“The composition of the search committee is critical to its success. By involving people with different points of view or by bringing in a fresh face,
the chair can ensure that multiple perspectives and fresh ideas are brought to bear in evaluating candidates.”
- Association of American Colleges and Universities
The membership of a search committee should reflect the
diversity of the campus. Women and minorities should
be included on the committee. To achieve this in less
diverse departments, consider asking students, faculty, or
staff members from other departments to serve on the
The committee should include several members whose
specialty is similar to qualifications listed for the position
and also one member who is knowledgeable about
Indiana University Southeast
hiring and Equal
Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policies.
It is the responsibility of the search committee to attract,
evaluate, and recommend the best candidates for a
position. To meet this responsibility, the committee must:
draft a concise position description that does not
exclude women and minority applicants;
review campus affirmative action plan numbers;
attract a complete and inclusive candidate pool
through proactive advertising methods;
use fair, objective, and uniform procedures to evaluate
complete the search process in a timely manner.
The committee should be advised about confidentiality.
While it may be permissible to discuss candidates with
relevant faculty and/or staff, these discussions should not
involve others who are not members of the search
committee. Candidates should not be discussed with
other candidates or with colleagues outside the institution.
Good candidates may withdraw if they believe their
candidacy is not treated confidentially. This is especially
important when there are internal candidates for a
position. E-mail should not be used to discuss candidates.
Generally a search committee is made up of no less than
three people, including the chair of the committee.
Practically, there should be few enough members that
schedules and discussion can be managed effectively and
enough members to ensure diverse perspectives and
The Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative
Action Statement and a statement from the dean
and/or hiring manager and chancellor affirming
ndiana University Southeast’s c
diversity should be part of the charge to the
The charge should include the following:
position title and duties including reporting line;
adequate number of internal and external
candidates to be interviewed;
guidelines to maintain confidentiality;
special concerns or skills needed with respect to
how search relates to long and short term goals
of the department and the university;
diversity initiatives of the department;
geographic scope of the search.
The search committee recommends, to the
department dean or supervisor, acceptable
candidates for hiring.
Forming a search committee as soon as possible
after determining a vacancy can decrease the
difficulties in dealing with publication deadlines,
payroll cut-offs, visa delays, etc. Publication
deadlines can often be more than a month prior to
the publication date and visa processing can take
five to six months.
At the first committee meeting, details such as
meeting schedule and record keeping should be
clarified. Members should be assigned
responsibilities for candidate records, travel
arrangements, correspondence, on and off campus
interviews, phone interviews, reference checks,
completing and submitting required search forms.
Consider inviting a member of Human Resources
and/or the Office of Equity & Diversity to any early
meeting to discuss affirmative action concerns,
procedures, and recruitment strategies.