[Major revision–posted 6/23/20 (replaces 8/28/14 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.16: Faculty Recruitment Procedure
DATE: June 23, 2020
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to standardize and enable enforcement of faculty recruitment processes.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in August of even-numbered years by the Senior Vice Provost or Provost designee and the Managing Director of the Office of the Equal Opportunity (EO) with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP) and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (VPDEI).
a. Policy Statement
Texas Tech University (TTU or Texas Tech) is committed to teaching and the advancement of knowledge. It is the mission of Texas Tech to provide the highest standards of excellence in higher education, to foster intellectual and personal development, and stimulate meaningful research and service to humankind. To realize these goals, it is the policy of TTU to identify, recruit, and select highly qualified and diverse faculty.
The objective of this policy is to standardize and enable enforcement of faculty recruitment processes in order to employ an outstanding and diverse workforce. To accomplish this objective, TTU shall conduct thorough searches that include the active recruitment of qualified women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
c. Legal Basis
The task of building a truly diverse community requires a comprehensive affirmative action program (AAP), as do federal mandates. TTU has developed an AAP that meets the requirements of Executive Order 11246 and Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) Title 41 C.F.R. § 60. As a federal contractor and recipient of federal funds, TTU is subject to the requirements for federal contractors under Executive Order 11246 and OFCCP implementing regulations.
This policy applies to open positions for full professor, associate professor, assistant professor, professor of practice, associate professor of practice, assistant professor of practice, research professor, associate research professor, assistant research professor, visiting professor, visiting associate professor, visiting assistant professor, archivist, associate archivist, assistant archivist, librarian, associate librarian, and assistant librarian at Texas Tech University. Although the specific procedures set out below are not required for other faculty titles such as instructors or lecturers, these positions must nonetheless be posted, at a minimum, on the TTU website and open to multiple applicants. This policy applies to spousal/partner hires only as provided by Section 4.
The term "diversity" includes the traditional categories of race, gender, persons with disabilities, and other non-traditional categories. In the latter, the department may interpret diversity to mean hiring individuals with different degrees, college affiliations, or education both from within and outside academia.
(2) Underrepresented Minority
Underrepresented minority (URM) means those groups that are insufficiently or inadequately represented at TTU relative to their numbers in the population of qualified candidates.
(3) Equal Employment Opportunity
In compliance with state and federal law and OP 40.01, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy, and OP 40.04, Access for Individuals with Disabilities, TTU will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or covered veterans' status.
(4) Affirmative Action
As a federal contractor, Texas Tech University is mandated to eliminate discrimination in its selection and hiring practices. Therefore, TTU, through its comprehensive AAP, has standardized and enforced its steadfast commitment to faculty recruitment and hiring processes that ensure the richness and diversity that characterize the demography of our state. However, TTU will not accomplish this goal by using "quotas" or adopting any process or practice that contradicts or violates the spirit of its EEO policies. As an EEO/Affirmative Action institution, TTU, instead, will meet its goals by using all reasonable efforts to increase the number of qualified URM or otherwise diverse applicants in its hiring pools. From that process, TTU will select the most qualified applicant for the academic position without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran, or other protected status.
a. Before the Search
(1) At the beginning of a dean-authorized faculty search, the department's chair or his/her designee will appoint a Search Committee Chairperson.
(2) The Search Committee Chairperson shall then submit a position description and job announcement to the Texas Tech Careers website for review and approval by the Office of the VPDEI or VPDEI designee. The VPDEI or VPDEI designee will respond to these submissions within two (2) working days in order to facilitate the short timelines necessary for the hiring process.
In order for a job announcement to be approved by the VPDEI or VPDEI designee, language regarding obligations to (a) seek outside research funding and (b) provide service to the department, TTU, and the community must be included. For open faculty positions in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the following research funding language is acceptable: "Pursuit of external grants in support of research or creative activity, when appropriate and available in the faculty member's field, is encouraged." Further, the proposed announcement must contain a statement that TTU is an EEO and Affirmative Action employer. The following EEO/AA language is required:
As an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, Texas Tech University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. We actively encourage applications from all those who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community at Texas Tech University. The university welcomes applications from minorities, women, protected veterans, persons with disabilities, and dual-career couples.
In accordance with the university's strategic priority to "educate and empower a diverse student body, either or both of the following phrases are recommended to be included in a job announcement: under "Qualifications," "A demonstrated and ongoing commitment to serving diverse populations," or, under "Preferences," "Experience working with diverse student populations and first-generation students is highly desirable."
(3) With approval of the VPDEI or VPDEI designee, approved job announcements may include more than one open faculty position; however, only identical faculty positions may share the same identification number. Different open faculty positions within the same job announcement must each have a unique identification number.
(4) Except as authorized in writing by the VPDEI, a job announcement must be posted electronically to the Texas Tech Careers website and another national outlet (e.g., website, magazine, newspaper) for a period of at least four (4) weeks before a Faculty Search can be submitted for certification under OP 32.16 Section 2.c.(1).
(5) The Search Committee should be comprised of at least three faculty members, at least one of whom should be female and at least one of whom should be an underrepresented minority as defined by Section 1.e.(2) of this policy. Should the suggested personnel not be available, a Committee may choose to invite faculty from other related departments/colleges to participate on the Committee.
(6) If the Search Committee Chairperson has not attended a briefing in the prior 18 months, the Search Committee Chairperson shall contact the Office of the VPDEI for a Search Committee Chair briefing on affirmative action and EEO procedures.
(7) The Search Committee Chairperson shall complete and maintain a copy of the Faculty Recruitment Procedure Checklist (Attachment A) for every open position. Departments should keep position checklists accessible for at least three years after each completed search to support institutional or external reviews.
(8) The Search Committee Chairperson will prepare a screening matrix that compares each candidate's qualifications with those stated in the position description (see example at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual/OP32.16_TTUStaffMatrix.pdf). Attachment B is a sample selection matrix. Each stipulated qualification for the position should appear on the matrix, and scores for each qualification may be weighted if the Search Committee determines that weighting is appropriate.
b. Use of External Search Firm
(1) With prior written approval from the PSVP, an external third-party professional search firm may be used to supplement the search procedure outlined in Subsection a. above.
(2) If an external third-party professional search firm is used, a representative of the firm must attend a Faculty Search Committee Chair briefing required by section 2.a.(6). Additionally, the firm must collect and report the demographic data on all candidates who have applied for the open faculty position.
c. During the Search
(1) Before the Faculty Search Committee invites any candidates to campus for interviews, the search process must be certified. Administrative certification is a review of search efforts to recruit qualified URM and other diverse applicants to apply for the open position.
In order to certify the search, the Faculty Search Committee Chairperson must first upload a copy of the Committee matrix—including the first and last names of each candidate and a designation of which candidate(s) the Committee would like to bring to campus for interviews—to the online Texas Tech Careers website. The Faculty Search Committee Chairperson must also fully complete the online Faculty Addendum Form, including (a) the length of time the faculty job was advertised in each publication or website and (b) a comprehensive list of resources targeted at diverse candidate population used to advertise the open faculty position. The VPDEI and the EO Office will then review the search effort and the applicant pool. Certification must be completed within five (5) working days of the receipt of the Search Committee's request to interview selected candidates.
The search will not be certified unless the committee demonstrates that it has exhausted all reasonable efforts to diversify its applicant pool before any candidate is invited to campus for interviews.
(2) After the search has been certified, the Committee will continue to monitor materials posted online and carefully review its search procedures to ensure that applicants from all groups have been fairly considered during the application process.
(3) During the selection period, the Committee will schedule interviews between finalists for full professor positions and a representative of the PSVP (usually the Senior Vice Provost).
d. After the Search
(1) After the search, the department chair or dean of the college will send an unofficial offer letter and proposed startup packet, if applicable, to the PSVP and to the Office of the Vice President for Research for approval. Once the draft offer is approved, the department chair or dean will send the detailed but unofficial offer to the chosen candidate.
(2) When the dean or department chairperson receives the signed unofficial college offer letter, the department chairperson, appointee, or area coordinator will be responsible for obtaining official transcripts for all degrees earned, current vitae, and an approved background check. The department will submit all documents to the college dean's office to request an official offer letter from the PSVP.
(3) The dean or dean's appointee will submit a Request for Official Offer Letter (Attachment D) to the PSVP, together with all requested documents.
(4) When the dean and department chairperson receive a signed official offer letter from the PSVP, the department chairperson's designee will submit an electronic Personnel Action Form (ePAF) and ensure that approval routing includes the department chair, dean, and the PSVP.
(5) The Search Committee's completed Faculty Recruitment Procedure Checklist (Attachment A) should be submitted to the PSVP.
(6) By the time of appointment, Human Resources must have received an electronic copy of the appointee's official transcripts, curriculum vitae, approved background check, and proof of authorization to work in the United States, along with the ePAF. Original official transcripts for all tenure-track and tenured faculty must be filed with the PSVP.
(7) Departments must retain all records of faculty recruitment activities for three years from the time of appointment. These recruitment records will include the position requirements, applicants' qualifications, voting results, if any, and reasons for the ranking or rejection of potential candidates.
(8) Attachment C should be completed and forwarded to the Equal Opportunity Office if a candidate rejects an offer of employment and the reason(s) for that decision is known.
3. Exception to the Search Process for Strategic Hires
On limited occasions, with the authorization of the PSVP and dean of the college involved, an opportunity may arise to hire an extraordinarily talented faculty member (typically one who is a nationally recognized scholar in his or her field), therefore presenting a need to truncate the search process. The opportunity may be evident during a routine faculty search, through professional channels, or from the individual expressing an interest. In such cases, the department wishing to hire the faculty member must request an exception to established search procedures to move forward with the hire. The request will need to be substantiated by providing convincing evidence of the candidate's qualifications and accomplishments and how the candidate's hire will advance a strategic interest or goal of the university. The written request for a truncated search and supporting documentation are to be routed to the dean, the PSVP, and ultimately, to the President for approval.
4. Exception to the Search Process for Spousal/Partner Hires
On limited occasions, with the authorization of the PSVP and the chief administrators or deans of the departments or colleges involved, an opportunity may arise to hire an extraordinarily talented faculty or staff member whose spouse or partner is also a qualified faculty or staff candidate. In such situations, no competitive search will be required if an individual's letter of offer, employment, or retention agreement includes a requirement that, as a condition of the individual's acceptance, TTU will hire their spouse or partner, so long as either the President or the PSVP approves such condition prior to the extension of the letter of offer, employment, or retention agreement. See OP 70.03, Staff Recruitment, for staff recruitment policies and procedures.
If a position is not available to the spouse/partner concurrent with the appointment of the primary faculty or staff candidate, either because the spouse/partner is not yet qualified for the position (i.e., pursuing the required degree) or no such position is open, a dual-hire accommodation may be arranged (and included in the offer letter) in anticipation that an opportunity for the spouse/partner will arise within a specified timeframe after the primary candidate is appointed.
If a dual-hire accommodation was not negotiated as a condition of hiring the primary faculty or staff candidate, post-hire consideration of accommodating spouse or partner employment may occur on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, non-faculty appointments (e.g., post-doctoral research appointments or high-level staff positions) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, consistent with OP 70.03, Staff Recruitment.
Documentation for a non-competitive hire of a spouse or partner must include a standard request for consideration of a spousal accommodation (available from the Office of the Provost) and must contain a copy of the spouse's or domestic partner's letter of offer, employment, or retention agreement specifying that, as a condition of the individual's acceptance, TTU will hire their spouse/partner. Funding for approved spousal accommodations is provided from central administration resources for a period of up to two years, with college/unit funding required to continue employment thereafter.
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