3.2 Hiring and Recruitment Procedures for Faculty

3.2.1 Hiring Requests for New Full-time, Term Positions or Tenure-track Replacements Positions

Requests for 1) new tenure-track or term hires or 2) replacement positions for a tenured faculty member who retires, resigns, is put on permanent disability, etc., must be submitted to the divisional dean by July 1 of the academic year in which the search is intended to take place.  Department chairs must make the case for a tenure-track position based on analysis of pertinent data, such as the department’s number of major/minor affiliates, number of graduates, curricular pressures on enrollment.  Departments should also consider factors such as changes in the workload of existing faculty, the curricular directions suggested by the strategic priorities of the colleges.

3.2.2 Authorization to Hire

The deans, provost and the director of academic planning/budget will discuss the staffing requests in light of the information submitted by the chairs.  New positions, especially new tenure-track positions, are rare.  The provost will authorize a position only when adequate funds are available for the position and when the position is consistent with larger institutional needs and priorities.  Once a hire has been approved by provost, the department chair can begin the requisite paperwork involved in the recruitment process.

3.2.3 Elements of the Recruitment Process

College of Saint Benedict versus Saint John’s University Contract

The decision of whether a contract will be a College of Saint Benedict contract or a Saint John’s University contract is made by the provost in consultation with the dean.  The decision will be based on maintaining a College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University faculty balance within each department.  In the case that a faculty member is being temporarily replaced, the old contract location is continued in the new contract.

Position Description and Recruitment Authorization

The position description, which will be used as the basis of the position ad, is initiated by the department chair and is forwarded to the divisional dean with a completed Faculty Recruitment Authorization Form (available at the Human Resources Office).  The Human Resources Office is available for assistance with the form and for sample ads.  The dean will review the description for accuracy, consistency with College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University goals, appropriateness of language, and related issues.  When the dean believes the position description is ready, it is forwarded to the Office of the Provost for review and final approval.

Position Ad

Position ads will be created by the Human Resources Office and reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs before being submitted for publication.  Every effort will be made to place the ad in media the department deems appropriate, but budget considerations may limit the number of journals used or the number of times an ad appears.  The ad will request a letter of application (which includes a statement of teaching philosophy), three letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae and official transcripts.

3.2.4 A Note on Diversity

It is imperative that departments make a good faith effort to diversify the candidate pool, and it will be the dean’s responsibility to certify that effort.  Please note that if a pool of candidates does not display adequate diversity, the appropriate action by the dean may be to continue soliciting applications until diversity is achieved.

3.2.5 Handling the Candidate Pool

The Human Resources Office is responsible for the processing of candidate information and credentials.  As applications are received, the Human Resources Office will acknowledge receipt by letter to the candidates.  Applications and credentials will be logged and available for review by the search committee.

After application materials are in the possession of the search committee, the search chair is responsible for the care and security of the documents until they are no longer needed and are returned to the Human Resources Office. 

3.2.6 Phone Interviews

After a review of applicant files the department conducts phone interviews of the top five candidates. Telephone interviews are required only for candidates who have not been informally interviewed at a conference, e.g., MLA.  Guidelines for telephone interviewing include the following:

  • Write down questions in advance; ask questions that will reveal the teaching expertise of the candidate;
  • Use the same questions for each candidate;
  • Ask “leading” questions that will draw out a candidate rather than “yes and no” questions;
  • Remind committee members to introduce themselves to the candidate to personalize the search process.

The top five candidates are ranked in order of candidate preference after the telephone interviews.

3.2.7 Reference Calls

Reference calls must be conducted for the top two candidates of the five.

Generally, references should be asked questions like: Do you see this candidate fitting into a liberal arts college without a graduate program?  We are a faculty who greatly value good teaching—Is this person someone who will resonate to our values?  Can you give me some examples of how you form your assessment of this person’s potential as a teacher/scholar?

If the outcome of a reference call is unsatisfactory, the ranking of the top five should be adjusted, and reference calls will be completed for the top two candidates.

At this point, departments should forward files of the top five candidates, which include notes from phone interviews/conference interviews and notes from the reference calls.  Deans reserve the right to make additional reference calls of their own, as necessary.

The chair should inform the Human Resources Office of candidates who are no longer under consideration.  They will send a letter to inform them of their status.  If the candidate pool is small, you might want to wait on this.

A Note on Internal Candidates: Departments should follow the same procedures for internal candidates.

3.2.8 Campus Interviews

Ordinarily, we will bring two candidates to interview for a position.  All tenure-track positions must be interviewed by the provost and divisional dean.  The department chair will accompany the candidates to their interview with the dean.

The chair or department secretary should schedule interviews and help make appropriate transportation arrangements.  Complete interview schedules and candidates’ applications should be submitted to the provost and dean at least a week in advance of interview time.

We have established procedures for interviews, meals, lodging, and airfare, and these should be followed in all searches.  Procedures are as follows:

3.2.9 Airfare

Advanced planning can save a great deal of money on airfares.  When making airline reservations, check dates for a savings in the airfare and check an assortment of flight times and options.  Airfares of over $400 must be approved by the divisional dean.  Also, it may be less expensive for candidates to fly into Saint Cloud than use Executive Express to travel here from the Twin Cities.

3.2.10 Housing

When available, on-campus housing should be reserved for candidates.  At Saint John’s University, abbey guest rooms are often available (call Guest Master at 2573) as well as rooms in Emmaus Hall (contact the faculty resident at 2113).  If on-campus housing is not available, candidates should stay at a moderately priced local motel.

3.2.11 Meals

When possible, meals should be eaten on campus. Meal tickets can be obtained from   the Office of the Dean.  Departments may also reserve a meeting room and order a meal from dining service.  When off-campus meals are necessary, only moderately priced meals should be considered ($15 for dinner; $5 for breakfast/lunch) to include only one-two departmental faculty.  Requests for reimbursement should include a completed check request form, itemized receipts and the names of people attending the meal.  Reimbursements in excess of these guidelines will not be honored.

3.2.12 Last Steps

In preparation for the on-campus interviews, the chair may secure Candidate Evaluation Forms from the Human Resources Office or use one prepared by the committee for its written review.  These forms must be returned to the Human Resources Office for the recruitment file.

After the on-campus interview process, the department makes its recommendation for hire to the divisional dean.  The recommendation is made in writing with an explanation of the reasons for the decision.  In the case that the two top candidates are essentially equivalent, the more diverse candidate for the department is expected to be recommended.

3.2.13 Job Offer

When the divisional dean has a departmental recommendation for the tenure-track position, the dean will discuss the search with the provost, who approves the hire.  The offer of a position and all negotiation is done by the divisional dean.  Once the department has recommended a candidate, the department must separate itself from the process and wait until the negotiations are completed.  When a candidate accepts a position, the dean will inform the chair.  The Office of the Dean will prepare the necessary Contract Data Form which is sent to the Human Resources Office for issuance of the contract.

3.2.14 Post-hire

The chair completes an Affirmative Action Data Form required for federal reporting purposes and submits it to the Human Resources Office.  The chair returns all application materials and evaluation forms (including those for the individual hired) to the Human Resources Office so that files may be closed and all materials placed in storage.  Once the Human Resources Office has received the candidate’s complete file including official transcripts (not copies) they will send a contract to the candidate with information confirming benefits and the Faculty Handbook.  The department chair should notify other finalists that the position has been filled.