Active Recruitment for Tenure-Track Faculty Searches

This webpage is now updated for the 2021-22 TTF hiring process.

Purpose

A core part of the Institutional Hiring Plan is a focus on UO’s long-term goal to increase the representation of women and underrepresented communities among the university’s tenured and tenure-track faculty, and to maximize the university’s ability to attract and recruit outstanding, highly competitive candidates overall. Active recruitment efforts focus on providing training and guidance for expected practices when discussing and selecting candidates and how to navigate challenging situations. This work is meant to be a partnership among many units on campus, working together to accomplish our goals.  Where specific processes have been mandated (e.g., the search plan template), these are targeted at the beginning of the search process to help ensure a successful launch of the search. Latter steps in the process will be primarily handled within the units, with the support of HR Recruitment Consultants and the Active Recruitment Team (ART).   

HR Recruitment Consultants & Active Recruitment Team | Process | Resources


HR Recruitment Consultants & Active Recruitment Team

Each search has been assigned an HR Recruitment Consultant who can assist search committees in the following ways:

  • Approving the committee’s Search Plan, in collaboration with the Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Providing a search committee briefing for the chair and committee at the beginning of the search (upon request - recommended for searches that are not supported by search advocates)
  • Connecting search chairs and committees with key topic consultants of peer faculty across a range of search questions and issues
  • Providing demographic data of the full candidate pool to the chair and search committee prior to candidate review (upon request)
  • Offering advice and guidance to the search committee on ways to broaden the pool of candidates
  • Working with the committee to flag if the applicant pool is not appropriately representative
  • Providing guidance and serving as a thought partner to the search committee during the review of candidates including the steps to select candidates for phone or online interviews, invitations for campus visits, and final selection

The Active Recruitment Team is responsible for providing workshops and materials to support the search committees and HR Recruitment Consultants, as well as providing in-depth knowledge on key topics, such as implicit bias, diversity statements, best practices for supporting new hires, inclusive teaching, field availability estimates and search advocacy.

 


Process

Search committees are expected to use the search practices outlined in Expected Practices for UO Tenure Track Faculty Searches. Specific required UO process elements are detailed below:

Develop and Follow a Search Plan

The development of a Search Plan is required before searches may be advertised. Search Plans are required to use the Search Plan Template. The HR Recruitment Consultant will review the Search Plan as part of the MyTrack search approval process, in consultation with ART members as needed. The Office of Human Resources and Institutional Research provided field availability data as part of the IHP proposal process; this data can be consulted again to help with the completion of Search Plans. For logistical details on launching a TTF search, see the HR Start a Search page.

Evaluate the Search Response

Before beginning applicant review, search committees are encouraged to work with their HR Recruitment Consultant to consider whether the applicant pool meets the goals from their Search Plan. It is ideal for this review and discussion to happen when there is still time to impact the number of applicants (e.g., mid-point during the recruitment period or prior to a major conference), and again after the application deadline.

If the search committee and/or dean, after discussion with the Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (EVPAA), determine that the pool is not sufficiently diverse, they have the option to discontinue the search. If a search is discontinued at this step, it will be expected to continue as part of the 2022 IHP (for search year 2022-23).

Evaluate Candidates

After the search committee and the dean agree that a search has a strong applicant pool, evaluation of candidates can begin. There are typically several parts to this process that are very discipline-specific. For example, some units rely heavily on conferences to help with initial reviews of candidates. Other units will conduct online interviews for upwards of twenty candidates. Though units are highly encouraged to refer to the Expected Practices for UO Tenure Track Faculty Searches while evaluating candidates, no specific process is mandated during this stage.

The dean is responsible for reviewing the short-list of candidates to ensure that they meet high standards, including identifying whether significant concerns exist with respect to pool/field availability data.

The HR Recruitment Consultants are available to the search chair during this stage to discuss how things are progressing, if there are any current challenges with the search, and whether any assistance, advice or guidance might be helpful. The ART will also be offering workshops in fall 2021 to provide additional tools and strategies to search committees to help assess candidates.

If a search committee member, department member, search advocate, or other party involved with the search feels that there has been bias or discrimination happening in the evaluation stage, they should contact Nancy Nieraeth, Director of Talent Acquisition (nancyn@uoregon.edu), for advice and guidance.

Finalist Approval

At the finalist stage, Deans must receive finalist approval from the EVPAA and salary approval from the Executive Vice Provost for Academic Operations (EVPAO) before extending an offer. Before approving, the EVPAA or EVPAO may ask for a rationale explaining the recommendation. After finalist and salary approval, offers will proceed using the TTF Contingent Offer Letter Term Sheet process.

Process Review

The active recruitment process is still relatively new and is regularly being assessed for effectiveness, in the spirit of continuous improvement. If you have questions or suggestions for improvement, please contact Anna Shamble at ashamble@uoregon.edu.


Resources

Workshops

Tenure Track Faculty Recruitment Workshops
Search chairs or at least one member of the search committee and department heads for all units with TTF searches are required to attend an in-person Tenure Track Faculty Recruitment Workshop. Other search committee members, department members, unit managers, assistant, associate, and divisional deans are encouraged to attend as well. The first session was held in early June. That session will be repeated in Fall 2021 and the Active Recruitment Team plans to offer additional workshop opportunities. Future workshops will be posted on the Office of the Provost Workshops page, as well as in MyTrack’s list of workshops.

Implicit Bias Training
All search committee members must complete an implicit bias training in the three years prior to beginning candidate review. The Division of Equity and Inclusion has posted training opportunities on their website and recommend that search committees view trainings together, to discuss as a group.

Search Advocates

The Division of Equity and Inclusion/CoDaC has led the UO search advocate pilot program since its inception in February 2019. This work has been done in partnership with Oregon State University’s search advocate program (existing since 2006) which is widely recognized as an innovative model in this area.

Over the past year, search advocacy has been a key component of campus work to institutionalize active recruitment. Search advocacy is a tool that supports our university’s efforts to enhance and diversify our faculty and staff applicant pools. Search advocates serve on a search committee to advance inclusive excellence by asking questions to help committee members test their thinking, identify and promote practices that advance diversity and social justice, and minimize the impacts of cognitive and structural biases. As external committee members, search advocates are able to explore assumptions, norms, and practices that an internal member might not question. The search advocate plays a vital role by providing an equity and inclusion lens that complements services provided by the Active Recruitment Team (for tenure track faculty) and Talent Acquisition in all aspects of recruitment, including screening, interviews, references and evaluation. In partnership with the search chair, search committee members, and hiring manager, the search advocate helps promote UO’s commitment to inclusive excellence. More than 100 UO searches have (or have had) search advocates. All executive searches initiated out of the Offices of the President and Provost since the pilot started have requested and used search advocates. We have also piloted the engagement of search advocates in numerous Tenure Track Faculty searches.

To start, the advocate will meet with the department head and search chair to clarify the appropriate expectations for the role. The advocate attends all of the search committee meetings to guide the search committee with critical parts of the process, such as developing the screening criteria (e.g., how not to use “I’ll know it when I see it” or “good fit”), designing the interview process (e.g., ensuring that fairness is more than “exactly the same” for candidates as some candidates may require special accommodations), and facilitating the committee’s decision-making as candidates advance through the search process.

More information on OSU’s program can be found at https://searchadvocate.oregonstate.edu/

If you are interested in becoming a search advocate or exploring whether a search process advocate would be helpful for your search, please contact Charlotte at cmoatsga@uoregon.edu

Supporting Documents

Additional Resources

  1. The Gender Decoder is a publicly available free online tool that allows the authors of job advertisements to analyze their text and determine the extent to which gender-coded words may appear.  Despite its simplicity, the result gives the user a means to identify any unconscious/implicit bias in the wording of the advertisement, and make modifications to encourage a broader response.
  2. See sample job advertisements for contributions to diversity, equity, & inclusion.