Staffing Request: Procedures and Timeline

Search Procedures

Target of Opportunity Searches

Reimbursement Policy for Search Expenses


The recruitment and hiring of new faculty is an opportunity for departments to engage in reflection and long‑term planning. It is important to consider broader programmatic questions, rather than just seeking to hire someone similar to the person being replaced.  What curricular gaps need to be filled in the department? What areas or courses, if any, might be deleted from the department’s offerings?  What are the characteristics that the department looks for in a colleague?  What programmatic contributions to the department and the College will a new person be expected to make?  Pondering questions of this type will help provide the department with a pool of candidates with the characteristics necessary for a successful search and will help minimize the time involved in the recruitment process.

The most successful searches are those in which (1) the department carefully reviews its needs and enters the market as early as possible; (2) the department generates, whenever possible, a candidate pool before the annual convention of its professional society takes place (or before other means of conducting preliminary interviews); (3) pre‑scanning takes place before the convention/preliminary interviews so that approximately 10‑15 candidate interviews may be arranged in advance; (4) a short list of approximately three people whom the department wishes to bring on‑campus is developed as soon as possible after the convention/preliminary interviews; (5) the on‑campus interview is viewed by the department as an opportunity not only to evaluate the candidates but also to present the virtues of the department and of the College.

The desire to attract the best possible candidates means that we must find individuals who possess not only the academic expertise appropriate to the position and rank for which they are candidates but also those characteristics that match Lafayette’s needs.  We need to attract faculty who are committed to the teacher/scholar ideal.  The College’s mission calls for faculty who can balance the demands of teaching and scholarship in a small, residential college where faculty/student interaction is highly valued and a necessary part of the academic program.  In addition, we need to identify individuals who are willing to make a commitment to general education and interdisciplinary teaching.

When recruiting new faculty, it is essential to keep in mind the College’s serious commitment to diversity as part of its mission:

Lafayette College is committed to creating a diverse community: one that is inclusive and responsive, and is supportive of each and all of its faculty, students, and staff. The College seeks to promote diversity in its many manifestations. These include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and place of origin.

The College recognizes that we live in an increasingly interconnected, globalized world, and that students benefit from learning in educational and social contexts in which there are participants from all manner of backgrounds. The goal is to encourage students to consider diverse experiences and perspectives throughout their lives. All members of the College community share a responsibility for creating, maintaining, and developing a learning environment in which difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced.

It is a mission of the College to advance diversity as defined above. The College will continue to assess its progress in a timely manner in order to ensure that its diversity initiatives are effective.  See College’s Diversity Statement.


Staffing Requests: Procedures and Timeline

The procedures to be followed and the considerations to be taken into account in allocating faculty positions are outlined below. These should guide academic Department Heads in drafting their requests to retain vacancies occurring in their departments and in making requests for additional faculty positions.

The Provost is empowered to take one of two actions when a faculty vacancy occurs within a department: (1) authorize the department to proceed immediately with a search to fill the vacancy; or (2) refer the vacancy to the Faculty Academic Policy Committee (FAP), which delegates the initial discussion to its Staffing subcommittee. The Staffing subcommittee, which is convened by the Provost, makes recommendations to the full Faculty Academic Policy Committee, which, in turn, makes recommendations to the Provost, and reports any such significant advice to the Faculty.

In their requests for additional faculty or for retention of a vacant line occurring within their department, Department Heads should address curricular goals, interdisciplinary objectives, enrollment patterns, and long-range program needs.  To request a new position or the retention of a vacant line, please use the Staffing Request Form.  As part of the request, please include the annual report prepared by the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) that provides enrollment and other information about the department’s program.  Although Department Heads’ requests may include supplementary material, the document must also include a one-sentence position description that will be posted on the Provost’s web page and made available to the campus community.

In most cases, departments will know by December 31 of the vacancies that are likely to occur in their departments due to retirements and recommendations by PTR. Therefore, ordinarily staffing requests will be addressed on the following timeline, which should provide adequate lead time for searches:

Fall semester

Department Heads receive from the OIR a copy of information on enrollments, average class size, teaching load, etc.

Mid-January (see “Calendar of Annual Faculty Deadlines” for exact date):

Department Heads submit staffing requests to the Provost.

Early spring

The Provost and Dean of the Faculty review staffing requests and known or expected vacancies and determine which requests merit further discussion with FAP and its Staffing subcommittee. Those that will not be referred to FAP will be addressed by the Provost, in conversation with the Department Head.

In some cases, departments may proceed with a search for a 1-year replacement, if a request for such a position has been made and approved. See “Calendar of Annual Faculty Deadlines” for due date for visiting position requests.

Spring semester

The Provost and Dean of the Faculty convene FAP’s Staffing Advisory subcommittee to review requests sent by the Provost and prepare recommendations. Recommendations move to FAP for discussion and consideration. Normally, significant advice is rendered late in the semester, and then reported to the Faculty.

Late spring semester

The Provost and Dean of the Faculty work with Department Heads to plan searches for new positions. The searches normally take place in the subsequent academic year.

Search Procedures

(See also Target of Opportunity Hiring Program below)

Appointment of Search Committee/Job Advertisement/EEO Survey

1. When a department has been allocated a tenure-track position, the Department Head, Provost, and/or Dean of the Faculty determine the rank for the position. Normally, appointments are made at the assistant professor rank. (See also Faculty Handbook, 4.3.5, “Conditions of and Criteria for Appointment to the Several Faculty Ranks.”  For information on short-term and part-time appointments, see Faculty Handbook, 4.3.9.)

2. The Department Head discusses the composition of the Search Committee with the Dean of the Faculty.

Faculty Handbook 4.5.1 Principles: Faculty recruitment is undertaken to meet established institutional and department programmatic needs (see Section and should occur only when administrative, departmental, and faculty consensus has been reached on the terms and conditions by which that need will be met. A proper search and selection process should be directed toward achieving the goals of the institution and except as specified in Section 4.5.3 should at the same time assure each potential candidate the opportunity for a full, fair, and equitable consideration. The objectives are normally met by: (1) proper professional representation in the search and selection process; (2) an explicit description of the position to be filled; (3) appropriate publicity concerning the vacancy including meaningful communication directed toward female and minority candidates; (4) adequate evidence of candidate qualifications; (5) fair, comprehensive, and prompt evaluation of all candidates. [Added 1983; 07-41]

Faculty Handbook 4.5.2 Search Committee: For positions which are to be filled by appointment at the rank of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, a search committee shall be appointed by the Dean of the Faculty in consultation with the Department Head. This committee shall include the Department Head, a senior member of the department, a senior member of a related department, and other faculty members as deemed appropriate. Where possible, a junior faculty member will be included on the search committee, as will women and minority faculty members. Departures from this pattern shall occur only with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty. [Added 1983, 92-25, 07-41, 2014]

3. In consultation with the Search Committee, the Department Head should prepare and forward to the Dean of the Faculty:

a. Search Planning Template

b. Completed and signed EEO Form A

c. Proposed advertisement for the position (electronic copy preferred)

In preparing the advertising copy, the Department Head should consult with the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Human Resources to discuss the advertisement’s compliance with College policy.

All advertisements must include the following language:

Lafayette College is committed to creating a diverse community, one that is inclusive and responsive, and is supportive of each and all of its faculty, students, and staff.  All members of the College community share a responsibility for creating, maintaining, and developing a learning environment in which difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced.  Lafayette College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.

The ad should note if applicants are expected to contribute to the Common Course of Study and/or to interdisciplinary programs. It should also include a statement asking candidates to address how their teaching, scholarship, and/or service might support Lafayette’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

It is the responsibility of the Department Head to inform the Vice President for Human Resources of deadlines and, when appropriate, of the need for the ad to be placed by someone with membership in a professional organization.

4. The Dean of the Faculty forwards the approved EEO Form A to the Vice President for Human Resources and informs the Department Head through the return of a copy of the approved EEO Form A that the search has been authorized.

Upon authorizing the search, the Dean of the Faculty sends formal letters of appointment to the members of the Search Committee as discussed with the Department Head.

5. In order to gather required EEO information of candidates, the Provost’s Office will send the Chair of the Search Committee a link to an on-line survey which, in turn, should be forwarded to each applicant; alternatively, if the search committee is using an application process that includes an EEO survey, the search committee chair shall provide a copy of the survey to the Dean of the Faculty to ensure that it is in accord with Lafayette’s EEO survey.

Search Committee Procedures

1. Search committee members follow the plans noted on the Search Planning Template to publicize the position and generate as diverse an applicant pool as possible.

Faculty Handbook The Search Committee will: Recruit candidates by notifying professional societies and graduate placement offices of the vacancy using the job description referred to in Section; the Department Head and the Committee are responsible for making sure that minority and female candidates are sought actively through advertising and other recruiting; the Vice President for Human Resources should be consulted as to appropriate advertising and other means by which the requirements of the Equal Employment Opportunity program may be met. [Added 1983]

2. Before reviewing any applications, the members of the Search Committee meet to discuss the criteria they will use in assessing applicants, and create a rubric or list of preferred qualifications.

Brochure on Pre-Employment Inquiries

3. When the deadline for applications is reached, the Search Committee Chair and the Dean of the Faculty will review the EEO survey data to assess the diversity of the applicant pool. If necessary, the Search Committee Chair and Dean of the Faculty may consider extending the deadline for applications and/or finding alternate venues for advertising the position.

4. All members of the Search Committee should meet to discuss which conferences are appropriate for interviewing candidates, or, if conference interviewing is not feasible, make plans to interview candidates via other means such as videoconference, and to plan an interview schedule.  Members of the Search Committee should evaluate all of the candidates’ materials and as a group determine which ones should be interviewed at the conferences, using the criteria and/or rubrics developed earlier.

5.Prior to scheduling the interviews, the Search Committee Chair shares the preliminary short list of candidates, including a brief rationale for the selections, with the Dean of the Faculty.

Campus Interviews

1. Once Search Committee members have conducted preliminary interviews, they prepare a list of candidates they wish to invite for on-campus interviews.  This list, along with CVs, letters of application, three letters of recommendation for each candidate, and other relevant materials as well as a completed EEO Form B, are sent to the Dean of the Faculty.  Normally, no more than three candidates are brought to campus.

After permission has been received from the Dean of the Faculty to invite the candidates to campus, the Department Head contacts the candidates and arranges their visits.

Faculty Handbook The Search Committee will: Review applications and select the best qualified candidates for interviews on campus, interview candidates, and, where possible, arrange for presentations by them in a teaching situation to which students and faculty are invited. [Added 1983]

2. In scheduling interviews with the Dean of the Faculty, it is helpful if Department Heads contact the Provost’s Office as early as possible to reserve times during which they expect to be able to bring candidates to campus.  Prior to contacting the candidates for scheduling the campus visits, appointment times should be confirmed with the Provost’s Office.

Faculty Handbook 4.5.4 Procedures. The Search (or Recruitment) Committee will [Rev. 07-41] Schedule private interviews for candidates with other members of the department, the Dean of the Faculty, and the Provost; for those candidates being considered for the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor without immediate tenure, an interview with the President also shall be arranged; and in the case of a Professor, the Committee should provide interviews with senior members of related departments/programs. [Added 1983, Rev. 1991, 07-41, 2014]

In addition, a candidate for the rank of full professor with immediate tenure will be interviewed by the full professors of the department; a candidate for the rank of associate professor with immediate tenure will be interviewed by the tenured members of the department. As appropriate, all candidates will be interviewed by the senior members of related departments/programs. Following the interview, the participating members of the department will convene to discuss the candidate’s suitability for the awarding of tenure. Subsequently, the Department Head will submit a letter to the Dean of the Faculty summarizing the departmental discussion; department members also provide the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost with individual letters of evaluation and recommendation. Likewise, the members of programs to which the candidate would contribute will convene to discuss the candidate’s suitability for the awarding of tenure. A summary of their discussion as well as individual letters of evaluation and recommendation will be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost. [Rev. 07-41, 2014]

Search Committee Recommendation/Offer
1. After all candidates have departed, the Search Committee should confer with members of the department.  Although not every department will wish to express its recommendations by departmental vote, every member of the department should have an opportunity to express his/her views to the Search Committee.  The Search Committee should then meet to determine the recommendation to be made to the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost.

Faculty Handbook [The Search Committee will:] Report in writing to the Dean of the Faculty and the Provost; this report will include: (a) the Committee’s evaluation of the primary candidates; (b) the Committee’s recommendation. In recommending candidates who have not completed the terminal degree, search committees normally should recommend only candidates who have an excellent chance of completing all final degree requirements by the end of their second year of employment at Lafayette College. [Added 1983, 88-14, 2014]

The Department Head, on behalf of the Search Committee, sends a written report to the Dean of the Faculty that includes the Committee’s evaluation of the primary candidate and the Committee’s recommendation.  If the Chair of the Search Committee is not the Department Head, the Committee makes its report to the Department Head, who in turn presents it to the Dean of the Faculty with his/her concurrence or nonconcurrence.  If one or more members of the Search Committee wishes to provide a written report explaining his/her disagreement with the majority view of the Search Committee, he/she may do so, with copies to other members of the Committee.

Faculty Handbook If the candidate is being considered for the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and if tenure is to be considered within three years, the Provost shall bring the Committee’s recommendation to the Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee for review and recommendation to the President. If tenure is to be awarded immediately upon appointment, the Provost shall bring the recommendations of the department and related departments/programs to the Promotion, Tenure, and review Committee for review and recommendation to the President. [Added 1983, Rev. 1991, 07-41]

2. The Department Head should discuss the recommendation with the Dean of the Faculty and seek authorization to make an offer to a specific candidate.  The authorization will include information on salary, rank, length of appointment, and reimbursable moving costs.

3. Once the Department Head has received authorization to make an offer, he/she conveys that offer to the candidate by telephone and establishes a time period within which the candidate will respond.  In consideration of other candidates, the Department Head should not let this period be unduly long.

4. Once the candidate has orally accepted the offer, the Department Head submits the completed EEO Form C to the Dean of the Faculty, who then issues a letter of appointment.  The Department Head notifies the remaining candidates indicating that the position has been filled.

5. Applicant files must be kept for three years.

Faculty Handbook [The Search Committee will:] Through the Provost’s Office, provide the Vice President for Human Resources, as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, with the necessary documentation concerning the recruitment and selection of the candidate. [Added 1983, Rev. 1991]

[and] Make provision for the permanent retention of records of the process. [Added 1983]

6. The Provost’s office informs new faculty members that federal immigration law requires all employees verify their employment eligibility.  New employees must complete an I-9 immigration form and present either a passport or alien registration card with a photograph or a state-issued driver’s license and a Social Security card or birth certificate to the Provost’s Office before the College can begin salary payment.

Target of Opportunity Searches

(from the Faculty Handbook)

4.5.3 Target of Opportunity searches. In exceptional cases, a “target of opportunity” recruitment program will facilitate the recruitment of candidates whose potential interest in the College is identified outside a normal search process. [Rev. 07-41, 11-19] A department or program may, at any time, propose an individual’s candidacy. After considering the candidate’s merits, particularly his/her potential for contributions to teaching, scholarship, and service, and after determining that there is strong support for the candidate, the department/program will forward a written proposal to the Dean of the Faculty. The proposal shall include evidence of the strength of the department/program’s support of the candidate and, if applicable, commentary offered by department/program members who do not support the decision to recruit the candidate. The proposal must include the signatures of all members of the department/program that is submitting it. Any member of the department/program may write an individual letter for inclusion in the proposal; all such letters will be made available to all members of the department/program prior to submission of the proposal to the Dean of the Faculty. [Rev. 07-41, 21-21, 2014] The proposal must demonstrate that the candidate is exceptional in his/her field and/or that he/she is likely to have an exceptional impact on the strategic goals of the College; these goals may include, but are not limited to, diversifying the Faculty. The proposal must justify the need to hire the candidate outside of a normal search process and must provide all reasons underlying the department/program’s decision to utilize the Target of Opportunity recruitment program.  [Rev. 07-41, 12-21] The proposal must include the candidate’s curriculum vitae and an assessment of his/her professional accomplishments. The proposal must also include an explanation of the teaching and scholarly contributions that the candidate can offer to the College, and an explanation of how hiring the candidate will advance the College’s strategic initiatives. [Rev. 07-41, 12-21] The Dean of the Faculty and the Provost will solicit the Faculty Academic Policy Committee’s advice on a proposal. [Rev. 07-41, 2014] The Dean of the Faculty and the Provost, if they authorize recruiting the candidate, will constitute a recruitment committee, which will include the head of the department with which the candidate will affiliate, at least two additional members of the department, and a senior member of another department. If the candidate is expected to offer courses in a program, the Dean of the Faculty will appoint a member of that program to the recruitment committee. [Rev. 07-41, 2014] The Recruitment Committee will gather additional evidence of the candidate’s qualifications, will interview the candidate and, where possible, will arrange for a presentation by him/her in a teaching situation to which students and faculty are invited. [Rev. 07-41]


Reimbursement Policy for Search Expenses

1. Costs for most of the advertisements of full-time faculty positions will be covered by the faculty recruitment funds administered by the Provost.

2. The first round of interviewing often begins at the department’s professional conference.  When it does, only the Search Committee Chair and one other member of the Committee will receive reimbursement for expenses at such a conference.  Reimbursement will normally be limited to one or two days of full-time recruiting (generally six to eight candidates per day).  The faculty who will be conducting the interviews and the number of days to be spent interviewing must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty in advance of the conference.

3. The College will reimburse on-campus interview candidates for economy class domestic transportation (plane, train, or bus).  Candidates should be encouraged to make flight arrangements out of ABE airport.  If this is not reasonable given the candidate’s travel needs, the candidate may be reimbursed for the cost of a rental car to travel between the alternative airport and campus.  Automobile transportation is reimbursed at the existing federal rate plus tolls; car rentals are reimbursed only when such rental is the least expensive option.  In addition, the College will reimburse candidates for meal expenses while on campus.

4. The College will not accept invoices for the prepayment of on-campus interview candidates’ expenses but will reimburse candidates as soon as possible upon receipt of a travel expense report and all reimbursable receipts. Expense reports should be sent to the Provost’s Office.  Candidate expenses not listed in this section are not reimbursable.

5.Meal expenses for the candidate when accompanied by a Lafayette representative should be paid for by a member of the department.  These expenses will be reimbursed by the Provost’s Office.  A travel expense form, together with the appropriate receipts and with the names of those attending, can be used for the reimbursement.  It should be sent to the Dean of the Faculty with the Department Head’s signature.  It is expected that Department Heads will keep these meal costs to a reasonable level and will be particularly sensitive to the need for discretion in the use of alcoholic beverages.  Expenses for Lafayette College spouses are not reimbursable.  It is expected that one meal during a campus visit will involve members of the Search Committee and will occur at a local restaurant (e.g., River Grille, Sogo, Sette Luna).  The expenses for this meal should be no more than $50 per person.  If the Search Committee Chair chooses to include additional faculty or other College representatives at this meal, the costs for those additional meals must be covered by the department or program.  Additional restaurant meals, if needed, should include only one or two College representatives and expenses should be approximately $30 per person or less.

6. On-campus interview candidates requiring overnight accommodations, normally one night, should be housed at the Lafayette Inn.  Accommodations for more than one night must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty in advance.

7. Expenses for Search Committee meetings for purposes other than interviewing candidates are not reimbursable from the faculty recruitment budget.  Therefore, expenses for food and beverages at events such as a brown bag or afternoon presentation by a candidate must be covered by the department or program.