Policies & Guidelines

Target of Opportunity Program
The University at Albany
Guidelines, 2004-05


As declared in its Mission Statement of 1992, the University at Albany is committed to the pursuit and advancement of knowledge; to the intellectual growth of students and their development emotionally, physically and socially; to service to the larger interests of society; and to profit intellectually and imaginatively from differences of opinion and culture. The University has further advanced its aspirations to join the ranks of the nationís top institutions, to support an educational environment that prepares students for our increasingly multicultural, global society, and to fulfill its special obligation as a public institution to serve the diverse citizenry of the State of New York. To achieve these ends, the University at Albany seeks to recruit and retain faculty members with the academic and personal backgrounds to contribute to this intellectual environment through its academic and co-curricular programs.

In 1985, the University at Albany inaugurated the Target of Opportunity Program (TOP) to enhance efforts aimed at increasing diversity and representation among historically underrepresented groups in the ranks of the campus' fulltime faculty. Priority has been given to U.S. citizens, although resident aliens have also been considered. Not intended to substitute for vigorous affirmative action in conducting regular faculty recruitment, the TOP initiative is designed to provide encouragement and resources for departments to move beyond normal recruitment constraints to bring to the campus outstanding colleagues representing diverse geographic, cultural, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as a range of professional experience and expertise to add depth and perspective to the Universityís academic curricula, co-curricular programs, and community-building experiences.

For the 2004-05 academic year, the University will continue to support this initiative with at least two, junior-level, tenure-track faculty appointments.

Procedural Guidelines

As potential candidates for this Program come to the attention of department chairs, there must be initial consultation with the appropriate dean, who will in turn consult with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. In the event of a possible joint appointment all appropriate academic officers must be consulted. The consultation should include discussion of the approach to be taken in opening a dialogue with each candidate about a possible faculty position at Albany.

With the Provostís concurrence, candidates may be invited to visit the campus to become more acquainted with the University's academic program and to consider the possibility of joining the institution's faculty. While such visits may take various forms (e.g., to serve as an invited speaker in a colloquium series, a special guest lecturer, a curriculum or research consultant), one major purpose is to provide some opportunity to examine a candidate's potential contribution to a department's research and teaching missions. To give the candidate a sense of the academic community at Albany, the visit should include opportunities to meet with faculty and students, as well as with applicable academic officers of the institution.

The dean (or deans) may apply to the Provost for funds to help support the cost of campus visits. The Provostís contribution will be limited to the candidateís transportation and per diem expenses at State reimbursement rates.

Following the campus visit, the department may recommend the candidate to the appropriate dean (or deans) for a faculty appointment. The recommendation consists of a written request specifying the following:

The recommendation should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae, letters of reference and other relevant documents that would help to assess the candidate's qualifications. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

After considering the department's recommendation, the dean (or deans) may recommend the candidate to the Provost.

Recommendations for appointments through the Target of Opportunity Program may be submitted to the Provost at any time. Decisions will be made as necessary to compete successfully for the most qualified candidates. Offers for appointments will be made by the President based on a recommendation from the Provost.

Selection Criteria

Appointments through this Program will be offered on the basis of the quality of the candidate's professional attainments, the candidate's potential role in strengthening University departments or programs, the value of the recruitment in advancing the departmentís diversity and affirmative action goals, and the promise shown in the department's plan for assisting the faculty member's successful development as a tenured scholar/teacher.

Follow-Up Requirements

The dean must promptly advise the Provost if an offer is accepted or declined.

Source: Office of the Provost

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