Expected Practices for TTF Searches

This document outlines the practices that search committees are expected to use when hiring tenure-track faculty. These practices should be considered minimal standards and search committees are encouraged to go above and beyond to ensure that we are maximizing the University’s ability to attract and recruit outstanding, highly competitive candidates while also increasing our representation of women and underrepresented communities.

1. Establish a Diverse and Inclusive Search Committee

It is the responsibility of all search committee members and unit leadership to assure an inclusive process that reflects best practices.

  • The search committee should be diverse (in demographics, contributions to equity and inclusion, areas within the field, etc.). In situations where a department is unable to identify members from underrepresented communities, it is important that the committee includes members who have a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion and have sufficient experience to speak to these issues during the search process.
  • Ensure that search committee members and other faculty who will interact with candidates understand and are committed to refraining from asking candidates inappropriate or illegal questions during the search, recruitment, and offer negotiation process.  Examples of situations to avoid include:
    • Asking additional questions of one candidate that are not asked of others, except where necessary to obtain or clarify an answer to a question asked of all candidates or to clarify information in a candidate’s application materials.
    • Asking questions that elicit personal information rather than job-related information. Some non-job-related information, such as number and age of children, can lead to impermissible discrimination. The less non-job-related information you have, the less that could possibly enter into, or be perceived as entering into, a selection decision.

See the TTF Search Committees page for more information.

2. Ensure All Committee Members Receive Implicit Bias Training

All search committee members must complete an in-person implicit bias training every three years prior to beginning candidate review. The training schedule is available at https://inclusion.uoregon.edu/implicitbiasA recorded version is available online as a refresher for anyone who would like to view it, and for exceptional situations when attending an in-person session is not possible. As there is significant benefit to engaging with colleagues in the conversations that happen during workshop sessions, the recorded version does not count toward the three-year requirement.

3. Establish Criteria for the Position

Carefully consider and articulate the criteria that matter for the position. Use these criteria to develop the position announcement and throughout the search process as a guide for evaluating candidates.

  • Include contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion in the search criteria. (See options discussed in step 4 below for how these contributions can be included in the position announcement.)

See the Developing Selection Criteria page for more information.

4. Develop the Position Announcement

  • As mentioned in step 3, the position announcement should articulate the hiring criteria.
  • Signal explicitly that both the Department and the University value equity, diversity and inclusion and their contributions to the intellectual life of UO. This can be done by including contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion as a preferred qualification and/or requiring candidates to address this criteria in a cover letter or separate statement. (See examples below.)
    • Examples:
      1) Suggest that candidates address criteria in cover letter, e.g., “UO is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from minorities, women, and people with disabilities. Applicants are encouraged to include in their cover letter information about how they will further this goal;”
      2) Specify that candidates are required to submit a statement addressing their contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (1 page limit); or
      3) Address the criteria as a preferred qualification, e.g., “A successful candidate will support and enhance a diverse learning and working environment.”

See Position Announcements page for more information.

Note: UO position announcements will automatically include official language regarding the UO’s non-discrimination & Affirmative Action policy.

5. Advertise the Position

  • Distribute the position announcement widely.
  • Advertise in forums, groups, or organizations that serve underrepresented communities. Refer to the Diversity Resources list (at the bottom of the Faculty Recruitment: TTF Search page) for potential options and/or address other appropriate locations that you have identified.
  • Include discipline-specific affinity groups, e.g., Association of Black Psychologists and the National Latina/o Psychological Association.
  • Use cross-disciplinary listservs and hiring platforms if appropriate.

6. Use Additional Contacts for Active Recruitment

Identify candidates who might not otherwise apply. Specifically and methodically seek out highly qualified candidates from underrepresented communities.

  • Make the call. Have every search committee call, email, text at least three contacts, e.g., former colleagues, mentors, students. Keep a common spreadsheet and hold each other accountable.
  • Directly engage established mentors. In any field, there are likely to be a few professors who have a proven track record of mentoring students from underrepresented communities onto faculty trajectories. Find out who those people are, and contact them for their recommendations about possible candidates. Also, ask them to share the position announcement with others and encourage their mentees to apply.
  • Attend meetings of discipline-specific groups.
  • Maintain a list of potential recruits who will be on the market within a year or two.
  • Obtain and study lists from societies that mentor students and postdocs for academic jobs.
  • Consider applying for a Fund for Active Recruitment grant to support your unit’s efforts in this area.

7. Evaluate the Pool at Closing Date

If at the closing date the applicant pool seems limited or unrepresentative in comparison with availability, engage in an evaluation of the search to explore reasons for the data discrepancies. This evaluation may lead to new insights or confirm known barriers and obstacles.

  • Review the preceding process and take additional steps to broaden the pool.
  • Consider extending the date before reviewing applicants and contacting applicants with incomplete files.
  • Consider postponing search for a year to allow additional active recruiting.

Note: Consistent with the new IHP TTF search process, at the search close date, HR will provide the applicant pool data to the search committee and the TTF Recruitment Team[1]. If the applicant pool data is not reasonably consistent with availability data, and after discussions with the TTF Recruitment Team and the Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (EVPAA), no compelling case can be made to continue the search with the existing applicant pool, the search committee and/or EVPAA have the option to discontinuethe search. If a search is discontinued at this step, it will be expected to continue as part of the subsequent year’s IHP-approved searches.

8. Evaluate Candidates

  • Develop a rubric or evaluation tool to guide evaluations, making sure to include criteria related to contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Review implicit bias training materials before discussion of candidates.
  • Focus the evaluation on the criteria that was established in step 3 (Establish Criteria for the Position). In other words, the committee should be discussing and evaluating the exact same criteria for each candidate. If deliberations reveal that additional criteria are being taken into account, adjust the criteria for evaluating all of the candidates in a manner that is clear to all search committee members.
  • Budget sufficient time to fully discuss and evaluate candidates. Time-pressured deliberations can contribute to biased judgments.
  • Take contemporaneous notes at all stages of review.
  • Try to spend equal time on each candidate.
  • If the short list pool looks materially different than the applicant pool, assess whether talented candidates were inadvertently overlooked.
  • Provide interview lists to the Dean for review.

See the Screening Applicants page for more information.

Note: Consistent with the new IHP TTF search process, once short-list candidates are selected, Deans are responsible for reviewing the candidates to ensure they meet high standards for joining the University’s tenure-track faculty. In addition, HR will provide Deans and the TTF Recruitment Team with information concerning the diversity of the short-list compared to the overall candidate pool.  Deans are responsible for reviewing this information, identifying whether significant concerns exist regarding the data, and recommending the cancellation of the search to the EVPAA if significant concerns exist. Whether the search will move forward as part of the IHP for subsequent year after discontinuation at this step will be contingent on the specifics of the situation.

9. Structure the Campus Visit

  • Candidates are evaluating UO as well as being evaluated. Take steps to help them feel welcomed and valued.
  • Offer equitable accommodations to all candidates, being mindful that some candidates may need reasonable accommodations.
  • Provide standard materials for each candidate (e.g., agenda, parking and accommodations instructions). Provide each candidate with a standard UO Welcome Packet (while the comprehensive packet is still under development by the TTF Recruitment Team, an abridged version is now available) that contains information on benefits and other programs, such as dual career support, and where to go to ask questions.
  • Use structured interviews as much as possible for formal interview periods, e.g., every candidate is asked the same question.
  • Brief the faculty who will be evaluating candidates on the job-specific job criteria and provide everyone with a rubric or evaluation tool.
  • Ensure everyone participating in interviews understands and is committed to refraining from asking inappropriate or illegal questions during the interview process (see step 1).
  • Include a meeting between each candidate and the department head to address questions and to provide standard information, such as standard teaching, start-up packages, benefits, etc.

See the Interviews and Campus Visits page for more information.

10. Evaluate Final Candidates

  • Recall objectively the articulated job criteria, including contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Review ground rules for deliberation and refer to notes during discussion
  • Keep an open mind
  • Record rationale concerning why each shortlist candidate does not receive an offer.

See the Final Candidate Evaluation page for more information.

Note: Consistent with the IHP TTF search process, at the finalist stage, Deans must receive approval from the EVPAA before extending an offer. Before approving recommended candidates, the EVPAA may ask for a rationale explaining the selection decision.

11. Recruit Candidates

  • Change the frame of mind from “Search” to “Yield.” Committee and Department should commit to enthusiastically recruiting every offeree, regardless of prior deliberations.
  • Carefully curate any return visit.
  • Connect candidate to parts of the University that intersect with their scholarship, teaching and service. This shows an interest in integrating them into the broader University community.
  • Think carefully when choosing local professionals with whom to connect candidates (e.g. to tour around Eugene/Portland), to ensure they share UO’s commitment to non-discrimination.
  • Dean or Department Head should clarify expectations concerning tenure and promotion standards.
  • Take full advantage of resources to support recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, such as the Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program, Initiative for Faculty Diversity, and Dual Career Support.

[1] The TTF Recruitment Team is comprised of UO employees from several offices: Division of Equity and Inclusion (Yvette Alex-Assensoh and Vickie DeRose), Human Resources (Nancy Nieraeth), and Office of the Provost (Melanie Muenzer, Carole Stabile (interim member) and Anna Shamble).