process, the final narrative description of each finalist should focus on their candidacy as it relates specifically to the selection criteria for this particular search (as opposed to stating that the candidate was ultimately not as strong as the finalist).
- Academic qualifications of the finalist (and alternate/s)
Describe the strengths of the candidate in relation to the job position, refraining from relying on comparisons with other shortlisted candidates to the extent possible. Include a description of the finalists’ (and alternate/s) understanding, track record, and future plans regarding advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Do not use personal characteristics when referring to the finalists (or alternate/s).
Guidelines for Failed Searches
Failed searches when no applicants were acceptable
If candidates were reviewed (whether anyone was interviewed or not), but no one in the pool or search was acceptable for the position a failed search report must be submitted for liability purposes (for example, if a candidate not selected for a position later files a complaint, the University needs to demonstrate that there was a fair search and a clear rationale for not selecting the individual).
The failed search report must include:
Candidate disposition reasons
Comments for candidates interviewed
Evidence of advertisement and outreach
Search committee narrative – brief description of why the search failed
All written materials created during the search (e.g., interview notes, completed evaluations tools, etc.)
Final candidate statuses
Title of the search report should indicate it is a failed search
Conclusion: After the search report is approved, conclude the search using the Conclusions feature on AP Recruit and select "no candidates proposed” under the search outcome.
Search Report Submission and Approval
Use the Senate Search Report checklist of requirements to determine if the search report is complete and ready for review. Preview the search report PDF using the “Preview” button to be sure all required elements are present before submitting. Provide a name for the search report that includes the last name of the proposed candidate(s).
Edits can continue to be made as needed until the search report receives final approval by OFEW; all edits are live updated in the report. However, once OFEW starts review please do not make additional changes unless notifying OFEW first.
Use the following approval chain for non-senate search reports:
Search Committee Chair
Department Chair – assign the correct name
Dean’s Analyst – assign the correct name
Dean – assign the correct name(s)
OFEW (“Diversity Office”) – names are auto-populated (do not add an alternate name)
When OFEW has approved the search report, the PDF serves as the permanent record of the recruitment. Please note that approval of the search report is not approval to make a formal offer; typical hiring processes must be followed for all senate appointments.
Concluding the Search
After the search report is approved at the campus level, and there is a hiring outcome for the search, return to AP Recruit to conclude the search. This must be done as soon as possible and is required for data reporting purposes and compliance with University, state, and federal policies and laws.
Concluding the search requires updating applicant statuses (e.g., from proposed candidate to offered to hired), providing appointment information and employee IDs for hired candidates, and entering a search outcome for the recruitment. Once this information is provided the search can be formally concluded. Concluded searches are hidden from reviewers so they will not appear in their recruitments list in the system.
A search should be concluded after the search report is approved, when no new hires will be made, and as soon as one of the following conditions is met:
A candidate has been hired by the University and the appointment start date and employee ID are available; or
The recruitment is failed and a 'failed search report' has been approved by OFEW