Faculty Affairs

Joint Searches

Joint Searches

Preliminaries: Because of the potential complications of joint appointments at the moment of the tenure review, it is preferable that assistant professors not hold joint appointments.The deans and the participating departments and programs should negotiate and establish at the outset how the position will count toward the department's or program's strategic development plan.
 
There are basically three kinds of joint searches:

A. Serendipity, or luck of the candidate pool:

This first type is a search authorized in one unit during the course of which the department discovers that the top candidate desires an appointment in a second unit as well. This appointment could simply be secondary, in which case the standard MOU is negotiated and the appointment/tenure review occurs in the authorized department. But sometimes candidates wish a fully joint appointment, with all the rights pertaining to such as defined in the two units' bylaws and with dual financial support for the line.

B. Intentional joint searches resulting in a joint appointment:

The second type is a search authorized in one unit with the understanding that half the line will be in another
unit. This second unit may be determined when the search is authorized, or it may be determined through a competition of several units for the shared half. The latter option has occurred more frequently than the former. Although a MOU is drawn up after the search is launched in type A searches, a preliminary MOU should be drawn up prior to start of the search in these type B searches. It will be finalized once the two participating units have been determined.

C. Intentional competitive search resulting in a single-unit appointment:

This third type of search seeks to identify a scholar in an interdisciplinary area whose tenure home will end up in only one of the departments competing for the position. One assumes that departments will participate in this search in order to pursue their strategic development plans; thus, the search "counts." If this is not to be the case, it must be agreed to in writing by the dean prior to bringing candidates to campus.

Procedures

For type A, where the jointness becomes a concluding consideration:

The unit that conducted the search should approach the joint unit, proposing a joint appointment. If the second unit agrees, then both should conclude a full MOU identifying the sources of funding. Perhaps the originally authorized department will cede half the line to the second department (unlikely unless only for the appointment of this incumbent), or perhaps the second department will need to devote half a line to the position (perhaps in the form of a retirement mortgage), allowing the originally authorized department to conserve half a line for future use. The MOU should also outline the privileges and expectations for the recruited faculty member in each unit, as is normally done for secondary appointments. The tenure review will be conducted by faculty from both units, although the tenure-home unit will probably have heavier committee representation. Both units will vote on the tenure dossier. Care should be taken when the letters are solicited to inform the evaluators that the candidate is being considered for appointment with tenure in XX and a joint appointment in YY. This way, the letter writers can know who will have access to the confidential evaluations, just in case they had something uncomplimentary to say about someone in YY.

For type B, where jointness is intentional from the beginning:

Success requires broad departmental participation throughout the process, from the very beginning.

  1. After conversations with appropriate chairs, the deans will identify those departments to be involved in a particular search and solicit nominations for search committee members from the relevant chairs. From these suggestions, the deans will nominate a committee to the provost, including its chair. Or, if the second department is open to a competitive process, the deans will solicit interest and, after determining which departments will "play," will nominate a committee, including its chair, to the provost.
  2. The deans will endeavor to have all the departments likely to be potential appointment homes represented on the search committee. In cases where this practice would render a committee so large as to be unwieldy, the committee chair will meet regularly throughout the search with relevant departments not represented on the committee. When extra-departmental units are affected by the search, their participation will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. 
  3. In cases where one department is the tenure home or one unit will lead the search, that unit will provide the search's clerical support. In cases where the tenure home is open to competition, the deans will provide clerical support in the divisional deans’ office as well as reading space and a meeting room, or the deans’ office will approve an alternative support mechanism.
  4. The committee will solicit names of candidates from participating departments, generate names from other sources, and advertise nationally. The committee will review the candidates and arrive at a preliminary short list.
  5. Procedures may follow two paths from this point. In the first and before proposing interview candidates to the deans, the committee chair will send the names and files of potential short-listed candidates to the departments in which they would ultimately hold tenure or joint appointments. The departments will then, in an expeditious manner, deliberate on the candidates and indicate whether they would agree to consider the candidate for tenure/joint appointment. In cases where departments find it unlikely to recommend appointment, that candidate will not be invited to campus to interview. For the second process and prior to having departments thoroughly vet a candidate, the search committee will send a short-list recommendation directly to the dean, and departmental consultation will be conducted as outlined in item 10 below.
  6. Faculty from all departments concerned with the search will be invited to all the candidates’ on-campus presentations. The potential tenure-home and joint departments will be given the opportunity to schedule (and staff) its regular search processes and meetings with candidates.
  7. After the visit and in a timely manner, the relevant departments will follow their normal procedures for deciding on the merits of the candidate and send a report to the search committee chair.
  8. The search committee will report to the deans, appending the reports of the individual departments’ recommendations, pointing out the strengths and weakness of all those recommended.
  9. The deans will select the candidate for the position, and the formal tenure/appointment review will commence, one hopes resulting in a recommendation to the provost.
  10. The second process for vetting candidates permits the search committee to seek the dean's approval to bring candidates to campus prior to full departmental vettings. Once steps 6 and 7 have been completed, the search committee has made its report to the dean (step 8), and the dean has given preliminary approval (step 9), then the full file will go to the targeted department, which will vote on whether to go forward with a full appointment review or not. 
  11. Only after the last step in the process, be it step 9 if the departments vet the candidates prior to campus visits or step 10 if the thorough vetting occurs only after the search committee makes its final report to the dean, will the candidate be informed that s/he is the top choice of the search and will be offered the job, contingent on all normal appointment review.

For type C, where a competitive search results in a single-department appointment:

Again, success requires broad departmental participation throughout the process, from the very beginning. 
 

  1. After conversations with appropriate chairs, the deans will identify those departments to be involved in a particular search and solicit nominations for search committee members from the relevant chairs. From these suggestions, the deans will nominate a committee to the provost, including its chair
  2. The deans will endeavor to have all the departments likely to be potential appointment homes represented on the search committee. In cases where this practice would render a committee so large as to be unwieldy, the committee chair will meet regularly throughout the search with relevant departments not represented on the committee. When extra-departmental units may be affected by the search, their participation will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. 
  3. Because the tenure home is open to competition, the deans will provide clerical support in the divisional deans’ office as well as reading space and a meeting room, or the deans’ office will approve an alternative support mechanism.
  4. The committee will solicit names of candidates from participating departments, generate names from other sources, and advertise nationally. The committee will review the candidates and arrive at a preliminary short list.
  5. Before proposing interview candidates to the deans, the committee chair will send the names and files of potential short-listed candidates to the departments in which they would ultimately hold tenure. The departments will then, in an expeditious manner, deliberate on the candidates and indicate whether they would agree to consider the candidate for tenured/tenure-track appointment. In cases where departments find it unlikely to recommend appointment, that candidate will not be invited to campus to interview. 
  6. Faculty from all departments concerned with the search will be invited to all the candidates’ on-campus presentations. The potential tenure-home departments will be given the opportunity to schedule (and staff) its regular search processes and meetings with candidates.
  7. After the visit and in a timely manner, the relevant departments will follow their normal procedures for deciding on the merits of the candidate and send a report to the search committee chair.
  8. The search committee will report to the deans, appending the reports of the individual departments’ recommendations, pointing out the strengths and weakness of all those recommended.
  9. The deans will select the candidate for the position, and the formal tenure/appointment review will commence.