Tenure track hires
Recruitment of tenure-track faculty is one of the most important tasks you will take
on as chair. When you have a vacant tenure-track position to fill, or at the first
inkling you may have future vacancies, it is essential to think long-range about the
future of your department. How is your discipline changing? What area of specialization
is needed to move your department forward? Do you have a concentration with critical
Discuss these things openly with your faculty and try to gain consensus on a direction
to move. The discussions may be painful in some cases, but are necessary to sustain
and strengthen your department's programs. The easy way out is to simply replace the
retiring British lit professor with a new British lit assistant professor. But it
might not be what your department needs and you've just forfeited one of your best
opportunities to make a lasting, positive impact.
The other conversation you want to have as early as possible is with the dean. Keep
the dean up-to-date on impending changes. At least once a year discuss future hiring
plans with the dean. If you have vacancies, the dean will request a hiring plan from
you in early summer. Be sure to include estimated start-up and space renovation needs
in the recruitment plan. The college submits a recruitment plan to the provost around
July 1 each year for approval.
Recruitment typically begins in August and September for tenure track hires. You should
try your best to start promptly and wrap up the hiring process by mid-spring term
or else you run a high risk of a failed search.
The process for recruitment of one-year faculty (instructors, VAPs, postdocs) is the
same as for tenure track faculty. However, some of the steps may be streamlined. You
may form a smaller committee; you may not advertise in as many venues; the interviews
may be telephone-only, etc. The dean's office will work with you on the details.
If you have openings in base-budgeted instructor positions or instructors who must
reapply, you will typically begin the search in February or March for the upcoming
academic year. It is best to have the searches completed before the end of spring
term. Otherwise you may find the best candidates have already taken other positions.
If you think you will need a one-year instructor or VAP to fill in while you do tenure
track searches, notify the dean as soon as possible. A vacant tenure track position
is no guarantee that you will get a one-year person. Salary from vacant tenure track
positions is held at the provost's level and the dean must negotiate for all non-base
Links to key resources