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Appendix A

Searches

(formally Appendix B)

A. Authorization of Searches for Full-time Faculty

The allocation of faculty lines is one of the most significant resource decisions that a department and the College can make.  Therefore, each decision should be embraced as an opportunity to affirm a continuing need or to make a different, strategic choice for the institution. The authorization process for a search for a full-time member of the instructional staff begins with a petition from a department or program to the Provost that a search be opened. The petition is required even if the search request is based on replacing a faculty member who has left or retired.

1) Design of Preliminary Job Description and Petition for Authorization to Search

The petition and preliminary job description under development by the department or program should reflect discussion among the full-time faculty[1] concerning those aspects of its educational mission of highest priority or in greatest need of enhancement; it should be consistent with the planning and goals identified in the department's latest Academic Program Review. The discussion should provide for an ample opportunity to articulate fully the pedagogical priorities for all student populations served by the department and to clarify student learning outcomes as needed. The petition should contain a draft of an advertisement and specify clearly the sub-discipline(s) of the search, accompanied by a summary of the department's analysis of its personnel needs. It should also describe:

  1. the consultation that has taken place with counterpart departments or programs at Columbia, including the effect the position would have in terms of field coverage by Barnard and Columbia faculty,
  2. the consultation that has taken place with related departments and/or interdisciplinary programs at Barnard, and the ways in which such an appointment would strengthen the curriculum and research profile of the College as a whole, and
  3. the likelihood that a search in the sub-disciplines chosen would yield a pool of candidates that would add to the diversity of the Barnard faculty.

Upon receipt of a departmental petition, the Provost consults with the Faculty Budget and Planning Committee. The Faculty Budget and Planning Committee refers to the Planning Profile and ascertains how the petition relates to lines that have been designated in the Profile. If the search is motivated by a faculty departure, the FBPC focuses its discussion of the merits of the petition on continuing need and area, taking into account information presented in the department’s petition as outlined above.  If convinced of the continuing need and the contributions that such an appointment would make to the department and College, the FBPC makes a positive recommendation to the Provost and President. If there is no designated line, the FBPC considers it as a request to modify the Planning Profile, for which substantial additional justification is required.  In making its recommendations on both replacement and incremental lines, the FBPC also takes into account the goals set forth in the College’s current strategic plan.

Upon the recommendation of the FBPC and Provost, the President decides whether a search may be initiated. If approval is given, the Provost notifies the Chair that planning for the search may begin. 

2) Planning for the Search

Upon authorization, the Chair develops a search plan for approval by the Provost. Elements include: identification of the search committee and the process to be used by the department to arrive at a pool of finalists and the desired candidate; proposed copy for advertisement of the vacancy; a list of the professional journals where the ad will appear; indication of additional methods of advertising (e.g. job listing services of professional organizations; letters to highly-rated departments in the field; a list of steps to ensure the active recruitment of a diverse pool of candidate; personal calls to leaders in the field; ads in generic publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education); a budget request for the projected advertisement and travel/housing costs; and a projected timetable. The Chair should refer to the checklist at the end of this document for further details on the search plan and search process.

A department may choose to constitute a search committee as all the tenured members of the department, a selected sub-group of the tenured members, or some combination of tenured and non-tenured professorial faculty, depending upon the rank(s) of the candidate. Inclusion of one member of the tenured faculty from an allied department at Barnard is expected.  Note that faculty who are scheduled to leave the College permanently for any reason including retirement may not serve on the search committee, nor may they participate in any discussions about the line allocation request.

In describing the process the department will use, there should be an indication of how the counterpart department at Columbia (if there is one) will be involved. Minimally there must be consultation with the Columbia Chair during the final selection process and before a recommendation to hire is made to the Provost. Where appropriate, Columbia faculty may serve as members of the search committee.

The plan for the advertising should address how the department's plan will ensure the furthering of the College's effort to diversify its faculty. The ad copy should contain the language: Barnard College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and individuals from underrepresented groups.

The ad copy should specify what the candidate should supply; at a minimum this should include: a letter of interest; a complete curriculum vitae; and names, addresses and phone numbers/e-mail of three to five references. The candidate's letter should address experience and future plans in teaching and research. Departments may wish to specify that the candidate request referee letters to be sent to the department by the deadline date. The ad may refer to a set deadline date or may state that the review of materials will begin on XX date and the search will continue until the position is filled.

The budget request should indicate the costs expected from ads in the selected publications and listing services, and an estimate and itemization of travel and entertainment costs for the finalist pool.

Upon approval of the search plan and budget, the Chair proceeds with the agreed-upon process. The Provost's Office will post the ad copy on the College's web site and other generic recruitment sites.

3) Handling of Applications, Winnowing the Pool and Arriving at a Short List

A complete file of all applications received should be maintained and kept for at least one year following the successful completion of the search. Receipt of applications should be acknowledged via e-mail or a letter in a sealed envelope.

The Search Committee should then proceed to winnow the pool, using the approved wording of the advertisement and the criteria established at the beginning of the search to guide these efforts, and working in consultation with the Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development and the Provost.  Search Committees may either:

a)      meet with the Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development at the point of moving to the short list and, then, having made their decision send finalists’ cv’s, cover letters (with research and teaching plans if sent as separate documents), and letters of reference to the Provost; or, 

b)       proceed to reduce the candidate pool to 6-8 names; at that point the Chair should consult with the Provost and the Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development, who should receive the candidates’ cv’s, cover letters (with research and teaching plans if sent as separate documents), and letters of reference.  The Provost and Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development will respond in a timely and will work collaboratively with the Chair, as the Chair and the search committee develop a final list of candidates (generally 3-4) to be invited to campus. 

In either case, the consultation process will include discussions with the Chair about how the short list of 6-8 names was developed and how the department worked to ensure the diversity of the pool.  The materials on the candidates should be accompanied by a brief description of how the criteria for the search were articulated, how the pool was developed, efforts at active recruitment, which of these efforts was most useful in the search, and any statistical evidence that is available.  These descriptions will be compiled by the Provost’s office so as to inform future diversity efforts.

In larger departments, the chair of the search should also report to the department on the progress of the search, including the criteria used in developing the pool and the reasons for choosing this list of candidates.

4) The Pool of Finalists and Campus Visits 

If the finalist candidates have not already submitted representative scholarly material as well as material attesting to their teaching ability, they should be asked to do so before the campus visit. The latter may include teaching evaluations, sample syllabi, sample exams and a statement of their approach to teaching.

In addition to an interview with the search committee, the schedule of the candidate's visit to campus should include some form of public presentation, some mechanism to solicit the opinion of representative students, and a meeting with the Provost, preferably toward the end of the visit. A brief tour of campus is encouraged. The public presentation should be announced campus-wide and to the corresponding Columbia department (if any). An effort should be made to introduce the candidate to faculty outside the department whose research is related; it can help with recruitment.  Consult with the Provost if unsure which faculty should be considered for this role.  Some departments ask the candidate to make two presentations: to give a standard "job" talk on their research and to teach a class. If the search is for a senior candidate, a meeting will be scheduled with the Provost and the President.

5) Making the Final Selection and Offer

The chair of the search committee is responsible for debriefing those who met the candidate, and presenting the findings to the committee and department. The department then constructs a proposed final ranking of the candidates who were interviewed, and the Chair discusses the ranking with the Provost. If agreement is reached on the selection of the first-choice candidate and rank ordering of the other finalists, the Chair and the Provost discuss the salary and other perquisites the Chair is authorized to offer to the candidate. The Chair then calls the candidate and makes an offer.

Not every search yields a candidate who generates enthusiasm among a majority of the members of the department.  Despite the amount of work already expended in a search, a department should feel free to vote to declare a failed search, and the Chair should inform the Provost.  It is generally the case that the department will need only to re-file the search request with the FBPC for a pro forma approval to initiate another search in the following year, unless the department wishes to change the field definition substantively or financial considerations require a second review.  

6) Letter of Appointment

The Provost should be notified as soon as the Chair has obtained a verbal acceptance of the offer, and should confirm the precise conditions of the offer. The Provost will issue the formal letter of appointment that will specify the rank, salary, term and other conditions of the offer. The candidate will then be asked to signify acceptance of the offer by returning a signed copy of the Provost's letter and to furnish the Provost's Office with proof of the receipt of the terminal degree, e.g. copy of the diploma, statement from a dean or registrar that all thesis and degree requirements have been completed, etc.

7) Sample Search Timeline

  • All due on or before March 1st -- Submit request to FBPC for authorization to conduct search
  • April-June -- After FBPC authorizes, submit search plan to Provost
  • June-Sept -- After Provost approves search plan, begin active recruitment of a diverse pool, publish job ad in journals, list serves, etc., specifying deadline for applications (typically between Oct 1 and Nov 1).
  • Oct-Nov -- Send acknowledgements to applicants. Convene search committee to review applications and develop 6-8 name short list; consult with Provost and Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development to arrive at finalist list; solicit further information on finalists.
  • Dec-Feb -- Invite finalists, schedule campus visits, rank finalists after visits, and confer with Provost on making an offer.

B. Logistical Matters Discussed at Meeting with Chairs of Active Searches

Phone interviews to screen pool
Travel to professional meetings to interview
Interview location
Travel of candidates to campus: number invited; local hotels, etc.
Interview questions: what you may – and may not - ask 

C. Searches for Full-time Visiting and Term Faculty

 

Searches for full-time visiting and term faculty should be as broad as possible given the length of time available for a search. If there is an expectation that the visiting appointment will exceed one year, the search should conform to the procedures outlined above for full-time faculty on continuing appointments.

Last Updated 1/12/2011

 

 

[1] Faculty who are scheduled to leave the college permanently for any reason, including those retiring, may not participate in the development of the search plan or discussion about the field designation, nor may they serve on the search committee itself.