This Is Auburn Office of the Provost

Appointment of the Search Committee

The chair of any faculty search committee should be a tenured faculty member with the experience necessary to adequately evaluate the needs of the department and credentials of those who apply for the position. It is important that search committees reflect diversity of gender and ethnicity. This importance is emphasized in the strategic diversity plan, which requires that ethnic minorities and women be represented on all search committees for faculty positions to the extent practicable. To reaffirm the University's commitment to diversity, please keep this in mind when search committee members are being selected.

Search committee appointments are the responsibility of the Department Head/Chair; however, the Dean must approve all search committee appointments.  It is recommended that the HR Liaison be an ex-officio member of all search committees.  Ideally the HR Liaison should attend the first search committee meeting to review search procedures and help the committee understand laws and regulations. If that is not feasible, i.e., in a large college with numerous departments, it is expected that the HR Liaison will review the requirements of the recruitment process with each search committee chair before the committee begins its work and will be available for consultation throughout the recruitment process.

The Search Committee Chair has a great responsibility of managing the search process. As Chair, it is the responsibility to ensure that the process is documented, and decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on job-related criteria.

During the process of advertising, interviewing, selecting, and hiring an individual to fill a faculty vacancy, the search committee will create a file to include minutes of each meeting.  All search committee records/notes are to be retained within the department for a minimum of three years after the end of the search and then destroyed.

Search committees should always receive a charge from the hiring authority or designee prior to the beginning of the committee’s work. The charge will be provided at the first meeting of the committee prior to viewing/evaluating the candidate pool.

Confidentiality is critical to the integrity of the search and selection process. The Search Committee Chair should ensure that members understand the boundaries of free discussion of candidates within the committee deliberations.

The following reference materials may be of value to the search committee.  A Guide to Successful Searches for College Personnel: Policies, Procedures, and Legal Issues; Recruiting Good College Faculty: Practical Advice for a Successful Search; The Search Committee Handbook: A Guide to Recruiting Administrators; Search Committees: A Tool Kit for Human Resource Professionals, Administrators, and Committee Members; Interview Guide for Supervisors. These are available from your HR Liaison and/or the Provost Office.

Last Updated: August 27, 2020