AA/PPS 04.01.04 - Dean and Chair Hiring
Dean and Chair Hiring
AA/PPS No. 04.01.04 (7.01)
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 5/28/2020
Next Review Date: 5/01/2023 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
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.
This policy outlines the process followed to secure, with the resources available, the services of the best-qualified persons for these vacancies and supports an effective shared governance system. This policy provides guidelines to assist units in developing search committees and conducting and documenting the process leading to the employment of deans, chairs, or directors.
Deans, chairs, and directors are administrative officers of the university, and selection is ultimately the responsibility of the president. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA) shares 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, chairs, and directors.
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.
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.
PROCEDURES FOR INTERNAL SEARCH FOR CHAIRS AND DIRECTORS
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.
When a dean knows of a pending vacancy for a chair or director, the dean and the provost and VPAA 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:
the need for additional faculty in the department;
the likelihood of identifying one or more strong internal candidates in the department; and
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.
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.
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. According to department, school, and college policy, this process may include full-time, non-tenure line faculty members.
The dean will tabulate the ballots received. Any faculty member who is rated “strong” or “acceptable” by at least two-thirds of the votes will be considered to be acceptable to the department.
The dean and the provost and VPAA 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 and VPAA, an outstanding candidate for the position, interviews with the tenured and tenure-track faculty, the dean, the provost and VPAA, 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 VPAA, and the president.
At any point in the process outlined above, the dean and the provost and VPAA may decide to open the search at a national level to both internal and external candidates.
While normal practice is described above, nothing in these sections shall be construed to prevent the dean, the provost and VPAA, 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.
PROCEDURE FOR INTERNAL SEARCH FOR COLLEGE DEANS
- 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 VPAA and the president, an acceptable candidate for the position, or if the financial situation dictates that an outside candidate cannot be sought, the provost and VPAA will seek the advice of the college council and others as may be appropriate. The provost and VPAA 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.
ACHIEVING DIVERSITY AND PROVIDING EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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 abilities, economic background, culture, special skills, and talent. It is believed that race and ethnicity are socially significant characteristics, and that there will be occasions when a person’s experiences will be affected by their race or ethnicity. The terms race and ethnicity are not limited and include persons from all races and ethnic backgrounds. Race or ethnicity are considered as merely one factor in the overall efforts to diversify our faculty, to be applied in limited circumstances only when the experiences of race or ethnicity contribute significantly to a diversity of ideas. Guidelines for Recruiting and Hiring a Diverse Faculty and the Toolkit and Best Practices for Inclusive Excellence in Faculty Hiring and Retention are available in support of hiring diverse faculty, including mandatory training of search committees by the division of Academic Affairs.
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 Amendments Act of 2008, and The Texas State University System (TSUS) policies for maintaining and reporting of employees.
- The provost and VPAA and the 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.
PROCEDURES FOR SELECTION OF THE SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR THE EXTERNAL SEARCH PROCESS
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, chairs, or directors. For colleges without departments, the provost and VPAA’s office will work with the faculty, staff, and other college stakeholders to determine an appropriate search committee composition.
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, a chair or director of an outside department, and one outside college dean or associate dean.
The composition of each search committee must be diverse. To ensure diversity on a search committee, the dean may elect to appoint committee members who are outside of the department, school, or college for the committee, including members of the university’s affinity groups.
The search committee will be recommended to the president by the provost and VPAA. 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 and VPAA, the dean (for chair or director searches), the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion, and the special assistant to the Provost and VPAA for Inclusion and Diversity 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.
INITIAL COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES
During the first two meetings of the search committee, the following should be accomplished:
appoint or elect an administrative assistant to assist in the preparation of materials and correspondence;
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;
develop the position description;
develop a list of required and preferred qualifications. If the academic program requires the dean, chair, or director to have a current job-related state, federal, or university license, certification, or other credentials (LCC), this must be stated in the required qualifications of the job posting;
define the items required for a complete application;
develop a job posting that clearly describes and justifies the position, identifies the required and preferred criteria that an applicant is expected to meet to qualify for the position, and specifies the position title and rank and anticipated salary; and
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.
PROCEDURES FOR SUBMITTING A POSTING
To create a posting for a chair or director position, the request is initiated at the dean’s level through the ATS.
To create a posting for a dean position, the request is initiated by Faculty and Academic Resources through the ATS.
The faculty posting is subject to approval by the dean, the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion, and the provost and VPAA. Advertisements should not be placed without appropriate approvals.
Once approved, a posting number will be assigned by the online applicant tracking system. The posting will be automatically available on the university’s recruitment website.
RECRUITING AND ADVERTISING PROCEDURES
The search committee chair is responsible for submitting advertisements to appropriate media. The advertisements should allow approximately 60 days between first publication and closing or initial review date of the position.
To ensure applicant pools are diverse, advertising is recommended as follows:
In one or more of the following:
Chronicle of Higher Education;
Diverse Issues in Higher Education;
Austin and San Antonio newspapers;
colleges and universities with primarily black, Hispanic, or female enrollment and with graduate programs in the discipline;
persons identified in the Big Ten Academic Alliance available through their website; and
diverse recruiting resources available through the Office of Equity and Inclusion website.
Additionally, advertising should be conducted through one or more of the following:
professional journals, newsletters or publications;
university placement services;
high school districts; or
direct mailing to appropriate departments, colleges, and universities.
Committee and department members are encouraged to inform outstanding candidates about the availability of the position, (i.e., through professional meetings and conferences).
All positions that may result in the hiring of a non-resident alien must be advertised in a national advertising venue (e.g., Chronicle of Higher Education).
Once approved, the posting number will be assigned by the ATS.
The Faculty and Academic Resources office will post the position on the following sites:
In addition, each fall, an annual block advertisement for tenure-track, clinical, and faculty of practice positions are placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Deadline for submission to Faculty and Academic Resources is in early August.
PROCEDURES FOR SELECTING THE INTERVIEWEES
Each member of the search committee, working independently, reviews and rates the applicants based on required and preferred qualifications. The search committee chair will ask members to make comments about each applicant’s qualifications.
Prior to selecting candidates for interview, the search committee chair will consult with Equity and Inclusion to determine if there are any veterans in the pool who are requesting veteran’s preference.
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.
It is the responsibility of the search committee to verify the faculty qualifications of each candidate selected for interview, including academic credentials, and if applicable, the required state, federal, or university LLC.
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.
PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING INTERVIEW APPROVALS
After the search committee has made recommendations for on-campus interviews, the search committee chair is responsible for moving applicants to the appropriate state in the online system (e.g., Recommended for Interview, Alternate Recommended for Interview, Applicant Not Selected).
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.
Approvals for dean interviews are routed to the associate provost via the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion.
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 Inclusion.
Each reviewer will have access in the ATS to review the applications and make approvals and disapprovals.
The committee may be required, based upon the recommendation of the dean, the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion, the provost and VPAA, or the president, to interview additional applicants.
Interviews are scheduled with the concurrence of the dean, the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion, the provost and VPAA, and the president (see Sample Agenda for Interview Visit).
In a dean search, the schedule should include meetings with the following:
the provost and VPAA and associate provost;
the academic deans;
the current dean of the college;
the college council;
the search committee;
the Faculty Senate;
the university’s affinity groups;
faculty, chairs, or directors within and outside the school (informal meetings);
selected students from the college; and
other individuals and groups, as appropriate.
In a chair or director search, the schedule should include meetings with the following:
the provost and VPAA and associate provost;
the dean of the college;
the dean of The Graduate College;
the search committee;
the college council;
the Faculty Senate;
the university’s affinity groups;
faculty, chairs, or directors within and outside the college (informal meetings);
selected departmental students at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and
other individuals and groups, as appropriate.
A public presentation is scheduled for one hour, and the committee chair introduces the candidates.
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 VPAA.
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.
The search committee arranges for moving candidates from one scheduled event to the next and for hosts or hostesses at lunches and dinners. The cost of the candidates’ lunches and dinners will be reimbursed by the university.
Candidates must be informed that only the president has the authority to issue contracts.
PROCEDURES FOR SELECTION OF THE CHAIR, DIRECTOR, OR DEAN
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.
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.”
Confidential reference checks are made via telephone or personal contact. Care should be taken to assure consistency in the information sought.
A memorandum summarizing the results of this ballot and outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate is forwarded to the provost and VPAA via the dean (for a chair or director search). After consultation with the president, a chair, director, or a dean is selected.
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 and VPAA via the dean (for a chair or director search) and the chief diversity officer and director of Equity and Inclusion.
In a dean search, the final selection is made by the president, in consultation with the provost and VPAA. The provost and VPAA 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 VPAA 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.
PROCEDURE FOR CLOSING OR REOPENING A SEARCH
- In the event that a search does not produce a qualified candidate or a candidate who accepts the offer, the search may be closed and reopened if there is not time to expand advertising and recruiting efforts for the original search.
HIRING PROPOSAL AND CONTRACT PROCEDURES
Once the offer is accepted, the hiring department will collect the required new hire documents from the selected candidate. The department will initiate the hiring proposal by selecting the “Start Hiring Proposal” link located on the applicant’s job application. The department will submit the hiring proposal through the online system with the required new hire documents attached. The hiring proposal will be sent from the chair or director via the dean to the Faculty and Academic Resources office.
After receipt of all required documents, Faculty and Academic Resources will prepare a contract for signature by the provost and VPAA and the president. Any special conditions of employment are subject to the final approval of the provost and VPAA, the president, the chancellor, and the TSUS Board of Regents.
Following approval and signature by the provost and VPAA and the 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.
PROCEDURES FOR WHEN A POSITION IS ACCEPTED
In the case of a chair or director, the dean will (or in the case of an academic dean, the provost and VPAA) will counsel the newly hired employee regarding expectations and responsibilities.
The newly hired chair, director, or dean should schedule a visit to Human Resources for employee benefits enrollment as soon as they arrive at Texas State. In addition, new chairs, directors, and deans are required to attend New Faculty Orientation prior to the beginning of the academic semester.
REVIEWER OF THIS PPS
Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:
Position Date Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs May 1 E3Y
This PPS has been approved by the following individual in their official capacity and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; senior reviewer of this PPS