Employment Process Guidelines for Recruitment of Full-Time Faculty


These Employment Process Guidelines are designed to ensure academic excellence, diversity, uniformity and equity in the process of filling all full-time faculty positions.

All departments and members of the University community have responsibility as outlined below for monitoring and adhering to the employment procedures set forth in these guidelines. All forms of unlawful employment discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, religion, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or disability are prohibited and will not be tolerated in the recruitment of faculty at the University.

It is expected that all parties will cooperate in a proactive effort to recruit a diverse pool of qualified candidates for each position and to maintain the University’s commitment to academic excellence, diversity and equity in the conduct of faculty searches.

All materials and forms mentioned herein are available from the following offices:

  • Human Resources
  • Employment Equity and Diversity
  • College Deans
  • Academic Departments
  • Administrative Departments
  • Cheng Library
  • Graduate Studies Office
  • Provost and Executive Vice President
  • WPUNJ Web site


Authorization to fill vacancies in faculty or related unclassified positions is the responsibility of the Provost and Executive Vice President who, in consultation and cooperation with the Faculty, Deans, and other administrators, provides leadership in developing the academic and educational plans of the University and in determining the allocation of resources to support those plans, after review and approval by the President. Under the leadership of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the following units and unit heads have respective responsibilities:

Academic Department

Under the leadership of the Department Chairperson, the Academic Department is responsible for:

  1. Evaluating the need to create or fill a position vacancy;
  2. Providing justification for filling a vacancy and request permission to search for candidates to the appropriate College Dean; and
  3. Providing a job description concerning the vacancy to be filled (including specialization
    and required qualifications) to the Dean of the respective College.

Dean of the College

The Dean of the College evaluates all requests to fill or create vacancies and also recommends and requests permission to fill vacancies based on the academic needs, priorities and resources of the Departments, College, and University. The Dean is responsible for:

  1. Providing the Provost and Executive Vice President with a list of existing vacancies and proposed
    positions to be filled in each department including specific titles, job descriptions (area of specialization), salary and/or rank, starting date, source of funding, justification and proposed application deadline.

  2. Reviewing and approving job descriptions from departments which specify, at a minimum, the following: a. rank and specialization; b. duties; and, c. required and preferred qualifications;

  3. Notifying Departments within the College of approval/disapproval to fill vacant or proposed positions.

Provost and Executive Vice President

The Provost and Executive Vice President is responsible for:

  1. Reviewing the lists of existing vacancies and proposed positions to be filled in each College;
  2. Evaluating each request on the basis of programmatic need, University resources and priorities;
  3. Approving/disapproving all requests to fill or create a vacancy and notify Deans and Academic
    Departments of such approval/disapproval in light of total University priorities, needs, and resources.


Final authority for appointment to full-time faculty positions resides with the President and the public action of the Board of Trustees. The process leading to such appointment, with exceptions noted below, is a process of recommendation and approval in which responsibilities and duties are delegated as follows:

A. The Department Chairperson is responsible for

  1. Preparing the job description detailing the nature of the duties inherent in the position and submitting it and the proposed required academic and preferred qualifications to the Dean for approval prior to advertising; and preparing the Position Control Form for final authorization to conduct a search;
  2. Recommending appointment of members to a Search Committee, in accord with departmental by-laws
    and University policies, and ensuring that the composition of the Search Committee is representative
    and diverse; and designating a Chairperson of the Search Committee, subject to the review and approval of the Dean of the College and the Director of Employment Equity and Diversity;
  3. Charging and providing the Search Committee with relevant information, including but not limited to: (a) description of the position as advertised; (b) nature and extent of the advertising made for position; total number of candidates to be recommended by the committee, but not less than three (3)unranked; and, (c) the time frame by which the final candidates should be recommended;
  4. Inviting the Director of Employment Equity and Diversity or designee to the first meeting of the Search Committee to review the legal requirements of equal opportunity and Affirmative Action and William Paterson University’s Employment Process Guidelines, and to discuss possible strategies for recruitment;
  5. Ensuring that members of the Search Committee faithfully follow these guidelines; and
  6. Receiving the recommendations of the Search Committee and reviewing and forwarding them
    to the College Dean.

The Department Chair may serve on the Search Committee, depending on departmental by-laws and University policies. The Department Chairperson may, but is not required to, interview candidates recommended by the Search Committee, but in doing so he or she should respect the integrity of the committee’s deliberations.

B. The Office of Employment Equity and Diversity works with the academic departments and College Deans and is responsible for:

  1. Determining the adequacy of the applicant pool by reviewing Form I and collecting data on race,
    sex, and ethnic identity of applicants through the voluntary and anonymous use of the pre-employment
    identification card or other Equal Employment Opportunity Questionnaire returned to the OEE&D;
  2. Conducting the Affirmative Action Mid-search Check to review Form II, to ensure that the applicant
    pool is adequate and that a minimum percentage of applicants have the required qualifications,
    and to recommend to the Dean the cancellation or extension of the search in the event of a lack
    of qualified candidates;
  3. Reviewing the advertisement and position announcement;
  4. Reviewing and providing feedback on sample interview questions developed by the search committee with respect to appropriateness;
  5. Assisting in outreach to attract diverse candidates through professional contacts, Internet postings, conferences and other recruitment sources;
  6. Conducting a briefing meeting with Search Committee regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action, and established search procedures;
  7. Certifying for the University that a bona fide equal opportunity/affirmative action search has been conducted.

C. Search Committees: Members, Committee Chairpersons, and Their Responsibilities

Nature and Composition of Search Committees

Search Committees are required in all searches to fill full-time faculty vacancies (with exceptions noted below). Search Committees may be used, but are not required, to appoint candidates to adjunct faculty positions; graduate assistant positions; or vacancies to be filled from a Civil Service Certification List. Search committees may or may not be required to fill part-time faculty positions (and departments should inquire of the Dean whether they are or are not in a given circumstance). Only full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty of a department can serve on departmental search committees for faculty. In the matters of small departments, the department Chair shall seek approval from the College Dean to appoint an appropriate faculty outside of the department to serve on the search committee.

Exceptions to the use of Search Committees, with approval of the Dean, the Provost and Executive Vice President or designee, and the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity, may occur in emergency situations such as sudden resignation, illness, retirement, death or other unforeseen circumstances resulting in a temporary appointment. In addition, the President of the University has and may delegate the right and responsibility to fill vacancies temporarily without a search in light of institutional need or exigency.

Department Chairpersons are responsible, in accord with departmental by-laws and University policies, for recommending members of search committees for approval by the Dean of the College and the Director of Employment Equity and Diversity. The Provost and Executive Vice President shall have final approval in cases where composition of a committee is disputed and where a resolution is not reached in a timely manner.

The composition of the Search Committee should reflect sensitivity to the various constituencies within the University community that may be affected by the position and should include representation of women and minorities. The following shall not serve on a Search Committee: person(s) recommending the final applicant to the President/designee; an incumbent who is vacating the position to be filled; the Director of Employment Equity and Diversity (who may serve as a resource person to the Search Committee); family members or others with significant relation to the applicants amounting to a conflict of interest; adjuncts and faculty on one-year-only appointments; and faculty on sabbatical leaves and approved leaves of absence.

A Member of a Search Committee works closely with other members and is responsible, at a minimum, for:

  1. Adhering strictly to the confidentiality of the deliberations and processes followed by the Search Committee (such as not revealing evaluations and rankings of candidates and, in general, protecting the privacy of applicants);
  2. Evaluating thoroughly the applications, resumes or vitae of all applicants, and identifying applicants to be invited for an interview;
  3. Participating fully in all scheduled interviews with candidates (except in the case of illness) and to recuse himself or herself from the committee if he or she is unable to do so;
  4. Participating in determining the number of applicants in order to be able to recommend the number requested;
  5. Recommending, in cooperation with other members of the committee, at least three (3) qualified applicants unranked to fill the position with a detailed description of the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. The submission of less than three candidates requires special approval by the President/designee;
  6. Recusing himself or herself from the committee when one or more of the candidates for the position is someone with whom the member has a familial or other close relationship to or feels a particular advocacy for or against, or will be perceived by others in that way;
  7. Participating in additional recruiting to broaden the candidate pool, if necessary.

(N.B. Members of a search committee shall not negotiate, under any circumstances, or discuss specifically matters of salary or terms and conditions of employment such as teaching load except where these are stated in the advertisement.)

The Chair of a Search Committee oversees and facilitates the work of the Committee and, while he or she may delegate specific tasks in the work of the committee, he or she has final responsibility for:

  1. receiving applications and sending acknowledgments, including the pre-employment identification card to all applicants;
  2. extending a verbal invitation to applicants identified for interview, and issuing a formal letter
    of confirmation to those verbally accepting the invitation, along with Reference Release Form;
  3. facilitating the committee meetings and candidate interviews, including travel arrangements;
  4. scheduling a meeting between the Committee and the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity to review with the committee all relevant federal, state and institutional regulations and guidelines;
  5. scheduling candidate interviews with the Committee, Department Chair, and Dean;
  6. completing all required forms;
  7. informing the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity, the department Chairs and appropriate Dean of names of applicants who will be invited to campus for an interview;
  8. writing the recommendations of the committee and including any dissenting opinions if necessary;
  9. submitting the completed search file to the appropriate Dean, and the completed forms to the
    Office of Employment Equity and Diversity;
  10. sending a non-appointment letter to all applicants who were not hired after the person to be hired is approved by the Board of Trustees.

    (N.B. The chairperson of a search committee may not negotiate, under any circumstances, or discuss specifically matters of salary or terms and conditions of employment such as teaching except where these are stated in the advertisement.)

D. Dean, Provost and Executive Vice President, President and Their Responsibilities

The Dean has responsibility for review, approval, communication, and negotiation with final candidates on matters of rank, range, and salary. Specifically, he or she is responsible for:

  1. interviewing all applicants forwarded by the Search Committee and/or may elect to review
    applicants not selected for an interview and identify other applicants for interview;
  2. receiving and reviewing at least three recommendations unranked (letters or written summaries
    of reference calls) and confirm receipt and date of all degrees of all candidates to whom an offer of employment is proposed;
  3. consulting with the search committee chair and department chair, and recommending final
    candidate(s) for appointment to the Provost and Executive Vice President, for approval;
  4. negotiating, in consultation with the department chair and the Office of the Provost and
    Executive Vice President, salary, rank, and range to be offered to final candidate(s);
  5. write a formal letter of offer to any candidate(s) to whom an offer of employment is made
    and to certify the bona fides of such candidates.

E. The Provost and Executive Vice President is the Chief Academic Officer of the University
and has oversight for all faculty and related vacancies and appointments. As such, he or she
is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and approving or disapproving of the recommendation
of the Dean of the College and to take such action as necessary to complete the appointment
process and ensuring its integrity through recommendation to the President of the University.

F. The President of the University is vested with final authority for all appointments publicly
approved by the Board of Trustees.


Appendix A: Advertisement and Recruitment

To promote diversity, equity, and academic excellence it is essential to conduct processes of recruitment and advertisement that will attract the greatest number of qualified and interested applicants for each position that is authorized and for which a search is conducted.

The Department Chairperson

1. prepares the Position Announcement and Advertisement containing the following information:

a. specific teaching and related duties and area of specialization
b. whether tenure or non-tenure track
c. job related qualifications
d. degrees required and those preferred
e. number of years of teaching experience required or preferred, or other criteria
f. rank
g. starting date
h. name of the Department or Search Committee Chairperson as the contact for receipt of cover letter and resume
i. closing date for applications or if applications will be considered until position is filled.

2. submits this information to the Dean for review, revision, approval, and submission to
the Provost and Executive Vice President, Office of Human Resources, and Office
of Employment Equity and Diversity; and
3. places approved advertisements in disciplinary journals, list-serves, and other venues that
are of minimal or no cost to the University.

The Dean of the College

1. reviews all submissions to ensure accuracy of intent;
2. submits original or revised copy to the Provost and Executive Vice President’s Office
for review and approval

The Office of Human Resources

1. coordinates distribution of Position Announcements for posting on campus bulletin boards
and on web page;
2. arranges for omnibus advertising in cooperation with the Office of the Provost and Executive
Vice President.

The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

coordinates omnibus advertisement of faculty vacancies in newspaper advertisements, professional journals or associations, College and university placement offices and appropriate academic departments and minority organizations, associations, and publications and the William Paterson University Home Page.)

Appendix B: Disposition of Application Materials

To ensure and document equity and fairness in the employment process, it is essential that all applications be received and accounted for in the process. As stated above, it is the responsibility of all members of search committees to evaluate thoroughly all applications for each advertised position.

Further, the Department Chair or Search Committee Chair is responsible for

1. receiving and logging all applications, resumes and vitae for the search he or she is conducting; and
2. sending a letter acknowledging receipt of the application and pre-employment identification card to each applicant upon receipt; and
3. sending a letter to all non-appointees at the close of the search indicating that the search has
been successfully completed or closed without appointment; and
4. maintaining copies of the letter of acknowledgment, of non-appointment, and other relevant
documentation including Affirmative Action Forms I and II in department files where they become the responsibility of the department chairperson.

Before disposing of search materials, the department should contact the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Employment Equity and Diversity to receive permission to do so.