4.2 Hiring Process for Academic Faculty

Governing Policies

Section 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5, Faculty Handbook – Minimum Qualifications


Search Request:

To seek and receive approval for a new hire, faculty or otherwise, the following procedure should be adhered to:

  1. 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) estimates space requirements.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 who are from the hiring department. In the case of interdisciplinary hires, the search committee must 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 of the department.
    2. For hires of library faculty, following consultation with appropriate constituency groups, the Library Director 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 who are library faculty. At least one committee member must be from outside of 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 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) and forward to the Dean for review and approval. 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. 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 Committee and approved by the Department Head and Dean.   
  2. 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. The 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.  Special attention should be paid to producing as much ethnic and gender diversity as possible in the search pool. 
  4. The following process shall govern the selection of finalists. The faculty search committee shall perform the applicant screening process and identify qualified candidates. Once an initial list is generated, the search committee should arrange to conduct phone interviews with all of the candidates on this initial list. Based on the candidates’ performances on the phone 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/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 should be consulted as to whether the search should proceed.
  5. Once the committee has narrowed the search to their finalists, the committee must formalize its recommendation in memo format to the Department Head/Program Director (or directly to the Dean if the committee reports directly to a Dean). This memo should include a summary of the scores, based on the selection criteria, to justify the choices of the most promising candidates. The Department Head/Program Director (if appropriate) will discuss the recommendation with the Dean and, if both agree on the recommendation, both the Department Head/Program Director and the Dean will sign off on the Committee recommendation memo and return it to the search committee chairperson. If the Department Head/Program Director and/or the Dean disagree with the recommendation, they will provide appropriate input to the search committee chairperson that determines the path forward.
  6. The Search Committee Chair shares the approved memo and submits a copy to HR and Academic Affairs.  
  7. Once the finalists are determined, the Search Committee Chair shall reach out to 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 conversations with the references where at least 2 search committee members are present. The questions asked of the various references should be similar. 

Interview Guidelines:

Faculty candidate, both TTT and Teaching, interviews 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 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
Dean 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes

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

At their election, the Provost may delegate the interview to another individual.

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

*Typically, a candidate will only interview with the above listed executive if they are available.

For All FINAL Candidates

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

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 in the decision 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 faculty hires. Supplements to this 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, he/she 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:

 October 8, 2020