Launching a Search


Staff Support for Searches

In order to conduct a well-run search, the department or institute needs to provide dedicated administrative assistance in support of the search committee's efforts. Under the direction of the committee chair, staff assistance might include such tasks as managing receipt and acknowledgement of applications and nominations, preparing communications to candidates, taking meeting notes, preparing information packets for candidates, and overseeing logistics for candidate visits.

Staff will be expected to become familiar with the policies and procedures outlined on the Office of Academic Affairs’ website, as well as instructions in the relevant appointment long form, and to consult with the Office of Academic Affairs should special issues arise during the course of the search.

Interfolio Faculty Search

Departments have the option of conducting searches in Interfolio Faculty Search. Candidates apply directly into the search module and search committees are able to read and evaluation applications and communicate with applicants through the module. Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs (via email to the professoriate group) if you wish to use the Interfolio Faculty Search module.

Process Tracking and Reporting

At the end of the search, a department will submit for review a narrative description of the history of the search process, which is normally authored by the chair of the search committee. This narrative report should provide a clear, full and complete explanation so that a reviewer with no prior knowledge of the search can easily understand what transpired.

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. It is therefore important to keep careful records during the search process, including the dates of meetings, advertisements, solicitation letters, interviews and decisions. An ideal way to do this is to keep a running log of major events during the search process.

Acknowledging Applications

Departments are expected to treat candidates with courtesy and respect by acknowledging receipt of applications and by keeping candidates informed as the search progresses.

Comparing Pool and Availability Data

The composition of the candidate pool should be compared with the gender and race/ethnicity availability pool data for the discipline prior to beginning the search process. If available, these data (which are generated by the Association of American Medical Colleges) will be presented at an early meeting of the search committee by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.

A diverse applicant pool is important. If, for example, women or underrepresented minority applicants are not present in the pool at about the rate of estimated availability in the field, then departments should review whether recruitment and outreach procedures were sufficiently broad and, if not, develop and implement more inclusive recruitment efforts.

Small Applicant Pool

Small applicant pools often raise questions about overly narrowly defined position descriptions, about qualified applicants not applying because of the perception that a pre-identified Stanford candidate would get the position, and about the ability to calibrate the qualifications of a proposed candidate in the absence of a larger applicant pool.

In cases where the total applicant pool is significantly less than anticipated (and estimated in the Search Initiation Request form), the search committee chair should consult with the Office of Academic Affairs to discuss the committee's efforts to obtain as large and diverse an applicant pool as practicable under the circumstances, as well as the possible reasons for the small number of applicants. After this discussion, the department will either be asked by the Vice Dean to expand its search strategies or will be given permission to proceed to the next step in the process.

Faculty Applicant Self-Identification System (FASI) - A Mandatory Process

Used during the search, the FASI application, administered by the Provost's Office, gathers data from your candidates about their gender and ethnicity, and generates the Applicant Information Grid for inclusion in the Search Report.  The FASI page on this website has all the information you will need.

File Retention

In accordance with University policy, departments must retain complete records of each search, including vitae of applicants, for at least three years.  Such records should include copies of advertisements and solicitations for nominations; applicant and nominee correspondence; records of committee meetings; evaluations of candidates at each step of the process; information associated with the interview process; the committee’s ranking of the definitive pool; and other information, as appropriate.