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 applicant intake within FSAT, 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.
Faculty Search and Applicant Tracking (FSAT)
Departments must conduct searches using FSAT. Candidates apply directly to the position through the posting on the Stanford Faculty Positions page. Emailed applications must be redirected or such candidates will not be counted in the applicant pool. Search committees are able to read and evaluate applications and communicate with applicants through the system, but it is not required. For access and training please contact the Office of Academic Affairs (via email to the professoriate group).
A comprehensive administrative guide for School of Medicine FSAT usage is available here.
The FSAT Demographic Report
The Demographic Report provides the aggregate race/ethnicity and gender composition of applicant pools at different stages in the search process. The report is intended for use by the Search Committee Chair, Search Committee Members, Department Chair, Department Administrators, Associate Deans, the Dean's Office, and the Provost's Office. Replacing the FASI grid, it is also part of the search report and appointment file that is used by the Provost and Advisory Board during consideration for appointment.
The report is intended to be used as a tool to gauge whether or not sufficient outreach has been conducted in order to attract a broad and inclusive initial applicant pool that is similar to the availability data.
Change Applicant Status - A Mandatory Process
Once an candidate submits their application, they must be moved through application statuses in FSAT to register their demographic data as part of the applicant pool. For example, applicants must be placed in or have moved through the Meets Basic Requirements - Applicant Pool stage in order for their demographic data to be collected.
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. The FSAT Demographic Report will also feature availability pool data.
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.
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.
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.