As a part of implementing the Strategic Plan, the College will grow the number of faculty by almost 20%. This represents a substantial investment in the faculty and will enable the College to make possible greater depth and breadth of curricular offerings consistent with the College’s mission, to strengthen teaching power in departments and programs, and to fulfill other strategic initiatives outlined in The Plan for Lafayette 2007. To help achieve these academic objectives and to make progress on our fundamental goal of attracting a diverse faculty, broadly defined, it is important that we have procedures in place to conduct what is sometimes termed “strategic” or “opportunity” hiring.
For the vast majority of faculty hires, appointments will be made following a national search as described in section 4.3.7 of the Faculty Handbook. In exceptional cases, however, candidates may be offered appointments to the faculty without conducting a national search. Such an appointment would be a Target of Opportunity Hire. The proposed Target of Opportunity Hiring Program has been developed in the spirit of providing a more aggressive recruitment program as we seek to advance our strategic initiatives. This program will be available for offers extended during the 2008-09 academic year, and will be in place through the end of academic year 2011-12, when the program’s impact will be reviewed by the Faculty Academic Policy Committee.
1) The procedures have been designed to facilitate the hiring, in exceptional cases, of individuals whose potential interest in Lafayette is identified outside a normal search procedure.
2) After discussing the merits of hiring the candidate, particularly with regard to his/her potential for contributions to teaching, scholarship, and service, and upon determining that there is strong support for the candidate, the department or program forwards a written proposal to the Provost. The proposal must include an assessment of the professional accomplishments and the teaching and scholarly contributions of the candidate. The request also must include the candidate’s curriculum vitae, an explanation of how hiring this candidate would advance the strategic initiatives of the College, and a statement of the strength of the department’s support of the candidate. The proposal must include the signatures of department/program members present for the discussion.
3) In contrast to regular staffing requests, which are ordinarily forwarded to the Provost by December 31, the Provost will receive Target of Opportunity hiring proposals at any time. The Provost will solicit advice on a proposal from the Faculty Academic Policy Committee. The Provost and the Committee will act expeditiously in responding to Target of Opportunity proposals.
4) The Provost, if he/she authorizes recruiting the candidate, shall constitute a recruitment committee, including the department head, at least two additional members of the department, and a senior member of another department. If the candidate is expected to contribute courses toward a program, the Provost will identify a member of the program to be part of the recruitment committee. The recruitment committee shall solicit further evidence of the candidate’s success as a teacher and as a scholar, and shall invite the candidate for an on-campus visit. The visit shall include a presentation to which faculty and students shall be invited. During the visit, the candidate shall meet with the recruitment committee, with each member of the department, with faculty from related disciplines and programs, and with the Provost. If the candidate is being considered at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, the visit shall include the President and senior members of related departments and programs.
5) Following this visit, the recruitment committee will make a recommendation to the Provost regarding the appointment of the candidate.
Proposals to recruit a Target of Opportunity candidate must:
Demonstrate that the candidate is exceptional in her/his field.
Demonstrate that the candidate’s presence on the faculty will likely have an exceptional impact on the strategic goals of the College. These goals may include, but are not limited to, diversifying the Faculty.
Criteria for evaluating Target of Opportunity candidates must include:
An assessment of the likelihood that the individual will make a significant contribution to the department/program and the College;
An assessment of the likelihood of the individual’s success in the department or program through teaching, scholarship, and service.
The Target of Opportunity Hiring Program will be monitored annually by the Faculty Academic Policy Committee.