Senior Administrative Officers

Procedures for academic senior administrator searches including vice provost, associate provosts, deans, associate and assistant deans

July 28, 2013

  1. Decision is made by provost, president or dean that the position will be filled.
  2. Responsibility for the successful search is held by the supervisor of the position to be filled be it president, provost or dean.
  3. Determine if a search firm will be used, interview search firms and contract with search firm.
  4. Position authorization form is requested from Office of University Budgets
  5. Job description and posting are drafted by the supervisor and vetted through appropriate senior administrators for review and edits.
  6. Search committee chair and members are identified and invited to join search committee, including individual to staff the committee. Committee chair is typically a person of equal rank to the position to be filled. The committee composition should reflect the diversity of the university. For positions that will hold faculty rank, the majority of the committee should be tenured, Board of Trustees appointed faculty. Other members on the committee may include, administrators in units that interact with the position to be filled, students, or members of the community.
  7. The role of the search committee is to search for viable applicants, seek nominations, screen the initial pool of applicants, conduct initial (airport) interviews if appropriate, host on campus interviews, and make a recommendation of those candidates that are viable with strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. The role of the search committee is not to create a ranked list of candidates.
  8. Committee chair leads the committee; staff person manages the logistics. Supervisor sends letter or email to committee chair and members appointing to the search committee.
  9. Following review and edit by appropriate parties, supervisor authorizes the final job description and posting language. Most often this step occurs after committee has reviewed and edited the job description, but not always.
  10. Completed, signed position authorization form and job posting are forwarded to Office of University Budgets, then on to the Office of Human Resources and Office of Institutional Equity for their review and approval.
  11. The position is advertised in the appropriate publications. Publications are selected to make sure a wide breadth of potential candidates are made aware of the available position.
  12. Search committee meets on a regular basis. During the first meeting the supervisor gives charge to the committee, including the importance of diversity and confidentiality; expectations and process are clarified; timeline is established, including schedule of regular meeting times. Sample meeting agendas are attached.
  13. Search committee reviews websites of potential candidates, uses their personal network, conducts numerous telephone calls and sends numerous emails seeking nominations and applications.
  14. University receives applications to its secure or a search firms secure website.
  15. In accordance with the job requirements, applications are reviewed and decisions made to advance candidates to first round interviews (airport interviews). These decisions are relayed to candidates by either the committee chair or search firm.
  16. Reference checks are conducted on all first round interview candidates. Sometimes references are checked prior to determination of applicants advancing to first round interviews. Other times, first round interview candidates are determined before reference checks are completed. This depends on preference of the search committee and search firm.
  17. First round interviews are conducted via telephone, Skype or at a location away from main campus (airport interviews). Search firm or staff person prepares notebooks, either hard copy or electronic, containing the cover letter and curriculum vitae for each candidate to be interviewed as well as the interview questions.
  18. The supervisor may or may not conduct parallel first round interviews.
  19. First round interviews are confidential and the candidate names are not disclosed to the campus or public.
  20. Immediately following first round interviews, search committee recommends to the supervisor two to five candidates for campus interviews. Committee chair (and in some cases the entire committee) discusses recommendations with the supervisor who authorizes final campus interview candidates. Search firm participates in these discussions.
  21. The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications is notified of finalist candidates, along with information about public presentations. Curriculum vitae and public presentation schedule are posted on the Academic Affairs website as well as the information publicized via press release from Marketing and Strategic Communications.
  22. Secure authorization from finalist candidates that their names can be released publicly and run background checks. Communicate results between campus personnel and search firm.
  23. Sample campus interview schedule attached.
  24. Secure tenure and rank recommendation from academic home department or school during on campus interviews.
  25. Following campus interviews, committee meets with supervisor to determine recommendations for those candidates that are acceptable with strengths and weaknesses given. Search firm participates in these discussions.
  26. Supervisor discusses recommendations with the person who supervises the supervisor. Decision is made regarding candidate to which the offer will be made.
  27. Supervisor or search firm communicates with candidate of choice an offer and negotiates the offer.
  28. Offer accepted.
  29. Unsuccessful candidates are notified and thanked for applying.
  30. Marketing and strategic communications notified of hire and press release is developed.
  31. Search committee is notified of hire as is senior leadership team, provost council and the position’s direct reports.
  32. Public announcement is made.
  33. Search documents should be retained for a minimum of four years.