Request for Authorization
If the College is in a position to authorize hires, departments will be asked to submit requests for authorization to search early in the Spring semester. When a department requests such authorization, the unit head must indicate the following:
The place of the proposed new faculty member in the department’s long-range plans, specifically how the proposed hire will build on current strengths, create a new area of excellence, or satisfy an existing need within the department?
- Whether the proposed appointment might advance departmental efforts to diversify the faculty.
- How, given the department’s current structure, the desired candidate would fit into its programs of research, teaching, and, if applicable, service to the university.
- How either undergraduate or graduate student demand warrants a tenure-track hire.
- How the proposed appointment might enhance interdisciplinary ties across departments, colleges, and schools.
- Whether there are internal savings the department is willing to propose as a means of funding this new hire?
- How this proposed appointment can lead to increased external funding or recognition.
- The rank of the desired new faculty member (new faculty appointments are normally authorized at the rank of beginning assistant professor. If the department seeks an appointment at a higher rank, it must demonstrate need).
Once a search is authorized, it will generally remain open only during the academic year of the authorization. Final authorization is always subject to the availability of state funding. It is the dean’s prerogative to declare a search failed when a department is unable to identify or hire an exceptional candidate during the year of a search.
The department should consult with Associate Dean for Facilities, Henrik Aratyn (firstname.lastname@example.org or 3-9466), about space for a new faculty member’s office and laboratory and/or requests for remodeling before undertaking a search. The dean will routinely check with the associate dean to make sure that such plans have been made prior to authorizing searches.
The Search Committee
After receiving authorization to search (always subject to the availability of state funding), the unit executive officer either appoints or calls an election to constitute the search committee. Care should be taken to ensure that the committee is as diverse as possible with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability. Search committees should, again insofar as possible, include department members of all ranks. Non-tenure line faculty may (at the unit head’s discretion) serve and vote on search committees, in accordance with the unit’s bylaws.
All search committees need to have an odd number of members, and in LAS must include at least one faculty member from outside the hiring unit. Please note that the hiring manager for the department cannot be part of the search committee.
Departments hiring candidates with potential interest in joint appointments should alert the other department as early as possible in the recruitment process. The hiring department should forward complete files to the other unit(s) that will take part in the search as they become available, send timely notice of job talks, and allow time for the candidate to meet with faculty from both units during the on-campus visit. The executive officer of the primary hiring department should consult with the potential partner department about the candidate’s acceptability and the possibility of a joint appointment.
The Associate Dean assigned to your search must approve the search committee before the position can be advertised. It is further crucial that the hiring unit keep the Associate Dean informed of the progress at all times.
All Committee members must complete Office of Access and Equity (OAE) training before the minimally qualified list of candidates is sent to OAE. Additionally, departments must send at least two members of the search committee to the LAS hiring workshop organized in the fall. Failure to attend this workshop may result in the suspension of the search.
Affirmative Action Policy
The University of Illinois will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran and will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities.
After receiving authorization from the dean, and before advertising an opening for a full-time faculty position, the department must submit a Position Authorization and a Position Notice form through Hire Touch, the University’s online applicant tracking system.
Unit heads are urged to consult with Karen Sholeen, Assistant Dean for advice about composing the position announcement. The Associate Dean assigned to the search must approve the position announcement before the PNA is approved. When the advertisement has been approved, the department submits the Position Authorization and Position Notice for Academic Search form (PNA) through Hire Touch. Once OAE approves the PNA, the unit
- Posts the announcement on the department website
- Advertises the position in the profession’s standard periodicals or job-information bulletins and, if applicable, the web sites of those organizations as well
- Alerts organizations with access to traditionally underrepresented groups
- PLEASE NOTE: University guidelines no longer require the department to advertise the position in the print media; however, US Department of Labor regulations require that a department sponsoring a newly-hired faculty member for Permanent Residency (green card) must submit a print ad for the position.
Please retain a copy of all job postings (on UIC HR website, in professional journals, etc.) as these need to be uploaded into Hire Touch before the candidate listing can be approved by OAE. More detailed instructions about using the new Hire Touch System can be found online.
When a department or program is involved in a joint search, the home department should coordinate the search process (Position Notice, placement of ads) in order to avoid duplication of efforts and advertisements. Departments should keep the Associate Dean informed about the progress of the search throughout the process.
Please note that ALL applicants for a position must apply through Hire Touch. Additionally, reference letters should only be requested via Hire Touch. Files should not be stored or shared outside of Hire Touch.
The search committee must be vigilant with respect to seeking and evaluating a diverse pool of applicants. For example, committee members should not only seek candidates through organizations with special access to members of traditionally underrepresented groups, but also recognize that candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups sometimes follow different educational paths from those of non-minority candidates.
The unit head and/or the search committee chair should ensure that applications are screened by a uniform procedure. At least two faculty members should read every initial application. Please note the files of all the candidates who have applied for the opening must be reviewed by committee and all candidates need to be marked as “Meeting Minimum Qualifications” or “Denied, Not Selected” and the entire listing of candidates needs to be approved by the Office of Access and Equity BEFORE any interviews my take place. As the list of those being considered narrows, it will become possible for every member of the committee to read the entire file of every promising candidate.
In order to arrive at a short list of candidates, the search committee should
- Read the candidate’s written material
- Consult evaluations of the candidate’s teaching
- Contact the authors of letters of recommendation to verify the accuracy of the candidate’s curriculum vitae and, if appropriate, expected date of graduation
- Whenever possible, screen eligible candidates by preliminary interviews at meetings of professional organizations if OAE approval of the candidate list has been secured in advance of the meeting.
Only after approval by the Office for Access and Equity of the list of “minimally qualified candidates” and the approval of the finalist list by the assigned Associate Dean may the department contact candidates to schedule interviews (including Skype interviews). Additionally, the Director of Budget and Finance, Montanee Wongchinsri (email@example.com) needs to approve the expenses associate with the campus visit for each candidate. Use the “Funding Request for Campus Visit” form for approval. Typically the college will approve expenses to bring 3 finalists to campus.
Departments must indicate (in Hire Touch) the stages of review of the candidates.
Confidentiality is of utmost important when communicating with candidates or potential candidates. No promises should be made to any candidate, in person, by phone, or email until the search process is complete. Committee and department members should refrain from inappropriate discussion of candidates, especially on email. They should similarly refrain from discussing any candidates or specific details of the search with any third parties.
Final candidates should be brought to campus for interviews with faculty (from several departments), students, and the assigned Associate LAS dean. In selecting candidates for campus visits, as in all aspects of the search process, the unit head should scrupulously attend to matters of diversity. If the department proposes to interview neither women nor members of minority groups, it must be prepared to document fully its efforts to improve diversity during the search.
In preparing for campus visits, departments (only after OAE approval)
- submit for approval the list of candidates along with their application materials to the associate dean assigned to the search
- submit Funding Request for Campus Visit (as an email attachment) to Montanee Wongchinsri (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the College, detailing the expenses for each candidate.
- schedule campus visits ONLY after the college approves the list of candidates and the funding request for the campus visit.
The usual number of campus visits is three per position. In all cases, the number of visits must be approved by a dean. Occasionally, the college or the university will offer incentive programs that allow a greater number of campus visits. A department wishing to invite a candidate for more than one visit must negotiate with the College (the College tends to be flexible about the number of candidates’ visits allowed if no costs are involved or if a department is paying the additional costs).
Costs for Campus Visits
LAS generally pays for one visit for each of three finalists per faculty search. The general package is transportation (airfare, train, mileage), one or two nights’ lodging, and ground transportation (transport to and from airports at either end of the trip). In some situations, other ground transportation charges may be allowed, (e.g., if taxis are necessary to transport candidates to campus from distant hotels). Unusual situations will be considered and should be brought to our attention ahead of time.
Whenever possible, the department should arrange candidates’ prepaid travel. Please check the OBFS insured charter list. If it is necessary for the candidate to arrange his or her own transportation—for example, when that person is making a multi-leg trip only a portion of which is at the department’s expense—the department should urge him or her to choose the least costly fares.
Candidates may be reimbursed for travel by personal car at the university’s current rate.
Any questions about search-related expenses should be directed to Montanee Wongchinsri (email@example.com) or 3-2507, before the expenditure is made.
Departments pay for candidates’ meals and other entertainment during the visit. Departments should not include meals by the candidate alone in their budget requests unless they are sure that no faculty members can be present. “Meals alone” are considered on an individual basis. Meals at restaurants in connection with searches must be paid for at the time of the meal with the department’s T-card. It is best to get a receipt that itemizes expenses as per OBFS guidelines. Departments also are required to familiarize themselves with the OBSF guidelines for allowable spending limits. It is also useful to call ahead to provide the university’s tax exempt number (on the T-card). Some restaurants require that you show a tax exemption letter.
It is inappropriate to spend significant University funds on alcohol. Although a modest wine may be ordered with dinner, other alcoholic drinks or expensive wines should be paid by the faculty hosts from personal funds. Please refer to the section on T-Card.
Planning the Visit
Since most interviews occur during the winter when Chicago weather can be unpredictable it may be prudent to ask the candidate to arrive the day before his or her interview begins.
When a candidate arrives by air or train, departments should either have a department member meet the candidate at the terminal or send a car for him or her. Only in extraordinary cases (e.g., travel delays due to inclement weather) should the candidate be asked to take a taxi to campus or to his or her hotel unescorted. Under no circumstances should the candidate be directed to take public transportation to campus.
As early as possible (and certainly in advance of the visit), the department should give a copy of the schedule for the visit both to the candidate and to the persons whom she or he will meet during the visit. Interviewers should adhere to the timetable. The candidate should be accompanied from place to place.
In planning the visit, the department should
- forward to the associate dean the files of candidates to be interviewed on campus.
- schedule a meeting between the candidate and the associate dean in charge of the search as early as possible.
- schedule the candidate’s job talk (including arranging in advance, if necessary, for technological support), and notify the Dean’s Office of the time and place of the talk.
- announce the job talk widely across campus through email and posters addressed both to faculty and students. Job talks should not be restricted to department members, but should be viewed as an opportunity for intellectual engagement on the campus.
- arrange interviews with members of other departments with whom the candidate might have mutual interests, and/or specifically and personally invite members of other departments to the candidate’s job talk.
- arrange meetings with department members.
- arrange meeting(s) with undergraduate and graduate students. Ideally, these meetings will occur with no faculty members present.
Departments should plan the logistics of the visit carefully in order to impress upon the candidate the University’s strengths, the attractiveness of the Chicago area, and the department’s attentiveness to the candidate’s concerns. Departments should take care to present UIC in ways that emphasize its many advantages.
Candidates benefit from a broad range of information. Departments should provide packets of materials about the University and the Chicago area.
It is important to offer to help the candidate with personal concerns. Prospective employers cannot ask about marital status, children, or other personal matters, but the unit head can and should ask whether any important issues have been overlooked. If the candidate voices interest in employment for a spouse or partner, the department should be in touch with the Dean’s Office as soon as possible for assistance. Visits to schools and introductions for the spouse can often be arranged.