7. Hiring New Faculty
Following an initial discussion with the Dean, the department head uses PeopleAdmin to initiate a formal request for new faculty or rehire for an existing position. The request is routed from the department head to the Dean, and then the Provost. Human Resources and Budget Services must also approve the position.
Once a position is approved a position announcement is developed by the department head in consultation with the departmental “personnel committee” (or other department governance committee). The information in the announcement will be used to populate the job posting information in PeopleAdmin. The announcement should address rank, tenure vs. non-tenure track, position responsibilities, minimum and preferred qualifications, and application deadlines.
Rank: Advertise for a maximum of two levels, such as instructor/assistant, assistant/associate, etc.
Responsibilities: Teaching, advising, community and institutional service, and research productivity will be expected for tenure-track faculty. Other responsibilities should be delineated according to the needs of the department or program.
Minimum and Preferred Qualifications: Degree level should generally be at the terminal level. Be sure to include three years’ minimum public p-12 school teaching experience (for educator preparation programs). Include other minimum and preferred qualifications that are aligned with the job responsibilities and expectations.
Application Deadlines: Allow a minimum of 30 days for applications to be received.
The Provost’s office posts the advertisements to the VSU Human Resources website, the University System’s Clearinghouse, and if requested the Chronicle of Higher Education, and/or other appropriate outlets.
Candidates for the position must meet the listed minimum qualifications and apply through the Department of Human Resources online PeopleAdmin application system within the timelines stated in the position announcement. All applications must include a letter of application, a resume, and the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references.
The highest priority of the college is to maintain the excellence of its teaching and research activities while at the same time carrying out an effective affirmative action and non-discriminatory employment program. Both of these needs can be met by undertaking careful and thorough searches each time a new faculty appointment is to be made.
The department head, in consultation with the Department Personnel Committee (or other department governance committee), shall appoint a search committee and chair. The committee should also include appropriate stakeholders. The department head will meet with the search committee to review the search protocol as outlined in the COEHS Policies and Procedures, the Office of Social Equity’s Employee Hiring Resources, and the Office of Social Equity’s Employment Interview Questions Guidelines.
The search committee and department head should develop the specific criteria used to judge all applicants. Such criteria should be drawn from the qualifications and job description in the position announcement. Candidate ratings on the each of the criteria will be evaluated using the COEHS Applicant Evaluation Form and summarized on the COEHS Selection Criteria Matrix. These evaluation tools will be used in each phase of the selection process. It is important to note that all applicants must be treated the same at each phase of the process from the initial screening of minimum qualifications through the on-site interviews and recommendations.
Applications are received through the online PeopleAdmin system. Using the Applicant Evaluation Form those applicants who do not meet minimal qualifications should be excluded from further consideration. The reason for their exclusion should be recorded on the Selection Criteria Matrix.
The remaining candidates should be evaluated using the Applicant Evaluation Form and a summary of the results will be recorded on the Selection Criteria Matrix. The applicant pool should be narrowed to approximately five applicants. Those applicants under consideration should be contacted to determine if they are still interested in the position. This is a good time to clarify for the applicant such items as the selection process and timeline and information concerning the department, COEHS, VSU, and community.
Optional telephone interviews may then be conducted by the committee using a set of predetermined questions.
References should be contacted using a set of predetermined questions. The faculty interviewer should document the conversation. Such documentation should become part of the search committee file.
The Selection Criteria Matrix should be updated based on telephone interviews and references and two to three applicants should be selected for campus interviews. If two applicants cannot be selected for campus interviews the search committee should consult with the department head about continuing or closing the search. The search committee chair should send a memo to the department head with ranked recommendations for campus interviews. Additionally, the position announcement, a completed Selection Criteria Matrix (including the reason for exclusion) should accompany the memorandum. This information may be required in the Affirmative Action Approval process.
The department head reviews the submitted documentation and either supports the recommendations of the committee or meets with the chair and/or committee to address questions that may arise. The department head then updates the applicant status in the online PeopleAdmin system and awaits approval of the selection process from the Affirmative Action Officer in the Office of Social Equity.
Following approval by the Affirmative Action Officer, the department head writes a memo to the Dean recommending the applicants to be interviewed. Correspondence from the Affirmative Action Officer and the completed Selection Criteria Matrix should accompany the memo.
The Dean then sends a memo and the other documentation to the Provost. The Provost’s office contacts the Dean’s office when permission for interviewing has been granted and the Dean’s office contacts the appropriate department head.
It is common practice for units of the University System to employ faculty members from other units of the System. If the search committee has identified another faculty member in the System, the committee should alert the Provost so that a request to bring this person in for a campus interview can be forwarded to the President of the sister institution.
In preparing for the interview process, the department head will meet with the faculty to review the search protocol as outlined in the COEHS Policies and Procedures, the Office of Social Equity’s Employee Hiring Resources, and Office of Social Equity’s Employment Interview Questions Guidelines. Such meetings may take place annually or at the time of the search and may be coordinated with the Office of Social Equity or Human Resources
Interviews for each applicant need to be scheduled through the Dean’s office. With regard to the finalist, as in the previous phases of the selection process, it is extremely important that in the interview phase all candidates are treated in as equal a manner as possible. Interview events should include:
- Interview with the departmental search committee
- Individual and/or group interviews with departmental faculty and school partners or other stakeholders
- Individual interview with the department head
- Individual Interview with the Dean or designee
- Meeting with students in that major (optional)
- Presentation to students/faculty (optional)
- Meeting with local area teachers at local school (optional)
- Meeting with the personnel office (optional)
- Tour of the campus and Valdosta area
The departmental search committee chair is responsible for developing and facilitating each applicant’s interview schedule while in Valdosta. It is important that faculty members assist with non-interview activities, such as meals and tours. The Provost’s office will communicate with the applicant concerning travel arrangements and reimbursement. If faculty joins the applicant for a meal, the cost is the responsibility of the faculty member unless the department establishes reimbursement through the department’s VSU Foundation discretionary account.
The search committee will solicit feedback from faculty and other stakeholders who participated in the process using the Applicant Evaluation Form (or a similar tool with the appropriate criteria). The search committee will then present the department head a written recommendation that includes a ranked list of finalists along with the updated Selection Criteria Matrix. The department head will forward a written recommendation to the Dean. The Dean then makes a recommendation to the Provost and requests permission to make an informal offer. Once approved, the Dean will then direct the department head to negotiate with the candidate until an informal offer is accepted. It is at that time a specific salary is discussed. Another topic for discussion may be years credited toward tenure. The Board of Regents of the University System allows a maximum of three years that can be applied to tenure. These years are based on years of higher education experience and any years of credit applied toward tenure must be included in the formal written offer mailed from the Provost’s office. Once an informal offer is agreed upon the Dean notifies the Provost Office to send out the official offer under the signature of the Provost.
In that full-time limited term faculty are employed on an emergency basis to fulfill an immediate need. It is the responsibility of the department head in consultation with of the departmental faculty to arrive at a recommendation as to the most appropriate applicant for temporary faculty positions. This recommendation is forwarded to the Dean in written form. A recommendation for an informal offer is requested by the Dean to the Provost Office; once approved the department head then negotiates with the candidate until an informal offer is accepted. It is at that time that specific salary is discussed. Once an informal offer is agreed upon the Dean notifies Provost Office to send out the official offer under the signature of the Provost. Limited Term Faculty positions should be reviewed by the Dean and department head each year to ascertain the need to continue the temporary status of the position or convert it to and advertise it as a regular non-tenure or tenure track position. An individual can only serve in a limited-term faculty position for a maximum of two consecutive years.
The VSU People Admin system sends a form letter to unsuccessful candidates at each phase of the screening process starting with selection for campus interview and culminating with the filling of the position. The department head must transition applicants in the PeopleAdmin system at each step of the process.