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“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

ommitment to

diversity should be part of the charge to the


The charge should include the following:

position title and duties including reporting line;

time schedule;

adequate number of internal and external

candidates to be interviewed;

guidelines to maintain confidentiality;

special concerns or skills needed with respect to

the position;

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.

Search Timing

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.