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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Process for Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty Recruitment

Steps for Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty Recruiting in the College of Arts & Sciences

From Incoming Applications to the Offer

1. Before reviewing applicant files at any level, the search committee and department should agree on the processes for reviewing files and for selecting semi-finalists and finalists, and the major criteria that will be used for selecting interview candidates. All members of every search committee should also familiarize themselves with the principles and practices found in the Faculty Search Manual.

2. When the deadline for application has passed, signal to the Office of Faculty Actions to request the demographic description of the candidate pool from the Office of the Provost. These data should be used to evaluate the potential for increasing the demographic diversity of our faculty by gender and race. The College will also prepare other data that help you evaluate the profile of your department in comparison with the larger discipline.

3. Follow the department process to select the candidates proposed for campus interviews. In some departments, departmental approval for choice of the interview list is left to the search committee. That practice does not accord with best practices because it suggests that it is, in the end, a subfield or narrow section of the department that does the hiring. Because it is the department as a whole that hires and is responsible for the quality of the faculty, and the new colleague is responsible to the department as a whole rather than just a subfield, it is important for the faculty as a whole to be able to raise questions of interest to the department, broadly considered.

4. Forward the proposed list of candidates for interview, with a copy of each dossier, electronically to Serrie Hamilton, the Office of Faculty Actions Senior Program Coordinator. At the same time, forward the names and cv’s of the next three candidates who might be interviewed if the department moved further down the list. While your department may not have made this decision explicitly, the point is to forward basic information on a small set of the next best candidates so that Associate Deans can better understand the quality of the group that is being interviewed. The appropriate Associate Dean of the Faculty will review the candidates and then respond to the department with the approved list.

5. Work with Serrie Hamilton to schedule interviews with the appropriate Associate Dean. For candidates for Assistant Professor positions or Professors of the Practice, the appropriate Associate Dean should interview the candidate, with the department Chair also present. For candidates for tenured positions, the Dean should also be present.

6. The department Chair should schedule a meeting with the appropriate Associate Dean of the Faculty after the final interview and before the department meeting at which the candidates will be discussed for possible recommendation for appointment. The Associate Dean and Chair will discuss the candidates and any issues that the Dean believes should be addressed in the department discussion. At this meeting the Associate Dean and Chair will also begin to discuss strategies and tactics for the recruitment phase of the process. This meeting will allow the Office of the Dean to move quickly after the departmental decision.

7. The department must take a formal vote on the decision to recommend any candidate for hiring to the Dean. The department can frame the decision in a number of ways, such as (a) recommend extending an offer to one candidate and leaving further decisions to later discussions; (b) agreeing a prioritized list of candidates to recommend for hiring in order should the first candidate/s not accept an offer; (c) agreeing on any short-listed candidate/s who should not remain in consideration any further. There is no benefit in recommending a candidate for hire who does not reach the appropriate standards. If a search “fails” during one recruitment season and the position remains the department’s highest priority, it will remain a high priority for recruitment at the College level the next year as well.

8. The department Chair must seek approval from the Associate Dean to make an offer of a position to a candidate. The Chair must work out the terms of the offer with the Office of the Dean before naming any terms to the candidate. The Chair should inform the candidate that the College is preparing an offer as soon as the department receives authorization to do so, and before the terms are completed. The Chair should immediately forward an updated cv (preferably a URL, but an electronic copy of the cv will do) and a paragraph explaining the rationale for the recommendation of the candidate to the Associate Dean. The paragraph should include (a) a brief description of the candidate’s credentials (education, previous professional appointments) and (b) a description of the research and teaching expertise and experience of the candidate, and other major credentials or accomplishments of the candidate. The paragraph should make clear how this person fits into the research and teaching needs of the department and university. It should be a description of the candidate (which will be used as the basis for public documents, press releases, etc.) and not of the department decision process, vote, or enthusiasm.

9. The department should develop and pursue a good recruitment plan – a strategy for getting a positive answer from the candidate you are trying to hire. This plan should include faculty from other BU departments and programs in which the candidate has interest.

10. As soon as the candidate has accepted the offer, the department should communicate with all candidates, thanking them for their interest and informing them the search is concluded. In the case of any candidate who was interviewed on campus, the communication should be personally addressed and should thank them for taking the time to come to campus.

11. For senior (tenured hires), the process is slightly different:  Candidates for senior position must meet with both the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and the Provost before an offer can be extended. Appointments at the tenured level must go through the full tenured appointment process, including the collection of 10-12 reference letters and consideration by the department, CAS APT, Dean, UAPT, and Provost and President.  Because of that process, contingent acceptance of an offer must be accepted and the formal appointment process must be begun by March 1 in order to assure that the final appointment can be made in time for the fall semester.

12. Please be in contact with the appropriate Associate Dean of the Faculty and/or Alexandra Adams and/or Richard Wright for help and advice in carrying out a successful search, screening, and recruitment process.

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