In previous years, a group of students were selected by current faculty to go to lunch with the new faculty candidates. However, this group was not elected by the student body, nor did students necessarily interact with more than one candidate. To improve upon this process, the CGLC has worked with the Department Chair to create a means by which student feedback is incorporated into the faculty hiring process.
As of Fall 2018, a student panel (consisting of 6 students) is selected for each faculty search. These panels do not play a role in steps 1-10 listed below, but their feedback is considered in steps 11-15 below of the hiring process.
The students selected for these panels are pulled from a pool of applicants who have passed their qualifying exam. The students are evaluated based on their answers to the following questions:
- Describe your motivation for applying to the student hiring committee.
- Please describe your commitment and contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Chemistry.
- Please elaborate on your availability and potential conflicts between late November and mid-December 2018 (i.e. group meeting, other extracurriculars, classes, teaching). What other commitments do you anticipate, and are you willing to prioritize attending >75% of hiring seminars, lunches, and faculty interviews?
The CGLC removed all identifying information from the applications, which are then reviewed by three students who were elected by both the CGLC and WICI as representatives of the student body. These three students then review and select the students that will sit on the panel for each faculty search.
The student panels were informed of the following: “The hiring process this year will consist of approximately six faculty candidates per position and each candidate will give a public seminar that is open to the entire department. These visits will take place between Monday, November 13th and Friday, December 14th. In addition to a seminar, each faculty candidate will attend a lunch with the student hiring committee, which will be followed by a 30-40 minute Q&A session with the student hiring committee. As a member of this student hiring committee, you will be required to attend a minimum of five candidate visits to ensure consistent feedback (this includes seminars, lunches, and Q&A sessions). The student hiring committees will be informed of these times in the near future.”
During the Q&A sessions, the student panels interview each faculty candidate with the intention of determining their aptitude for mentorship and teaching, and their commitment to diversity. Following each interview, members of the student panel report their impression of the faculty candidate through a survey—the responses of which are sent to both the Department Chair and the respective faculty hiring committee. Note that the student panels were not shown the candidate’s letters of recommendation or research proposals, in order to maintain the confidentiality of the candidate and their letter writers.
Upon completion of all faculty candidate visits, the student panels meet with the CGLC and Department Chair to give feedback on the process and brainstorm ways to improve it for the next hiring cycle.
(The above process fits into Step 11 of the complete faculty hiring process, detailed below)
Summary of the Department of Chemistry Faculty Hiring Process
- In the spring semester, the Department Chair and the Planning Committee decide on the preferred area(s) for the searches during the following year.
- The Chair and the Dean request the positions from campus. The Budget Committee allocates the Full-Time Equivalent (FTEs) to the department.
- The Department Chair establishes a Hiring Committee to evaluate the candidates. This includes at least one Diversity/Equity Officer (DEO).
- In August a draft of the advertisement and a search strategy (including a diversity plan) is sent to campus for review by the Office of Faculty Equity and Welfare (OFEW).
- After approval, the revised advertisement appears in publications and on job posting services.
- The faculty are encouraged to identify and reach out to promising individuals in the community. Direct calls are made to candidates from diverse backgrounds, and the UC President’s and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows are reviewed.
- After the search closes, the Diversity/Equity advisor reviews the pool to determine if it contains sufficient diversity.
- OFEW reviews the candidate pool and approves it as-is or requests an extension to allow more candidates to apply.
- Once received, faculty applications are reviewed by the Hiring Committee and by other members of the department as needed.
- A short list is generated by the faculty search committee. This is again reviewed by the Diversity/Equity Officer and then by OFEW to ensure that a sufficient number of candidates are from diverse backgrounds.
- Candidates are invited for interviews, which consist of seminars, proposal discussions, one-on-one faculty meetings, and meetings with graduate students in the department.
- New as of Fall 2018: Candidates are additionally interviewed regarding by a graduate student panel regarding their commitment to mentorship, teaching, and commitment to diversity. (see above for full details)
- The committee collects feedback from all faculty members and students. They then use these data to arrive at a consensus decision.
- The proposed candidate is reviewed by the departmental Planning Committee.
- The proposed candidate is discussed in a full faculty meeting.
- The Chair forwards the case to the Dean, who forwards it to central administration for additional approvals.
- An offer is made!