Interviewing and Recruiting in Faculty Searches

Information about the process and key ideas are available at this website. This site includes a link to a toolkit that was originally developed as part of a NSF ADVANCE grant that MSU held 2008-2014, “Advancing Diversity through the Alignment of Policies and Practices” (ADAPP). The toolkit is currently being updated, and a new link will be available once it is complete.

In addition to the ideas posted at this website, please give careful thought to processes for interviews and evaluating candidates. Rating forms for candidate evaluations should directly reflect the criteria outlined in the job ad, for example. Remember that while you are evaluating candidates, they are evaluating your unit and MSU and its environment more generally. Recruitment starts when you call to invite an individual to an interview. Make them feel valued, supported, and welcome. One idea that has worked well in some units is to leave a packet at the hotel for the candidate to see the night before their interview, including a personal message from the unit leader and information about local schools, restaurants, and MSU facilities and support systems. A wealth of information is available from the WorkLife office.

Professional Behavior

Development of a document at the unit level on community norms related to conduct can be valuable. View suggestions.


MSU’s official policy on faculty mentoring leaves details up to colleges, departments, and other individual units. A range of suggestions on strategies is on the AAN website.

Flexible Scheduling

We all need to balance responsibilities across our personal and professional lives, and it is worth considering the potential positive impacts of flexible work arrangements for employees (faculty, academic staff and support staff). Information is available on the WorkLife office website and the HR website.

Hiring: Dual Career Couples

MSU is committed to supporting dual career couples. Read suggestions for finding a position for the partner of a candidate.

It can also be useful for unit leaders, or deans or associate deans, to send the resume or CV to their counterparts in relevant units with a request to consider an academic appointment. Short-term (typically three year) arrangements for cost-sharing are common – among the unit of the primary candidate, the unit hiring the partner, and the Office of the Provost. Please contact Academic Human Resources (353-5300) to inquire.

Inclusion across Appointment Categories

Inclusion is one of MSU’s core values, and requires that we respect and value differences among individuals, and that we provide appropriate and equitable support for all employees. While attention is often paid to the rights and needs of tenure system faculty, please consider the equally critical roles played by fixed-term and health professions faculty, and both academic and support staff as units develop and update practices and policies related to voting rights, access to professional development funds, mentoring programs, etc.

Faculty Retention

It is critical that we retain faculty members who bring excellence and diversity to our campus. Appropriate support for academic work and a positive climate are both critical to keeping faculty here. Moving is hard, and if faculty have what they need to be successful here and feel supported and appreciated, they are less likely to leave (and will do their best work for MSU). So, first, create the best environment possible. Sometimes our faculty are recruited by other universities. In those cases, units are discouraged from requiring an external offer letter before working with the faculty member and colleges on a retention package. Some items to consider in developing such a package might include a salary increase, reduced teaching load for a specified period of time, support for scholarship, and space. It is generally not reasonable to fully match what a faculty member might receive elsewhere, as they would not be starting from scratch at MSU. It is good practice to indicate in a retention offer that the unit will not consider another one for a period of time, five years for example.

Tenure System Joint Appointments

Annual Evaluations

Evaluations should be closely tied to expectations that are clearly articulated, both in an offer letter and in continuing conversations and documents such as annual letters. In each evaluation, a clear statement should be made regarding whether expectations are met or not, (and whether they are exceeded if met). Justification for meeting criteria or not should be provided. While the specific format of tenure system annual evaluations is not driven by university-level policy, several colleges provide clear guidelines and/or templates. Examples are provided below.

Teaching evaluation

A chair’s toolkit for teaching evaluations is under development and will be linked here when available. Some resources currently available include:

Student Support

Course Buyouts/Workload

Teaching loads vary widely across disciplines, and the ability to temporarily shift duties from teaching to externally funded research is handled differently across units on campus. Some examples of guidelines are available at the links below.

Individuals with Disabilities

Information is available for students and employees, including resources, services, and requests for accommodations at the website for the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.