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Search Committee Procedures

The advertisement for our positions is published in the print and online versions of the Chronicle of Higher Education . We also have more complete descriptions online at .

The Dean's Office maintains an updated list of applicants and materials received at . This file is password protected in order to preserve applicant confidentiality, but passwords are provided to search committee chairs and department chairs. These can be distributed to search committee members as deemed appropriate by the chair.

As applications arrive a memo is sent to the applicant. The memo states that further contacts will come from the search committee. Although there are differences in how departments conduct the searches so as to address individual department needs, all searches should adhere to the following guidelines.

(1) A search committee should be assembled for each search. The composition of a committee should necessarily include two or three individuals in the area of the position, but in addition should include one faculty member from outside of your department. Consider also including a faculty member from a different program within your department and/or from a program outside of the department. Our emphasis on recruiting individuals with strong scholarship and a potential to obtain external funding for research projects should be a consideration when selecting these out-of-area members for the search committee.

You should also obtain diversity on other variables in addition to academic area. The handbook from the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs has a nice discussion of this. (The handbook and other materials related to recruiting for diversity can be found at In some instances, the expertise of individuals external to the College may be helpful (e.g. teachers, school administrators, State Department of Education personnel). Obviously you want to keep this working committee a reasonable size (perhaps 4 or 5 members), but the importance of this process warrants careful consideration of committee composition.

Please submit a membership list of your committee to the Associate Dean for Administration and Research by the announced date. The Dean reserves the right to appoint an additional member to each search committee. The final search committees' membership lists will be distributed to members of the Administrative Council.

(2) Each search committee must have an organizational meeting to discuss University policy regarding academic searches. To help with this, the Dean's office can provide you with enough copies of the afore-mentioned handbook so that every member of the search committee can have one. At this organizational meeting you or your department chair should also provide a charge to the committee that addresses your programs specific needs as well as our commitment to minority recruitment and our emphasis on scholarly productivity that includes external funding generation. It is imperative that members of each committee know that recommendations to the Dean will only be accepted when the above issues are addressed. The Dean or Associate Dean would be happy to meet with your committee to discuss this and to help give the charge to the committee, if you wish.

(3) Consistent with University policy, one member of the search committee must serve as the affirmative action advocate for the search. This is an opportunity to choose someone who will actively lead the effort for minority recruitment, though this person may or may not be a member of an ethnic minority. Please indicate the affirmative action advocate on the search committee list that you send to the Dean's Office.

(4) Even though we announce a date for reviewing files, members of each search committee may want to review files as they arrive so that interview decisions can be made early in the following year. All interviews must be approved by the Dean, through the Associate Dean for Administration and Research, before the invitation is made. The Dean's office will work with search committee chairs to help coordinate the interview schedules so that the number of candidates on campus in any one week does not become excessively large.

(5) You may obtain the candidate's file from the Associate Dean's Administrative Assistant. A copy will be maintained in the Dean's office area and all members of the faculty will be invited to review the file and fill out a rating form. The Dean's office will send you the completed rating forms.

(6) With the exception of the clinical faculty searches, search procedures must include a research colloquium. Every colloquium must be advertised to the entire College faculty at least one week in advance of the event. Search committees will be provided with a sample rating sheet to be given to every attendee at the colloquium. Committees may choose to edit the rating sheet, but every attendee must be given an opportunity to rate the candidate and compilations of these data should accompany recommendations to the Dean.

(7) Every candidate selected for an on-campus interview must be scheduled for 30-minute interviews with the Dean and each of the associate deans.

(8) The University has contracted with RELO Direct ( to provide both up-front services for interviewees as well as relocation services for individuals who accept offers. During the interview process it is very important that you do not send interviewees to a real estate agent to get a tour of Columbia without first contacting Paradigm Relocation. You can still use a real estate agent to help give a tour, but we must have this arranged through Paradigm. Another option is to have the professionals at Paradigm provide the tour. The Dean's Office has brochures about interviewing and relocation services that are provided and will be happy to help you establish contact with Paradigm.

Obviously there are many other procedures that you will choose to implement based on your specific needs (e.g. visits to schools, teaching a course), so the above guidelines are designed to ensure that we simultaneously adhere to policy and maximize our chances for successful searches that lead to outstanding hires.

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