Academic Affairs  

Guide to Faculty Searches

XI. Post-Interview Deliberations and Outcome

Tips & Tricks

"All interviewers are asked to fill out a confidential evaluation summary based on the interview and return it to the FAA to compile the data. The comments are summarized and anonymous. This is useful to the search committee in helping determine the pool."

A. Feedback from Interviews

The search committee should solicit written remarks from those who have met or interviewed candidates or attended any of the candidate's presentations.

B. Solicitation of External or Internal Letters

To maximize efficiency, further inform and validate the final search deliberations, and avoid delays during negotiations with the candidate of choice, the search committee should normally solicit evaluation letters from three external referees for each of its top one to three candidates. Letters may be solicited before or after on-campus interviews. As appropriate, internal letters may also be solicited at this stage in the search. Please note that three letters of evaluation must accompany all draft offer letters submitted to OAA for the candidate of choice.

Assistant Professors (all lines)

For assistant professor appointments in all lines, the evaluation letters may be solicited by the candidate. The referees should send their letters directly to the department. It is not necessary to use the Stanford template or provide named comparisons.

University Tenure Line

When a leading candidate has been identified for appointment to a position at the rank of associate or full professor in the University Tenure Line, the referee list and peer set must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. If care is taken to use the relevant standard solicitation letter, including appropriate criteria, these letters may be used in partial satisfaction of a subsequent long form recommendation. With approval by the Office of Academic Affairs, the full complement of letters required by the long form may also be solicited by the department at this stage in the search. If there are multiple candidates for whom letters are being solicited, departments should contact the Office of Academic Affairs for guidance regarding referee lists and peer sets.

Non-tenure Line (Research)

When a leading candidate has been identified for appointment to a position at the rank of associate or full professor in the Non-tenure Line (Research), the referee list and peer set must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. If care is taken to use the relevant standard solicitation letter, including appropriate criteria, these letters may be used in partial satisfaction of a subsequent long form recommendation. With approval by the Office of Academic Affairs, the full complement of letters required by the long form may also be solicited by the department at this stage in the search. If there are multiple candidates for whom letters are being solicited, departments should contact the Office of Academic Affairs for guidance regarding referee lists and peer sets.

Non-tenure Line (Teaching)

When a leading candidate or candidates have been identified for appointment to a position at the rank of associate or full professor in the Non-tenure Line (Teaching), three external letters may be solicited by the department without approval of the referee list by the Office of Academic Affairs. If care is taken to use the relevant standard solicitation letter, including appropriate criteria, these letters may be used in partial satisfaction of a subsequent long form recommendation. With approval of the referee list by the Office of Academic Affairs, the full complement of letters required by the long form may also be solicited by the department in cases where a single leading candidate has been identified.

Medical Center Line

When a leading candidate or candidates have been identified for appointment to a position at the rank of associate or full professor in the Medical Center Line, three external letters may be solicited by the department without approval of the referee list by the Office of Academic Affairs. If care is taken to use the relevant standard solicitation letter, including appropriate criteria, these letters may be used in partial satisfaction of a subsequent long form recommendation. With approval by the Office of Academic Affairs, the full complement of letters may also be solicited by the department in cases where a single leading candidate has been identified.

Instructions for the solicitation of letters are available on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

C. Ranking of Candidates

The search committee should convene as soon as practicable after the completion of the interviews. Deliberations and decision-making should be informed by the quality of each interview, the feedback from those who met with or interviewed candidates, and the external letters of evaluation.

By University policy, search reports should include a list, in order of priority, of the finalists (i.e., definitive pool) for the position and an explanation as to why each of those, other than the appointee, was not selected for appointment. It is recommended that a draft report be prepared for review by the whole committee that includes an analysis of the background and qualifications for each of the candidates who were interviewed, including the rationale for each candidate's ranking, and presents the case for the selection of the candidate of choice. The search committee may want to include its recommendation about how to proceed should the top candidate decline the offer.

D. Communication with the Candidates not Selected

A member of the search committee should personally call or email all finalists not selected as soon as the candidate of choice has accepted the offer. This should be followed by a formal letter; a template is available on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

E. Communication with the Candidate of Choice

Communication with the candidate of choice should follow established departmental procedures that precede the formal extension of an offer. Regular, timely communication is essential to sustain the candidate's interest and increase his or her comfort level during the period that the appointment file is undergoing review.

The Office of Academic Affairs requires three external letters of evaluation before approving release of an offer letter to a faculty candidate. If solicited properly, these letters may be included in the subsequent long form. In some cases, the department may elect to solicit the entire complement of external letters in the pre-offer recruitment phase, thereby significantly accelerating the assembly and review of the appointment long form.

Templates for the solicitation of letters are available on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

F. Submission of the Search Report

At the end of the search, the search committee will submit a narrative description of the history of the search process for review by the Office of Academic Affairs. If the search and candidate of choice are approved, this narrative report will eventually be adapted for incorporation into the relevant appointment long form document. Please note that the search report must be submitted and approved prior to the extension of the written offer.

Instructions for the preparation of the search report are available on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

G. Draft Offer Letter Package

A draft offer letter should be submitted at the same time as the search report. In cases involving search waivers, release of the offer letter will occur after the Provost has approved the waiver.

Before releasing an offer letter to the candidate, the draft document must be reviewed by Office of Academic Affairs staff. It will also be reviewed by School of Medicine Finance staff to ensure the inclusion of appropriate language regarding salary and other resources to be provided to the candidate.

In most cases, a draft offer letter will not be approved before receipt of three letters of evaluation for the candidate of choice. More detailed information on the draft offer letter package is available on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

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