Faculty Search Procedures – Full-time Faculty
Assistant, Associate and Full Professors, Full-time Lecturers, Professors of the Practice
The following describes the processes involved in conducting searches for full-time faculty at the School of Arts and Sciences.
Consult the Administrative Guidelines for Faculty
Searches for related financial and administrative policies.
Defining the Position
A departmental request for a full-time position must be defined in terms
of the department's curricular and research goals. The following considerations
should be part of the department's discussions:
- How the department's
programmatic and research needs can be linked to faculty recruitment.
- How the position
description can be written to attract the widest possible range of
- How possible biases
within the department affect one's judgment of quality and excellence. For
example, in discussing standards of excellence in teaching, research, and
service, raise questions such as: What unique contributions to the
department might be made by a faculty member of color or a woman? Is there a
bias, spoken or unspoken, against individuals from lesser-known
institutions? Is scholarship within the discipline on racial, ethnic,
women's, or sexual orientation issues consciously or unconsciously devalued?
Authorization of Position
In the spring semester, the A&S deans send a memo to department chairs
outlining the guidelines for submitting proposals for new full-time faculty
positions. The department chair submits the proposal and justification for the
position, including a plan for increasing the number of applicants from
underrepresented groups. The justification should include information on the
- Area(s) of
specialization in research (for tenure-track positions) and in teaching (for
- How this position
relates to the department's long-range research and teaching goals.
- Proposed actions to
recruit women and others from underrepresented groups.
- Proposed rank and
The dean notifies the department chair as soon as the position has been
Conducting the Search
Schedule meetings and establish timeline:
a) As soon as possible after the position is approved,
schedule a meeting of the Search Committee with your
department's academic dean and the AA Officer (Christine Cousineau), even if
members of your Search Committee are not yet all confirmed.
b) Place HOLDS in your academic dean's schedule for meetings
with your interview candidates. Contact your academic dean's administrative
assistant and put two to three HOLDS per interview candidate in your academic
dean's schedule in the months you expect to bring candidates to campus.
In the case of senior positions, candidates also meet with the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Write the position announcement. Adapted from the position
description submitted by the department in their request to the deans, this is
the job ad that candidates will read and apply to. The initial description often
goes through several rounds of editing before the final text is approved by the
department chair and academic dean. The format should be as follows:
Rank (tenure status)
||SOCIOLOGY: Race and Ethnicity
Assistant Professor (tenure-rack)
"The Department of (...) at Tufts University is seeking a (rank) in (field,
sub-field, topic) for (academic year)." Mention key characteristics of the
position: definition of the field or sub-field, interdisciplinary approach,
relationship to the department's faculty research, type of scholarship and
teaching involved, course load, student engagement and mentoring, and any
other relevant aspect of the position.
required and preferred qualifications candidates should possess – which
degree in which field or discipline, evidence of excellence in scholarship
and teaching, publications, funded research, ability to engage with diverse
students with different pedagogies, and anything else the candidate should
have or show promise of developing. The qualifications for the position need
to be to clear and specific.
Application requirements: the first sentence should read: "All applications are
submitted via Interfolio, at https://apply.interfolio.com/XXXXX."
(The Math department uses Math
Jobs, a similar platform.) Specify what applicants need to submit on
Interfolio – cover letter, CV, letters of recommendations (or names of
references for senior hires), teaching statement, research statement,
writing sample, student evaluations, portfolio, videos, etc. Include the
name of whom the letters of recommendations should be addressed to. There is
a menu of choices on Interfolio for documents to submit, and new ones can be
created by choosing "Other" and specifying one. Include the name and email
(and phone number if desired) of the person to contact for candidates to ask
questions about the position. This is usually the department administrator.
The following are options to express the deadline for applications:
"To ensure full consideration, applications must be submitted by (date).";
"Review will start on (date) and continue until the position is filled.";
"Review of applications will start immediately and continue until the position is filled."
EEO Statement: The two paragraphs below are Tufts' EEO statement, and need
to be included at the end of the position announcement:
Tufts University, founded in 1852, prioritizes quality teaching, highly
competitive basic and applied research, and a commitment to active citizenship
locally, regionally, and globally. Tufts University also prides itself on
creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Current and prospective
employees of the university are expected to have and continuously develop skill
in, and disposition for, positively engaging with a diverse population of
faculty, staff, and students.
Tufts University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We are committed
to increasing the diversity of our faculty and staff and fostering their success
when hired. Members of underrepresented groups are welcome and strongly
encouraged to apply. If you are an applicant with a disability who is unable to
use our online tools to search and apply for jobs, please contact us by calling
Johny Laine in the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO)
at 617-627-3298 or at
Applicants can learn more about requesting reasonable accommodations at
The EEO statement appears automatically when the position is posted on Interfolio,
but must be included in the text that is sent out to be advertised.
examples of position descriptions.
Submit this form: Position Announcement
Post the position on Interfolio. The department administrator,
staff assistant, or search committee chair posts the position on Interfolio.
The AA Officer approves and opens it, and Interfolio
generates a number for the URL that candidates use to apply. That number
replaces the XXXXX in the position announcement and is
then used in all subsequent ads and in the posting on the AS&E website.
For first-time users, instructions
on the Interfolio Support website are very useful.
- Complete the composition of the Search Committee and meet with your
academic dean and AA Officer. Forming the search committee
can be done well before, simultaneously, or shortly after the
writing of the position announcement. Search committee members should be
full-time faculty from the department. When appropriate to the nature of the
position and field, search committees are encouraged to include faculty from
other departments, to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration.
The purpose of the Search Committee meeting with your academic dean and AA Officer is to:
- ensure that everyone has the same understanding of
what this position is and what kind of ideal candidate the department is looking
for to join the faculty;
- establish a timeline for the search – review
period, search committee meetings, faculty meetings at which to report on the
search, screening interviews of candidates, on-campus interviews of finalists;
- establish a process for decision-making – determine
how the search committee will interact with the department chair and full-time
faculty to decide the first cut (Long List), second cut (Short List), and final
- go over the search procedures and forms.
Submit this form: Search
Advertise, outreach, and recruit. The Dean's Office advertises
the position in Higher Ed Jobs,
Inside Higher Ed, and the New
England Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NE HERC), and posts it on
website at Faculty Searches, Full-time Openings.
Each department is responsible for placing additional ads in more
field-specific and diversity-oriented venues. The cost of these ads is
reimbursed by the Dean's Office. Send receipts to Erica Colwell
Once a year in early fall, the Dean's Office also publishes a display ad
in The Chronicle of Higher Education
and in Diverse Issues in Higher Education,
with a full list of new full-time positions that Tufts will be searching for
over the coming academic year and that will start the following academic year.
Only the department, title, and rank are given on this list, with a link to
Tufts' AS&E website for the full description on Interfolio.
The Search Committee is responsible for searching
The National Registry of Diverse and Strategic Faculty. The site
venues in which to advertise to increase diversity, by field, and contains a
searchable database of
CVs from doctoral students, PhDs, and faculty from underrepresented groups.
Account Login: Institution (Limited Access)
Username: Tufts University
Personalized outreach is critical to recruit a desired pool of
applicants. Call or email colleagues and programs at other institutions, former
students, and faculty in your professional network who might be interested in
the position, know others who would be, or can circulate the ad. Post the ad on
your department's website and on social media. Annual conferences and
professional meetings in your field are good venues for recruiting candidates.
Seek out women and people from underrepresented groups at these meetings where
recruitment takes place. The Dean's Office will help defray expenses for two
members of the search committee to attend such meetings, with
Submit this form:
Identify the Long List. Search
committee members develop evaluation criteria, review all applications, and
agree on a first cut or Long List of potential candidates to interview. The
review of all applications can be done by all search committee members, or can
be divided among members, preferably to pairs of evaluators. Depending on the
size of the applicant pool, the Long List is usually between 10 and 20
candidates. Use tags on Interfolio to identify Long List candidates.
The table on p.2 of the Long List form lists all
applicants with their academic and demographic characteristics, states their
relationship, if any, to members of the department, and identifies applicants
who are potential interview candidates. The demographic characteristics (gender,
ethnicity, race, disability status, and veteran status) are self-reported by
applicants as part of their application process. The table is filled by the
department administrator or faculty member who on Interfolio has the status of
Committee Manager, Administrator, or Administrator with EEO Access. The table
can be filled by downloading an EEO report from Interfolio into Excel, and
adding a column for "Relationship to department members".
instructions on how to run an EEO report.
The summary table (p. 3) compares the demographic characteristics between the total pool of applicants
and the long list of potential candidates to interview.
It is good practice to let candidates who did not make the Long List
know that the search has passed the first screening stage and although they have
not made the first cut, their application will be considered is something
The Long List needs to be approved by the AA Officer and academic dean.
Submit this form:
Long List of Potential Candidates to Interview
Conduct screening interviews. The purpose of
screening interviews is to pare down the Long List (10-20) to the
Short List (3-4) of candidates to interview on campus. Screening interviews can
be conducted in person or remotely by phone, Skype, or WebEx. In-person
interviews are conducted at annual conferences and professional meetings, and
can also occur if all candidates are local. If possible, all interviews should
be carried in the same way (i.e., all by phone, all by Skype, all in person,
etc.). Determine which same questions to ask of all candidates. Interviews can
be as short as 20 minutes or as long as search committee members will allow, but
should contain the same set of initial questions. Having two search committee
members present for each interview is recommended.
If screening interviews are not feasible, other ways of identifying a
Short List from the Long List include the following:
- Review of additional application materials solicited from the Long List
candidates. For example, departments may ask applicants to submit only the
names of references as part of their initial application, and then request actual letters of
recommendation from the Long List candidates. For senior hires, you should
let candidates know ahead of time that you will be contacting their
- After the search
committee has identified the Long List, the review of their applications is
then carried out by the department as a whole to determine the Short List.
- Careful review of all
of the Long List candidates' application materials – scholarly work,
research plans, and/or teaching statements – and in-depth discussion of
their comparative merits.
Identify the Short List. From the results of the screening
interviews, or other methods used, agree on the Short List of candidates to
interview on campus. This is usually three to four candidates.
After the academic dean approves the
Short List, contact the candidates and schedule their visits, keeping in
mind the times you reserved in the deans' schedules. Use tags on Interfolio to
identify Short List candidates.
Send regrets emails to applicants who did not make the Short List. This
can be done through Interfolio, in one email from the department administrator or
search committee chair, that will be sent separately to each candidate.
The Short List form lists the applicants, with their academic and
demographic characteristics, identifies the 3 or 4 candidates who were selected
to be interviewed, and gives the reasons why those who did not make the Short
List were not selected. The reasons must be specific and objective, such as
"wrong field," "no teaching experience," "insufficient publications," "weak
letters of recommendation," "poor student evaluations," etc. "Not a good fit" is
not a specific enough reason.
The Short List needs to be approved by the department's academic dean and AA officer before interviews can be scheduled.
Submit this form:
Short List and Other Applicants (AA Report Section I)
Conduct on-campus interviews. On-campus interviews
involve job talks, meetings, informal discussions,
lunches, and dinners. The department decides the type of events to hold and who
is to be invited to each among the department faculty, students, and other
once those procedures are in place, they must be applied consistently to every
candidate in that search, including internal candidates. Prepare
questions and points of discussion in advance so as to cover the same topics
with all candidates. Candidates for positions at the level of associate or full
professor should meet with both the appropriate academic dean and the dean of
the School of Arts and Sciences. Those candidates who need startup
equipment, funds, or other resources in order to begin their research at Tufts
should be encouraged to bring a list of these needs to their on-campus
Departments should be sensitive to the
work/life needs of their own faculty when scheduling interview itineraries, and
avoid scheduling essential parts of the interview (for instance, the job talk)
at times when it would be difficult for people with family responsibilities to
Questions related to gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation,
national origin, and disabilities are inappropriate, as are questions unrelated
to the requirements of the position (such as references to pregnancy or to
childcare arrangements). Departments are encouraged to schedule a short meeting
between their interview candidates and the Associate Director for Work/Life
(Christine Cousineau) to introduce them to work/life policies at Tufts. This
covers nonacademic leaves (parental, medical, and family illness), child care,
and housing resources.
Interview candidates should not be asked where else they are interviewing or
whether they have received other job offers. If questions about work
authorization are asked of any candidate, they should be asked of all. If
candidates have questions about visas or their immigration status, please refer
them to the International Center.
For guidelines on costs and eligible activities for reimbursement, see
Guidelines for Faculty Searches.
Recommend the finalist to the dean. When the interviews are over,
the department chair discusses the candidates with the dean before (and after) the
department deliberates and ranks candidates.
Before an offer can be made to the
first-choice candidate, the department must submit the Final Selection form to
the dean and the AA officer. When the proposed first-choice candidate has
been approved, the dean contacts the department chair with a specific offer,
which the chair can then relay to the candidate. For senior hires, offers are
made by the academic dean.
If negotiations are needed because the candidate has other offers to
consider, they are conducted between the department chair and dean. In the event
that the first-choice candidate declines the offer, the dean must approve making
an offer to the second-choice candidate before it is made.
After a candidate accepts an offer, the department chair informs the
dean, who then works with the Faculty Affairs Office to send a contract. Once
the offer is accepted by the final candidate, the department administrator or
search committee chair sends regrets letters or emails to the short list
interviewees who were not selected.
Submit this form:
Final Selection Report (AA Report Section II)
Keeping Search Files
Departments must keep all materials from a faculty search for seven full
academic years in secure, confidential files. This includes copies of all
advertisements, search forms, applications received, and correspondence with
applicants. At the end of seven years, departments may destroy all the materials
from a search. For AY17-18, departments should have on file materials from
searches that took place in AY10-11, AY11-12, AY12-13, AY13-14, AY14-15, AY15-16
and AY16-17. Older search materials may be destroyed.