A. The Search Committee

Academic units rely on search committees to identify and screen applicants for full-time vacant faculty positions. Search committee members may be from outside the unit as appropriate and should reflect diversity.

The General Counsel has prepared a document for use by search committee members that contains valuable information and important legal considerations. It can accessed at the following link: Interview and Search Committee Guidelines.  Additional resources for search committees are also available on the Office of Legal Affairs' website.

The functions of the search committee include:

  • Assisting with development of the position description and the criteria for the position,
  • Job responsibilities and essential functions for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty
  • Developing strategies for finding qualified candidates
  • Writing an inclusive job advertisement, selecting appropriate media outlets for advertisement, etc.,
  • Assisting with development of the recruitment plan, (see section B)
  • Conducting an active search for qualified candidates whose appointment would further faculty/staff diversity goals,
  • Receiving, reviewing, and evaluating the applications of the candidates,
  • Conducting interviews of the top candidates for the position,
  • Recommending the final candidate(s) to the chair or dean.

The charge to the search and screening committee will vary according to the needs for each position; however, it should address the following: time schedule for the search; the University's goals to increase faculty diversity; number of final candidates to be recommended; resources available to support the activities of the committee and pay for the expenses of candidates to be invited for interviews; administrative guidelines and tasks involved in the recruitment and screening processes; and the importance of confidentiality in the recruitment process.

Department Chairs and others responsible for hiring faculty (including Deans for interdisciplinary positions) should meet formally with each search committee, and:

  1. Review the university’s, college’s, and department’s diversity goals in relation to the hiring and recruitment process, and set expectations for a successful and inclusive search.
  2. Present statistics on the national availability of candidates by gender and minority status (available through Human Resources) in the appropriate discipline / sub-discipline.
  3. Give recommended resources to the search committee for successful and inclusive searches:
    • sections of the Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook that are relevant to all search committee members (i.e. Section II Introduction and A-E, and Section III)
    • guidelines on avoiding bias, such as:
             Bias Brochure
             Search Book.pdf
  4. Require the search committee to have representatives who have attended an ADVANCE Recruitment Workshop in the last five years.
  5. Require all search committee members to complete the online recruitment tutorial when they are appointed to or elected to the search committee. The tutorial information is available on the ADVANCE website (https://advance.uncc.edu/programming/faculty-recruitment-training).
  6. Require a checklist of observable/quantifiable characteristics and the source(s) of information for each characteristic (CV, letters of reference, candidate statement etc.) that the search committee will use to evaluate each candidate’s portfolio in order to decrease the use of subjective criteria. The checklists should be attached to the Recruitment Plan (form AA-02).
  7. Request that the search committee maintain a record of the processes (outlined in AA-02 and any others) used to enhance the pool of qualified women (where this would improve the diversity of the department) and of minority applicants. Include a description of these efforts on the Request to Interview form AA-04.
  8. Explain that searches that fail to produce a qualified pool of diverse candidates (commensurate with disciplinary statistics on the national availability of under-represented candidates) may result in the following action by the Dean:
    • The Dean should evaluate the department’s / school’s search efforts, balance the immediate need to fill the position with the goal of selecting a candidate from a diverse pool of applicants, and decide whether to allow the search process to: a) proceed; b) require that the search be reopened; or c) reallocate the position.

Typically, the department chair identifies candidates for part-time appointments and temporary replacement appointments without involving a search committee.

The Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EO/AA) Programs and Compliance Administrator located in the Department of Human Resources is available to consult with the committee as it organizes the search and screening process. This Administrator can assist with development of job descriptions, selection of media for announcing vacancies, the request for affirmative action data, and information about applicants who respond to the affirmative action data request.