Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


Chapter IV: Faculty Personnel Rules and Procedures of UW-River Falls

4.2 Recruitment and Initial Appointment - Faculty Personnel Rules

Chancellor's Statement

[FS 04/05-4document] [reviewed 2/08] The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is committed to the principle of equality of opportunity in employment and in education. In its most elementary form, adherence to the concept of equality of opportunity requires that we strive toward a condition in which considerations of age, race, creed, color, religion, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, veteran status, arrest or conviction record, or membership in the National Guard or any other reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state are irrelevant as determinants of the access an individual has to the opportunities for education, for employment, for achievement, and for personal fulfillment. Rather, the controlling factors in all such matters must be individual ability, interest and merit.

Our present and future course, which goes beyond non-discrimination (i.e., the elimination of all policies and practices that work to the disadvantage of individuals on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, disability, marital status, gender, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, arrest or conviction record, or membership in the National Guard or any other reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state), is based on the concept of Affirmative Action. The principle of Affirmative Action requires the University to determine if it has met its responsibility to recruit, employ, promote, and reward these populations to a degree consistent with their availability and merit, and whether or not any failure to do so can be traced to specific discriminatory actions or policies. Where these classes are underrepresented, the University will recruit and employ them in accordance with their increasing availability. The premise of this commitment is that the corrosive effects of systematic exclusion, inattention, and overt discrimination cannot be remedied in appropriate ways and in a reasonable time by a posture of neutrality with respect to all individuals. Affirmative Action is necessary to avoid the perpetuation of the inequities that are our heritage from the past.

While the University is obliged to develop and sustain a program of Affirmative Action, our commitment to these matters transcends legal or contractual requirements. We undertake these actions and adopt these policies not because we are required to, but because it is right and proper to do so.

4.2.1 Procedures for Recruitment

[FS 04/05-4document]  The following recruitment guidelines are designed to be consistent with UWS 3.02link which states “. . . [the recruiting] procedure shall be consistent with board policy and state and federal laws with respect to nondiscriminatory and affirmative action recruitment. The procedures shall allow maximum flexibility at the departmental and college levels to meet particular needs. In all instances the procedures shall provide for departmental peer review and judgment as the primary step in the recruiting process.” Appointments and all terms of appointments shall be made only if based on affirmative recommendations of the academic unit/department and with the approval of the appropriate academic administrative officers.

4.2.1.1 Responsibility of Department

Once the decision has been made that a vacancy exists within an academic unit/department and clearance to fill the position has been received from University administration, the academic unit/department, using one of the structures described in Section 4.2.1.2 below, shall have the primary responsibility for recruitment for faculty appointments.

4.2.1.2 Determination of Recruitment Committee Structure

Prior to establishing a recruitment committee, the academic unit/department shall meet and determine the structure of the committee and the procedures to be followed. The decision of the academic unit/department should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The academic unit/department may elect one of the following:

  1. to act as a committee of the whole, delegating the recruitment process to a duly appointed subcommittee. The subcommittee conducts the recruitment consistent with all applicable sections of the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook and makes recommendations to the voting members of the academic unit/department, who then reconvene as a committee of the whole to review finalists’ files and recommend candidates for the position, or
  2. to act as a committee of the whole, without establishing a subcommittee, and conduct the recruitment consistent with all applicable sections of the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook. The committee consists of all eligible voting members of the academic unit/department and any additional committee members as required by the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook, who recommend candidates for the position to the Dean of the College, or
  3. to establish a Recruitment Committee that conducts the recruitment on behalf of the academic unit/department. The process may include consultation with academic unit/department faculty. Only the members of the Recruitment Committee (excluding advisory student members) shall recommend candidates for the position to the Dean of the College. Only members of the recruitment committee, the chair of the academic unit/department, and the student advisory member shall have access to all candidates' files, which will be held in strictest confidence consistent with University policy. Those having a direct role in the hiring process shall have access to the files of those candidates recommended for campus interviews. [FS 05/06-27document]

The chair of the academic unit/department shall appoint at least one student from among the junior and senior majors and minors in the academic unit/department to advise the Recruitment Committee in a non-voting capacity. The following table lists who is eligible to serve on a Recruitment Committee, depending upon the type of search, and the voting rights of each of those members. The actual composition of the committee is determined separately.

Table 4.2.1.2 Recruitment Committees

Personnel Classifications and Voting Rights, Recruitment Committees, Unclassified Staff 

Employee Classification

Tenure Track Search  

Instructional Academic Staff Search

Non-instructional
Academic Staff Search

Tenured Faculty (1)

Serves and votes

Serves and votes

Serves and votes

Probationary Faculty (1)

Serves and votes

Serves and votes

Serves and votes

Academic Staff, Full Time

Serves and advises only (2)

Serves and advises
only (2)

Serves and votes

Academic Staff, Part Time

May not serve or vote

May not serve or vote

May not serve or vote

Instructional Academic Staff Full Time

May not serve or vote(2)

May not serve or vote (2)

Serves and votes

Instructional Academic Staff Part Time

May not serve or vote

May not serve or vote

May not serve or vote

Student

Serves and advises only (3)

Serves and advises only (3)

Serves and advises only (4)

Community Member

Serves and advises only (3)

May not serve or vote

Serves and advises Only (3)

Classified Staff

May not serve or vote

May not serve or vote

May serve and vote

  1. Every faculty member, including the academic unit/department chair, with two consecutive semesters of service in that academic unit/department shall be eligible to serve on the Recruitment Committee, with the exception of emeriti, persons who have officially announced their intention to retire, those who have received non-renewal notices or resigned for reasons other than retirement, and the individual being replaced.
  2. Academic staff may serve and vote on search committees hiring full-time faculty positions with coaching assignments, full-time coaching-related instructional academic staff positions, and academic staff support positions.
  3. Students and community members may serve in an advisory, non-voting capacity at the discretion of the unit.
  4. Student representation on the Recruitment Committee is highly recommended for units with significant student involvement.

4.2.1.3 Preparation of Recruiting Plan

The Recruitment Committee will prepare a recruiting plan to be used for recruiting candidates. The Recruitment Committee should make every effort to ensure that the vacancy listings reach as many eligible candidates as possible and work with the Office of Equity and Affirmative Action to develop a diverse applicant pool. The Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Compliance, and Affirmative Action shall approve applicant pool diversity before review of applications begins. The recruiting plan requires the approval of the Dean and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The recruiting plan must include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

  1. Job description
  2. Rank and anticipated salary range to be offered for the position
  3. In addition to the criteria stated in the job description, the following criteria, where applicable, will be used for reviewing the applications: (1) professional preparation and experience
    (2) effectiveness in teaching or potential as a teacher
    (3) professional involvement and accomplishments in scholarly activities such as, but not limited to, research, writing, and artistic production or performance or potential for such accomplishment
    (4) significant contributions at the departmental, college, university, community, state, national or international level in categories other than those identified above, or potential for such contributions
    (5) other criteria as identified in the position description
  4. Interview procedures providing for participation by students, faculty and administration per guidelines from the Office of Equity and Affirmative Action.
  5. Equal opportunity statement or full statement (see Chancellor's Statement, Rules, at the beginning of 4.2 above)
  6. Date at which review of applications begins

4.2.1.4 Candidates’ Files

The academic unit/department concerned shall maintain files of the candidates' applications and supporting materials. After the position is filled, these materials shall be filed with the Human Resources Office.

4.2.1.5 Screening of Applications

The Recruitment Committee shall screen applications and recommend applicants for interviews, consistent with procedures in Section 4.2.1.2. The Recruitment Committee chair, in consultation with the Dean, shall establish the number of candidates to be interviewed and the interview dates.

4.2.1.6 Background Check  

When a determination is made to invite candidates to campus, the chair of the Recruitment Committee may request Human Resources to begin the process of conducting criminal background checks as indicated in the UWRF Background Check Implementation Plan. Information generated with the criminal background check will be used as indicated in the Background Check Implementation Plan.  [FS 06/07-59document

4.2.2 Procedures for Recommendation

[FS 04/05-4document]

4.2.2.1 Meeting to Determine Candidates Acceptable for Hiring

After completing all applicant interviews, the Recruitment Committee and/or the academic unit/department, consistent with the procedures described in Section 4.2.1.2, will confer to determine which applicants are acceptable for hiring. In compliance with the open meeting law, written notice of the meeting shall be given in advance of the meeting, together with a statement of the agenda. The meeting shall be conducted so as to afford reasonable opportunities to ask questions, offer additional information, and discuss the recommendations in question.

4.2.2.2 Narrative Report from Recruitment Committee

The Recruitment Committee chair will summarize in writing the discussion of candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and the committee’s preferences relative to the position description. This narrative report will also note any candidates which the academic unit/department deems unacceptable for hire. The narrative shall be affirmed by consensus or by a majority vote of eligible members. Candidates are not to be numerically ranked or rated.

4.2.2.3 Content of and Response to Narrative Report

The Recruitment Committee chair will submit to the Dean the narrative described in 4.2.2.2 and any supporting materials for administrative review, including (a) a statement of the number of eligible voters who supported and opposed the final narrative (b) the compliance report and (c) other information which may be required by the Chancellor. If the Dean does not concur with the recommendation, he or she shall meet with the department or academic unit or academic unit chair and the Recruitment Committee to discuss the decision. [FS 05/06-27document]

4.2.2.4 Procedures if Lack of Agreement

If, after appropriate consultation, the Dean and the recruitment committee and/or the academic unit/department chair do not agree on a hiring recommendation, the following alternatives may be used: (a) an additional candidate or candidates from the pool may be interviewed; (b) an extension of the search may be authorized by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; (c) the recruitment committee may recommend that the search be terminated, or (d) the Dean may terminate the search.

4.2.2.5 Forwarding of Department’s Recommendation

The Dean shall forward the recommendation, appending the narrative, support materials and any other comments to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

4.2.2.6 Provost and Vice Chancellor’s Decision

The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall make a decision on the recommendation. If the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs does not concur with the recommendation, he or she shall meet with the Dean, the academic unit/department chair and the recruitment committee to discuss the decision.

4.2.2.7 Procedure if Candidate Declines

If the candidate declines to accept the offered position, the recruitment committee may request permission from the Dean to offer the position to another interviewed candidate. Alternatively, the recruitment committee may request permission from the Dean to interview additional candidates from the identified pool of qualified applicants, may request an extension of the search, or may request that the search be closed.

4.2.2.8 Tenure Consideration with Initial Appointment

In those cases where tenure is a consideration in the initial appointment, procedures as specified in 4.4.2 d are to be followed. If there is an affirmative tenure recommendation, the Chancellor will recommend to the Board of Regents, through the President of the System, that tenure be granted as part of the initial appointment.

4.2.3 Notification of Initial Appointment

4.2.3.1 Appointment Letter and Years of Experience

Each person to whom an appointment is offered must receive an appointment letter in which the Chancellor or other authorized official of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls details the terms and conditions of the appointment, including but not limited to: duration of the appointment, salary, starting date, ending date, general position responsibilities, probation, tenure status, and crediting for prior service. Accompanying this letter shall be a link to a website detailing the University and System rules and procedures relating to faculty appointments. If the appointment is subject to the advance approval of the Board of Regents, a statement to this effect must be included in the letter. The following guidelines will be considered in the assignment of number of years of experience:

  1. teaching experience at the university level in an institution equivalent to this University will be honored on a 1 - 1 basis (one year equals one year).
  2. teaching experience at the elementary or secondary level will be honored on a 2 - 1 basis, however a maximum of five years will be granted.
  3. industrial, governmental, business, or pre-professional experience directly related to the University teaching assignment will be honored on a 2 -1 basis with a maximum of five years granted.
  4. appropriate experience will be considered on an individual basis. The burden of proof is on the faculty member to show cause and for the department chair to present evidence. The experience shall not exceed the 3 -1 ratio, with a maximum of five years granted.
  5. graduate assistantships may be considered in (d) of the above formula.

4.2.3.2 Notification of Candidates Not Offered Appointment

Applicants who are not offered the appointment shall be notified by the head of the academic unit that their applications will receive no further consideration.