Faculty Handbook 2023-2024

I.4.e. Requesting Faculty Positions and Hiring Faculty

Requesting Faculty Positions

In mid-October there is one deadline for all faculty position proposals. Proposals come in two categories:

  • Adjunct and Term Requests for the Next Academic Year: This category is for Adjunct and Term positions that will be hired in the spring to work the following academic year.  Typically, these positions are linked with needs for sabbatical leaves that were approved by CoF; however there are other circumstances, such as Family Leaves or resignations that may also cause departments to request adjunct or term positions for the following year.  Departments that have faculty in term positions for which they wish to have an extension should make the request at this deadline.
  • Tenure Track and Term Requests for the Year After Next:  This category is for Tenure Track and Term positions for which the searches would take place the following fall with the successful candidate starting the position in the subsequent academic year (for example, a search for a tenure position in English would take place in the fall or early spring of 2024-2025 and start the fall of 2025).

For both types of requests, CoF reviews all submitted proposals while taking into account a comprehensive review of the college's needs for staffing. CoF makes a recommendation to the President and the Board of Trustees, who make the final decisions about faculty staffing. 

Proposals must include the following items to assist CoF in their evaluation:

1.  An Executive Summary

2.  Rationale for the Position.  This section should include at minimum the items from the following list as needed to provide evidence for the position:

  • enrollment demands for courses;
  • course loads and faculty schedules;
  • number of majors and minors in the department;
  • curricular needs that would be met by the position and why these curricular needs are critical to the college's liberal arts tradition;
  • how the position would contribute to departmental courses and general education courses.

Departments need to keep in mind that there are no permanent lines in departments and that every request made, even if it results from a resignation or a retirement, needs to be carefully weighed with the overall needs of the college.

3.  Position Description.  This section explains the specifics of the position including (but not limited to):

  • area of specialty and why is it critical to the department;
  • courses the proposed faculty member would teach;
  • how the position would fit with the rest of the department members' teaching and professional development areas of expertise.

4.  Diversity Recruiting.  This section should detail any special efforts the department can make to enhance the recruitment of diverse candidates for the applicant pool.  You may find it useful to consult with the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion for suggestions. 

Please click here for the Search Procedures Checklist

Detailed Search Procedures for Full-Time Faculty Positions

  1. The department chair obtains permission to begin a search.

    a. Submit position request information as requested by the Provost's call for position requests.

    b. Requests are reviewed by CoF and the President before referral to the Board of Trustees for final decisions. Once notified of approval by the Provost, department chairs can begin the process of forming search committees. 

  2. The Provost appoints the search committee.

    a. After consultation with the department, the department chair forwards a slate of committee members to the Provost following the guidelines below.  For the members outside the department (if they are needed for the search) and for the student members, at least three names in order of preference should be provided to the Provost. After consolation with CoF, the Provost sends the approved committee membership to the chair.

             i) For tenure-track searches, the committee usually consists of the Area Chair, the department chair (who usually serves as chair), continuing full-time department faculty members, a faculty member from a different department in the same area, a faculty member from outside the area, and two students. Large departments may suggest a subcommittee of the department to serve on the search committee as long as appropriate representation is preserved.

             ii) For term searches, the committee composition is the same as for tenure-track searches except there are no outside department faculty members required.  For search committees for Murphy Fellows, the department works with the Murphy Director to have one student from the department and one Murphy Scholar on the committee.  Search committees for Murphy Fellows also includes the Murphy Director.

             iii) Once the Provost has approved the search committee members the Provost sends an appointment memo to each committee member. 

  3. The search committee chair submits advertising details to Academic Affairs and Human Resources. 

    a. The committee chair uses the job ad template provided by the Provost or HR, adds the job specific criteria, and proposes any other changes. The final materials are sent to the Provost and HR for approval. 
    b. HR posts the ad on the jobs website and has the software (Paycor Recruiting) set-up for the committee members’ approval for submission of applications.

    c. HR works with the search committee chair to determine sites for external placement of ads. Normally, searches have two paid ads (one major site and one professional association in the field). Costs for ads will be paid through Academic Affairs (or through Murphy).  It is VERY IMPORTANT that no ads are placed prior to receiving approval from HR.  HR provides tracking links to help determine which sites give the best return. Search chairs may also place the ad on list serves and online bulletin boards. Finally, the search chair can also contact appropriate graduate programs at other colleges and universities to help recruit applicants. This can be especially helpful in increasing the diversity of the applicant pool.

  4. The search committee meets with the Provost to review search procedures. 

    a. The entire search committee meets with the Provost to review search procedures, including procedures for dealing with internal candidates, discussion of appropriate and inappropriate questions, and diversity and equity guidelines and procedures. This step must be completed before the search committee begins its review of applications.

    b. Internal Candidates

             i) To the extent possible, the interview schedule for an internal candidate must be the same as the schedule for external candidates.
             ii) The search committee should ask for course evaluations from any internal candidates to aid assessment of their teaching at Hendrix.

  5. The search committee reviews application materials.

    a. Search committee chairs should remind committee members (including students) that all deliberations from the search committee meetings are confidential and should not be discussed outside of committee meetings at any time.

    b. At a minimum, each application should include: a cover letter, graduate transcripts (these can be unofficial), a curriculum vita, a statement of teaching interests, a statement of scholarly or creative interests, and three letters of reference.

    c. Before the committee begins its work reviewing individual applications, the search committee should specify the criteria that will be used to review individual applications. The search committee may assign applications to categories, such as “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” Committee members should not use numerical scoring of applications as part of the process.  The committee may consider using the following methods:

             i)  preliminary sorting of applications by department members;
             ii) initial recruiting conversations with selected candidates at professional meetings attended by members of the search committee must be approved in advance by the Provost. Note that these conversations are not part of the formaL interview process.  If approval is granted, the Committee may also request funds for a two-person team to attend a professional meeting (pending the availability of funds). Recruiting meetings may not be held in hotel bedrooms.
             iii) telephone, Teams, or e-mail contact by the search committee chair to answer specific questions about candidates.
             iv) Teams interviews of semi-finalists by the entire search committee or a representative subcommittee.

    d. Briefly document in writing the reasons for actions taken at each step.  Limit all notes and comments on applications to specified criteria.  All phone or Teams interviews and email communications should be documented to help with the selection process.

    e. It is recommended that committee members provide confidential and independent assessments without influence from early readers. For this reason, if search committee members wish to annotate the materials in Paycor Recruiting (the application software), they should "mark private" their comments.

    f. If the search committee conducts prescreening interviews of candidates, by Teams or some other online process, it should prepare a strategy for questioning each candidate consistently.
  6. The search committee recommends candidates for on-campus interviews to the Provost.

    a. The search committee must obtain permission from the Provost before inviting candidates to campus for an interview.
    b. For tenure-track searches, the search committee should:

    Contact the references for the recommended candidate on-campus visits. However, do not hold up the process if some of those references are difficult to contact. 
             ii) Submit to the Provost information about the two candidates for an interview (although in some cases three candidates may be requested and approved) including:
                   1. strengths and weaknesses, 
                   2. the information gained from contacting the candidates’ references,
                   3. and an explanation of how these candidates address the issue of diversity for this position.  

       It is not necessary to rank order the candidates at this point.

    c. For term searches, candidates are interviewed one at a time. If the first candidate is not viable, the committee may receive permission to proceed to the second candidate.  In order to begin this process, the search committee should submit to the Provost a rank order of the top two or three candidates for an interview including: 
                   1. strengths and weaknesses, 
                   2. the information gained from contacting the candidates’ references,
                   3. an explanation of how these candidates address the issue of diversity for this position.

  7. The search committee chair plans on- campus interviews.

    a. After receiving authorization to proceed with interviews, plans should be made for a one-day interview that serves both the need to recruit the candidates to Hendrix and to allow the search committee to assess the candidates. Administrative assistants have a template interview itinerary with a uniform set of activities including meetings with:

              i) CoF, 
              ii) a representative of HR, 
              iii) the President. Make sure to check with Donna Plemmons about availability when you are considering interview dates. The President may ask to contact the candidate by Teams.
              iv) For Murphy Fellows searches, the Murphy Director should be included for an individual meeting, and
              v) a group meeting with members of the search committee.  

    b. Interviews should also include some type of public presentation and/or teaching session as well as having some direct contact with students. Please have your administrative assistant let the Helpdesk know when and where the presentation will take place. The search committee should make sure to get feedback from the students who attend the public event. Generally, this information is gathered by the students on the search committee.
    c. In most cases during on-campus interviews there is an opportunity for some members of the search committee to have an evening meal with the candidate.  To facilitate conversation while controlling expenses, the college will cover the expenses for the candidate and no more than four members of the search committee.  Please note that only one alcoholic drink per person will be covered for such meals. 

    d. Approved search expenses are paid through Academic Affairs. The search committee chair or the area administrative assistant makes housing and meal reservations.  Flight arrangements are made by the candidate and the expenses for travel (including parking and meals during travel) are reimbursed by the college from receipts. Any expenses, including airfare, borne by the candidates are reimbursed after the visit. Note that the Business Office requires that candidates provide a completed IRS Form W-9 with reimbursement requests.

    Refer all questions regarding salary, faculty development, and instruction/research support to the Provost, and all questions regarding Hendrix College benefits to HR.

  8. The search committee sends the committee's recommendation to CoF.

    a. After each candidate’s visit to campus, the search committee should:

               i) Gather opinions from persons who interviewed or observed the candidate. This should include students who have lunch with candidates and students who attended presentations. Please remember HR staff are not included in this part of the process.
               ii) Determine the strengths and weaknesses of the finalists, including how they address the issue of diversity, identify if each is acceptable or not, and consider relative rankings.
              iii) Present the information from item 8.a.ii. in writing via e-mail to the Provost for review by CoF.

    b. The Provost will take the recommendations from CoF and the search committee to the President.   The Provost will make the offer of appointment to approved candidate.  The amount of time given for the candidate to make a decision may vary but typically is 7 to 10 days.

    c. After verbal acceptance of the position, the Provost sends an appointment letter.  Once the signed letter is received by the Provost, the search committee chair notifies individually the other candidate(s) who visited campus who were not given an offer.  All other candidates will be notified of the search conclusion by HR.

  9. The chair of the search committee makes arrangements to close the search

    a. All electronic materials submitted by all candidates will be archived by HR.

    b. Any notes from meetings or individual committee members should be destroyed once the search is completed.