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AA/PPS 04.01.04 - Dean and Chair Hiring

Dean and Chair Hiring

AA/PPS No. 04.01.04 (7.01)
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 9/20/2017
Next Review Date: 5/01/2020 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Provost


    1. Texas State University is committed to hiring well-qualified faculty members who will serve as college deans, department chairs or school directors and will take the necessary steps to ensure that applicant pools are diverse.

    2. This policy and procedure statement (PPS) outlines the process that is followed to secure, with the resources available, the services of the best qualified persons for dean, chair or director vacancies and to support an effective faculty governance system.

    3. Deans and chairs or directors are administrative officers of the university and selection is ultimately the responsibility of the president. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs share this responsibility. Because the quality of one academic program inevitably impacts the quality of others, the general faculty and especially faculty in affected colleges, departments, and schools also have a legitimate interest in the selection of deans and chairs or directors.

    4. The university’s recruitment of faculty hires is processed through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in PeopleAdmin. This fully-automated system includes email notifications, routing, approvals, and document retention. The ATS allows for the review and evaluation of applications from any device with internet access.

    5. Confidentiality is an important factor for ensuring the integrity of the recruiting and hiring process. Search committee members, along with faculty, staff, and administrators with an official role in the process, are expected to maintain boundaries of confidentiality and privacy before, during, and after the hiring process is complete. The search committee chair is responsible for setting and communicating these expectations.


    1. Although the appointment of a chair or director is the prerogative of the president, as a part of Texas State’s policy to encourage the professional development of faculty members, the university selects chairs or directors from current Texas State faculty whenever practical.

      1. When a dean knows of a pending vacancy for a chair or director, the dean and the provost will discuss the current profile of the department to determine whether circumstances warrant a national search. Factors that should be considered in this discussion include, but are not limited to: (1) the need for additional faculty in the department, (2) the likelihood of identifying one or more strong internal candidates in the department, and (3) the impact that limiting the search to internal candidates will have on opportunities for attracting persons with diverse experiences and backgrounds into chair or director positions.

      2. If the decision is made to review internal candidates before conducting a national search, the dean will initiate a process to determine whether one or more acceptable internal candidates exist among the current faculty. The dean will notify members of the department of the pending vacancy and will invite individuals to apply for the chair or director position or to nominate internal candidates for the position by a specified deadline. The dean will then consult with any individuals who have been nominated to confirm their willingness to be considered.

      3. The dean will prepare an explanatory memorandum and a ballot listing faculty members who have applied or agreed to be considered. This memorandum and ballot will be distributed to all tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department, along with a request to rate each candidate as either a “strong,” an “acceptable,” or an “unacceptable” candidate for chair or director. The ballots should include a date by which they are to be returned to the dean.

      4. The dean will tabulate the ballots received. Any faculty member who is rated “strong” or “acceptable” by at least two-thirds of those voting will be considered to be acceptable to the department.

      5. The dean and the provost will review the list of candidates deemed acceptable to the department. If one or more of those candidates is, in the preliminary judgment of the dean and the provost, an outstanding candidate for the position, interviews with the tenured and tenure-track faculty, the dean, the provost, and the president may be scheduled to consider the candidates. Other interviews may be scheduled at the discretion of the dean (for chair or director searches), the provost, and the president.

      6. At any point in the process outlined above, the dean and the provost may decide to open the search at a national level to both internal and external candidates.

      7. While normal practice is described above, nothing in these sections shall be construed to prevent the dean, the provost, and the president from appointing an interim chair or director or a chair or director by other procedures if such an action is, in their professional judgment, in the best interest of the university.


    1. The appointment of a college dean is the prerogative of the president. Texas State’s standard policy is to conduct a national search for a dean. However, if a current faculty member is, in the judgment of the provost and the president, an acceptable candidate for the position, or if the financial situation dictates that an outside candidate cannot be sought, the provost will seek the advice of the college council and others as may be appropriate. The provost and the president will then determine whether a national search will be initiated or whether an internal candidate will be appointed. If a national search is conducted, there will be no prejudice for internal or external candidates.

    1. Texas State is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and distinguished body of administrators. Diversity is broadly defined to include such factors as geographic background, age, gender, educational background, employment experience, language ability, economic background, culture, special skills, and talent. Guidelines for recruiting and hiring a diverse faculty are found in Guidelines for Recruiting and Hiring a Diverse Faculty.

    2. Texas State is also committed to assuring that all candidates for administrative positions are afforded an equal opportunity for consideration and to full compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Civil Rights Act of 1991, Executive Order 11246 and its amendments, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Section 503 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Vietnam Era Readjustment Act of 1974, Military Veterans’ Full Employment Act, Chapter 657, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, The Americans with Disabilities Act and The Texas State University System policies for maintaining and reporting of employees.

  5. COSTS

    1. The provost and dean will arrange a means to defray costs associated with correspondence, advertising, and interviews. Ordinarily these costs must be borne by the department or college conducting the search. In the case of extreme financial hardship, supplementary funds may be requested for costs over and above those associated with a typical search.

    1. In the case of a dean search, the search committee will include one faculty member from each department and one or more chairs or directors in the college. In addition, the committee will typically include one or two outside deans and chair or director.

    2. In the case of a chair or director search, the majority of the search committee members will be from the affected department when the size of the department permits. In addition, the committee will usually include at least one member of the faculty or a chair or director of an outside department and one outside college dean or associate dean.

    3. The composition of each search committee must be diverse. To ensure diversity on a search committee, the dean may go outside the department or college for committee members. Departments will explain how the recommended search committee membership ensures diversity in a memorandum to the provost.

    4. The search committee will be recommended to the president by the provost. Upon the president’s approval, the search committee and its chair are officially appointed. Following official appointment of the search committee, Faculty and Academic Resources schedules the first meeting at a time when the provost, the dean (for chair or director searches), and the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access can meet with the committee. Faculty and Academic Resources will reserve a meeting place and notify the committee members of the time and place of the meeting.


    1. During the first two meetings of the search committee, the following should be accomplished:

      1. appoint or elect an administrative assistant to assist in the preparation of materials and correspondence;

      2. draft a tentative schedule that permits conclusion of the search by April 15 or earlier, if appointment is to be made for the fall semester or by November 15 or earlier, if appointment is to be made for the spring semester. Search committees should begin the process as early as possible to ensure a large pool of candidates;

      3. develop the position description;

      4. develop a list of required and preferred qualifications;

      5. define the items required for a complete application; and

      6. construct a matrix to be used to compare each candidate’s qualifications to those stated in the position description. Each stipulated qualification must be represented and, if the committee determines that it is necessary and appropriate, the scores applied to each qualification may be weighted.


    1. To create a posting for a chair or director position, the request is initiated at the dean’s level through the ATS.

    2. To create a posting for a dean position, the request is initiated by Faculty and Academic Resources through the ATS.

    3. The faculty posting is subject to approval by the dean, the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access, and the provost. Advertisements should not be placed without appropriate approvals.


    1. The search committee chair is responsible for submitting advertisements to appropriate media. Advertisements should allow 60 days between first publication and closing date (no additional applications are accepted) or review date (search committee review begins and continues to accept applications) of the position.

    2. To ensure applicant pools are diverse:

      1. Advertisements should be placed in one or more of the following:

        1. Chronicle of Higher Education;

        2. Diverse Issues in Higher Education;

        3. Hispanic Outlook;

        4. Austin and San Antonio newspapers;

        5. colleges and universities with primarily black, Hispanic, or female enrollment and with graduate programs in the discipline;

        6. the Big Ten Academic Alliance; and

        7. recruitment links (Word) that provide additional recruiting links to help foster diversity.

      2. Additionally, advertising should be conducted through one or more of the following:

        1. professional journals, newsletters or publications;

        2. university placement services;

        3. high school districts; or

        4. direct mailing to appropriate departments, colleges, and universities.

      3. Committee and department members are encouraged to inform outstanding candidates about the availability of the position, (i.e., through professional meetings and conferences).

      4. All positions that may result in the hiring of a non-resident alien must be advertised in a national print medium (e.g., Chronicle of Higher Education).

    3. Once approved, the posting number will be assigned by the ATS.

    4. Advertising for dean and chair or director positions is routinely posted on the following sites: Inside Higher Ed and the Texas Workforce Commission. Each fall, an annual block advertisement for tenure-track and clinical faculty positions is placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Hispanic Outlook. The deadline for position posting submission to Faculty and Academic Resources is early August.


    1. Each member of the search committee, working independently, reviews and rates the applicants. The search committee chair will ask members to make comments about each applicant’s qualifications.

    2. Prior to selecting candidates for interview, the search committee chair will consult with Equity and Access to determine if there are any veterans in the pool.

    3. Through a series of meetings, the list of applicants is narrowed down to the top three or four candidates to be interviewed on campus. To accomplish this, the search committee may engage in an initial conversation with each of the top ten candidates through telephone or video conference call, in person, or using a reasonable alternative. The search committee chair should inform the candidates that these initial conversations are not the official interviews.

    4. It is the responsibility of the search committee to verify the academic credentials of each candidate selected for interview.

    5. The search committee chair emphasizes that confidentiality must be maintained with respect to specific candidates; however, reports may be shared relative to the number of candidates, progress of the committee and general quality of the pool.


    1. The search committee chair is responsible for ranking applicants in the ATS.

    2. Once ranked, approvals for interviews are completed outside the ATS. The search committee chair prepares a memorandum that includes the list of applicants being considered for interview, ranked alternates (if applicable), and the hiring matrix.

    3. Approvals for dean interviews are routed to the associate provost via the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access.

    4. Approvals for chair or director interviews are routed to the associate provost via the dean and the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access.

    5. Each reviewer will have access in the ATS to review the applications.

    6. The committee may be required, based upon the recommendation of the dean, the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access, the provost, or the president, to interview additional applicants.


    1. Interviews are scheduled with the concurrence of the dean, the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access, the provost, and the president (see Sample Agenda for Interview Visit).

    2. In a dean search, the schedule should include meetings with the following:

      1. the president;

      2. the provost (two meetings are scheduled, one early in the candidate’s visit and another as an exit interview);

      3. the academic deans;

      4. the current dean of the college;

      5. the college council;

      6. the search committee;

      7. faculty within and outside the school (informal meetings); and

      8. other groups, as appropriate.

    3. In a chair or director search, the schedule should include meetings with the following:

      1. the president;

      2. the provost;

      3. the dean of the college;

      4. the dean of The Graduate College;

      5. the search committee;

      6. the college council;

      7. faculty within and outside the college (informal meetings);

      8. selected departmental students at the undergraduate and graduate levels;

      9. other department chairs or directors; and

      10. other groups, as appropriate.

    4. A public presentation is scheduled for one hour and the committee chair introduces the candidate.

    5. In a dean search, the search committee chair sends a copy of the candidates’ schedule to each dean, each department member in the college, and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    6. In a chair or director search, the committee chair sends a copy of the candidates’ schedule to each chair in the college, the dean, each faculty member in the department, and to those outside the department and college who are to meet with the candidate.

    7. The search committee arranges for moving the candidate from one scheduled event to the next and for hosts or hostesses at lunches and dinners. The cost of the candidate’s lunches and dinners will be reimbursed by the university.

    8. The candidate must be informed that only the president has the authority to issue contracts.


    1. The search committee should seek either formal or informal input from the college council, department faculty, and students prior to the committee’s meeting to discuss the candidates’ qualifications.

    2. Following the interviews, the search committee chair prepares a ballot and convenes the committee. The qualifications of the candidates are discussed, and committee members rank their choices on a ballot as either “acceptable” or “unacceptable.”

    3. Confidential reference checks are made via telephone or personal contact. Care should be taken to assure consistency in the information sought.

    4. A memorandum summarizing the results of this ballot and outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate is forwarded to the provost via the dean (for a chair or director search). After consultation with the president, a chair or director or a dean is selected.

    5. If none of the candidates are acceptable to the committee, the search committee chair should write a memorandum stating that fact as well as a recommendation for future action (e.g., interview additional candidates from the remaining pool or reopen the search in the following year). The memorandum is forwarded to the provost via the dean (for a chair or director search) and the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access.

    6. In a dean search, the final selection is made by the president in consultation with the provost. The provost makes the offer to the candidate. In a chair or director search, the final selection is made by the President in consultation with the provost and the dean. The dean makes the offer to the candidate. If a position is offered and accepted by the candidate, the remaining candidates who were interviewed are notified by the search committee chair.


    1. In the event that a search does not produce a qualified candidate or a candidate who accepts the offer, the search is closed.

    1. The department will submit the hiring proposal, via the chief Diversity officer and director of Equity and Access to Faculty and Academic Resources through the ATS.

    2. Faculty and Academic Resources will prepare a contract for signature after receipt of all required documents. Any special conditions of employment are subject to final approval of the provost, the president, the chancellor and Board of Regents of The Texas State University System.

    3. Following approval and signature by the provost and president, the contract is mailed by Faculty and Academic Resources to the candidate unless directed otherwise. The contract is subject to the stated deadline for acceptance. Upon receipt of the approved contract, Faculty and Academic Resources will send a copy of the signed contract to the department, with a copy to the dean.


    1. In the case of a chair or director, the dean will, or in the case of an academic dean, the provost will counsel the newly hired employee regarding expectations and responsibilities.

    2. The newly hired chair or director or dean should schedule a visit to Human Resources for employee benefits enrollment as soon as he or she arrives at Texas State. In addition, new chairs or directors and deans are required to attend New Faculty Orientation prior to the beginning of the academic semester.


    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Provost May 1 ONY

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS