4.2 Hiring Processes for Teaching and Tenure-Line Faculty


Section 4.2, Faculty Handbook – Definitions
Section 4.3, Faculty Handbook – Graduate Faculty Status
Section 4.4, Faculty Handbook – Minimum Qualifications for Faculty Ranks
Section 4.5, Faculty Handbook – Faculty Selection Process


Search Request

To seek and receive approval for a new hire, the following procedure should be followed:

  1. Development of the budget request: As part of the annual budget process, during the Spring semester, the Provost shall consult with the Deans to construct a hiring budget request for the upcoming year. The Provost and Deans, based on input received from academic and administrative Department Heads and Program Directors, will develop this plan. For new hire requests Department Heads should provide, as requested by their Deans 1) an overall rationale/need for the position, 2) fit of the request into the academic/strategic plan for the unit, 3) fit of the request into the strategic plan for the institution, 4) estimated starting salary, 5) estimated startup needs, and 6) estimated space requirements. In late spring and summer, at the conclusion of the budget process, the Provost will work with the Deans to augment or amend the hiring plan as required by approved budget or recently developing staffing needs.
  2. Hiring approvals and starting the search process internally: The Deans will inform their academic Department Heads and Program Directors with an approved hiring list for the academic year by August.  At this point, the Department or Program may formally start the search process. To start the search process, the Department Head or Program Director should:
    1. Following consultation with departmental or program faculty, the Department Head or Program Director shall appoint and charge a search committee and chairperson. The committee composition should reflect institutional values of diversity and inclusion. The search committee shall not include the Department Head or Program Director. The search committee shall be comprised of at least five faculty members, more than half of whom are from the hiring department. In the case of interdisciplinary hires, the search committee should have an academic faculty member from each home department participating in the program and may not include Department Heads from any of these departments. At least one committee member must be from outside the department.
    2. For hires of library faculty, following consultation with appropriate constituency groups, the University Librarian shall appoint a faculty search committee, including a committee chairperson. The search committee shall be comprised of not less than five faculty members, more than half of whom are library faculty. At least one committee member must be from outside the library.
    3. In consultation with departmental or program faculty, and the Department Head or Program Director, the search committee shall prepare the advertisement and search selection criteria. Prior to placing any job announcements, the advertisement and selection criteria must be reviewed by Human Resources for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action compliance. The vacancy shall then be advertised in appropriate publications or venues. 
    4. Submit a requisition to hire. Complete the search package (i.e., outreach strategy, position advertisement, and selection criteria). The search chair works with Human Resources to create an outreach strategy, position advertisement and selection criteria. The Dean will approve and forward the package either to HR for search initiative, or in some cases to the Provost for additional review and approval.

Search Process

Once final approval has been received, the search may proceed as follows:

  1. Advertising: As soon as possible after HR and Dean approval of the advertisement and selection criteria, HR will place the advertisement in the venues recommended by the search committee and approved by the Department Head or Program Director. The search committee and associated faculty are encouraged to proactively reach out to appropriate colleagues at other institutions to expand the pool of candidates who apply for the position. The outreach plan must include efforts to attract a thriving and diverse employee community. 
  2. Training: After the Office of Human Resources approves the selection criteria and places the advertisement, the Committee must be formally trained. The Office of Human Resources will inform the Committee of upcoming opportunities for meeting the formal training requirement.
  3. Selection of finalists: The faculty search committee performs the applicant screening process and identifies qualified candidates. Once an initial list is generated, the search committee should arrange to conduct screening interviews with all of the candidates on this initial list. Based on the candidates’ performances on these initial interviews, the search committee will determine the list of candidates that they would like to bring to campus; they will then work with the Department Head or Program Director to develop a recommendation as to which candidates, if any, should be invited to campus for interviews as finalists. Normally, the search committee will identify a minimum of three finalists. If fewer than three finalists are identified, the faculty of the hiring department or program, along with the Dean, should be consulted as to whether the search should proceed.
  4. Recommendation: Once the committee has narrowed the search to their finalists, the committee must formalize its recommendation in memo format to the Department Head or Program Director (or directly to the Dean if the committee reports directly to a Dean). This memo should include a summary, based on the selection criteria, to justify the choices of the most promising candidates. The Department Head or Program Director will discuss the recommendation with the Dean and, if both agree on the recommendation, both will sign off on the Committee recommendation memo and return it to the search committee chairperson. If either disagree with the recommendation, they will provide appropriate input to the search committee chairperson that determines the path forward. The Search Committee Chair shares the approved memo and submits a copy to HR and Academic Affairs.  
  5. References: Once the finalists are determined, the Office of Human Resources, in coordination with Search Committee Chair, shall contact their references for recommendation letters (3 letters per candidate) prior to inviting them to campus for on-site interviews. In cases where the committee would like to expedite the process of bringing candidates to campus, the search committee chair will organize telephone or Zoom conversations with the references where at least 2 search committee members are present. The questions asked of the various references should be similar for reasons of equity. 

Interview Guidelines

Interviews of faculty candidates, whether tenured, tenure-track or teaching-track, should conform to the following guidelines:

  1. The finalist(s) shall be interviewed by the search committee and members of the department/program, other departmental/program faculty if appropriate, and the administration. Following interview(s), the search committee and Department Head/Program Director shall work with the faculty of the department(s)/program(s) to develop the hiring recommendation as defined below. Minimum guidelines for administrative interviews are listed below.
  2. During the interview process, the Search Committee Chair should ask the candidate: “who may we not contact regarding your candidacy for a position here at the Colorado School of Mines?” This allows a candidate to set boundaries on reference checks regarding their professional track record.
  3. The final candidate is invited for a second interview with the Provost and President as they manage the overall hiring portfolio.  

For All Teaching and Tenure-Line Interviewing Candidates

Interviewer Dean DH Chaired Position Tenured Faculty All Ranks Tenure-Track & Teaching Faculty
President & Provost (together) 30 minutes 30 minutes
Provost (only) 30 minutes
Vice Provost 30 minutes 30 minutes
EVP & COO 30 minutes
VP for Research & Tech Transfer (VPRTT) 30 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes
Portfolio Dean 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes

Deans may choose to interview the candidate for a longer time period or to be present in multiple interview venues.  

The Provost may delegate their interview to another individual.

Any of the above listed members of the senior administration may choose to have additional meeting(s) with the candidate. 

For the FINAL Candidate

Interviewer Dean DH Chaired Position Tenured Faculty All Ranks Tenure-Track & Teaching Faculty
President & Provost (together) Above Above 30 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes
EVP & COO Above 30 minutes
Vice Provost Above Above 30 minutes
Portfolio Dean Above Above Above 30 Minutes 30 Minutes

Decision and Hiring Processes:

  1. The faculty of the Department(s)/Program(s) shall be involved throughout the hiring process for the Department(s)/Program(s). In developing their recommendations, the Search Committee and Department Head/Program Director must seek faculty input and are encouraged to use an evaluation form. The form should include solicitation of information concerning how actively each faculty member participated in the interview process and how participation should be considered in the deliberations and voting. All tenure-line and teaching faculty in the department/program, including the Department Head/Program Director, faculty on sabbatical, and those faculty members serving on the faculty search committee, are eligible to provide input based on their interaction with the candidate. Regardless of specific approach, faculty outside of the search committee and the Department Head/Program Director will be canvassed concerning the hiring recommendation. In the case of interdepartmental hires, the faculty of each department should develop hiring recommendation(s) in this manner.
  2. The Department Head/Program Director shall call a meeting to discuss the faculty candidates that were interviewed. At this meeting, the Search Committee Chairperson shall present the results of the faculty input, the recommendation of the Search Committee based on the faculty input and any other information they wish to include for discussion. The Department Head/Program Director shall then attempt to get to a consensus about which candidates are suitable and which are not as well as to prioritize the ones that are suitable for receiving offers. If a consensus cannot be reached, the Department Head/Program Director shall conduct a secret ballot requesting this information (suitability and ranking of candidates). For the latter, the Department Head/Program Director shall provide the results to the faculty for their information. The Department Head/Program Director, or Department Heads in the case of joint appointments, shall fully and accurately convey the hiring recommendation of the faculty, the recommendation of the search committee, and the Department Head’s views to the Dean or Provost, as applicable. The Department Head/Program Director shall also submit all required materials and forms. If an offer of tenure is being considered for a new faculty member, the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee, or Committees in the case of joint appointments, shall be involved as set forth in section 8.1.7 B of the Faculty Handbook.
  3. The Dean or Provost, as applicable, shall make the final hiring decision after consultation with the Office of Human Resources to assure the search has met EEO and Affirmative Action requirements.  If this decision differs from that of the hiring department(s), the Dean or Provost shall discuss this matter with the faculty of the hiring department(s) before extending a formal offer. 
  4. If the search is for an opportunity hire, the process above may be modified by the Dean or Provost, as applicable, in consultation with the hiring department, or departments in the case of joint appointments, except that no modification to the process may be made with respect to the EEO and Affirmative Action reviews conducted by Human Resources. However, the hiring department, or departments in case of joint appointments, shall develop the recommendation of the faculty of the department(s) using the evaluation process described above.
  5. The Dean, Provost and President must provide approval on the hiring action before any offer, verbal or written, is made.  As a part of the approval, the Provost and/or Dean will provide, in writing, an approval for salary.  At the discretion of the Dean, the Dean or Department Head will contact the candidate and start the hiring conversation that will proceed by setting an acceptable academic salary and then determining the startup needs for the candidate.  Academic Affairs will provide a worksheet to help determine startup packages for the candidates to be used by the negotiator to help determine the startup needs for the candidate.  The Dean and Department Head will work together to set an appropriate startup package for the candidate.  Once the hiring package is set, the negotiator will convey this to the candidate.
  6. Moving allowance – AA typically provides $5k for new teaching and tenure-line hires. Supplements to this allowance by departments are considered and require Dean approval.   
  7. Once a verbal agreement is made, the Department Head or Dean should request from Academic Affairs, an offer letter and contract, which will include offers for salary, startup funding, and moving costs.  In the case of candidates that need to be immediately considered for tenure, this offer letter should request what materials, if any beyond the application package, are required for consideration of the tenure decision.  Formal letters of offer should include all commitments made to the candidate (e.g., those from AA, the Department, VPRTT, etc.). In order to move forward with an offer that is tied to tenure, the candidate must sign a contractual agreement that accepts our offer if we do in fact award tenure.  The Department Head or Dean may elect to include an additional letter to be sent with the formal offer letter from Academic Affairs that provides information about departmental resources applied to the startup needs for the individual such as, office space, teaching relief, etc. Any space allocation commitments must be formally made by the appropriate Dean. 
  8. If the candidate accepts the offer, they will sign the contract.  Copies will be provided to the Department and the Office of Human Resources.
  9. Once an offer has been accepted, the Department and Search Chair will be notified. The new hire will receive onboarding information and instructions via email.

Last Revision:

July 6, 2023