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

The most successful searches are those in which (1) the department/program carefully reviews its needs and enters the market as early as possible (preferably aligning the timing of its search with the primary annual convention/conference in the field, if relevant); (2) the department/program generates a list of key criteria that are used for evaluating candidate pools; (3) the department/program selects approximately 10 candidates from diverse backgrounds to be interviewed via Zoom; (4) a short list of three people whom the department/program wishes to bring on-campus is developed as soon as possible after the preliminary interviews; and (5) an offer is made to the candidate who most closely aligns with the department/program’s needs. The on-campus interview should be viewed by the department/program as an opportunity not only to evaluate the candidates but also to present the virtues of the department/program 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 colleagues 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 members, it is essential to keep in mind the College’s 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/Program Chairs in drafting their requests to retain vacancies occurring in their departments and in making requests for additional faculty positions.

When a faculty vacancy occurs, the Provost will refer the vacancy to the Staffing Advisory Subcommittee of the Faculty Academic Resources (FAR) Committee. The Staffing subcommittee makes recommendations to the full FAR 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/Program Chairs should address curricular goals, interdisciplinary objectives, contributions to the Common Course of Study including First-Year Seminars, enrollment patterns, and long-range programmatic needs. To request a new position or the retention of a vacant line, please use the Staffing Request Form provided on the Provost’s website. As part of the request, the Department Head/Program Chair should refer to Instructional Datasets that are provided by the Office of Institutional Research (OIR). Ordinarily staffing requests will be addressed on the following timeline, which should provide adequate lead time for searches:

Fall semester

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

Early November

Departments/Programs submit staffing requests for visiting faculty appointments.

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

Department Heads/Program Chairs submit tenure-track staffing requests to the Provost’s Office

Spring semester

The Provost convenes FAR’s Staffing Advisory subcommittee to review tenure-track staffing requests. After careful review and discussion, the subcommittee will recommend approval of select staffing requests to the FAR Committee, which will then render significant advice to the Provost. Normally, significant advice is rendered late in the semester, and then reported to the Faculty.

Late spring semester

The Academic Deans will work with Department Heads and Program Chairs to plan searches for new positions. The searches normally take place in the subsequent academic year.

Search Procedures

(Information on Target of Opportunity Searches can be found in section 4.6.3 of the Faculty Handbook.)

Appointment of Search Committee/Job Advertisement/EEO Survey

When a department or program has been allocated a tenure-track position, the Provost will determine the rank for the position. Normally, appointments are made at the assistant professor rank.

The Department Head/Program Chair should review Faculty Handbook 6 (Recruitment Principles and Procedures) and, for anticipated interdisciplinary appointments, Faculty Handbook 4.7, before proceeding with the search. After reviewing these guidelines, the Department Head/Program Chair discusses the composition of the Search Committee with the appropriate Academic Dean. Once the search committee membership is approved, the Department Head/Program Chair—in consultation with the search committee—should prepare a proposed advertisement for the position, which will be reviewed and edited by the appropriate Academic Dean. 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 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. All Lafayette operations reflect the College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, and Lafayette welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds.

 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 will support Lafayette’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

When the job advertisement is approved and uploaded to Interfolio by the appropriate Academic Dean, the DH/PC should submit a completed EEO Form A, containing the job description with the Interfolio link and all additional required information, as well as a separate Word file with the job advertisement. The EEO Form A should be signed by the DH/PC and forwarded to the appropriate Academic Dean, to be signed and then forwarded to Nancy Williams, who will post the ad to the Provost’s website. The Provost’s Office will forward the approved EEO Form A to Human Resources, which will post the position to advertising locations. (After pricing out the advertising packages, HR may reach out to the DH/PC and/or Academic Dean to confirm postings. All postings that require a department/program membership, as indicated on the EEO-A form, should be posted by the DH/PC.)

 Search Committee Procedures

Search committee members ought to publicize the position and generate as diverse an applicant pool as possible. As noted in the Faculty Handbook, the Search Committee will “recruit candidates by notifying professional societies and graduate placement offices of the vacancy using a job description; the Department Head/Program Chair and the Committee are responsible for making sure that gender diverse candidates and candidates from historically underrepresented groups 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, Rev. 17-21, Board, Oct. 13, 2018]

The Search Committee is expected to follow the procedures below:

  1. 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. Please read Brochure on Pre-Employment Inquiries to ensure that the committee members comply with expected policies on pre-employment inquiries.
  2. When the deadline for applications is reached, the Search Committee Chair and the appropriate Academic Dean will review the EEO survey data to assess the diversity of the applicant pool. If necessary, the Search Committee Chair and appropriate Academic Dean may consider extending the deadline for applications and/or finding alternate venues for advertising the position.
  3. Members of the Search Committee should evaluate all of the candidates’ materials and as a group determine the top 10 or so to be interviewed via Zoom, using the criteria and/or rubrics developed earlier. The committee should determine an appropriate schedule for preliminary Zoom interviews.
  4. 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 appropriate Academic Dean.

 Campus Interviews

Once Search Committee members have conducted preliminary interviews, they prepare a list of candidates they wish to invite for on-campus interviews with a brief rationale for each. This list, along with a completed EEO Form B, are sent to the appropriate Academic Dean.  Normally, no more than three candidates are brought to campus.

After permission has been received from the appropriate Academic Dean to invite the candidates to campus, the Department Head/Program Chair contacts the candidates and arranges their visits. According to the 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]

In scheduling interviews with the appropriate Academic Dean, it is helpful if Department Heads/Program Chairs contact the Dean 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 Dean. Interviews with the Dean for tenure-track positions are normally 45 minutes.

In line with the Faculty Handbook 4.6.4, the Search (or Recruitment) Committee will schedule private interviews for candidates with other members of the department/program, the appropriate Academic Dean, and the Provost (for tenure-track or continuing positions) and the Associate Provost (for visiting positions). For those candidates being considered for the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor without immediate tenure, the Committee should provide interviews with senior members of related departments/programs. Appointing a candidate at the rank of associate or full professor with immediate tenure is extremely unusual and should be discussed with the Provost and appropriate Academic Dean before submitting a request for the position. The process for doing so is also described in the Faculty Handbook 4.6.4.

Search Committee Recommendation/Offer

After all candidates have departed, the Search Committee should confer with members of the department/program.  Although not every department/program 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 appropriate Academic Dean and the Provost. The following steps are required:

  1. The Department Head/Program Chair, on behalf of the Search Committee, sends a written report to the appropriate Academic Dean 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/Program Chair, the Committee makes its report to the Department Head/Program Chair, who in turn presents it to the appropriate Academic Dean 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. If the candidate is being considered at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (with or without immediate tenure), please consult the Faculty Handbook6.4.5.
  2. The Department Head/Program Chair should discuss the search committee’s final recommendation with the appropriate Academic Dean and seek authorization to make an offer to a specific candidate.  The Academic Dean will work with the Provost, who must approve any offer. The offer will include information on salary, rank, and moving stipend.
  3. Once the Department Head/Program Chair 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/Program Chair should not let this period be unduly long. One week should be considered as a reasonable timeframe to accept or reject the offer.
  4. Once the candidate has orally accepted the offer, the Department Head/Program Chair submits the completed EEO Form C to the Provost’s Office and the Dean of the Faculty or Provost issues a letter of appointment. Once that letter has been signed, the Department Head/Program Chair notifies the remaining candidates indicating that the position has been filled.
  5. Applicant files must be kept for three years.
  6. Aligned with Faculty Handbook 6.4.3 and, the Search Committee will provide the Provost’s Office the necessary documentation concerning the recruitment and selection of the candidate, which will be made available to Human Resources and the College’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
  7. The Provost’s office informs new faculty members that federal immigration law requires all employees to 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 anda Social Security card or birth certificate to the Provost’s Office before the College can begin salary payment.

 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 Office of the Provost.
  2. First-round interviews will be conducted via Zoom. Due to the high cost and inconvenience of in-person interviews at conferences for both search committee members and potential candidates, the College no longer approves a first-round of in-person interviews at conference venues.
  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. (Limo service to/from the airport is not an acceptable form of transportation.) 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 Katie Antonioli in the Provost’s Office with the Department Head/Program Chair’s signature.  It is expected that Department Heads/Program Chairs 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 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. Candidates requiring overnight accommodations for their on-campus interview should be housed at the Lafayette Inn, and normally for only one night. Accommodations for more than one night must be approved by the Provost’s Office.
  7. Expenses for Search Committee meetings for purposes other than interviewing candidates are notreimbursable 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.