SUNY Plattsburgh     
Search Process Manual


Academic, Professional, and M/C Searches
 
 
Approved by Executive Council
October 2013

 

 
 
 
 

 


Table Of Contents
Introduction
 
Conducting a Successful Search     
The Authorization to Recruit
Composition of the Search Committee
Recruitment Sources
Job Description and Qualifications
Training in Affirmative Action Principles
Search Committee Review of Applications
Special Considerations
Full Review
Use of the Internet
Affirmative Action Considerations
Conducting Phone Interviews
Checking References
Campus Interviews
Welcoming the New Employee
“Failed” Searches
Finishing Up
 
Step-By-Step for the Search Committee Chair
 
Flow Chart of Process
 
Roles and Responsibilities
 
Evaluating Candidates: Keeping an Open Mind
 
Legal and Illegal Questions
 
On-Campus Interview Protocol
 
Search Waivers
 
FAQs
What is affirmative action?
When can we call references?
Can I tell the candidate about salary?
What should I do about an incomplete file?
What if a candidate is not a US citizen?
What if someone asks an illegal question during an interview?
What about internal candidates?
From whom do we need to get approvals?
How should a vita bank search be handled?
How do the records of the search need to be stored?
May we use information from social media or the
           internet to make decisions?
 
Partner Employment
 
Instructions for the On-Line Recruitment System (ORS)
 
Examples
Recruitment Plan
2 Criteria/candidate assessment form (narrative)
Criteria/candidate assessment form (spread sheet)
Phone interview form
Reference verification form
2 On-campus itinerary
Report to AAO/HA of candidate qualifications
 
 
 
 
List of Acronyms
AAO: Affirmative Action Officer
ATR: Authorization to Recruit (on-line form)
HA: Hiring Authority (Dean, VP, or designee)
HRS: Human Resource Services
ORS: On-Line Recruitment System
 


INTRODUCTION
If you have agreed to chair or serve on a search committee, thank you; the college appreciates your service.
 
This search process is designed to seek out and select the best candidates for our positions. SUNY Plattsburgh is an equal opportunity employer, using affirmative action to attract and retain a diverse work force.
 
Many of the requirements detailed in this manual will also help us meet, and document that we met, state and federal guidelines regarding equal opportunity employment. 
 
If you have any questions about this process or about affirmation action, please ask Human Resource Services (564-5062) or the Affirmative Action Officer (564-3310).
 
Overview of the Process (see also the flow chart [forthcoming])
SUNY Plattsburgh utilizes an on-line recruitment system (ORS), which allows most of the forms needed to search and then hire to be completed on line, and which requires that candidates apply and submit required materials on line, too. (There are instructions for using ORS separate from this manual.)
 
First, there is an “authorization to recruit” (ATR) submitted on line by the department/unit conducting the search. Though there is a lot of information requested in that form, for our purposes in this manual, three areas are key (and they’ll be discussed more thoroughly below):
 
1.      The composition of the search committee, including the chair;
2.      The recruitment sources;
3.      The job description and the minimum and preferred qualifications.
 
Before the ATR is submitted, the entire search committee must meet (with the hiring authority if appropriate) to review numbers two and three above. This early meeting will save a great deal of time in the process. After the ATR has been submitted, the entire committee will be trained in AAO principles, either in person or on-line at the discretion of the AAO.
 
Once the ATR has been approved at all levels, the job will be posted on our “SUNY Plattsburgh Jobs” web site, and in the various newspapers and/or professional locations the search committee specifies.
 
Applicants will submit materials on line. Search committee members will review the materials, determine which candidates are minimally qualified and which not. Depending on the size of the pool, some of the qualified candidates will be recommended for a phone interview. The hiring authority (the dean, VP, or designee) and the Affirmative Action Officer will review the recommendations. After approval, the committee will conduct the phone interviews.
 
The committee will then recommend candidates for campus interviews. After approval by the hiring authority (HA) and the AAO, candidates will be invited to campus. After the interviews, the committee will provide a list of strengths and weaknesses to the HA, who will then make the offer of a job.
 
The committee, the department, and the entire campus will welcome the new employee to Plattsburgh.
 
CONDUCTING A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH
The Authorization to Recruit (ATR)
This on-line form is usually completed by the originating department, after the search has been approved by the appropriate vice president, and after the search committee has met and refined the list of minimum qualifications and recruitment sources.
 
Composition of the Search Committee
The Search Committee and each of its members act on behalf of, and represent, SUNY Plattsburgh, first and foremost.

The search committee composition is determined by the department chair/unit supervisor/director and hiring authority (HA), then reviewed and approved by the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) and the appropriate vice president (VP). (There may be some changes to the composition as a result of these reviews.)

The search committee should include representative members of the department or unit including: women and men, junior and senior employees, ethnic diversity, and students, if appropriate. (Student members are full, voting members of the committee.) 

There must also be at least one member from outside the department/unit. This helps assure that new ideas are considered and selection rationales are fully explored. This proviso holds even for temporary positions—these incumbents often become long-term. (Which means, too, that we should not consider these less important searches.)

Since the primary function of the search committee is to independently review candidates for appointment and to document strengths and weaknesses to a hiring authority (HA), that decision-maker (the HA) will not be on the search committee.

Careful consideration should also be given to whether the immediate supervisor or immediate subordinate of the position being searched should be on the committee. On a larger campus, such individuals would NOT be involved in the search. It may be unavoidable on this small campus, but it is a good idea to try to steer clear of these situations. Certainly, the supervisor should not chair the search committee. (In any case, the supervisor and subordinates will have input about the candidates to the HA; they are not excluded from input even if they are not on the search committee.)

Members of search committees should be free of conflicts of interest. Such conflicts may include friendships or family ties with applicants. Potential committee members who feel they cannot be impartial, or whose participation may not appear to be impartial, should recuse themselves from being part of the committee.
 
Search Committee Chair: The college is in the process of establishing a cadre of trained faculty and staff to serve as search committee chairs. If a department/unit wishes to utilize one of these, HRS and the AAO will aid in selection. The idea here is that there is a fair amount of work and skill required of the chair (see section below) which must be done accurately and timely (e.g., keeping records of discussions and accurately recording in ORS the disposition of each candidate). If there is no one willing to take on these responsibilities, please utilize one of these cadres. If the person selected from the cadre is not a member of the department, this person can do double duty as chair and the outside member.
 
Recruitment Sources
The vacancy will be advertised widely and appropriately. The search committee members themselves are the experts as to where qualified applicants would look for jobs—newspapers, professional association web sites, or general sources such as The Chronicle of Higher Education or HigherEdJobs.com.   Different professions and different scholarly areas have different sources.
 
At its first meeting, before the ATR is submitted, the search committee should generate a list of all likely recruitment sources. This list includes the above possibilities, and it includes more informal, often free, sources such as professional and/or subject-matter list-serves. Paid advertising (as with professional associations or newspapers) will be placed by HRS. Sufficient lead-time is required to get ads placed, including ads placed on line. 
 
It is important that committee members then take an active role in networking and otherwise publicizing the vacancy using the approved ad copy. Members have access to professional associations and circles, including attending professional meetings and posting on websites and discussion groups, that may be useful in attracting a wide variety of well-qualified candidates, helping to ensure a deep pool. Search committee members are encouraged, too, to contact colleagues in other places (e.g., for academic positions, calling a university where doctorates are earned in the desired areas).   Be sure to point potential applicants to our website and the official job posting. Just keep records of the various contacts and solicitations.
 
We recommended that search committees consider a soft deadline, using the words: “for full consideration, submit materials by [date].” That soft deadline should be at least two weeks after the paid postings by HRS. This encourages timely applications but allows the committee to continue to review new applicants if the initial pool is not strong enough or large enough.
 
Job Description and Qualifications
This is a crucial part of the search committee’s expertise and responsibilities. Working with the hiring authority (HA) and the recruiting department, the committee (very much including the ‘outside’ member) should detail the description of the job (see examples at the end of the manual) and detail the minimum and preferred qualifications.
 
Once we advertise the qualifications, they become a legal contract with applicants. All decisions will be made according to those published qualifications.
 
Required Qualifications: This is the minimum that a candidate must have to do the job. For some academic positions, it may be a Ph.D. in the field. For some professional positions, it may be a minimum number of years of experience doing similar work. Remember, if something is listed as a required qualification, no applicant without that degree or experience or skill may even be considered.
 
In general, it is best to keep the required qualifications as generic as possible, to encourage the widest pool of applicants. Consider what is absolutely necessary for the job.
 
Preferred Qualifications:  A committee may not wish to unnecessarily limit the applicant pool by a too-strict definition of minimum qualifications. Yet, there may be a wish list, and that wish list may be included in the preferred qualifications box. Listing key preferred qualifications will let applicants know more about what the job may entail, but will not keep people without those preferred skills from applying and being considered. You need not list everything you want here, just the key elements.
 
 
 
All aspects of the ATR will be reviewed by the hiring authority, by the AAO, by the vice president, the president, budget, and finally Human Resource Services (HRS).   Some changes may be made as a result of these reviews.
 
Training in AA Principles
The entire search committee will be trained in affirmative action principles, either by meeting with the Affirmative Action Officer in person or by completing an on-line training or informative quiz (at the discretion of the AAO). When the ATR reaches that level (electronically), the AAO will invite committee members for training. 
 
Any questions the committee may have about affirmative action can be asked at any time throughout the process by calling or e-mailing the AAO.
 
Search Committee Review of Applications
After the job has been posted by HRS on our web site (and wherever else the search committee has decided), candidates will apply on line.
 
The search committee chair may meet if needed with HRS to go over the special considerations (below) and to become familiar with the requirements of the on-line recruitment system (ORS).
 
Special Considerations
There are two instances of such special considerations. The first is a requirement of the United University Professionals (UUP) contract, which is rare. If an individual represented by UUP statewide has been or is about to be retrenched, that individual may apply for a position and must be considered before any other candidate. This consideration will be requested by the candidate in her/his application letter. Contact HRS for details on how to proceed.

The second, more common, consideration is known as the Plan for Internal Professional Promotions for professional positions (not academic). Basically, certain current state employees may apply for positions during a ten calendar-day period. These applicants will be reviewed before any applications received from outside are reviewed. Such applicants may be interviewed and offered the position before review of external applications. Or, these applicants may be retained in the wider pool which includes outside applications. For more details, contact HRS and see: 
http://www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/admin/hr/internalprofessionalplan.php .

Any such recommendations made by the search committee need to be documented to the AAO and HA via ORS.
 It is the HA’s decision to hire at this stage or proceed to full review.

Full Review
After the soft deadline set by the committee, decisions will be made and the applicant pool will be narrowed based on job-related criteria consistently applied. The committee should develop a protocol for reviewing candidates and judging qualifications. There are examples of candidate review sheets on here.
 
Strict confidentiality of information, including applications, names of applicants, and committee discussions, is required. This permits the free-flow of opinions during deliberations. It is also required to protect candidates and the college. Search details, including the names of applicants, should not be discussed in open places (like hallways) or in public.
 
Committee members will review each and every applicant first for whether the minimum qualifications are met or not. The search committee chair will keep a record of the reasons each applicant (one by one) is deemed to be qualified or not. Again, if an applicant does not have the advertised minimally required degree or experience or skill, that applicant may not be considered further.
 
If there are incomplete files, the search committee chair should send candidates a request to complete the files. In the end, candidates with incomplete files need not be considered.
 
There is no such thing as an “over qualified” candidate. The job ad will have been written carefully; the starting salary and rank (if appropriate) will be included. Therefore, we must assume that anyone applying for the position wants to take the job as it has been advertised.
 
Depending on the size and quality of the applicant pool, a committee may decide to conduct telephone interviews. The results of these interviews will help the committee to recommend which candidates are invited to campus.
 
Use of the Internet and Social Media in Search Decisions
The following is a quote from SUNY General Counsel, in a letter dated 14 February 2013: 
 
Although the Internet, and social media in particular, may provide an employer with information that could qualify or disqualify an applicant, employers may also learn inappropriate information through these means. Such information includes membership in protected classes that is not otherwise disclosed on the application, status as an individual with a disability, statement of political or religious views, or membership in organizations. This information is irrelevant to an applicant’s candidacy—and often impermissible to consider—but some search committee members may be tempted to use it in their decision making process. … Use of RateMyProfessor.com and other anonymous rating and comment websites is cautioned against, as anonymous ratings may reflect underlying biases and are not as reliable as verifiable, in-class student ratings.
 
Search committees should consider only the professional work of candidates.   If there are any questions about the use of the internet and social media, direct them to HRS and the AAO.
 
Affirmative Action Considerations
At the time of application, we are required by federal law to solicit gender and ethnicity information from applicants. Providing this information is voluntary, but the response rate is very high. These data are NOT available to the search committee and should never be any part of its considerations.
 
The AAO will compare the pool (size and number of candidates in protected classes) to national and regional availability data. (These data are broken down by job titles and by academic specialty.) If the pool is very different from those availability data, the AAO may recommend additional time and/or advertising to increase the pool.  It is important that all available steps be taken to ensure a large and diverse pool. Pool sizes and depths will vary, of course, according to the position.
 
At each narrowing (e.g., for telephone or campus interviews), the AAO will review the rationales given by the committee, looking for job-related criteria consistently applied. If any narrowed pool is less diverse than the whole qualified pool, the AAO may ask the search committee to conduct more interviews, or ask for clarification of rationales. 
 
Conducting Phone Interviews
The search committee has reviewed the files, determined who is minimally qualified and not qualified, and has made recommendations for who is to be telephoned. There is no set number of phone interviews; it depends on the size and depth of the pool. As just noted above, the AAO may request more calls than recommended, as may the HA.
 
AFTER the recommendations are reviewed and approved by the AAO and the HA, the committee may proceed to conduct the interviews. (The search committee chair will receive an e-mail via ORS stating that the interviews have been approved.)
 
A PBN specific to the search can be obtained from Telecommunications. This PBN can be used for the conference call interview, verifying references, and other search business. The account number to be provided to Telecommunications is in the ATR summary (available to search committee members).

The candidates should be called or e-mailed to arrange a convenient time for an interview, and then called again at that time for the actual interview. 

Questions asked in these interviews should be standard and documented, with the same questions asked of each candidate. (See examples here.) (Also see inappropriate and illegal questions here.) Follow-up questions may vary from candidate to candidate, depending on the actual conversation.

As many Committee members as possible should be at each interview to make the interviews as consistent as possible. Notes should be taken on responses. With the candidate’s permission, the interview may be recorded. Committee members who were not present may then listen to the interviews. There should be consistency here; either all candidates should be asked about recordings or none.
 
Checking References
The HA may specify when references are to be checked, but it is typically done after phone interviews and before campus visits. The results of reference checks may assist the committee in narrowing the pool for the campus interviews. (Note that upon application, the candidates have given permission to verify any and all references.)
 
Inform the candidates that the committee will be calling references, as a matter of courtesy.

If the candidate asks that references not be called, honor that request within reason, and determine with the candidate when this may happen. Some candidates may need, at that time, to inform their current employer that they are seeking other employment. If there seem to be other reasons the candidate does not want references verified, contact HRS. HRS can then have a conversation with the candidate, since HRS has no decision-making role in the search.
 
There should be at least two members of the search committee present for all reference check calls. Two sets of ears are better than one.

Questions that are illegal during the interview are illegal for references, too! Ask only job-related questions. (See examples here.)

If there are any doubts or questions, contact HRS.

Results of reference checks must be documented and uploaded by the search committee chair to ORS for review by HA and AAO.
 
Campus Interviews
AFTER the recommendations are reviewed and approved by the AAO and the HA, the committee may proceed to arrange campus interviews. (The search committee chair will receive an e-mail via ORS stating that the interviews have been approved.)
 
There is no set number of campus interviews; the HA decides how many candidates to bring to campus based on the depth of the pool, the budget, and other considerations. Often, the number is three.
 
See “On-Campus Interview Protocol”. 

Interviews should be conducted professionally and as consistently across candidates as possible. We are also “selling” the college to the candidate, who may have other options. Hence, candidates should have every opportunity to see the campus, meet with key individuals and offices, and have their questions answered.
 
Evaluative information should be solicited during on-campus events, such as any open forums or classroom presentations.    This information and the judgments of the search committee should form the basis of strengths and weaknesses listed for the hiring authority and the AAO.   Again, the focus must be on job-related criteria. Candidates should not be ranked, but if someone is deemed not suitable for the position, that should be made clear in the strengths and weaknesses document.
 
Though it is now public knowledge who came to campus, all other information about the search, including strengths and weaknesses, remains confidential.  After someone is hired, even, that person (or anyone else) should NEVER be told anything about search committee deliberations or other candidates.
 
Remember that the search committee is making recommendations to the hiring authority about the candidates.  It is the HA’s decision to whom to offer the job and for how much. The HA will offer the position and negotiate the salary. The search committee plays no role in that process.   The HA may decide not to make any offer.
 
Welcoming the New Employee
The Search Committee can greatly assist a new employee, since its members are in the best position to help her/him understand the job requirements. 

The person may need to move to the area and may need assistance with arranging living quarters. The new employee may be provided with newspapers and websites for real estate and apartment listings. HRS has listings that may be useful, but as a state agency, we may show no preferences for a specific entry on those lists.

Partner employment is a difficult but important issue. Please refer to SUNY Plattsburgh’s policy on Dual Career Assistance. 
http://www.plattsburgh.edu/policies/administrative/dualcareerassistanceatsunyplattsburgh.php

Relocation reimbursements are allowable; a candidate may negotiate this with the HA.
 
“Failed” Searches
If the HA’s offer is declined, s/he may continue through the list of campus interviewees. The HA may also authorize the search committee to bring other candidates to campus or to conduct further telephone interviews. These new lists will also need to be documented and approved by the AAO and the HA on line, just as they were in the first round.
 
The search may be declared “failed” if there are no appropriate candidates or no acceptances. The process may then begin again. That is the decision of the HA and VPs.
 
Searches may also fail if the procedure detailed in this manual is not followed. 
 
Finishing Up
The search committee chair will initiate the on-line hiring proposal. A background check will be completed before the person actually begins the job. The HA and HRS will take care of all of that.
 
The ORS will automatically generate letters via email to all unsuccessful candidates once the search is completed—which may be quite some time after the campus interviews.   The search committee may wish to write its own, timelier, letters, especially to those who were telephoned or who visited campus. HRS has some sample language.

It is the policy of the college that no reasons will be given to candidates regarding their success or failure in the search. Please do not discuss the search process with any candidates, internal or external. That process is confidential.
 
The search chair will finalize the search on ORS, making sure the disposition status of the candidates is correct.
 
Finally, the search committee chair must complete one more form: a checklist certifying that the search was properly conducted. This checklist is required; the hiring process will not proceed without it. It can be completed on ORS or in hard-copy
 


STEP BY STEP
For the Search Committee Chair
 
1.      Read the Search Process Manual.

2.      Convene the entire search committee to meet with the hiring authority and with the department chair/unit supervisor BEFORE the ATR is submitted, to:
a.       Generate the list of places the search will be advertised, the recruitment sources; and
b.      Finalize the job description and the lists of required and preferred qualifications.

3.      When AAO notifies search chair that the ATR is at that level, convene meeting of entire search committee and AAO, or take on-line training or quiz to review affirmative action principles and requirements.
 
4.      (For professional searches) After the 10-day period specified by the Plan for Internal Professional Promotions, convene the committee to review internal applicants, if any. Recommend to HA either:
a.       Interview internal applicants before reviewing external applications; or
b.      Place internal applicants in larger pool.

5.      After the soft deadline, convene search committee to review all applications:
a.       Determine who is minimally qualified and who is not;
b.      Determine who will be recommended for a phone interview and who will not—and why.

6.      DOCUMENT the decisions, applicant by applicant, saying why each is qualified or not (specifically what each unqualified applicant is missing). (See examples of documentation).
a.       Upload that document to ORS. (See ‘Attaching Documents ORS Procedures’.)
b.      Change the status of applicants on ORS. (See ‘Changing Applicant Status ORS Procedures.)
(Note that an incomplete file is not reason to declare an applicant “unqualified”. There is a category, “Not hired: incomplete file”.)

7.      DOCUMENT why some of the qualified candidates are getting phone interviews and others are not, applicant by applicant. (See examples of documentation.)
a.       Upload that document to ORS.
b.      Change the status of applicants on ORS.
c.       Change the status of the search on ORS. (See ‘Changing Search Status ORS Procedures’.)
**This is what notifies the HA and the AAO that there is a recommendation to approve.

8.      WAIT for an e-mail message from ORS that the telephone interviews are approved.

9.      When AAO and HA (both) approve the phone interviews and you have received an approval message from ORS, set them up, conduct them, and document the results. 

10. Conduct reference checks, document the results, and upload to ORS.

11. Document committee recommendations about campus interviews. For each applicant telephoned, explain why s/he is or is not recommended for a campus visit. (See examples.)
a.       Upload that document to ORS.
b.      Change the status of applicants on ORS.
c.       Change the status of the search on ORS.
**This is what notifies the HA and the AAO that there is a recommendation to approve.

12. WAIT for an e-mail message from the ORS that the campus interviews are approved.

13. After approval by both HA and AAO and you have received an approval message from ORS, set up the campus visits, conduct the interviews, and document the results with a listing of strengths and weaknesses.
a.       Upload that document to ORS.
b.      Change the status of applicants on ORS.
c.       Change the status of the search on ORS.
**This is what notifies the HA and the AAO that there is a recommendation to approve.

14. After HA has made the hire, complete the search checklist on-line or in hard copy. This must be done before the hire will be approved by the AAO.

15. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.
 
 
 

 Search Process Flow Chart (for download)                                                                                  

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities
Role of the Department Chair/Director/Unit Supervisor:
  • Works with the members of the department/unit, discusses and plans for department/unit staffing needs;
  • Assists the HA in recommending members of the search committee (to be reviewed by VP & AAO);
  • Ensures search committee is making adequate progress in search process;
  • Meets with HA and Search Committee Chair to discuss qualifications of finalists;
  • Assures that appointment paperwork is completed;
  • Takes active role in post-search transition of the candidate to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Role of the Hiring Authority:
  • Works with the department/unit to identify needed positions and the initial job description;
  • Works with Chair/Supervisor/Director to recommend search committee members;
  • Works with AAO to assure that affirmative action procedures are followed;
  • Approves expenditures for search (e.g., costly airline tickets, the number of candidates invited to campus, etc.);
  • Meets individually with candidates brought to campus;
  • After consulting with AAO and department chair/unit supervisor/director, makes final decision about offers;
  • Makes the job offer to candidate and negotiates salary.
 
Role of the AAO:
  • Meets with Search Committee to discuss or otherwise trains the committee on affirmative action principles;
  • Responsible for implementing campus’ affirmative action policies, in accordance with NY State and Federal regulations;
  • Evaluates search plan and works with Search Committee to revise it if indicated;
  • Evaluates size and composition of candidate pools at each stage: full pool, qualified pool, telephone interviews, on-campus interviews, and final hire;
  • Recommends additional time or advertising if indicated; can request that search be halted and redone;
  • May ask for more information on a decision about candidates or request that Search Committee look again at a candidate;
  • Available for consultation with regard to AA and EEO requirements at any time during the process;
  • Advises the HA and VP about the process of the search, and makes recommendation for hire (the hiring decision is the HA and VP’s);
  • Signature or on-line approval is required on ATR (on-line) and hiring proposals (on-line);
  • Works with the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee to review search waiver applications.
 
Role of HRS:
  • Available for consultation throughout search process—ASK!;
  • Places advertisements

Role of Search Committee Chair:
  • Ensures that search is conducted according to College regulations and timetables (detailed in this manual);
  • Compiles lists of candidates and dispositions at each “cut” (unqualified, phone interviews, campus interviews, final strengths & weaknesses) & uploads document to online recruitment system;
  • Manages candidate lists and search status on Online Recruitment System;
  • Acts as contact person for candidates, setting up phone interviews and campus visits;
  • Arranges for all meetings needed for campus interviews;
  • Acts as liaison with HRS & AAO;
  • Completes Search Checklist.

Role of Search Committee Member:
  • Maintains confidentiality of all search materials;
  • Evaluates candidates based on agreed-upon criteria;
  • Meets with HRS Associate and AAO at beginning of search, participates in on-line training;
  • Meets as required with Search Committee, HA, etc.;
  • Participates in phone interviews and on-campus interviews;
  • Acts as representative of SUNY Plattsburgh.
 
Role of Affirmative Action Advisory Committee
  • No role in an individual search process!;
  • Monitors overall campus AA policy;
  • Subcommittee reviews requests for search waivers.
 

Evaluating Candidates
—Keeping an Open Mind
Determining Selection Criteria & Job Requirements
The search committee should determine selection criteria and screening procedures. Candidate qualifications and judgment standards should be clearly understood, endorsed, and documented by committee members, and (for academic searches) must include all the SUNY Trustees' criteria: teaching, scholarship, and service. Judgments include, for example, the relative weight given to publications (given SUNY Plattsburgh’s strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching), specialization within the discipline, teaching, service, grant writing, community activities, and the ability to enhance cultural diversity and richness. These are to be discussed thoroughly at the start of the search process. Sample candidate assessment sheets are attached (here).
 
For academic searches, the committee will evaluate the candidate's ability to teach. This can be displayed by the candidate in a number of ways—syllabus development, student feedback, and/or peer evaluations, for example. If the hire is for an entry-level assistant professor, keep in mind that graduate students do not all have the same opportunity to teach classes on their own; some grad students do, some do not. Data show that such chances are often differentially distributed by gender and ethnicity. You want to look for potential.
 
The committee must also decide how reference information will be collected (e.g., letters, telephone calls, or a combination of both) and how much weight will be assigned to each reference. Documentation given by references is uploaded to ORS for review by the HA.
 
It is not difficult for a committee to agree that it should hire the best candidate. However, determining the criteria for measuring "the best" and establishing who is "the best" is more difficult. The search committee should evaluate its selection criteria carefully in terms of their validity as predictors of future success. For example, is publication in graduate school a valid or logical predictor of one's performance as a faculty member? Are there other, more appropriate predictors of performance, especially in cases where the candidate's educational, social, and cultural background is significantly different from that of a traditional candidate? Keep an open mind!
 
Evaluating Candidates and Subconscious Bias
The Search Committee should evaluate candidates in broad and comprehensive terms, carefully examining all of an individual's accomplishments, potential growth, diversity of perspective, and the unique contribution that the candidate will make to the academic unit or department.
 
The committee should discuss the kinds of stereotypes that exist for women and minorities, and try to make explicit, ahead of time, the criteria the Committee uses in judging people, both casually and professionally.
 
The committee should discuss openly the implications of stereotypes and biases in evaluating candidates in past searches and this search, as well as ways to prevent biases from influencing their deliberations. The AAO can assist in this process if desired by the Search Committee.
 
SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to fairly and effectively evaluating a range of career paths, searching for candidates who are highly qualified to join our mission. Hence, the Committee should consider a candidate's entire career when applying its criteria for selection. A woman, for instance, who has earned her degree and entered the academic profession after taking time out to raise a family will probably have fewer publications than a male of the same age whose career has been uninterrupted. However, if one evaluates her publication record in terms of the time period over which it was produced, she may well be the stronger candidate.
 
Other non-traditional career trajectories, such as having taken time off to earn enough money to attend graduate school, should not be devalued. Many non-traditional students take time to apply their skills to community needs in addition to publishing in academic journals.
 
Degrees from women's colleges or predominantly black universities must not be seen as inadequate; references from friends or colleagues of the Committee should not be given greater credence than those received from individuals not personally known to the Search Committee; scholarship on feminist or minority issues should be valued. In the same way, publications in innovative but scholarly, peer-reviewed journals should not be devalued because they are not "mainstream."
 
There are other typical interviewer tendencies that may lead to bias:
The Halo Effect:
Interviewers may use limited information about an applicant to bias their evaluation of that person's other characteristics.

For Example, an applicant who attended the interviewer's alma mater or who agrees with the interviewer's theoretical position is given a subconscious advantage.

Personal Biases:
Interviewers may harbor prejudice for or against specific groups. Examples:
"I prefer front-line professionals who are younger."
"Some teaching styles are better for men and others for women."
 
It is vital to eliminate from the evaluation process any stereotyped ideas based on the candidate's race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.

The committee, either as a group or individually, should complete an evaluation form following the review of the candidates’ files. (Sample forms are attached.) Such evaluations must be based on the criteria agreed to by the Committee. As references are checked, whether in writing or orally, the committee should pay attention to these biases as well. The references should be documented and added to the applicant’s file.
 
Recruiting Protected Class Individuals: Obstacles
HAs and Search Committees should be mindful of historical, but innocent patterns and practices that create a disparate impact on applicant pools. Disparate impact is defined as a category of the government’s employment discrimination policies. Disparate impact discrimination may be found when an institution’s use of a neutral selection standard(s) (e.g., a test, an interview, or other requirements) disqualifies members of a particular race or gender group at a significantly higher rate than others and is not justified by an organizational necessity or job relatedness.
 
Intent to discriminate is not necessary for this type of employment discrimination. The disparate impact discrimination category may be used to analyze both objective and subjective selection standards.
 
Over-Specialization (Academic Positions)
Especially for academic searches, the area of specialization needed should be carefully evaluated. Departments that seek candidates to teach undergraduate courses should be wary of overspecialization. Advertising for a small sub-specialty will exclude many candidates who are qualified to teach the courses actually needed in the department. It is therefore important to fully explore the need and relevance for specific specialization and the extent to which a candidate has the potential to teach existing and future courses in the department. When a vacancy is identified, this is a good time for the department/unit to reevaluate the program and its needs. It is not always best simply to search for a clone of the last person to hold the position!
 

Legal & Illegal Questions
In general, you can ask only questions directly pertinent to the qualifications of the candidate for the
position advertised.
You may ask:
  • About degrees and licenses obtained (only if they are required to do the job);
  • About experience in the field; keep in mind that gaps in work experience are not necessarily negative—parents (especially women) sometimes take time off for child rearing, for example;
  • About how the candidate would handle a specific situation relevant to the position;
  • About memberships in professional organizations, if it is relevant to doing the job (use caution, as some such memberships may reveal personal information about race or religion, for example);
  • About language fluency if required for the position;
  • For a demonstration of how candidate would do the job;
  • Any other job-related question.
 
You may NOT ask:
  • For a photograph;
  • National origin;
  • Race or color;
  • Marital status;
  • Religion or creed;
  • Children or family plans;
  • Whom to notify in case of emergency;
  • Age (except to ascertain that the candidate is over 18—but leave that to HRS);
  • Disability (leave that to HRS after hire);
  • Citizenship (leave that to HRS after hire);
  • Military Service (leave that to HRS after hire);
  • Sexual Orientation;
  • Arrest record;
  • Native language or how languages were acquired;
  • Any other question NOT related to the job.
  •  
As part of the on-line application process, the candidate will have indicated other information that HRS may need to evaluate, but that the Search Committee usually does not. This includes whether or not the candidate has been convicted of a crime, previously-used names, and citizenship. At the time of hire, HRS will evaluate necessary visa procedures for non-citizens, and evaluate necessary reasonable accommodations for disabilities.
 
It is the responsibility of the HA to obtain the official transcripts from the candidate and to review them.
 
If a candidate offers information in one of the areas listed above (for example asking about school districts) be circumspect to ensure their privacy and do not seek additional personal information. If someone on the Search Committee or in an audience asks an illegal question during any session, simply state that the question is inappropriate and move on. When in doubt, DON’T ASK! Consult HRS or the AAO.
 

On-Campus Interview Protocol
During the on-campus interview, we are also being interviewed by the candidates and must present our best face to prospective colleagues. Send each candidate a package containing helpful materials, such as a campus map, department/unit publications, etc. The Search Committee Chair is responsible for assembling and sending this packet.

Itinerary
 
Arrange the itinerary early and mail or e-mail it to the candidates before their visit. Let them know who will escort them from meeting to meeting. Try not to leave candidates to fend for themselves, except during “free” or “down” time. Build in breaks, meals, and walking/traveling time. The itineraries for all candidates should be as consistent as possible, including those for internal candidates. (Internal candidates should not participate in other candidates’ interviews, though.)
 
Schedule meetings with:
  • Search Committee: Have a set of questions worked out and documented (see “Illegal Questions” below). Use the same questions for all candidates. During the discussions, it is permissible to ask additional, follow-up questions indicated by the candidates’ responses.
  • Department chair/unit supervisor/director.
  • Dean or other HA.
  • Academic & professional colleagues, especially those who should have input in the hiring decision.
  • Human Resource Services (schedule about 30 minutes): HRS will discuss benefits and other personnel concerns.
  • Students (if appropriate): for academic positions or professional positions dealing with students, it is important for both the candidate and students to have an opportunity to meet.
  • Campus tour: we have several highlights, including the Winkle Sculpture Garden, Rockwell Kent Gallery, Feinberg Library, and other sites of particular interest to the applicant, such as the computer classrooms or research labs.
  • Public lecture, presentation, or class simulation (if applicable to position): Announce this public session widely, specifically inviting colleagues in other departments/units whose interests may be similar. This is particularly important for creating interdisciplinary opportunities.

    Be sure the candidates know what exactly is expected in these presentations: time allowed, content, audience, etc. It is a good idea to formally solicit input from those attending the meetings. If you hand out a vita or resume at a public presentation, delete all personal information (phone number, home address, family, etc.).
  • Tour of Plattsburgh, if candidate desires.
 
Meals
Candidates should not be asked to pay for their meals! Preferably, arrange with the restaurant to bill the College directly. (Several area restaurants allow this arrangement, as does the campus food service.) A limited number of members of the Search Committee may escort the candidate and the College will pay for their meals, also. (Check with the HA for how many and where.) However, meals should not be a continuation of the interview! Relax and help the candidate to enjoy.
 
Alcoholic beverages will not be paid for or reimbursed by New York State.
 
Appropriate tipping is limited to 18%. Note that New York State sales tax will not be reimbursed; therefore, a tax-exempt certificate must be presented at the time of the charge.
 
Travel Arrangements
Flights must be booked according to College and State policy to be reimbursed. Check with Accounts Payable for the most up-to-date procedure.
 
Please allow sufficient lead-time for scheduling campus visits to ensure reasonable airline ticket costs. All round-trip tickets costing $750 or more must be brought to the attention of the HA for approval before purchasing.
 
Arrange for a Search Committee member to meet the candidate at the airport or train station. If the candidate arrives at the Burlington airport, ferry tickets can be obtained ahead of time through the Purchasing Office via a purchase order. Costs incurred by search committee members (e.g., mileage, parking, etc.,) are reimbursable.
 
Candidates who drive their own vehicle to campus will be reimbursed for mileage at the standard allowable rate. Candidates who need to rent a car can do so, and they will be reimbursed for that expense. Arrange for a parking permit for the candidate with University Police before the candidate arrives.
 
Note that New York State sales tax will not be reimbursed; therefore, a tax-exempt certificate must be presented at the time of the charge.
 
Lodging
Arrange for lodging with a local hotel by obtaining a purchase order number (from the HA’s office) so that the College can be billed directly.
 
Candidates paying for their own lodging will be reimbursed at the standard rate. If a partner/spouse/family member comes with the candidate, make them feel welcome, also. However, we cannot reimburse expenses for them, only for the candidate.
 
Note that New York State sales tax will not be reimbursed; therefore, a tax-exempt certificate must be presented at the time of the charge.
 
Reimbursement
The reimbursement procedure for candidates is exactly the same as for employees. There is a single search account, administered by the Accounting Office; the expense does not come out of departmental budgets. Have the candidate complete and sign a travel voucher while she/he is oncampus. The department/unit secretary can assist in this process.
 
Committee members who incur costs must also complete the travel forms, with receipts and documentation.
 
Note that New York State sales tax will not be reimbursed; therefore, a tax-exempt certificate must be presented at the time of the charge.
 

Search Waivers
Full searches are required. 
 
In some instances, such as when there is a resignation shortly before the semester begins, a search may be waived for a temporary replacement. These instances are rare. There is almost always time to do at least a local search. Even when an academic announces a leave at the end of the spring semester, the summer is time enough to conduct a national search for a temporary replacement. 
 
When the situation arises, the department chair/unit supervisor and/or the dean/director should consult with the Affirmative Action Officer immediately. (Note this first conversation is only a consultation; approval is gained only through the process outlined below.)
 
The search conducted in an emergency situation will be a temporary appointment, giving the department/unit time to conduct a more complete search for a permanent replacement. Such an appointment is not renewable. Any extension requires a completely new request.
 
If an employee has been hired in a temporary position, particularly if hired as the result of a search waiver, that position then must have a full, fair, and complete search before it is made permanent (tenure-track). That is, a temporary position will NOT become permanent (tenure-track) without a search. The temporary incumbent may apply for the permanent (tenure-track) job, but must go through the search procedure just like all other candidates for the position.
 
Waiver requests will NOT be granted for tenure-track academic (continuing appointment) or professional (permanent appointment) positions, or any M/C position at the level of dean or higher. Again, in rare emergencies, a temporary replacement may be hired without a search, but not the permanent/tenure-track replacement.
 
Process: A “Search Waiver Request Form” must be completed and approval signatures obtained before the job is offered to the intended person. (Download here.)
 
The waiver request package requires significant documentation of the situation:
·         Justification of the request, including a history of the position (Who was in it? When did s/he leave? Why can’t a search be done?)
·         Qualifications (vitae, resume) of the intended appointee.
·         On-line Authorization to Recruit Form (indicating “Search Waiver”)
 
The request form is signed by the department chair/unit supervisor and the dean/director. Then it is reviewed by the Waiver Subcommittee of the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee and the Affirmative Action Officer. If there is (or should have been) opportunity for a search, the waiver request form will be denied. Lack of planning by the department/unit does not constitute an emergency; a search waiver requested for that reason will be denied. 
 
After affirmative action review, the request must still be approved by the appropriate vice president, and sometimes by the President.
 

FAQs
What is affirmative action? Do we have to hire a woman or minority?
Affirmative action is the process used to ensure that a wide variety of qualified candidates apply for the position and are fairly considered. It entails advertising widely and in places where people in protected classes are likely to see the ad. It requires, too, that we rethink the way we perceive others and perceive strengths and weaknesses.
 
SUNY Plattsburgh does not have any “quotas” for hiring members of protected classes. We expect to hire the most qualified of candidates. When candidates are all well qualified, affirmative action principles may be used to make the final hiring decisions.
 
Protected classes include women, people of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.
 
The regulations were designed to overcome unconscious and unintended biases in recruitment processes. The efforts have been important in increasing the diversity of job applicants and successful employees. And diversity among employees, particularly at a college campus, is simply good for the organization.
 
When can we call references?
Because applicants give us approval when they apply on-line, References that are listed by the candidate on a vita or resume may be called at any time. It is courteous to inform the candidate that you are making those calls.
 
Other contacts—perhaps the committee members know someone at the candidate’s college—may also be called upon receipt of the on-line application. That process asks for permission to do this, and by submitting it, the applicant is giving permission.
 
If the candidate asks you not to check references yet, honor that request within reason. Discuss with the candidate when such references can be verified.
 
References must be verified before a hire is made! It is the Search Committee that checks references. Documentation of these checks should be uploaded to ORS for review by the HA.
 
Can I tell the candidate about salary?
You can tell the candidate what the minimum salary is—this is on the Authorization to Recruit Form and will be in the ad. HRS will talk with the candidate about benefits and other issues.
 
Only the HA can discuss specifics of money! This includes salary and moving expenses,
which may be negotiated.
 
What should I do about an incomplete file?
Early in the process, it is a good idea to review the files for completeness and request that each candidate submit whatever is missing. If the candidate does not submit required material, or if the material submitted is not enough upon which to make a sound judgment of qualifications, the candidate may be “left behind” and not considered further as the search progresses. Once an application has been submitted to the online system, additional documents must be sent to hr.apply@plattsburgh.edu to be added to the applicant packet by HRS.
 
Remember that if reference letters are requested, the candidate has little control over when the referee submits it. Give candidates every chance to complete their files.
 
There are several options for obtaining reference letters and referee information when establishing the ATR (position):
 
  • Names and contact information for references may be requested instead of letters. (Recommended, since the committee can call or ask for letters of only those candidates being seriously considered.)
  • Select Letter of Reference 1, 2 and/or 3 at Optional Applicant Documents (note: this is not recommend to use ‘Required Applicant Documents’ as the candidate can not submit the application unless all required documents are provided).
  • Confidential References: If this feature is activated, the applicant provides names and e-mail addresses and the system generates e-mails to the reference providers asking them to upload the confidential reference letter. The candidate can see if the letter was received, but does not have access to view the letter. The search committee can view these references under the Confidential Reference tab. (See ORS manual for details.)
  • References letters can be provided to Human Resource Services at hr.apply@plattsburgh.edu to be added to the candidate’s application.
 
The AAO may ask the Search Committee to make additional efforts in getting a complete file for candidates.
 
An incomplete file is not reason for declaring the candidate “unqualified” (the first “cut”), but the candidate may be deemed not be advanced to later pools (e.g., interview pools) due to lack of needed documentation.
 
What if a candidate is not a US citizen?
The Search Committee does not need to consider citizenship. Indeed, the Search Committee should not ask.
 
At the time of offer, HRS will determine whether the candidate is legally permitted to work in the country and assist her/him with visa issues.
 
If the candidate indicates there are visa issues, HRS should be contacted. HRS will know where to find the answers. Please note that certain conditions of hire may be problematic for non-US citizens. For example:
  • Future immigration status may require that the person be deemed “most qualified” from a pool of candidates; hence a full search must have been conducted.
  • Immigration status may require that the candidate be appointed at the level advertised; thus, a higher rank should not be negotiated. (Note that this is true for all candidates.)
 
Human Resource Services is the best source to answer these questions. Do not try to consider
this on your own. ASK! Refer the candidate to HRS.
 
What if someone asks an illegal question during an interview?
If that happens, the Search Committee Chair (or other member) should clearly state that the question is inappropriate and move on. For instance:
 
“That’s not relevant to the job. The next question we have is …. .”
“We don’t need to discuss your family. But what attracts you to SUNY Plattsburgh?”
 
You should make note that the incident occurred. You may wish to report it to HRS and the AAO, depending on the severity or reaction by the candidate.
 
What about internal candidates?
Internal candidates should be treated in the same way as other candidates—take them to dinner if other candidates are; schedule the same series of meetings as for other candidates; ask them the same questions; arrange the same presentations.
 
The internal candidate should not, however, participate in any way in external candidate interviews. The internal candidate should not, for example, attend any interview sessions, including any open sessions, or go to meals with other candidates.
 
Rules of confidentiality apply to the applications of internal candidates—don’t discuss it! And don’t discuss the process of the search with any internal candidate unless external candidates are given the same information. This need for confidentiality applies after the search as well.
 
From whom do we need to get approvals?
The Human Resource Associate can answer questions about the search procedure and assist in handling “snags”. The HRA may direct questions to the AAO or HA.
 
The HA and the VP are in charge of the search. If the request concerns spending money—such as how many candidates can come to campus—ask the HA. The HA’s approval is always required to move to the next stage.
 
The Affirmative Action Officer is charged with assuring compliance with College policies regarding AA. The HA and VP will consult with the AAO on cuts and the final hire before the HA or VP gives permission for searches to move to the next level. On cuts or narrowings, then, make sure you hear from both the HA and the AAO via ORS.
 
How should a Vita Bank Search be handled?
Vita Banks are established in most academic departments and certain other offices/areas. Vitae are solicited regularly via a regional search, so that there is a “bank” of candidates indicating a willingness and ability to fill a position on a temporary and usually part-time basis. When a vacancy arises—this is usually an adjunct position, teaching a course or two—the collection of vitae must be examined.

The requirements of a “regular” search must be met:
  • The vitae are examined according to the requirements of the vacant position;
  • All candidates are considered and treated consistently;
  • Reasons for not considering a candidate are job-related;
  • All forms (CP-1 via the Hiring Proposal on ORS) are completed and approval signatures obtained.
 
How do the records of the search need to be stored?
Records need to be for a statutory period. The Search Committee Chair should collect all the created documents. Contact HRS for details on how and where to send to storage.
 
May we use information from social media or the internet to make decisions?
SUNY Counsel says that could introduce inappropriate, perhaps illegal, considerations into your decisions. You should consider only someone’s professional qualifications. See full discussion above.

Partner Employment
 
This is the SUNY Plattsburgh policy and procedure regarding dual career opportunities: http://www.plattsburgh.edu/policies/administrative/dualcareerassistanceatsunyplattsburgh.php
 
It is the responsibility of the hiring authority to hear and evaluate requests for partner employment.
 
DO NOT PROMISE employment for a spouse/partner.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On-Line Recruitment System (ORS)
See User’s Guide
http://www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/admin/hr/files/ohs_user_guide.pdf
 
 

EXAMPLE RECRUITMENT PLAN AND TIMELINE
 
Paid Advertising. In some cases a full-length ad may be too costly, and the strategy of directing applicants to our website may be employed. Furnish the following information: 
Sources: Contact information: Costs: Deadline:

Letter Writing. Secretarial or work-study employees can create mail merge and handle mailings. Review available information and refer potential candidates to www.plattsburgh.edu/hr, make personal contact to invite an applicant to apply. Direct candidates to SUNY Plattsburgh website and on-line applications.

Personal Contacts. Please keep a record of any personal contact made.

Disciplinary graduate school departments. Information can be found in the library in Peterson’s Guide and other sources. Keep a list of institutions contacted.

Listservs: The Search committee will prepare versions of advertisements for listservs. Keep a record of listservs posted to and any responses.

Recruitment at Conferences. Recruitment must be arranged on an individual basis between the dean/director and the search committee.


 
EXAMPLE:
RECRUITMENT PLAN: COMMUNICATION DISORDERS AND SCIENCE
  • Additional Ads: ASHA Leader – National publication received by all Speech-Language Pathologists, $110.50 per Edition, recommend Oct, Nov, Dec.
  • Job Vacancy Book at the ASHA Placement Center – National Convention in San Francisco in November. (Ad and payment by October 18th for best rates; $65.00.)
  • Other: Send letters to 53 Ph.D. programs, including Howard University, in US and 4 programs in Canada.
  • Advertise position with the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing. (No charge.)
  • Letters to identified individuals from AASCU list and directories: National Minority Faculty Identification Program, Minority and Women Doctoral Directory, and Hispanic Caucus.
 

SAMPLE CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT SHEET: Narrative (Academic)
 
Name:_____________________________________________ File #:______________
 
Minimum Qualifications:
Highest Degree:_________ Year Awarded: ________

Institution:_____________________________________________________________

Area of Specialization:

Selection Criteria:
  • Teaching experience. Evidence of effective teaching.


  • Scholarly record. Potential for scholarship.


  • Service contributions.


  • Other


Recommendation:
Negative; Reasons:



Positive: Rank from 1-5 with 1 weakest, 5 the strongest.


Reasons:
 

SAMPLE CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT SHEET: Narrative (Professional)
 
Name of Candidate:_______________________________________
 
Date: ______________________
 
1. Appropriate academic degree:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
2. Record of professional accomplishments:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
3. Record of leadership and advocacy:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
4. Experience in academic planning and management:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
5. Experience in faculty/staff development and evaluation:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
6. Experience working with students and culturally diverse populations:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
7. Appropriate educational and administrative philosophy:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
8. Experience in budget preparation and management:
___________________________________________________________________________
 
Recommendation:
 
_____ Positive
 
Reason: ____________________________________________________________________________________
 
_____ Negative (reject file)
 
Reason: ____________________________________________________________________________________
 

SAMPLE CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT SHEET: Spread Sheet
 
Candidate
Req. Ed?
Req. Exp?
Preferred Ed?
Preferred Ex?
Comments
J. Smith
Y
Y
Y
N
 
S. Gonzalez
N
N
 
 
Unqual.
L.Brown
Y
Y
Y
Y
 
 
 

TELEPHONE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS SAMPLE: For Professional Search
 
Sample #1:
(It is a good idea to go around the table and introduce the members of the search committee that are present to the candidate.)
 
Candidate: _____________________________________   Date:___________________________
 
1. What attracted you to apply for this administrative, supervisorial position at SUNY Plattsburgh?
2. Tell us about a successful supervision experience you have had. An unsuccessful one?
3. What experiences do you have working on a college campus?
4. Tell us about an instance of you working with others on a team project.
5. Do you have any questions for us?
 
Thank the candidate for their time, and tell them the general timeline for the rest of the search. You’ll be
in touch with them in the next two weeks.
 
 
 
Sample #2 (from Chemistry)

Candidate: __________________________________ Date: _____________________________
 
1. Why have you chosen to pursue a career in a four-year school like SUNY Plattsburgh?
2. With reference to your research plan, is this plan flexible enough to provide opportunities for several student of varying backgrounds and abilities?
3. Would you elaborate on your plans to carry out your research program so that it is a part of the educational mission of a school like SUNY Plattsburgh?
4. What equipment and resources are essential to starting your research program?
5. How long would you need for your research program to get on track?
6. How would you handle a student who questions your grading judgment?
7. How would you handle a question in class pertaining to material already covered that you think the students should have already grasped and understood?
8. What three courses would you most like to teach? What course of a basic chemistry curriculum would you not want to teach?
9. What is the most important concept that needs to be learned by students in a basic ________ (wherever their specialty lies) course?
 

SAMPLE REFERENCE VERIFICATION FORM
Identify yourself as a member of a search committee at SUNY Plattsburgh University. Describe the
position, and that you are calling to get a reference for applicant X. Secure the permission of the reference
to proceed.

Applicant’s Name: ___________________________ Position: _____________________________
 
Employer Contacted: _________________________ Telephone#: __________________________
 
Institution: _________________________________ Title: ________________________________
 
Dates of employment:_________________________ Position held: _________________________
 
1. How do you know the candidate: ______________________________________________________
 
2. How well do you know the candidate: __________________________________________________
 
3. Reason why applicant left this job: ____________________________________________________
 
4. Applicant’s strengths:
 
5. Areas the applicant needs improvement:
 
6. Is there any additional information you feel we should know about this candidate?
 
7. Would you hire this candidate again for the same or a similar position? Why?
 
8. Are there any other people you could recommend that we contact about this candidate? (Ask for contact information.)
 
Reference verification conducted by: ___________________________ and ______________________

Date:
 

Sample Interview Itinerary #1 – Academic Candidates
 
  • Candidate arrives in Plattsburgh for dinner -- Casual, non-interview setting.
  • Escort to hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast with one or two faculty members -- Casual, non-interview setting; accompany to campus
    OR
    Breakfast alone in hotel;
     search committee member picks up at hotel to accompany to campus
  • Offer to tour city
  • Morning research colloquium (9am - 10am) –
    If done before any individual interviews, candidate will not have to repeat the same story to everyone (Invite dean, provost,president, any interested faculty campus-wide)
  • Break (10:00-10:15)
  • Individual or small groups meetings with department members, maybe 15-minute intervals (10:15 - 12:00) (with appropriate bathroom breaks!)
  • Lunch (so candidate can eat, not an interview) with one or two department members and/or with faculty from interested interdisciplinary program(s) (12:00 - 12:45)
  • Tour campus (12:45 - 1:00)
  • Meet with Dean, accompanied by faculty member (1:00 - 1:30)
  • Meet with Provost, accompanied by faculty member (1:40 - 2:10) (At discretion of Provost)
  • Meet with President (2:20 – 2:35pm) (At discretion of President)
  • Meet with students/teaching colloquium (2:45 - 3:30)
  • Meet with interested faculty, staff from other departments (3:30 - 4:00)
  • Meet with Human Resource Services to discuss benefits (4:10– 4:40)
  • Break (4:40-4:50)
  • Formal interview with search committee (4:50 - 5:30)
  • Dinner again? Or take to airport/train
 

Sample Interview Itinerary #1 –Professional Candidates
  • 9 am Breakfast with members of Search Committee
  • 10:30 am Entrance interview with director/department head
  • 11 am Meet with Appropriate vice president
  • 12 Noon Lunch with Search Committee and department personnel (College Center)
  • 1 pm Campus Tour
  • 2 pm Meet with President (At discretion of President)
  • 3-3:30pm Meet with Human Resource Services office to discuss employee benefits
  • 3:30 Preparation time
  • 4 pm Presentation to campus and/or community (if applicable)
  • 5 pm Exit interview with members of Search Committee
    • Submit receipts to department secretary
  • 7 pm Dinner with Search Committee

*Note: depending on the level of the vacant position, actual interview schedule may range from
½ day to 2 days.
 

Sample Report to AAO/HA: Unqualified & Phone Interview Cut
Candidate Assessment Outcome
 
1025-1                        J. Smith          No Ph.D.                     Unqualified
 
1025-2            L. Lars           Ph.D. in hand             Phone interview
                                                                        Good teaching exp, scholarly promise
 
1025-3            J. Valdez          Ph.D. in hand                        Qualified; hold
wrong area
 
 
Sample Report to AAO/HA: Campus Interview Cut
Candidate Assessment Outcome
 
1077-3 K. Jackson
Articulate in phone interview; promising teaching philosophy; solid scholarly agenda
Campus Interview
 
1077-6 S. Aconda
Strong phone interview; promising teacher & scholar; strong references when called
Campus Interview
 
1077-15 S. Wright
Vague teaching philosophy; no articulated scholarly agenda; weak references
Hold
 
Sample Report to AAO/HA: Final strengths & Weaknesses
 
2001-5 J. Alexander
Strengths: great potential for excellent teaching; strong research skills and active research agenda; excellent teaching presentation; good potential for interdisciplinary work
Weaknesses: some overlap with existing faculty; no publications yet, though two articles under review

2001-8 S. Verlun
Strengths: lots of publications; strong research agenda
Weaknesses: lackluster teaching presentation; no potential for interdisciplinary work; generally weak teaching evaluations
 
 
NOTE that all candidates are listed one-by-one with appropriate notations on qualifications.

 

Contact Information

Human Resource Services

Address: 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681
Campus Location: Kehoe 912
Phone: (518) 564-5062
Fax: (518) 564-5060
Email: hr.apply@plattsburgh.edu

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm