Guidelines for Conduct of Evans School Faculty Searches

Adopted 6/20/2007

Relevant University and Washington State guidelines and resources are:

  • The University of Washington Handbook (UW Handbook) Vol. 2, Part 2, Ch. 24:
    • Section 24-52. Procedure for New Appointments
    • Sections 24-32 to 24-36. Qualifications for Appointment
  • University of Washington Academic Human Resources Policies and Procedures for Search and Hire (AHR)
  • University of Washington Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) Faculty  Recruitment Toolkit
  • University of Washington International Services Office (ISO) guidelines on making appointments to non U.S. citizens/permanent residents

General search process guidelines

  1. Each spring the faculty will discuss in a faculty meeting faculty needs and resources available in order to advise the Dean about whether one or more searches for new faculty should be conducted in the upcoming academic year.
  2. If a search is to be conducted, the faculty will discuss what the parameters and priorities will be.  In the event that resources for a search do not become available until after the last scheduled faculty meeting in June, these discussions will occur at the earliest practicable date formulating a search and hiring timeline that respects the UW AAU deadline of May 1st for faculty hires and the requirement that the application deadline be at least 30 days after the date of the initial publication of the position advertisement in a national professional journal.
  3. Based on the faculty discussion, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or other designee of the Dean) will draft advertisement(s) for publication.  Advertisement(s) will list the specific job title and status (e.g. 100% FTE), degree requirements, and other criteria and priorities, as well as information and language in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty Advertising Guide within the UW AHR Policies and Procedures for Search and Hire. A draft will be circulated to all voting faculty for comment. Final approval of the advertisement rests with the Faculty Council and Dean.
  4. The appointment of search committees is the prerogative of the Dean who may delegate this to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. As with all Dean-appointed committees, the Dean and Associate Dean for Academics will consult with the Faculty Council and informally with other faculty about the membership of the search committee. The Chair(s) of the search committee will be responsible for adhering to the UW Handbook and AHR search requirements. The committee will include two nonvoting students who will be responsible for organizing student participation during candidate visits and providing student feedback to the committee and faculty. Normally, one of the two student members will be a Ph.D. student and an MPA student.
  5. The search committee in consultation with the Dean, Associate Deans, and Faculty Council will draw up a list of venues in which to circulate the ad. Attention will be paid to Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) diversity charges and International Services Office (ISO) recommendations and requirements for advertising for candidates who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  6. Once applications are received from candidates for the position(s) to be filled, the search committee will winnow them according to the criteria developed in the initial faculty discussion.  This initial discussion should include guidance as to how much faculty involvement is desired for narrowing the candidate pool. As applications are typically numerous, the committee should apply strict quality standards in its first sorting in order to eliminate applicants who it judges to be clearly non-competitive. A record of eliminated applications will be kept to comply with University requirements.
  7. When warranted (e.g. searches of a general or wide-ranging nature), the search committee will prepare a listing of the top candidates in a few categories pertinent to the particular search (e.g. topic area of research) to further narrow the applicant pool. In general this list should contain no more than about twenty percent of the total pool, with the understanding that some candidates will be cross listed across categories. The search committee will prepare a spreadsheet with the names of these top candidates listing the following fields: research area (e.g. social policy, environment), discipline, current position and academic rank if relevant, years since Ph.D or equivalent degree, and University where their final degree was obtained. This list will be circulated in hard copy format so that all faculty can review candidates within this larger cut whose files they are interested in, and provide written feedback (not via email) to the committee chair(s) within a time frame set by the chair(s). 
  8. Additionally, the search committee may seek out comments on well-qualified candidates' files from other faculty with relevant expertise. Faculty who are not on the search committee are expected to respond to such inquiries in a timely way.
  9. Once leading candidates in various categories are apparent, the committee should seek to identify the very best candidates independent of categories. The committee is to identify a long list of candidates, normally in the range of 10-12 per position. The number of files on this list should be chosen such that one could reasonably expect the rest of the faculty to have an adequate opportunity to fully assess all of these candidate files. Candidate files should be made available in one place with a sign out system supervised by staff.  All Evans faculty have an obligation to participate at this point by reviewing this entire set of candidate files and reporting back their views to the search chairs (in a form other than electronic mail) within a time frame set by the chair(s). Faculty who review some but not all of the files should indicate which files they did not review.
  10. The list of candidates to be invited for campus visits will be decided upon in a faculty meeting (or part thereof) for this purpose. The discussion will be led by the search committee chair(s) who will report on the committee's analysis of the faculty feedback already received. The goal of the process is to reach a clear faculty decision on the list of invitees. Failing a clear consensus, the Dean (or designee of the Dean) may conduct a vote (or series of votes) to establish the list of invitees. In some circumstances, after a thorough discussion, the faculty may elect to delegate some or all of the choices about invitees to the search committee. If this is the case, the committee is expected to maintain transparent communications with the entire faculty about its decision-making. Additional invitees may be added later if necessary following the same procedure.
  11. Candidate visits should be scheduled as early as appropriate in light of the particularities of the market and as close together in time as is practicable in order to facilitate comparisons and the making of timely offers. All Evans faculty not on sabbatical are expected to participate in candidate visits and to provide feedback to the search committee.
  12. The faculty shall meet to discuss the candidates' qualifications and merits once the candidate visits are completed, or sooner if attractive candidates have other offers and timely decisions are necessary before all candidates have visited. At the beginning of the meeting, the Dean should clarify the number of faculty slots available and any circumstances that might change this number (e.g., target of opportunity, spousal hiring, new resources, etc.). The Committee will then present a verbal report that identifies each candidate's strengths and weaknesses based on a combination of the Committee's judgment, their discussions with the faculty, and the student report.

    Following this, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or other Dean designee will chair the faculty's discussion of the candidates. After roughly an hour of faculty discussion of the candidates, a written straw poll ranking the candidates may be conducted to identify those with the most support, so as to clarify the faculty's aggregate preferences and focus subsequent discussion.

    At the end of the subsequent discussion, voting faculty will vote as follows: 
    • Favorable/Unfavorable: whether each of the candidates is in their judgment acceptable for appointment;
    • Ranking: In order to provide the Dean with detailed guidance and information on the Faculty's preferences, in addition to the faculty discussion, the final vote will be tallied in two ways:
      1. The number of first place votes that each candidate receives (or first and second place votes if there are two positions);
      2. An aggregate indicator for each candidate that cumulates the number of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. - place votes (e.g., for 4 candidates by assigning 4 points for a 1st place vote, 3 for a 2nd, 2 for a 3rd and 1 point for an 4th place vote, and summing the points.
    • In cases where an offer is to be made with tenure, tenured faculty must approve rank and tenure by majority vote of those equal or superior in rank after a tenure review is conducted following as closely as possible to Evans' standard procedures for such reviews. This vote is advisory to the Dean and tenure and rank must also be approved by the Provost.
  13. By UW Faculty Code Vol. 2 Part 2. S. 24-52, the faculty's vote is advisory to the Dean except that s/he cannot make an offer to a candidate not supported by a majority of the voting faculty.
  14. The Dean is responsible for all negotiations with candidates in regard to offers.
  15. According to the Faculty Code, the Dean's offer must be approved by the President before an official appointment can be made.

Find out more about other hiring policies and procedures.