EOO/Affirmative Action Guidelines for Faculty or Administrative Search/Screen Committees

PURPOSE:

  • To affirm the commitment of the University of Georgia (UGA) to the principles of equal opportunity and diversity in its efforts to select the best qualified candidates in all its hiring and promotion decisions.
  • To ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity laws and affirmative action guidelines.

SEARCH REQUIRED:

The general rule is that all faculty and administrative appointments require a search.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE SEARCH REQUIREMENT:

  • Temporary appointments:
    • Employment over 75%
    • Appointment for one-year terms
    • Maximum of four one-year terms
    • Fourth one-year appointment requires Provost approval
  • Part-time appointments:
    • Employment 75% or less
    • No limitations on part-time appointments
  • Accompanying spouse:
    • Subject to criteria set by the Provost
  • Acting or Interim appointments
  • Appointees who have been awarded grants in their names
  • Add-on administrative duties
  • Target of Opportunity or Uniquely Qualified

GOALS:

  • To attract a diverse array of highly-qualified candidates
  • To provide all candidates with an equal opportunity to apply and compete for faculty and administrative positions
  • To ensure the search process is conducted without any prohibited consideration of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or veteran status
  • To avoid even the appearance of any prohibited bias or other impropriety in carrying out the charge
  • To identify areas of underrepresentation of women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and minorities
  • To select the candidate that is best qualified for the position considered

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • To understand and carry out the charge
  • To have relevant knowledge about the responsibilities and requirements of the position for which the search is being undertaken
  • To ensure the position announcement accurately describes the duties of the position and the qualifications required or desired
  • To advertise and publicize the availability of each position to as broad a cross-section of members of affected disciplines or professions as possible
  • To aggressively seek and encourage qualified persons to consider and apply for available positions with appropriate emphasis on women and minority candidates in underrepresented positions
  • To narrow the field of candidates to a manageable number of top candidates for final consideration, interview and presentation to constituents, as applicable
  • To contact candidates’ references consistent with candidates’ wishes and confidentiality

CHARGE:

The charge is a very important step in the search process and should be carefully drafted to ensure that all members of the search committee understand the process and the goal of the undertaking.  At a minimum, the charge should include the following:

  • Announce the expectations of the hiring authority
  • Define specific responsibilities delegated to the committee
  • Develop a recruitment plan to ensure the candidate pool includes women and minority candidates, particularly where underrepresentation exists
  • Create an open and respectful environment among committee members and with candidates interviewed
  • Evaluate candidates fairly on the criteria advertised in the position announcement
  • Admonish all committee members to refrain from any conduct whether in committee meetings or otherwise that could constitute, or give the appearance of, inappropriate bias that could improperly influence the committee’s perception and evaluation of the candidates
  • Maintain confidentiality about search committee proceedings and candidate information;
  • Articulate leadership’s commitment to diversity

COMPOSITION:

  • Committee membership should reflect the desired diversity of the UGA community
  • Persons outside of the hiring unit should be recruited if diversity is not reflected within the hiring unit
  • Hiring authority should not be a member of the committee
  • Committee members should have adequate time to devote to the process

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT:

The position announcement may be provided to the committee as part of its charge or the committee may be charged to draft the position announcement for approval of the hiring authority.  The position announcement provides the committee a basis for evaluating individual candidates.

The position announcement should:

  • Identify the duties assigned to the position under consideration
  • Identify the skills required to perform duties assigned
  • Specify the qualifications required or preferred
  • Specify the education, degrees and/or training required or preferred
  • Identify any atypical conditions of employment, if any
  • Provide application instructions
  • Specify any deadlines

A copy of the final draft should be forwarded to the Equal Opportunity Office for review and concurrence prior to publication.

INCREASING THE CANDIDATE POOL:

  • Discuss early in the recruitment process the importance of attracting as large and diverse a pool of qualified candidates as possible
  • Understand that the best candidates may not come independently
  • Proactively contact potential candidates by phone, email or letters
  • Consult colleagues for additional contacts
  • Include statements in the position announcement encouraging women and minorities to apply
  • Where appropriate, recruit qualified candidates outside of academe

SCREENING CANDIDATES:

  • Develop criteria for evaluating candidates and apply them consistently to all candidates
  • Periodically evaluate your criteria and their implementation
  • Ensure that the same information is available for all candidates when it is used in screening even if additional contact with the candidate is required to gather the information
  • Unless specifically prohibited in the charge, openly discuss biases and assumptions and consciously strive to minimize their influence on evaluation of candidates
  • Be able to objectively defend every decision for rejecting or retaining a candidate
  • Review any unit and/or university strategic and staffing plans that indicate expectations for programs with underrepresentation of women and minorities
  • Ensure information gathered by committee members through informal or personal affiliations are cleared and verified by the chair before the information is shared with the full committee

INTERVIEWS:

  • Be aware of inappropriate topics that should be avoided:
    • race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, and disability
    • marital and family status – including pregnancy and child care issues
    • height or weight (unless this information is demonstrably job-related)
    • friends or relatives working for this institution (preference for friends or relatives
    • of present employees could restrict opportunities for women or minorities)
    • arrests and convictions
    • political views
    • financial data
    • organization membership or affiliations, except those professional organizations
    • and affiliations related to and/or required for the position
    • any inquiry into the candidate’s place of residence
  • Prepare an information package with information on the area, the university and the particular unit
  • Have women and minorities, in addition to those on the search committee, available to respond to questions or concerns that may be raised
  • Be reminded the interview process continues throughout the candidate’s visit, including social gatherings
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