The Search Committee is appointed by the department head, supervisor, and/or Dean, Director, or Vice President, as appropriate. For joint faculty appointments or positions carrying extra-departmental responsibilities, the secondary department is represented on the committee. Search committees must reflect the diversity of the University community, including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. There must be gender and racial diversity present on the search committee.
Generally accepted best practice for search committee construct (in terms of size and diversity of perspective) is five to nine members. Please note: the direct supervisor, department chair, and/or final decision-maker should not serve on the committee. This could potentially be seen as causing an undue influence on the search committee.
It is the responsibility of the department head, supervisor, and/or Dean, Director, or Vice President, as appropriate, to give the committee a charge as to what type of talent is needed to fill the open position. The charge given by leadership is vital to the success of the search committee.
Members serve on the search committee to assist in the outreach to qualified persons for position vacancies, develop screening mechanisms in accordance with the job description, interview qualified candidates, and recommend candidates to the hiring authority. It is the responsibility of each search committee, with the support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to promote equal employment opportunities for all qualified individuals including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.
When a hiring officer appoints a search committee, they must designate one member of the committee as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Representative hereafter called the ODI Representative. This person will assist the search committee in carrying out its responsibilities to develop a broad and diverse candidate pool and will act as a liaison to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion during the search process. While this person should not be the Chair of the Search Committee, they do not need to be a woman or minority.
To participate in all aspects of the hiring process.
To evaluate all steps of the search process in terms of the goals and principles of affirmative action, including ensuring the position is widely advertised and the search committee does not unconsciously engage in discriminatory practices.
To communicate with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion throughout the search process, asking for advice and assistance as necessary to ensure a diversified pool of applicants and adherence to all related University policies and NYS laws.
To request the applicant EEOC data midway through the advertising phase. This should be done prior to reviewing applicants' resumes to ensure that the recruitment plan strategy is resulting in an inclusive and diverse applicant pool. If at this point the applicant pool is not deemed adequately diverse, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will work with the ODI rep to identify additional sources to advertise to target diverse populations.
Review advertisements to ensure appropriateness and consistency with vacancy announcements.
Review the Application Screening Form.
Assist with the development of interview questions on the appropriateness of all questions.
Assist with the compilation of the Applicant Flow Analysis.
Assist the Search Committee Chair in certifying to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion the efficacy of the above-named forms to obtain necessary approvals.
Ensure that all candidates are asked and receive the same questions.
Monitor the discussion of candidates after interviews to ensure that job-related factors are the only ones considered in determining the finalists and that those factors are evenly applied.
Before the final recommendation for hire is made, review any concerns regarding the selection process with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Assistant Director, who shall determine the appropriate action to be taken.
At the conclusion of the search, work with the Search Committee Chair to provide a completed report to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to document that the approved search plan was followed.
Committee Chair and ODI Representative
One member of the Search Committee will serve as Chair and assume ultimate responsibility for moving the search process forward. In addition, one member of the committee will serve as the ODI Representative and work directly with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to ensure that the Search Committee has a clear understanding of its responsibilities in promoting equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
At the outset of the search process, it is recommended that the Search Committee Chair and the ODI Representative contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to review the following:
- The affirmative action placement goals.
- The procedures for the affirmative action recruitment process, including specialized outreach efforts by the department in its search for underrepresented groups.
- Any questions regarding guidelines for the search and hiring process.