Any department or program wishing to hire for a tenure track or FOCA position must first submit a proposal for approval by the Provost. No search can be undertaken without prior approval. Each year in winter term, departments and programs will be invited to submit proposals for tenure-track or FOCA hires to the Provost.

While proposals must be submitted no later than April of the academic year preceding the year in which a search would be undertaken, departments and programs are encouraged to think ahead and to consult with the provost well before submitting a proposal. In many circumstances, it may be appropriate and advantageous to submit a proposal for a tenure-track hire a year or even two years before the search is proposed, especially if that will enable the search committee to build a stronger and more diverse applicant pool. An average of seven tenure track searches are conducted annually.

If a regular tenure track or FOCA position is approved, there are a series of steps that must be followed to ensure a thorough, fair, and successful hiring process. As you read through the sections below, please note that the items listed in bold print are those that need to be done by you or someone in your department or program. Links include critical information; be sure to read them!

In addition to tenure track hires that take place via national searches, academic programs1 may request authorization to pursue an Opportunity Hire (OH). Opportunity Hires are specific to a particular person, who would bring a distinctive capacity for research, teaching and the mentoring of a diverse student body to Carleton and/or who would add to the variety of faculty voices in our community through their lived experiences. Opportunity Hires differ from regularly authorized tenure track searches. Thus, no candidates who emerge from a tenure track search will be considered as Opportunity Hires during that particular search.2

Specifically, OH requests are made after academic programs have identified a highly distinguished candidate—either someone in a non-tenure-track position at Carleton or an individual at another institution—who a program believes can contribute particularly to furthering the college’s strategic diversity goals. 

If an academic program becomes aware of a potential candidate, the chair/director should submit a description of the request to the provost with a CV from the candidate along with a proposal that describes what this individual would bring to the institution in terms of strategic diversity goals. The proposal should also clarify what the enrollment capacity in the academic program is and whether there is a specific need that the program is trying to meet. It should also describe why going through the regular position proposal process is not sufficient.

The provost will discuss requests with the Faculty Curriculum and Planning Committee (FCPC) before making a recommendation to the president. A representative from the program may be invited to an FCPC meeting to discuss the request with the committee. Because these opportunities can arise at any time of the year, there is no specific deadline for OH requests. Programs may want to cultivate a potential candidate from another institution by inviting them to give a talk or perhaps proposing a visiting appointment before requesting an OH.

While the college may pursue several OHs in a given year, we will not allocate funding every year specifically for Opportunity Hires. It will be advantageous for a program to consider if any positions in the program are likely to become open in the course of two to three years. In such situations, the program can begin to identify and get to know a possible candidate for an OH over time which would also assist in budget planning at the institutional level.

If a program sees a need to bring greater diversity into its curriculum, the normal position proposal process would be the appropriate avenue for such an effort rather than an OH. The annual position approval process will, of course, include a national search, however that process, too, will continue to emphasize the need to build a recruiting strategy to ensure that the candidate pool is highly diverse.

If an OH is approved, a hiring committee must be constituted and application materials (cover letter, CV, teaching statement, recommendation letters, etc.) must be gathered and submitted to the Provost’s Office. The candidate must be interviewed on campus (or remotely, if necessary), and final approval must be given by the provost before an offer can be made.


1In this document, “academic program” includes departments and interdisciplinary programs.

2Should an academic program identify a possible opportunity hire in the process of a regularly approved search, the program chair may begin conversations with the Office of the Provost about pursuing an opportunity hire proposal as described above. Furthermore, academic programs should be aware that such a proposal will take time to process and, thus, will be entirely decoupled from the timeline of the ongoing tenure-track search.

Submitting a Proposal

In winter term, the Provost will ask departments and programs to submit proposals for tenure-track hires.  Do not assume that every retirement or resignation will lead automatically to a new hire in your department/program. Because faculty lines represent a significant financial investment for the college that potentially stretches over decades, any vacancy must be the occasion for re-examining the overall distribution of faculty FTE among departments and programs. Therefore, you will need to make the case for the position.

Our institutional commitment to create a more inclusive and diverse community for learning and teaching will be at the forefront in our decision-making. Requests should address the importance of the position to the College as a whole, to interdisciplinary programs, and to the department. In doing so, you should address the following questions:

  • How does this position support the liberal arts at Carleton?
  • Where does your department or program want to be in 10 or 20 years? What new fields are emerging in your discipline? What perspectives and experiences are you missing, and how will the department adjust to accommodate them? If this is a foundational position in your discipline, describe its evolution in new directions or explain why it is of enduring importance. Refer to a recent decennial review of your department/program, if appropriate. 
  • How will this position further college-wide IDE goals? How has your department invested in building a diverse applicant pool? Have you developed additional networks and contacts that will enable you to personally reach out to the candidates you are looking for? If your strategy includes delaying the search (by a year or more, for example), describe how that delay will be used to recruit a robust pool of candidates. {It may also make sense to use visitor hiring as a means to explore potential long-term directions instead of a tenure-track position at this time.}
  • How will this position enhance or potentially impact an interdisciplinary program or department other than your own – such as by strengthening current ties, contributing in new ways, or pivoting in another direction? Include a supporting statement from the related program(s) or department(s) that describes the potential synergies, benefits, and challenges. {FTE contributions to departments and programs will be negotiated as part of the approval process.}
  • How will mentoring of the potential hire be handled within your department, or if applicable, within or in collaboration with an interdisciplinary program?
  • Please provide a three-year staffing plan with and without this position including course numbers and titles. Identify any courses that must be taught and for which we would have to hire part-time faculty if we do not approve this request.
  • Please provide course enrollment data for the past three years in your department/program including maximum enrollment limits and actual seats filled.
  • In extraordinary circumstances, a search can be proposed to hire with tenure. For more information, see the Faculty Handbook.

Requests will be reviewed by the Faculty Curricular Planning Committee (FCPC) (which advises the Provost). 

The Provost’s office will notify department chairs or program directors when positions are approved. If a position is not approved, the chair or director will have the option of meeting with the Provost to discuss elements that would have made the proposal more successful.  If an approved position remains unfilled for two years after approval, whether a search was attempted or not, you will need to resubmit the request to the FCPC for review.

Assembling a Search Committee

Review the recommended practices for conducting faculty searches.

Scheduling a Meeting with the Provost and Associate Provost

Once a position has been approved, schedule a meeting for Associate Provost Yansi Pérez, Provost Michelle Mattson and the department or search committee chair. At this meeting, you will discuss composition of the search committee and search logistics (conferences to attend, etc.); timing of ad listings, application deadlines, and campus visits; and, crucially, strategies for attracting a diverse and inclusive pool of candidates.  

Advertising Your Position

  • Submit advertisement copy to Associate Provost Yansi Pérez for review and approval (see Criteria for Ad Copy and Sample Ads). She will return the ad copy to you with any changes. Be sure Yansi Pérez and Sally Pierce have a copy of the final ad. In addition, In order to set up your ad, Sally will need to know who the members of your search committee will be.
  • Advertise your position.
    • Place ads in specialized journals or newsletters for minority and women’s caucuses within the appropriate professional organizations, and in professional journals and electronic media of potential interest to those with one or more specialties you are seeking.
    • The Office of the Provost will place tenure-track openings in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, so do not send ads to these publications. They will also place your ad on the Office of the Provost website, and post your listing on the Upper Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (UMW HERC) website. 
    • If you anticipate that your total advertising budget will be over $1,500, consult with the Provost. Information on recruiting expenses
  • Reserve interview times. Contact Sally Pierce to reserve one hour interview times for tenure-track positions on the Provost and Associate Provost’s calendars.

Please Note: Department members and internal candidates for tenure-track positions may seek your counsel about letters of recommendation. Normally, department members do not write letters on behalf of internal candidates. We want to avoid situations in which our faculty are placed in complicated advocacy roles, prior to their evaluation of all candidates in a search. It is also important to be very clear that any partner of a Carleton faculty member interested in a tenure-track position at Carleton can expect to be considered for that position on an equal basis with any other candidate. The fact that a candidate is a partner of an existing faculty member will in no way count against that candidate. Chairs will be very careful to make sure this policy is enforced.

Implementing Inclusive Hiring Techniques

Hiring committees are required to attend the “Workshop on Inclusive Hiring Techniquesand can work with Associate Provost Yansi Pérez to discuss diversity issues in the context of the discipline/field in which you seek to hire and strategies for building an inclusive search.

Working with the Workday Applicant System

Screening Candidates and Choosing Semi-Finalists

In some cases, screening candidates can be done by a search committee that is not the full department.

Search committee members should keep their discussion of candidates confidential.

  • Determine early the appropriate role of a retiring faculty member in the search for his or her successor. A retiring faculty member may play the role of a consultant but should not be invited to meetings at which ranking and votes will be on the agenda.
  • It is important to establish within your department what the role of students will be and to make the rules clear. Their input is important, but their role is strictly consultative. Students should not be invited to departmental meetings to discuss the final candidates and they should not be informed of the departmental decision until after the appointment is made.
  • Determine the role of junior faculty in hiring decisions. The responsibility for hiring ultimately rests with the tenured faculty, the Provost, and the President, but departments should also involve the tenure-track faculty in hiring as full partners. Be deliberate about whatever you do and talk with junior colleagues about it so that your and their expectations will be clear.
  • If the department wishes to screen candidates at a professional convention, you must apply to the Office of the Provost for funding. The Office of the Provost will normally pay all reasonable expenses for the Department Chair or the head of the department’s recruitment committee plus one additional member of the search committee to make such a trip. Colleagues who want to attend the meeting anyway and who might help interview may apply to the Headley Fund for help.
  • Keep the recommendations for preliminary interviews in mind when interviewing candidates.
  • Send the names of your top six to eight finalists to Provost Michelle Mattson and Associate Provost Yansi Pérez and indicate which are your top three or four and why.  They will review the application materials online and be in touch to discuss the finalists.You must obtain approval from the Office of the Provost to invite finalists to campus.
  • Be sure that your finalists have the qualifications necessary for the job.
  • No candidate should be invited to campus without prior approval.

Managing Recruiting Expenses

Expenses for faculty recruiting must be submitted through Workday for approval by the Provost’s office.

If any expense category (interviewing at conferences, advertising, etc.) is likely to exceed $1,500, you must receive clearance from the Provost in advance.

Ordinarily, lunches at which the candidate is entertained should cost no more than $20 per person and dinners no more than $50 per person. Unless special approval is given, the College will pay the expenses of no more than four department members at each meal. The College does not cover spouses’ meals.

In addition to travel and accommodations for applicants, the faculty recruitment budget will cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner with candidates, but other refreshments during candidate visits, or during other hiring activities, should be paid for from department funds. If you have candidates who will be eating meals on campus, the Provost’s office has a few OneCards that can be used for candidate meals in the Burton and East dining halls, Schulze Café, Sayles-Hill Café, or Weitz Café. Because there is a limited supply, please pick up a card just prior to your first candidate’s visit and return it after your final candidate visit.

For expenses you paid from personal funds, go to create an expense report in Workday.

  1. Remove the existing Cost Center by clicking the X in front of the name and then search for Faculty Recruiting
  2. Click OK
  3. Click the orange Add button and upload a copy of your receipt
  4. In the Expense Item field, choose the appropriate category
  5. Enter the total amount
  6. Describe the expense in the memo field
  7. Submit

For expenses you paid using your Carleton purchasing card, create an expense report in Workday.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen
  • Select the credit card transaction for this purchase
  • Follow the instructions above

Scheduling On-Campus Interviews

  • Contact the finalists and set the date for their interview. A faculty member should make the first contact with the finalist. Provide the information to the Provost’s office.
  • Make arrangements for transportation to and from the airport and for accommodations.
  • Develop the interview schedule. Things to think about when planning the schedule:
    • Include meetings with department faculty as appropriate, with majors (maybe over breakfast or lunch), and with non-department faculty and staff if appropriate.
      • If a candidate would be expected to be involved in a significant way with an interdisciplinary program, even if the position is not formally defined as interdisciplinary, a meeting with the director of that program (or his/her designate) should be included in the candidate’s schedule.
    • Ask candidates if there are other people outside of your department or the interdisciplinary programs already included in the schedule that they would like to meet. Keep in mind that candidates may want to meet faculty, staff or students with similar or different backgrounds and interests from themselves. Emphasize that we are a diverse community, and that we’d be happy to arrange meetings that give them a better feel for the climate and culture of Carleton.
    • Most departments schedule a research presentation and also ask the candidate to teach a class. You will need to coordinate this carefully with the instructor and the candidate. You will also want to make sure that a couple of faculty members attend the class. Let the candidate know how long their presentations should be and who to expect. Will it be a mixed constituency of students, staff, and faculty? Also let them know that the audience will likely be fairly small. Advise the candidate to let the audience know whether they prefer questions at the end of the presentation or during it, and make sure the candidate knows what type of technology is available in the classroom for their presentation.
    • Publicize the dates and times of presentations to students majoring in the department, particularly those on the Departmental Curriculum Committee, the President, the Provost, the Director of Intercultural Life, and the Director of International Life, and as widely across campus as is feasible (e.g. in department or interest newsletters). Be sure to invite faculty from any interdisciplinary programs to which the candidate would be expected to contribute. One of the best recruiting tools is having a room full of engaged students at a candidate’s presentation.
    • Allow time for tours or information about relevant resources (library, teaching labs, etc.)
    • Make sure to allow time between appointments for candidates to get to their next appointment or have a quick break. Please note that interviews with the Provost are 45-60 minutes.
    • Schedule an exit interview for an hour or so before the candidate leaves campus. 

It is very important that internal candidates experience the same kind and number of communications and interview days that external candidates experience. Err on the side of conformity to the itinerary used for external candidates. A casual tone or makeshift scheduling for internal candidates may send the signal that their candidacy is being treated differently or taken less seriously.

  • Once you have contacted the candidates to schedule a campus visit, notify Sally Pierce in the Provost’s Office. The Provost’s Office will send a “Welcome” e-mail to your candidates which includes a link to a website with information for faculty candidates.
  • Schedule two conversations with the Provost – one after the final interview but before the department meeting to discuss the candidates, and another after the department meeting.

Planning the Campus Visit

Make certain faculty understand what is expected.

  • All finalists should meet with all available tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department and all appropriate continuing faculty members.
  • Every member of the department meeting the candidate should read the candidate’s work before the candidate arrives for the interview.
  • Every member of the department who meets the candidates should attend the scholarly presentations and the classes.

Make certain candidates understand what is expected.

  • Schedule candidates for a job talk or talks in keeping with the culture of your department. Be explicit with the candidates about the expectations for the talk(s): audience, levels of sophistication, uses of classroom technology, and length of presentation. Explain your department’s assumptions about the “sample” class, conference paper, or public lecture presentations – if these are the relevant distinctions. The presentation is often the most stressful part of an interview. Between the invitation and the actual interview day, encourage candidates to be in conversation with you so that they can “test their assumptions” about the talk(s). We want to decrease the chances that otherwise acceptable candidates put themselves out of the running because they misunderstood our expectations for the job talk(s).
  • Check with the candidate to see whether he or she will need a computer, an overhead projector, or other equipment.

On the day of the visit:

  • Offer the candidate a chance to visit the classroom or lecture room before the presentation. Make sure all technology necessary is in the room and is functioning.
  • Allow the candidate a free period of time before the presentation so he or she can review notes and prepare.
  • Find out his or her timetable for making a decision, telephone numbers in the next few weeks, and interest in the job.
  • Tell the candidate what YOUR timetable is and when to expect a telephone call from you.
  • Have candidates complete a W-9 so they can be reimbursed for expenses.

The Provost will talk to candidates about salary, benefits, the tenure process, etc.

See our Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts for a list of questions you an and cannot ask candidates.

Partner Issues:

A large percentage of candidates for your position will be struggling with joint location issues associated with their partners. You and your colleagues, of course, cannot ask them directly about their personal situation, but you can be attentive and helpful when candidates bring it up voluntarily. It is important for you to be clear with them that the College will try to be as helpful as possible with the co-location issue.

The Upper Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (UMW HERC) lists faculty and staff job openings at many colleges and universities in our area. We can sometimes maneuver a Carleton leave replacement position so that it fits with a partner’s interests.

Following the Campus Visits

  • After all campus visits have concluded, the search committee will meet to discuss the candidates. It is essential that the committee have input from all parties involved in the search process, so prior to this meeting, gather the evaluations of others involved.  Talk with students who attended talks or meals with candidates. Many departments have developed survey forms they ask students to fill out. Get input via email, evaluation forms, or personal conversation from other faculty or staff who met the candidates or attended candidate talks.
  • Arrange a telephone call with the Provost to get input from the Provost and Associate Provost who interviewed the candidates.
  • Call a meeting of the department or search committee to discuss the candidates. Be sure to share information gathered from others involved in the process, including students who attended talks or meals with candidates. The discussion should be thorough and fair. While it’s important to assess the “fit” of the candidates with your department/program needs and the College, be alert to issues of implicit bias.
  • Determine the action you will recommend for each finalist. Determine which candidate to recommend for an offer, the second candidate, etc.
  • Obtain approval to make an offer. Recommendations for hiring must be approved by the Provost before an offer is made. You will call the candidate first and tell them that an offer will be forthcoming. The Provost will make the formal offer. Give the candidate a reasonable amount of time to consider the offer — probably about two weeks — but try to be flexible. Tell the candidate to call the Office of the Provost to make a phone appointment with the Provost to discuss the offer.
  • Send additional information to your top candidate about Carleton and Northfield, or call to solicit questions about the position, benefits, etc. You may now also ask about the candidate’s personal situation. Maintain similar contact with the other finalists in whom you are still interested.
  • Notify the Office of the Provost when the offer has been accepted. The Office of the Provost will send the formal contract through Workday.
    • NOTE: The College will provide assistance in obtaining valid visa status for faculty who have non-citizen or non-permanent resident status. The College will choose an immigration attorney to work with the faculty member, and the Office of the Provost will initiate the process. For tenure-track hires, legal expenses associated with obtaining a valid work permit will be paid for by the College. In addition, the College will pay legal expenses associated with pursuing permanent residency status. The College’s legal assistance and financial obligation will terminate if a faculty member resigns or isn’t reappointed after the third-year review.
  • Inform your department and celebrate!
  • Call the other finalists.
  • Application materials are stored in the Workday system, so you may feel free to shred any paper copies.

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