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Guidelines for Hiring Academic Professional Staff


A. Memo of Justification, Request for Personal Services & The Job Description

A Memo of justification, Request for Personal Services form (RPS), and a position description on the Human Resources form must be submitted to the Office of the Provost for authorization to fill an academic professional position. The memo should be from the Dean/Director and addressed to the Division Vice Chancellor and Chancellor with signature approval lines for the division Vice Chancellor and Chancellor. (A memo of justification is not required for a visiting AP.)

The RPS should be signed by the Fiscal Officer, Dean/Director, and Division Head prior to submission to the Office of the Provost. The position description should be signed by the Supervisor, Dean/Director, and Division Head prior to submission.

All Academic Professional vacancies will be internally posted for one week before any external ads are posted. The Office of Human Resources in consultation with the respective hiring unit develops the text and timing of the internal postings. If the Office of Access and Equal Opportunity grants a search waiver, the requirement to post the position is waived.

Once authorization to fill an academic professional position is given to the manager or director of a program or unit, the following guidelines are to be followed:

B. Formation of the Search Committee

(1)Campus Senate Resolution 30-6 governs the composition of the search committee for certain specific administrative positions. For those positions, use the guidelines contained in the bill in forming the search committee, then follow all other search procedures described below.

For all administrative searches not governed by Campus Senate Resolution 30-6, the following steps are followed in determining the composition of the search committee.

(2)The director of the program/unit will establish a search committee comprised of five members. The director of the program/unit may serve as an ex officio member of the committee. No more than three members of the committee will be selected from the program/unit itself. Other members may be chosen from campus programs and departments interested and involved with the program/unit’s activities, with at least one member from the faculty.

(3) The search committee will hold an initial meeting to elect a chair and to meet with the AEO Officer and the next higher level administrator from the program/unit director. At this meeting the committee will review search guidelines and be informed about recent developments in AEO laws and requirements. Thereafter, the chair and the director should maintain contact with the AEO Officer  so that the AEO Officer can provide technical assistance and timely approval of search activities.

(4). Recommendations of the committee will be made to the next level director or appropriate administrator, and on to the division head and AEO Officer through the Office of the Provost for final approval.

The program/unit will establish the appropriate secretarial and administrative support for the search, provide a location and procedures for handling search materials, and set parameters for search costs.


C. Development of the Search Plan

The program/unit and the full search committee will proceed to develop a search plan consistent with the job description. The search plan will include the following:

(1) Names of search committee members.

(2) A copy of the previously approved job description and the proposed advertisement. (In some instances, to expedite matters, ads may be placed, with the approval of the director and the AEO Officer, before the full search plan has been developed.)The ad must include the following:

  • a notice of the date the search committee will begin screening applicants;
  • a notice that applications will be considered until the position is filled or the search terminated;
  • the number of written references expected;
  • the minimum requirements;
  • salary range where appropriate;
  • rank options where appropriate;
  • starting date;
  • a brief description of UIS; and
  • a notation that “UIS is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive campus community.

Persons with disabilities, women, and minorities are encouraged to apply.”

(3) A description of the scope of the search, including whether recruitment efforts will be confined to the Springfield area, the central Illinois region, the state or the nation, with the rationale for these decisions.

(4) Consistent with the scope, a list of the periodicals, journals, and papers in which the advertisement will be placed. Ads must be placed in appropriate industry publications and in at least one periodical targeted toward females, minorities, and the disabled.

A list of recommended recruitment periodicals, such as Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE). A position description should be forwarded to the Human Resources Office for inclusion in the “Employment Opportunities” website.

(5) A list of all groups, organizations, associations, and universities to be notified.

(6) A description of the extent to which alternative means of notification will be used, e.g., phone networking between and among colleagues at other institutions, and use of the minority job referral services. Emphasis will be placed on the “pool building” process in the review and approval of search plans.

It is important that every effort be made to identify candidates from under-represented populations. Known sources of minority and female candidate listings and listings of candidates with disabilities, referral organizations, and periodicals should be developed and used.

Potential candidates who are currently employed and are not known to be looking for a job should be called if they are identified by any source.

Creativity is needed to identify and attract minority and women applicants and this should be kept in mind when conducting searches and formulating recommendations.

(7) Copies of the “resume assessment” form to be used for evaluating applicants’ qualifications, the “telephone reference assessment” form, and the “interview assessment” form to be used while interviewing selected applicants.2


D. Approval of the Search Plan

Four copies of the search plan with signature approval lines for the director, division head, and AEO Officer will be submitted to the director, who will approve the plan and forward the four originals to the division head. The division head will forward the 4 originals to the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Provost will then forward the 4 originals to the AEO Officer for review and approval.

Following approval by the AEO Officer, the AEO Officer will forward the 4 originals back to the Office of the Provost who will retain one signed original of the plan and forward a signed original to the AEO Officer, a signed original to the appropriate division head, and a signed original to the chair of the search committee.

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E. Emergency Circumstances

Should emergency circumstances arise which require immediate action to begin a search, the director or appropriate administrator will review the situation with the division head and the AEO Officer and seek preliminary approval to proceed with the initial search steps. After the search begins, the full plan should be submitted for approval as described above.

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F. Receipt of Resumes and Supporting Material

Resumes will be received and maintained in either the program/unit or the office of the director, as agreed to by the director and the search committee. Upon receipt of resumes, the chair of the search committee will ensure that applicants for the position receive a letter confirming that their resumes have been received and that they receive the UIS’ AEO  information form. Any additional supporting materials requested from the applicants should be maintained in the candidate file for review by the search committee, director AEO Officer, and/or division head.

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G. Selection of Candidates to be Interviewed

(1) Procedure:

  • a. The director will assess, in consultation with AEO Officer, the adequacy of the search implementation and the resulting pool of candidates in relation to the position qualifications and affirmative action considerations.In making a determination about the adequacy of the pool, employment availability data concerning protected class members should be consulted. Flexibility is warranted to ensure that reasonableness is maintained particularly with regard to high demand program areas in which the availability of protected class member candidates is low.If the director judges the search implementation and/or pool to be inadequate in relation to affirmative action considerations, he/she will work with the search committee to extend the search efforts. A description of additional steps taken in this regard should be forwarded to the AEO Officer and the division head as an addendum to the search plan.
  • b. Once the announced date is reached, the search committee will review candidate files, using the approved resume and reference assessment forms. The committee should initially separate the “pool” into applicants who do and who do not meet the basic qualifications for the position.If there is a large pool of qualified applicants, the committee, with the participation and approval of the director, may make a preliminary reduction in the pool under active consideration to a smaller pool of the more highly qualified candidates. The reduction criteria to a smaller pool of the more highly qualified candidates must include the ability of the candidates to contribute to the diversity of the work force.If the director, in consultation with the AEO Officer, judges the reduced pool to be inadequate in relation to affirmative action considerations, he/she will work with the search committee to extend the search efforts. A description of additional steps taken in this regard would be forwarded to the AEO Officer and the division head as an addendum to the search plan.For the candidates remaining in consideration, the committee will seek additional information from and about the candidate in order to select those to be recommended for interview. A careful and thorough documentation of reference checks will be maintained.The director should assist with review and evaluation of the pool and make suggestions regarding information which should be sought for particular candidates.
  • c. Normally, the committee will recommend to the director three (3) unranked candidates for interview. In some instances, previously identified budget constraints might require bringing fewer than three candidates in for interview. In such instances, the committee will be informed in advance of such constraints.The committee may request inclusion of a fourth candidate for interview in support of the university’s efforts to achieve a diverse campus.

The search committee’s request to interview should be submitted with 4 original copies and should include:

  1. A cover sheet identifying the candidates for which interview approval is sought, with approval/signature lines for the director, the division head and the AEO Officer.
  2. A listing of all efforts made to contact candidates including protected class candidates and other phone contacts.
  3. A summary of the candidate pool, including a listing of those judged to be unqualified, qualified, and, when a preliminary reduction was made within the qualified pool, an identification of the reduced pool. When qualified candidates have not been included in the active pool, an explanation should be provided. Procedures used to seek additional information regarding active applicants should be described.
  4. A rationale for selecting the candidates for interview from among the pool of qualified candidates. (This rationale should be directly related to the qualifications sought in the position description and affirmative action considerations.)
  5. A vita for each candidate to be interviewed.

2. Review of Request

The director will review the committee’s request for interview and consult with the committee as needed.This review will include an assessment of the appropriateness of exclusion of candidates and a determination that the selected candidates meet the previously agreed upon qualifications of the position.If the recommendations are deemed inadequate, the director will work with the committee to obtain an appropriate selection of candidates for interview.

No candidates will be selected for interview by the director without having come from the search committee with a positive recommendation.

If the recommendations are deemed to be adequate, the director will forward the 4 originals of the request to interview to the division head for review and approval. The division head will then forward the 4 originals to the Office of the Provost who will forward them to the AEO Officer for review and approval. The AEO Officer will send the 4 signed originals back to the Provost who will retain a signed original of the request and forward signed originals to the AEO Officer, the division head, and the chair of the search committee.

If the division head disagrees with the recommendation of the search committee/director, he or she will convene the search committee, including the director and the AEO Officer, to engage in further discussion and deliberation in an attempt to reach consensus.

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H. Interviews

  1. Interviews and travel reimbursement should be arranged by the director according to established procedures. Delays in candidates’ reimbursement can be avoided by observing the requirement that each candidate sign the necessary invoice voucher while on campus.
  2. The interview schedule should include the staff of the program/unit in which the candidate is to work, other directors and deans concerned with the activities of the program/unit, and the AEO Officer for the purpose of ensuring uniformity of interview process (or designee when the AEO Officer is unavailable), and the division head.
  3. The interview with the program should include an exploration of:a. area(s) of expertise;
    b. professional accomplishments;
    c. the candidate’s career to date and in prospect;
    d. possible duties;
    e. related public affairs and other professional
    interests; and
    f. potential to contribute to the diversity
    of UIS.All interviewers will be asked to prepare assessments of the candidates, using the previously approved candidate interview assessment form.
  4. Questions of rank, salary, and personnel policies pertaining to retention, tenure, promotion, and research/service opportunities will be discussed with the candidate by the director.
  5. Following the completion of candidate interviews, the director, at his/her discretion, may request a meeting with the search committee to review the progress of the search to ensure that all procedures have been followed prior to receipt of the search committee’s recommendation to hire.

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I. Recommendation to Hire

(1) Search Committee Recommendation

Once interviews are completed, the committee will make recommendations to the director which include the following:

  • a. the committee’s judgment of the suitability for the position of each candidate interviewed, including a summary of evaluations of persons not on the committee who participated in the interviews. (For any candidate deemed unacceptable, the search committee must include its reasoning for this judgment. For each candidate judged suitable, the rationale for selection should be given. If there are two or more equally qualified candidates, the committee may consider the potential contribution to diversity as a factor in its deliberation.
  • b. anticipated duties and assignments for the coming year and the future. The committee should also include any relevant supporting materials requested from the applicants that would assist the director in making his/her recommendation.

(2) Director’s Recommendation

The director will review the committee’s recommendations and may make final reference checks with the candidate(s) current employer(s) and others. The director will confer with the AEO Officer and division head concerning the extent to which the hiring decision addresses UIS affirmative action hiring goals. The director will then forward 4 originals of a written recommendation for hiring with signature approval lines for the division head and the AEO Officer to the division head for review and approval.

The division head will forward the 4 originals to the office of Provost who will forward the 4 originals to the AEO Officer for review and approval. The AEO Officer will then forward the 4 signed originals back to the Provost who will retain one signed original. The Office of the Provost will then distribute signed originals to the AEO Officer, the division head, and the chair of the search committee.

The director’s recommendation for appointment must be drawn from those candidates receiving a positive recommendation of the search committee. Further, if there are two or more equally qualified candidates, the director may consider the potential contribution to diversity as a factor in his/her deliberation. The director’s recommendation should include:

  • a. the recommendations of the Search Committee;
  • b. proposed rank and salary with the assessment of the effects of this proposed rank and salary on the distribution of rank and salaries of existing staff within the program and school;
  • c. recommended allowance for moving expense reimbursement, if any; and
  • d. any other special arrangements or work load understandings proposed for the candidate.

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J. The Offer of a Position

  1. The director will forward the required forms to personnel requesting action along with a copy of the approved “Permission to Hire” memo with the approval cover sheet.
  2. Upon completion of the approval process, the director of the program or unit (with the permission of the next higher level administrator) will hold a conversation with the successful candidate.Before an offer of employment can be made, the director must reach a verbal agreement with the candidate concerning a beginning date for employment, a starting salary amount, consistent with any published and approved salary level, and other special conditions or understandings, such as travel expenses. After an oral agreement is reached, the director extends the offer of a position.
  3. If the candidate does not accept the position, the director, after consultation with the next higher level administrator, will convene a meeting of the search committee to review the options available.If the committee decides to recommend hiring one of the other candidates, a memo detailing the decision should be prepared for the approval of the division head and the AEO Officer and forwarded to the Office of the Provost.If the search committee cannot agree on another candidate, a meeting should be called including the director, the next higher level administrator, and the AEO Officer. The purpose of this meeting will be to determine if there is a need to re-post the position and begin another search.

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Notes:

Examples of “programs/units” include:

  • Dean’s Offices
  • The Bursar’s Office
  • WUIS
  • Printing and Duplicating

The resume, reference, and interview assessment forms may be submitted with the Committee’s request to interview instead of with the search plan should the Committee so desire. All three assessment forms should include standard questions the Committee seeks to ask all the candidates under consideration. Additional questions particular to individual candidates may be asked during the screening process.

Revised 04/06

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