Departments receive authorization to search for faculty during the summer or early fall. The process for recruitment, interview and appointment is detailed in the campus’s Academic Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook. The additional processes guiding appointments at the senior ranks are outlined below.
4.1 Key Elements of a Job Ad
Office of the Provost
- Position title, rank
- Department / University
- Start date
- Required qualifications:
- Degree: Ph.D. or doctorate (at time of appointment)
- Discipline(s) or related field
- Scholarship / External funding
- Other experience(s)?
- Commitment to diversity (As an example, “a commitment to promote diversity as a value in the department and college.”)
- Desired qualifications
- Expectations (or responsibilities) of the position (Often this is not included. If included, it should not be confused with the required qualifications.)
- Description of Department, University, Charlotte, w/website(s)
- Diversity statement (This is not to be confused with the diversity element in the required qualifications; rather, this is a value statement for the university as a whole.)
- Date for first reviewing of applications
- Position will remain open until filled
- Application information: letter of interest, responding to the job qualifications and description; contact information; names of references or letters of reference; materials needed, etc.
- Contact information if an applicant has questions
The ad controls the department’s ability to identify qualified candidates to review. If language is too narrow to bring in a good pool of diverse and qualified candidates, then the search may fail. The goal is to attract as many qualified candidates as possible and to provide the committee with the flexibility to include or exclude, as appropriate.
Key Elements in a Job Ad (Revised August 2010) View
The criteria identified in the job ad guide the screening process. See the “Faculty Screening Process” in the Academic Personnel Procedures Handbook in the Office of Academic Affairs.
These suggestions were developed by the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages and endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of English in 2012.
The job search is a lengthy and costly endeavor for institutions as well as for candidates. From the application to the letter of appointment, a job search will entail multiple screening steps, whether the position is tenure track or for a limited term. E-mail exchanges, telephone interviews, videoconferencing, face-to-face interviews at the MLA Annual Convention, and campus visits may be part of the selection process. The mediated interview presents a convenient, widely accessible, and inexpensive option, but technology can distort visual or acoustic cues and potentially influence the substance of communication. Inattention to the best possible use if technology can reflect poorly on both interviewers and candidates and violate principles of fair and professional interviewing (see “Advice to search Committees and Job Seekers on Entry-Level Faculty Recruitment and Hiring” and “Dos and Don’ts for MLA Convention Interviews,” prepared by the MLA’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities; and “Disability and Hiring: Guidelines for Departmental Search Committees,” published by the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession). The following guidelines represent some best practices for conducting interviews by videoconferencing or by telephone.
Before the interview:
- Research and seek access to the best available technology on your campus.While services such as Skype are free and easily accessible, higher quality and more reliable videoconferencing, including commercial applications, may be available on your campus. The choice of telephone technology is similarly important. Ordinary speakerphones and conference lines can prove inadequate because of uneven volume and feedback.
- Confirm and test the applicant’s connection. Some applicants may not have affordable access to high-quality technology. Others may be unfamiliar with videoconferencing or conference calls. Before the interviews, designate a tech support agent on your campus who will contact the candidates and advise them on technology and other logistics (e.g., location). Have the tech support person test your technological interface with the applicant to confirm its viability.
- Chose a professional location free of distraction. Videoconferencing and telephone interviews indiscriminately pick up sights and sounds. A messy office or room in a private home can be needlessly distracting. Choose a quiet, neutral, and professional location from which to conduct the interview and instruct the applicant to do the same. Is there adequate frontal lighting? Sufficient soundproofing? Convenient placement of microphones for all interviewers? Are there sights and sounds that may prove distracting or appear unprofessional?
- Make a backup plan in the event of a technology failure. With your tech support person, establish a backup plan in the event of technology failure, such as resorting to a conference call if a connection fails. Clarify who is going to do what in the event of problems and who will be responsible for reestablishing connections.
- Brief the applicants. Let the applicant know in writing how the interview will be structured, the names and titles of the faculty participants, and how each member of the interview team will participate in the conversation; such orientation is particularly helpful for telephone interviews. Instruct applicants on what you wish them to do in the event of a technological problem.
- Establish clear interview criteria. Develop criteria and summarize what you seek to ascertain. Committee members may, for example, stipulate as an outcome that they will assess the foreign language speaking abilities of the applicant or that they will understand the applicant’s abilities to articulate the impact of their dissertation within the discipline. A clear agenda is especially urgent if some interviews will be conducted in person and others by phone or video, since the pace will differ. Follow the same protocol for each interview. Every attempt should be made to assess candidates on a similar basis, whether interviewed in person, by video, or by phone.
- Stay informed of institutional policy and of federal, state, and local laws regarding accessibility. Search committees have a responsibility to comply with regulations and to become informed of possible barriers resulting from the use of videoconferencing or the telephone, as well as technological innovations or other accommodations that may permit persons with disabilities to carry out professional interviews effectively. Search committees should be familiar with the statement on disability and hiring published by the MLA and aware of information about disability law found on the American Association of University Professors Website (www.aaup.org/). The campus human resources office is also a crucial source of information about accessibility issues.
During the interview:
- Orient the interviewee. Bear in mind that the applicant lacks physical cues for places the interview space. Tell the applicant where the interview team is located (e.g., in a faculty member’s office, in the department conference room, in a media studio on campus). Introduce all members of the interview committee. Reiterate what to do in the event of a dropped connection. For telephone interviews, keep using names to preface questions or remarks (“This is Professor Smith again.”).
- Be mindful of how technology shapes impressions.On the phone, empty space is very empty. In video and telephone connections, delays and distortion can make candidates appear awkward or less articulate. Candidates, in turn, might unknowingly misapprehend a committee members remarks. If there is any doubt as to what has been said or understood, take the time to double-check the meaning and invite the applicant to do so as well. Behave professionally at all times, even in the event of a technological glitch; a break in the video signal does not necessarily mean that the audio is not working.
- Stick to your plan.If conditions require that different candidates present themselves through different media (e.g., videoconferencing, telephone, or in person), conduct the interviews as similarly as possible to ensure that each applicant receives equal consideration. Use the same amount of time for each interview and conduct them as close together as possible. There can be a bias toward candidates interviewed in person or against those whose interviews are marred by technological mishaps. Follow the same protocol and measure the applicants against the same assessment criteria, no matter how smooth or disruptive the technology.
Office of the Provost
- It is important to remember that the goal of the process is recruitment. We are interested in attracting the best candidates to our campus. Consequently, Departments should not “air dirty laundry,” nor should campus visit be treated as an extended dissertation “grilling.” Candidates should be treated professionally at all times. Candidates should feel, at the end of the visit that the Department of XXXXX at UNC Charlotte would be the best place for them to do the work they want to do.
- Prior to the visit, the candidate should have received an itinerary or a draft itinerary of the visit. The finalized itinerary should be given to the candidate immediately on his/her arrival.
- The candidate should be met at the airport and escorted to the hotel. After that the candidate should be escorted from one meeting to the next. AT NO TIME SHOULD THE CANDIDATE BE EXPECTED TO FIND HER/HIS WAY FROM ONE MEETING TO ANOTHER. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF THE CANDIDATE NEEDS TO WALK FROM ONE BUILDING TO ANOTHER.
- Departments should be sure that the candidates meet all relevant university personnel, both within the Department and outside. This is especially important for faculty members who do interdisciplinary work. It is also important if the candidate is a “unique” person within the Department (if hired, will the candidate be the only woman in the Department, the only person of color, etc.).
- At minimum, the candidate should be scheduled to meet with the following people:
- Search committee
- Dean (at least one week prior to the visit, the Department should send to the Dean’s Office the job ad, the candidate’s application letter, the candidate’s cv, and the letters of recommendation)
- The Provost, if the candidate is an applicant for a Chair position, for a distinguished professorship or chair, or for any other position that will include tenure. (Please send the same materials to the Provost as has been sent to the Dean.)
- The Chancellor (for special hires; the Dean should be consulted upon the advisability of this meeting; please send the same materials to the Chancellor as has been sent to the Dean.)
- Undergraduate and graduate students, as appropriate
- Appropriate faculty in the field, both in the Department and in other Departments. At times, this means going outside the college. Best practices discourage one-on-one interviews; so if possible, Departments should strive to schedule groups of two or more in individual time slots.
- If the candidate has applied for an assistant professor position, the candidate should have the opportunity to talk with other assistant professors.
- Other experiences that might be included in the visit (often these meetings occur on a second visit):
- Campus tour
- Tour of the city
- Meeting with a realtor
- Visits to local schools
- Candidates should not be asked to pay for meals during the campus visit. Sometimes reimbursement for meals is qualified by the Travel Office, and resolving this kind of issue can be complicated. In any case, professional courtesy is better shown by covering the candidate’s expenses during his/her visit. (Travel and hotel receipts are ok for the candidate to submit.)
- The candidate should give at least one public presentation for the Department and interested non-Departmental faculty.
Protocol for Campus Visits for Candidates for Faculty Positions – Revised August 2010 View
4.2 Faculty Appointment Process
Office of the Provost
Appointments to the faculty are made in accordance with the provisions of the Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, (the Tenure Document) as published in June 1992 and Chapter VI of The Code of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, as published in August 1988.
Appointments of Faculty at the Rank of Teaching Professor
Appointments of Faculty at the Rank of Assistant Professor
Departments establish the criteria by which assistant professors are identified and appointed.
Appointments of Faculty at Senior Ranks
Appointments at ranks higher than that of assistant professor are guided by special governance processes.
For the vast majority of initial faculty appointments, tenure-status and rank are predefined in a position authorization and in a subsequent position announcement. On a few occasions, however, this may not be the case (e.g., Target of Opportunity appointments, department chair appointments, distinguished professorships, open-rank announcements, etc.) In these instances, tenure-status and rank are determined at the point of an offer of employment, and they are ultimately decided by the Provost in consultation with the Dean. To ensure adequate faculty consultation in these cases, faculty recommendations regarding tenure and rank specifically will be sought in the following way:
- The Department Review Committee representing the department or departments (in the case of joint or shared hires) involved in the hire will participate in on-campus interviews of potential candidates. In addition, the Department Chair will make available to the chair of the DRC copies of the professional cv and any available letters of reference for these candidates. The Department or DRC Chair should also provide the CV to at rank unit faculty from the hiring departments. The chair of the DRC will consult with other members of the DRC and provide the department chair and the search committee with a written recommendation regarding the tenure and rank of that particular candidate if he or she is subsequently offered the position; this letter should accurately reflect the committee’s discussion. This recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean. The Department Chair’s recommendation regarding the appointment will also be forwarded to the Dean. The Department Chair and chair of the DRC are encouraged to discuss any issues that may be relevant to the appointment and the committee’s recommendations. It is assumed that the search committee will also provide a recommendation regarding rank and tenure to the Chair and the DRC. It is appropriate for department chairs, or the DRC Chair in cases involving hiring a department chair, to establish consultation deadlines in order for offers to be extended in a timely manner
- The criteria for these faculty reviews will include the College’s criteria for tenure and promotion and any other criteria considered to be relevant to the appointment.
- The DRC’s recommendation is advisory to the Department Chair and Dean, and it will be discussed and considered independently by both the Department Chair and Dean prior to the Dean’s forwarding an appointment recommendation to the Provost
- If the Dean disagrees with either the DRC’s or the Chair’s recommendations, the Dean will consult with the CRC in formulating his/her decision.
- As the university embraces an expanded mission and looks for a range of expertise, both academic and non-academic, in its faculty, there may be occasions when candidates from non-traditional backgrounds are being considered for appointment. Normally, when such a candidate is put forward by the search committee as a finalist, because that candidate does not have the experience of a faculty member as expected by the CLAS RPT criteria, a senior rank may be appropriate but the awarding of tenure may not be. Whether it is or is not will depend on the extent to which the candidate’s experience and expertise has a relevant similarity to what would be expected at a given academic level. In such a case, it may be more appropriate to offer the candidate a multi-year contract and/or a non-tenured faculty position (e.g., Professor of Practice). If the DRC and/or the Chair recommends a tenured appointment, the recommending letter(s) must make the case. Departments, Chairs, and search committees are strongly encouraged to write ads that allow for such a range of appointments, so that candidates understand how an offer might be crafted. (See “Report for the Work Group Considering Criteria for Senior Appointments with Tenure of Candidates with Non-Traditional Backgrounds,” March 2009).
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Recommendations on tenure and rank for senior appointments – Revised February 2015 View