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George A. Smathers Libraries: Search and Selection Guidelines for Internal Faculty Searches

I. Policy

A Division Director may initiate an internal search to confer administrative responsibilities upon a faculty member within the Libraries or a department within the Libraries. It is the objective of this procedure to facilitate that activity by establishing basic procedures for the Department Chair and Division Director in successfully selecting internal candidates for administrative positions.

II. Date: April 9, 1997
     Revised: February 2001

III. Ref. Documents:

  • A. Vacancy Announcement (example)
    B. Candidate Criteria Chart
    C. Interview Schedule (example)
    D. Interviewing Questions
    E. Meal Policy for Faculty and A&P Staff
    F. Candidate Meal Worksheet
    G. Sample Recommendation Letter

IV. The Vacancy Announcement

The department chair drafts a vacancy announcement and submits it to the division director and the Deputy Director of Libraries for discussion and approval.

  • A. The vacancy announcement should reflect consideration of various aspects of the position.
    • 1. title

      2. academic rank

      3. position responsibilities

      4. reporting lines

      5. minimum required qualifications

      6. additional desired qualifications

      7. administrative supplement

V. Search Committee Appointed

The Division Director and Department Chair develop a representative list of appropriate library staff to form a search committee.

  • A. The names suggested for the committee are submitted to the Library Personnel Officer for approval.

    B. The Library Personnel Officer, under the signature of the Division Director, sends a letter of appointment to the committee chair with copies for the committee members.

    C. The Library Personnel Officer (LPO) or designee serves "ex officio" on all search committees as the Library's Affirmative Action Officer and to see that procedures conform to University of Florida rules and regulations.

VI. First Committee Meeting The LPO calls the first committee meeting and arranges for appropriate library staff (usually, though not necessarily, the division director and department head) to discuss with the committee the responsibilities of the position and type of candidate they hope to attract.

  • A. The group reviews the vacancy announcement.

    B. An effective recruitment strategy is identified. If the vacancy announcement requires editing, the LPO initiates the changes and secures appropriate director approval.

VII. Advertising the Vacancy

  • A. Internal vacancies must be advertised for at least two weeks within the Libraries and/or the department; the search committee establishes a deadline.

    B. Copies of vacancy announcements will be sent to each faculty member in the Libraries and/or in the department.

VIII. Search Files

The Library Personnel Office Manager organizes a search file that may be checked out by the Search Committee members from the Library Personnel Office overnight.

IX. Receipt of Applications

The Library Personnel Office Manager contacts the committee chair when several applications are available for review and continues to notify the chair as applications arrive.

X. Search Committee Action:

  • A. The search committee meets prior to the application deadline to assess the success of the search to date based on the number and quality of applications, to determine whether or not alternate recruitment strategies need to be developed and implemented, and to identify the method by which applicants will be reviewed, and to draft an interview schedule.
    • 1. A criteria chart is developed that directly reflects the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement.
      • Note: Applications are not to be reviewed until the search committee has established the criteria chart.

      2. A draft of the interview schedule is completed.

      • a) individual faculty and/or staff to meet with the candidate are identified

        b) number of open meetings to be held for the general library staff are determined

        c) whether or not a presentation is required, and if so, what the topic will be is decided

        d) identifying which committee members will join the candidate for lunch and dinner

        • (1) Lunch: candidate, one member of the search committee and one faculty/staff member from the interviewing department; maximum per person $8.00

          (2) Dinner: candidate, chair of the search committee, chair of the department, division director, director of libraries (dept. hd. vacancies); maximum per person $25.00

      3. Questions to be asked of each top candidate during the screening interview are determined.

      4. Questions to be asked of referees during a screening interview are determined.

      • Note: If the Library Personnel Officer or designee is not present at this meeting, the committee chair is advised to discuss the questions with the Library Personnel Officer.

    B. After the deadline has passed, the committee chair calls a committee meeting to discuss the applicants; before this meeting the committee members are expected to have reviewed the applicant pool.

    • 1. With large applicant pools, the committee chair notifies the committee every few days of the status of the pool, so that the committee members will have sufficient time to thoroughly review the applications before the meeting.

      2. The committee analyzes applicant skills on the agreed upon criteria chart.

    C. Once consensus has been reached on the qualified applicants, screening interviews are conducted with the top candidates by members of the search committee.

    • 1. The purpose of this preliminary interview is to verify continued interest and candidate suitability for interview.
      • a) acquire any substantive information that may be helpful indtermining the candidate's suitability.

        b) assess the candidates interpersonal and communication skills

        c) acquire any substantive information that may be helpful in further narrowing the applicant pool.

      2. Candidates should be told that, should they be invited for an interview, their references will be contacted. At that time the names and telephone numbers of the referees are verified.

      3. Committee members should not discuss interview plans or interview dates with the applicants, but only inform them that they will be contacted by the Library Personnel Office on the status of the search.

      4. The Committee may screen as many candidates as it deems necessary.

    D. As a result of the screening interviews, the Committee generally  though not necessarily  limits their interest to between three and five candidates for which at least three referees are contacted.

    • 1. The same questions are generally asked of each referee. Clarification regarding specific candidates is permitted.

      2. Referees should be told that they may also be requested at a later date to send a letter of reference.

      3. Only referees listed by the candidate are to be contacted.

      • a. an immediate supervisor is preferred

        b. a professional colleague able to assess the candidates direct applicability to the vacant position is sought

      4. If the committee feels it needs to contact sources other than those provided by the candidate, the chair should notify the LPO. The LPO will contact the candidate requesting additional references.

      5. A synopsis of conversations with referees is documented by those who make the contact and submitted to the committee chair.

    E. The committee prepares a recommendation for interview, in memo format, addressed to the appropriate Division Director.  This memo is given to the Library Personnel Officer.

    • 1. The memo should be accompanied by supporting documentation (i.e. synopsis of screening interviews and the criteria chart).

      2. It should include a discussion of which applicants, if any, are recommended for interview and why.

      • Note: The memo should address any applicant who appears on the criteria chart to be an obvious choice, but who is not being recommended for an interview.

      3. The memo and supporting documentation is given to the LPO; it is packaged and forwarded to the Division Director.

    F. After discussing the committee's recommendation for interviews with the Department Chair, the Division Director submits a recommendation to the Director of Libraries for review and approval.

    • 1. The Director of Libraries may accept the recommendation of the committee, may request that other candidates be brought in, may charge the committee to revise the search strategy and repost the position, or may ask that further background checks on other applicants be completed.

      2. The committee chair and the division director are informed of the Director of Libraries' decision by the LPO.

    G. The search committee submits a final recommended interview schedule to the LPO.

    • 1. The names of persons/groups recommended for inclusion in the interview schedule.

      2. The names of the lunch and dinner guests.

      3. Any pertinent information on the interview.

      4. Preferred dates for interviews.

      5. The search committee chair makes arrangements for those aspects of the interview that the committee is responsible.

      • a) taking the interviewee to and from the airport, hotel, and meals and interview sessions

        b) having someone who will act in a leadership/facilitator role in each interview session

        c) designating a committee member to collect all bills and complete the Candidate Meal Worksheet for batching and submission to the LPO for reimbursement. Click here for the worksheet

    H. The LPO Office Assistant prepares the final interview schedule and agenda distribution.

    • 1.The committee chair, Department Chair, Division Director and Director of Libraries approve the agenda.

      2. The agenda, the vacancy announcement, and the letter of application and resume of the interviewee are distributed.

      3. The meeting rooms are reserved.

      4. The Library Personnel Office Assistant contacts the interviewee to discuss travel arrangements, forwards an interview packet, and secures hotel reservations.

    I. After all interviews are completed, the committee decides whether or not candidates are acceptable or unacceptable for the position. Of great importance is the inclusion of a cogent, well thought out analysis of the interviewees' strengths and weaknesses for the position in question, and detailed justification for the recommendation.

    • 1. The search committee meets to assess the candidates and to review any Memos of Assessment.
      • Note: Staff participating in the interview (except for the committee, Department Chair, Directors) are expected to write memos of assessment after interviewing finalists to be submitted to either the LPO or the search committee chair.

      2. The committee submits to the LPO, a memo addressed to the Division Director, recommending which candidate should be offered the position. The recommendation is accompanied by any supporting documentation deemed necessary by the committee (i.e. Memos of Assessment, synopses of the reference calls, etc.)

XI. Decision to Hire

After discussing the recommendation of the search committee with the Department Chair, the Division Director makes a recommendation to the Director of Libraries to either accept, reject, or modify the committee recommendation.

  • A. The Director of Libraries, Division Director, and LPO develop an offer.
    • 1. The offer is made to the candidate by the LPO.

      2. The LPO notifies the search committee chair, Department Chair, Division Director, and the Director of Libraries of the acceptance or rejection of the offer.

    B. The Division Director discharges the search committee and thanks them for their service to the Libraries.

XII. Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Library Personnel Officer to update and maintain this procedure consistent with current practices of University Personnel Services as directed by the Director of Libraries.

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