The recruitment and hiring of new faculty, while often a time‑consuming and demanding process for all involved, is also an opportunity for departments to engage in some introspection and long‑term planning. Rather than simply seeking to hire someone with the same background as the individual being replaced, it is necessary to consider broader programmatic questions. What intellectual gaps need to be filled in the department? What areas or courses, if any, should 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 is essential for formulating a recruitment plan. It 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; (3) pre‑scanning takes place before the convention so that approximately 10‑15 interviews may be arranged in advance; (4) a short list of approximately three people whom the department would like to bring on‑campus is developed as soon as possible after the convention 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 finding minority and women candidates.
Allocation of Faculty Positions
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. It would be appropriate to share the contents of this memo with the entire department.
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 whatever supplementary material they wish to include, it is required that the document 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 this timeline, which should provide adequate lead-time for searches:
Department Heads receive from the OIR a copy of information on enrollments, average class size, teaching load, etc.
Department Heads submit staffing requests to the Provost.
The Provost reviews staffing requests and known or expected vacancies; Provost determines which requests merit further discussion with FAP and its Staffing subcommittee. Those that will not be referred to FAP will be disposed by the Provost, in conversation with the Department Head.
Ordinarily, departments will proceed with the search for a 1-year replacement, if needed.
FAP’s Staffing Advisory subcommittee reviews requests sent by the Provost and prepares recommendations. Recommendations move to FAP for discussion and consideration. Normally, significant advice would be rendered late in the semester, and be reported to the Faculty.
Late spring semester
The Provost works with Department Heads to plan the search for any longer-term positions that are allocated to departments. The search would normally take place in the subsequent academic year
(See also Target of Opportunity Hiring Program on Provost’s website)
1. The Department Head confers with the Provost and confirms that a vacancy exists within the department which is to be filled by a tenure track appointment. It is at this point that the rank for the position should be determined.
2. The Department Head discusses the composition of the Search Committee with the Provost during this initial conference. The Search Committee shall consist of the Department Head (who normally serves as Chair), a senior member of the department, a senior member of a related department, and at least one other faculty member. When the Department Head does not serve as Chair of the Search Committee, as is the case with a search to fill a chaired and named professorship, the Chair of the Search Committee assumes the search responsibilities normally assumed by the Department Head. Whenever possible, the Search Committee should include a junior faculty member and should reflect a diversity in gender and race. Departures from this pattern shall occur only with the approval of the Provost.
3. The Department Head discusses the vacancy with all of the members of his/her department and, when appropriate, with members of other departments.
4. The Department Head prepares a position description and a Recruitment Planning Document. The Recruitment Planning Document should describe the characteristics of the position to be filled as they have been previously discussed with members of the department and with the Provost. This description should include the following information: whether the position is tenure track or visiting; the fields of specialization that the department is seeking; the rank at which the position is to be filled; the name of the person who last held the position; and the expected starting date for employment. For tenure track positions, the Recruitment Planning Document should specify how the candidates’ fields of specialization would complement those of other department members and how the position would relate to other departments and to the institution. It should also state whether the new faculty member will be expected to contribute to the Common Course of Study or to interdisciplinary programs.
5. In consultation with the Search Committee, the Department Head should prepare the Search Planning Template and complete an EEO Form A. The Department Head then forwards the completed Search Planning Template, EEO Form A, the Recruitment Planning Document, and a copy of the proposed advertisement to the Provost. In preparing the advertising copy, the Department Head should consult with the 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. It is the responsibility of the Department Head to inform the Vice President for Human Resources of deadlines and, when appropriate, of the need to place the advertisement by phone.
6. The Provost 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.
7. Upon authorizing the search, the Provost sends letters of appointment to the members of the Search Committee as discussed with the Department Head.
8. 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.
9. All members of the Search Committee should meet to discuss which conferences are appropriate for interviewing candidates 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.
10. Once the candidates have been interviewed, the Search Committee should prepare a list of candidates it wishes to invite for on-campus interviews. This list, along with vitae, three letters of recommendation for each candidate, and other relevant materials as well as a completed EEO Form B, should be sent to the Provost. Normally, no more than three candidates are brought to campus.
11. After permission has been received from the Provost to invite the candidates to campus, the Department Head contacts the candidates and arranges their visits.
12. In addition to their interviews with the Search Committee, candidates for faculty positions will be interviewed by other members of the department and the Provost (or his/her designee) and; 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.
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 Provost summarizing the departmental discussion; department members also provide 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 Provost.
In scheduling interviews with the Provost, it would be helpful if Department Heads would 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.
13. Candidates for full-time positions who are interviewed on campus are expected to make an oral presentation to interested faculty and students.
14. 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 Provost.
15. The Department Head should discuss the recommendation with the Provost and seek oral authorization to make an offer to a specific candidate. The authorization will include information on salary, rank, length of appointment, and reimbursable moving costs.
16. The Department Head, on behalf of the Search Committee, sends a written report to the Provost 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 Provost 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.
17. 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.
18. Once the candidate has orally accepted the offer, the Department Head submits EEO Form C to the Provost, who then issues a letter of appointment. The Department Head also sends letters to the remaining candidates indicating that the position has been filled.
19. It is the responsibility of the Search Committee to make provision for the permanent retention of records of the process.
20. Federal immigration law requires that 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 issue a paycheck.
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 Provost 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 such 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 Provost 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 approximately $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 Provost 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.
(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.)