Chapter 7: Faculty Hiring Procedures for Chairs

Hiring Requests for New Full-Time, Term Positions or Tenure-Track Replacements Positions
Requests for all tenure track and full-time term hires must be submitted electronically to the Office of Academic Affairs on or before June 1 for searches to take place during the following academic year. See Faculty Chair Recruitment Checklist or recruitment information prior to June 1. Chairs must make the case for a tenure track position based on analysis of pertinent data, such as the department's number of major/minor affiliates, number of graduates, curricular pressures on enrollment, changes in the workload of existing faculty, and curricular directions suggested by the strategic priorities of the colleges or the department's most recent program review. Requests for full- or part-time replacement positions (e.g. sabbatical, study abroad, leaves) are not required to meet the June 1st deadline. For planning purposes these requests should be submitted as soon as possible. However, both requests and decisions for replacement positions are often made on an on-going basis throughout the year.

Authorization to Hire
The vice provost, academic dean and the associate dean will review the staffing requests and make a recommendation to the provost in light of the information submitted by the chairs. New positions, especially new tenure-track positions, are rare. The provost will authorize a position only when adequate funds are available for the position and when the position is consistent with larger institutional needs and priorities. Departments will be informed of the provost's decision by August 15th.

Elements of the Recruitment Process
Tenure track positions require a national search, and thus all of the procedures below are to be followed. National searches are encouraged for one-year term or sabbatical replacement searches, but not required. However, the other procedures noted below are to be followed.

Chair Checklist
The Human Resources website includes a Faculty Chair Recruitment Checklist which should be used for every search. In addition, a recruitment and hiring workshop is conducted at the start of fall semester by the vice provost and the Human Resources Office. It is expected that representatives (e.g., chair, department coordinator, chair of the search committee) from departments who have received permission to hire will attend this workshop.

CSB vs SJU Contract
The decision of whether a contract will be a CSB contract or an SJU contract is made by Academic Affairs in consultation with Human Resources. The decision will be based on maintaining a CSB/SJU faculty balance within each department and other institutional priorities.

Position Description
Position ads will be created by the chair, in consultation with other members of that department or others as appropriate, and reviewed and approved by the vice provost and the Human Resources Office before being submitted for publication. The description will be reviewed for accuracy, consistency with CSB/SJU Goals, appropriateness of language, and related issues. The provost gives final approval for all position descriptions. Every effort will be made to place the ad in media the department deems appropriate, but budget considerations may limit the number of journals used or the number of times an ad appears. All ads will request a letter of application, a statement of teaching philosophy, three letters of recommendation, CV and official transcripts and other materials as applicable.

A Note on Salary
Please note that new positions are budgeted as entry-level (rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor, with no more than a few years prior teaching experience). Chairs should have a conversation with the vice provost before pursuing a candidate who might expect to be hired at a higher rank or salary range.

A Note on Diversity
The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University are equal opportunity, affirmative action employers. It is imperative that departments make a good faith effort to diversify the candidate pool, and it will be the vice provost's responsibility to certify that effort. Please note that if a pool of candidates does not display adequate diversity, the appropriate action by the vice provost may be to continue the search until adequate diversity is achieved or to declare a failed search.

Applications are accepted online through the Human Resources website at Applicants will complete a short faculty application and be able to attach the required documents. Search committees will be given online viewing access by Human Resources. (Questions about the online process should be directed to Human Resources.)

Departments should use appropriate methods (review of files, telephone, or Skype interviews, in-person interviews at professional meetings) to narrow the pool to five finalists.

Guidelines for interviewing include the following:

  • write down questions in advance;
  • ask questions that will reveal the professional expertise of the candidate;
  • use the same questions for each candidate;
  • ask "leading" questions that will draw out a candidate rather than "yes and no" questions;
  • remind committee members to introduce themselves to the candidate to personalize the search process;
  • avoid asking questions that are not job relevant (e.g., family status). (See Legal Interviewing Guide section on questions not to ask.).  If the candidate raises topics unrelated to the position, interviewers should steer the conversation back to job-relevant topics.

At the interview stage, chairs are free to answer general questions about the CSB/SJU faculty salary grid and national benchmarking used to establish salary with candidates. Chairs and faculty members should avoid speculating about the specifics of salary, leaving specific salary discussion to the vice provost.

Departments should forward complete files of the top five candidates and their recommendation of the two candidates to invite for on-campus interviews to the vice provost.  The vice provost reviews the files and gives approval to extend an invitation for on-campus interviews for two candidates.  Advance notice to the Academic Affairs Office before submitting these files will help ensure a prompt response from the vice provost.

The chair should inform the Human Resources Office of candidates who are no longer under consideration. Human Resources will send a thank you message via email to inform the candidates.

Departments should follow the same procedures as described above for internal candidates, and it is recommended that the chair inform internal candidate(s) personally. All department members should be especially sensitive to matters of confidentiality when internal candidates are involved

Reference Calls
Reference calls must be conducted before any candidate is invited to campus. Ordinarily, this would mean conducting reference calls for the top two candidates. It is a good idea to verify the existence/position of the reference, for example by checking the web site of the college/university of the reference and calling a general phone number of the institution to request to speak to the reference, rather than using the phone number provided in the reference letter.

Generally, references should be asked questions like the following: What is your position? In what capacity and how long have you known the candidate? At CSB/SJU, faculty are evaluated in several areas (teaching effectiveness, scholarship and creative work, service to the institution, community, etc.), please provide your assessment of the candidate's strengths or professional development needs in each of these areas. Can you give me some examples of how you form your assessment of this person's potential as a teacher/scholar?

If the outcome of a reference call is unsatisfactory, the ranking of the top five should be adjusted, and reference calls will be completed for the top two candidates.

Campus Interviews
Ordinarily, two candidates are brought to campus to interview for a position. All candidates must be interviewed by the vice provost. The chair or department coordinator should schedule interviews and help make appropriate transportation arrangements and work with the Academic Affairs Office to coordinate the interview schedule with the vice provost. The chair attends the interview with the vice provost.

Procedures for interviews, meals, lodging, and airfare are as follows:

Advanced planning can save a great deal of money on air fares. When making airline reservations, check dates for a savings in the air fare and check an assortment of flight times and options. Airfares of over $500 must be approved by Academic Affairs.

Payment Method: Ideally, the candidate will book and pay for his or her own flight. Then he or she should submit a receipt for reimbursement to the department chair or coordinator who will complete a Travel Reimbursement Form, and forward them to the Academic Affairs Office for the proper account number and authorization. In instances where the candidate is not able to do this, the department chair or coordinator should work with the CSB business office in order to charge the flight to the proper recruitment budget at CSB by using a CSB corporate credit card. Please do not charge the flight to an SJU P-Card.

If a candidate is coming to the interview by way of the airport, he or she will typically either be picked up at the airport by a member of the department (who will be reimbursed for the mileage) or will take Executive Express. If the candidate is traveling to campus using a personal vehicle, he or she will be reimbursed for mileage. Car rental is only permitted in instances where the cost is the same as or less than the combined executive express and airfare.

Payment Method: For any of these expenses, the candidate or faculty member should complete a Travel Expenses Reimbursement Form  and submit it to the Academic Affairs Office for the proper account number and authorization. Please do not charge any of these expenses to an SJU P-Card.

Unless unavailable, on-campus housing should be reserved for candidates. Housing options are as follows:

  • The SJU Abbey Guesthouse (extension 2573),
  • The CSB guest apartment (contact Residential Life through extension 5580),
  • CSB Loft (extension 5791)
  • The CSB monastery guesthouse (363-7088).

If on-campus housing is not available, candidates should stay at a moderately priced local motel.

Payment Method: For all of the on-campus housing options, the entity will bill Academic Affairs directly. In the rare instance where the candidate stays in a local motel, he or she should pay for the stay and then submit a receipt to the department for reimbursement. The department should then fill out a Travel Reimbursement Form and submit it to the Academic Affairs Office for the proper account number and authorization.

Meals are part of the interview process and should be conducted as such. Meal tickets can be obtained from the Academic Affairs Office for on-campus meals. One off-campus meal is typically a part of the recruitment stay, which should ordinarily include the candidate and no more than one or two departmental faculty. While departments may select and appropriate restaurant, please be aware that the expenditures (entree, beverage, and gratuity) should be limited to $40 per person. Expenses beyond these guidelines will not be institutionally reimbursed. 

Payment Method: For the off-campus meal, expenses should be paid for using personal funds (i.e. a personal credit card or cash) and then submitted for reimbursement. Requests for reimbursement should include a completed Travel Reimbursement Form, itemized receipts and the names of people attending the meal. Reimbursements in excess of these guidelines will not be honored. Travel Reimbursement Form should be submitted to the Academic Affairs Office. Please do not charge these expenses to an SJU P-Card.

Last Steps
In preparation for the on campus interviews, the chair may secure Candidate Evaluation Forms from the Human Resources Website or use one prepared by the committee for its written review. These forms must be completed and submitted to the Human Resources Office after the search to remain with the recruitment file.

After the on-campus interview process, the department makes its recommendation for hire to the vice provost. The recommendation should include an explanation of the reasons for the decision. In the case that the two top candidates are essentially equivalent, the more diverse candidate for the department is expected to be recommended.

Ordinarily, an on-campus interview should include both a scholarly and teaching presentation. Students should participate in one or both presentations and their feedback should be obtained after the presentation. Students' evaluations should also be submitted with other search materials. In addition, the department faculty, and faculty from other departments as applicable, should be invited to the presentation.

Job Offer
The vice provost will review the departmental recommendation with the provost, who approves the hire. The vice provost will contact the candidate and make the job offer.  All negotiation with a candidate is done by the vice provost. Once the department has recommended a candidate, the department must separate themselves from the process until the negotiations are completed. When a candidate accepts a position, the vice provost will inform the chair. The Vice Provost's Office will prepare the necessary Contract Data Form which is sent to the Human Resources Office for issuance of the contract. No contract will be issued until an official transcript is received. Candidates should be asked to provide official transcripts at the time of the on-campus interview to speed up this process.

The chair returns all application materials and evaluation forms (including those for the individual hired) to the Human Resources Office so that files may be closed and all materials placed in storage. Once the Human Resources Office has received the candidate's complete file including official transcripts (not copies) a contract will be prepared and mailed to the candidate. The chair should notify the remaining finalists by telephone that the position has been filled. The chair should notify Human Resources when that is complete and Human Resources will close the search online. The chair should remain in contact with the new hire to provide assistance during the transition and work internally with Academic Affairs and the Human Resources Office regarding such things as office space, teaching schedule, identification cards, etc. New Hire Faculty will begin meeting with Human Resources after July 1 by appointment.

Last updated: October 2013