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Search Committee Membership

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THE SELECTION OF FACULTY SEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBERS

It has recently come to the attention of the De Anza College Academic Senate that faculty and administrators may not be aware of policies governing the membership of faculty search committees. This document is intended to help all parties understand their rights and responsibilities in this area as we embark on a critical phase of faculty hiring.

The Senate will rely on these guidelines as it considers proposed search committees for approval this year.

Dan Mitchell, President
De Anza College Academic Senate

March 18, 2004

THE SELECTION OF FACULTY SEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBERS

This document is based on policies described in the ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES Appendix to the Board Policy Manual, District Hiring Procedures (AP 4130), Section C. Faculty Hiring. A copy of the relevant section is included on the final page of this document. (The entire document is available online at the District web site.)

Text in quotes is taken directly from the Administrative Procedures document. Comment sections summarize and/or explain material from the Board document.

Who is primarily responsible for selection of search committee members for faculty hiring?

  • “The Committee shall be established by the department/program faculty in consultation with the Dean”

Comment: Department/program faculty are primarily responsible for establishing the committee. The dean has a consulting role.

Who should be on the faculty search committee?

  • “Search Committees will normally include a majority of Foothill-De Anza tenured faculty who are experts in the discipline or a related discipline.”
  • “An Equal Opportunity Representative from outside of the department/program shall be appointed to the Committee by the College diversity office” [or, in limited circumstances] “the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity” [or his/her designee.]

Comment: The EO representative is not selected by faculty or dean and is not subject to approval by the Academic Senate.
  • “The Division Dean normally serves as chair of the committee.”

Can additional faculty members serve on search committees?

  • “[O]ther faculty including contract and part-time faculty may be included on the Search Committee…”

Comment: This section addresses the inclusion of other faculty members to the committee in addition to the tenured experts in the discipline or related discipline.

[Note: This Board policy document seems to be silent regarding inclusion of non-faculty committee members such as classified staff members or students, except that the implication is that they are not part of the original membership of the committee.]

Are there conditions that must be met in order to include “other faculty” on the committee, as described above?

  • There must be “clear and compelling academic and/or professional circumstances” that “include but are not limited to the addition of discipline expertise and enhancing the diversity of the committee.”
  • Such additional faculty may only be added to the committee “after consultation between the President of the Academic Senate and the college President.”

May faculty from outside the department/program be members of the committee?

  • “The Search Committee may also include other members from outside the department/program as deemed appropriate by the Committee.”

Comment: The inclusion of faculty outside the department/program must come after the establishment and Senate approval of the basic Committee since the Committee must determine that the inclusion of outside members is appropriate.

What happens after the department/program faculty have established a committee?

  • “The Division Dean shall forward a list of faculty designated to serve on the Search Committee to the Academic Senate. All faculty appointments to Search Committees must be confirmed by the Academic Senate.”

Comment: The dean’s role at this point is to forward the list established by division/department faculty, in consultation with the division dean. Board policy does not describe a role for deans in selecting the faculty members whose names will be sent forward for consideration by the Academic Senate, beyond that of consultationn with the department/program faculty as they develop the proposed committee membership.

What diversity criteria will the Senate use when considering proposed committees for approval?

  • “Every effort must be made to incorporate broad representation on every Search Committee to bring a variety of perspectives to the assessment of applicant qualifications. The Academic Senates shall consider diversity, equity, and discipline/program recommendations when confirming faculty appointments to search committees.”

What happens if the Senate is not satisfied that a proposed committee reflects diversity?

  • “In the event that diversity is not reflected in the Search Committee, the Committee chair and the President of the Academic Senate (or their designees) shall meet with the diversity coordinator who will assist in the identification and recruitment of faculty who may or may not be members of an underrepresented group but who clearly embrace the concepts of diversity and equal opportunity to serve on the Committee. Additional faculty members identified through this process must be confirmed by the Academic Senate.”

Comment: The Senate will not approve a committee that does not reflect diversity. The Senate must approve changes to the proposed committee that have the goal of meeting the diversity requirement.

How many members should be on a faculty search committee?

  • “The Search Committee should normally have no more than seven (7) members.”

Comment: A literal reading of this document indicates that the committee should normally consist of between five and seven members.

Since the committee must include a “majority of Foothill-De Anza tenured faculty who are experts in the discipline or a related discipline” along with the division dean and an EO representative, the committee must include at least 5 members, in order to satisfy the requirement that a majority be faculty experts in the discipline/related area.

[Note: It is not sufficient to provide a majority of tenured faculty, for example, by adding an at-large member. The majority must be comprised of tenured faculty “experts in the discipline or a related discipline.”]


Excerpt from
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES
Appendix to the Board Policy Manual,
District Hiring Procedures (AP 4130),
Section C. Faculty Hiring

Search Committee

Membership

The Committee shall be established by the department/program faculty in consultation with the Dean. Search Committees will normally include a majority of Foothill-De Anza tenured faculty who are experts in the discipline or a related discipline. When clear and compelling academic and/or professional circumstances warrant, other faculty including contract and part-time faculty may be included on the Search Committee after consultation between the President of the Academic Senate and the college President. Special circumstances may include but are not limited to the addition of discipline expertise and enhancing the diversity of the committee. The Search Committee may also include other members from outside the department/program as deemed appropriate by the Committee. The Division Dean shall forward a list of faculty designated to serve on the Search Committee to the Academic Senate. All faculty appointments to Search Committees must be confirmed by the Academic Senate.

An Equal Opportunity Representative from outside of the department/program shall be appointed to the Committee by the College diversity office. If the College diversity office is unable to assign a Representative, one may be appointed by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity or his/her designee.

Every effort must be made to incorporate broad representation on every Search Committee to bring a variety of perspectives to the assessment of applicant qualifications. The Academic Senates shall consider diversity, equity, and discipline/program recommendations when confirming faculty appointments to search committees.

The membership of the Search Committee is also submitted to the college diversity office by the Division Dean. In the event that diversity is not reflected in the Search Committee, the Committee chair and the President of the Academic Senate (or their designees) shall meet with the diversity coordinator who will assist in the identification and recruitment of faculty who may or may not be members of an underrepresented group but who clearly embrace the concepts of diversity and equal opportunity to serve on the Committee. Additional faculty members identified through this process must be confirmed by the Academic Senate.

The Division Dean normally serves as chair of the committee.

The Search Committee should normally have no more than seven (7) members.
 Updated Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 5:04:12 PM by Academic Senate - academicsenate@deanza.edu
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