Procedural Guidelines in the Appointment of University Administrators1

  1. Selection of Key Academic Administrators

    1. Formal search committees will be constituted with the assistance of the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee when administrative vacancies develop in any of the following positions:
      Provost
      Academic Dean of a School or College of the University2
      Chair of an Academic Department in one of the Colleges
      Dean of University Libraries
    2. Upon expectation of a vacancy in one of the above-listed positions, the President or a Vice President acting as the President’s representative, will, as soon as possible, consult with the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee to agree upon the most reasonable course to be followed in filling the vacant post. The Faculty Senate Agenda Committee will be given its charge and a time line for fulfilling it. Normally, the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee will then create an ad hoc Faculty Search Committee (the “Committee”), composed as indicated in the guidelines below (see B 1-2), to assist in the evaluation of candidates for the vacant position and fulfill the charge.
    3. The Committee will meet with the Provost or their representative3 and receive specific information as to the kind of selection process to be undertaken. Usually one of the following three alternatives applies
        1. Conduct a broad search both inside and outside the University for the best candidates available within the financial guidelines indicated by the Provost.
        2. Conduct a search for the best available internal candidate.
        3. Make a candid evaluation of the qualifications and potential of a specific candidate who is being considered, surveying opinions of other faculty members and contrasting the named candidate with any other candidates whom the Committee determines should be considered.

      In the cases of A.3.a & A.3.b, the Committee will be expected to develop a list of candidates with evaluations of each. In A.3.c, the Committee will report its evaluation of a single candidate.

    4. The Committee charged with seeking out candidates for an administrative vacancy will develop a list of potential candidates. This process assumes diligent outreach efforts and may be conducted with the help of a professional search firm. After screening all initial applicants, the most promising candidates will be interviewed separately by the Committee to develop a slate of candidates. The slate of candidates will be invited to campus for full-day (or multi-day) visits to make presentations to and meet with relevant constituents and to meet with any administrative officers directly concerned with the appointment. The campus visits will be jointly arranged by the Committee and the Provost’s office.
    5. Following the campus interviews, the Committee will develop a final report presenting to the Provost or representative a final list of recommended nominees with evaluations of each.
    6. The Provost or representative will give careful consideration to the nominees proposed by the Committee and, in the unusual situation when no nominee is suitable, may ask the Committee to consider for evaluation and recommendation additional well-qualified candidates referred to the President or Provost from other sources. After completing further negotiations with any preferred candidates relative to salary, responsibilities or other matters of common concern, the Provost or representative will meet with the Committee to discuss final action.
    7. After the Provost’s decision has been made, the Committee will issue a final report to the Senate summarizing its activities, including the nature of the search (e.g., as above in A.3), the pool of final candidates, and the outcome of the process including the Committee’s role, if any, in the final selection of the appointed candidate.
    8. The Committee will continue to function until a selection is made or until it is relieved by the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee.
    9. All searches must comply with the University’s affirmative action and equal opportunity policies and procedures.
  2. Composition of Faculty Search Committees

    1. Membership
      1. For the Provost position and Dean of University Libraries, the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee shall constitute an ad hoc Faculty Search Committee usually comprising not more than nine persons, including four Full-time Faculty members representing different colleges, elected at large by the college’s Full-time Faculty, and three additional members appointed by the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee of which two should be senior faculty members in associate dean or dean positions. Effort should be made to assure representation on the committee from the various colleges. There shall be two voting student members, one an undergraduate nominated by the Student Government Association, the other a graduate student from the relevant college nominated by the Graduate Student Executive Board in consultation with the Graduate Student Senate.
      2. With respect to vacancies in the position of Academic Dean or chair of newly created departments, the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee shall constitute an ad hoc Faculty Search Committee consisting of four Full-time Faculty members of the College concerned, elected at large by the College’s Full-time Faculty, and three additional members appointed by the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee of which one should be a senior faculty member from another college (which may be an academic dean). No more than one member may be elected or appointed from one department until every department in the College has one representative. There shall be two voting student members, one an undergraduate nominated by the Student Government Association, the other a graduate student from the relevant college nominated by the Graduate Student Executive Board in consultation with the Graduate Student Senate.
      3. With respect to vacancies in the position of Chair in existing departments, the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee shall constitute a Search Committee of which, where practicable, at least one-half of the members are elected by the faculty of the department concerned, and the remainder appointed by the Senate Agenda Committee of which one should be a senior faculty member from another college (and may be a dean). Each Chair Search Committee shall develop appropriate mechanisms to assure meaningful student input regarding candidates. The Committee shall inform the Senate Agenda Committee of the mechanism(s) it has established.
    2. The Faculty Senate Agenda Committee should consult with the Provost before constituting any of the above-mentioned Search Committees. After constituting the Search Committee, the Faculty Senate Agenda Committee, in consultation with the Provost, shall appoint a chair of the committee, charge the committee pursuant to A.2. above, and provide a timeline. In addition, close liaison with the Provost should be maintained throughout the period of Committee operation to provide coordination, and make available budgetary and administrative support for the Committee’s operations.
  3. Other Administrative Positions

    Selection of administrators for positions other than those listed above will usually not involve establishment of a formal Search Committee, although in some instances this may be desirable. In instances where Search Committees seem advantageous, they will be constituted by the President or President designee, and may include, in addition to faculty, other administrators, students, alumni or professional persons outside the University, according to the special circumstances in each case.

    Any interim appointment extending beyond twelve months must follow the procedures described in this module unless the term is explicitly extended by the provost for a maximum of twelve additional months.


  1. Promulgated by the President May 19, 1973. Current language approved by the Faculty Senate on 4/4/2018 and approved by the Board of Trustees on 4/13/2018.
  2. Or equivalent position
  3. In the case of a Provost search, the Committee reports to the President or President’s designee in sections A.3