[Major revision–posted 8/28/14 (replaces 12/3/10 edition)]
[8/10/15–Changed reference from OP 10.12 to OP 40.04 (no additional change to 8/28/14 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.16: Faculty Recruitment Procedure
DATE: August 28, 2014
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure 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 Employment Opportunity (EEO) with recommended revisions presented to the provost and senior vice president (PSVP).
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, research professor, archivist, and librarian at Texas Tech University. Although the specific procedures set out below are not required for other faculty titles such as instructors, lecturers, or visiting professors, these positions must nonetheless be posted, at a minimum, on the TTU website and open to multiple applicants. This policy applies to spousal/domestic 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 and OP40.04, 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 PSVP or provost designee. The PSVP or provost designee will respond to these submissions within two (2) working days in order to facilitate the short timelines necessary for the hiring process.
In addition to language regarding obligations to seek outside research funding and provide service to the department, TTU, and the community, the proposed announcement must contain a statement that TTU is an EEO and Affirmative Action employer. The following EEO/AA language is suggested:
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.
(3) 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.
(4) 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 PSVP for a briefing or update on affirmative action and EEO procedures.
(5) 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.
(6) The search committee chairperson will prepare a screening matrix, which compares
each candidate's qualifications with those stated in the position description (see
example at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/empManager/talentAcq.php)
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. 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 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 vice president for institutional diversity, equity, and community engagement and the EEO Office will 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 applicants.
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 Office of the PSVP (usually the senior vice provost).
c. After the Search
(1) After the search, the dean of the college will send an 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 Office of the PSVP.
(3) The dean or dean's appointee will submit a Request for Official Offer Letter (Attachment E) to the Office of the PSVP, together with all requested documents.
(4) When the dean and department chairperson receives a signed official offer letter from the Office of 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 Office of the PSVP.
(5) The search committee's completed Faculty Recruitment Procedure Checklist (Attachment A) should be submitted to the Office of the PSVP.
(6) By the time of appointment, Human Resource Services 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 in the Office of 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 D should be completed and forwarded to the PSVP or provost designee 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/Domestic Partner Hires
On limited occasions, with the authorization of the PSVP and the deans of the colleges involved, an opportunity may arise to hire an extraordinarily talented faculty member whose spouse/domestic partner is also a qualified faculty 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 his/her 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.
Documentation for a non-competitive hire of a spouse or partner must contain a copy of the spouse's or partner's letter of offer, employment or retention agreement specifying that, as a condition of the individual's acceptance, TTU will hire his/her spouse/partner.
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