College of LAS « Illinois


Section Section III.3

Endorsed by the Executive Committee
Approved by the Dean August 27, 1991

Authorization for Search and Approval of Procedure. Any search for a new member of the Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must be authorized by the Dean. The procedures to be used in advertising the search and in interviewing candidates must be approved in advance by the College Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.

Extension of an Offer. When a final choice is made in a search, and a unit desires to extend an offer, the executive officer of the unit in which the appointment is to be made must seek the approval of both the College EEO Committee and the Dean. If the unit lies in a school, the school director's approval must be gained before the College-level approvals are sought.

In no case is the formal letter of offer to be issued by the executive officer of the unit in which the appointment would lie. After the required approvals have been obtained, an offer letter may be issued by the administrative officer immediately above the unit in which the appointment is to be made. For units in schools, this person is the school director. For all other units, including the schools themselves, it is the Dean of the College.

In the case of a joint appointment, the reviewing officer has the duty to ascertain that the proposed arrangement has the approval of the executive officers of all units in which formal appointments would be made. When the approval is sought from the Dean, a clear statement should be made about the division of teaching load among participating units. This statement will be used by the College to resolve any dispute that might arise with respect to obligations in future years.

The College's principal standard letters of offer (differing in their handling of tenure) are phrased as invitations, because the appointment is ultimately dependent on approval by the Board of Trustees. The letters cover a number of important legal points, but does not include a delineation of teaching responsibilities, moving costs, or setup arrangements. It is expected that the executive officer principally supervising the recruitment will write a more personal letter in which such matters would be defined.

There is alternate language to cover an appointment with an initial tenure code above1. It will be substituted into the letter of invitation from the College if needed.

If an appointee is not a citizen of the United States, a visa that permits employment must be obtained before the appointment can be made effective. It is the employing unit's responsibility to attend to this point.

Extension of an Offer at a Senior Level. To extend an offer at a faculty rank above assistant professor, other approvals, based on fuller documentation, are required. In addition to those discussed above, reviews must be undertaken by the Executive Committee of the College, the Dean, and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs seeks counsel from the Vice Chancellor for Research. No offer can be extended until all approvals are received. This is necessarily a lengthier process than that required for the development of an offer at the level of assistant professor or lower. Please help your candidates to understand this point as you negotiate with them. Ordinarily, the reviews can be carried out in two weeks, but in some cases slightly more time is needed.

For appointments that would carry tenure, the Executive Committee, the Dean, and the Vice Chancellors require evidence justifying tenure that is comparable to the evidence required internally for the granting of tenure. The important elements are:

  1. A statement from the executive officer that summarizes the strengths of the case, addresses any weaknesses apparent in the supporting material, and explains why the appointment will strengthen the unit.
  2. The vote of the body that would normally review promotion and tenure cases in the unit.
  3. A fresh curriculum vitae and list of publications.
  4. Evaluative evidence concerning the nominee's effectiveness as a teacher.
  5. The full set of letters from authorities who can evaluate the nominee's scholarship for impact and quality.
  6. A copy of the letter used to solicit external letters of evaluation. This letter should contain the required language discussed in the College's Guidelines Concerning Cases for Promotion and Tenure.
  7. Descriptions of the qualifications of the external reviewers.
  8. Identification of the reviewers as selected by the nominee or by the unit.

The set of external letters must be obtained, at least in part, by solicitation from the unit, not by the nominee. This point can be clarified by reference to the usual situation in which these guidelines apply, viz. the recruitment of a senior appointee from outside the University. If a unit recommends such an appointment on the basis of an open search, some of the letters normally would be obtained upon the candidate's direct request to the evaluator. It is acceptable to include such letters in the supporting documents (even though it would not be satisfactory to do so in a local promotion case); however among the external letters ought to be a majority that were sought by the unit without the candidate's intervention. In other words, the candidate is not to be allowed to manage these reviews entirely.

The College's Guidelines Concerning Cases for Promotion and Tenure relate to the preparation of internal promotion and tenure papers, but they convey the intent of the policies that govern the preparation of a case of this kind. If one remains faithful to their intent, one will arrive at a valid set of documents for review of a proposed appointment at a senior level.

Please place any recommendation concerning salary and other financial matters, such as proposed arrangements for financing startup costs, in a separate letter to the Dean (via the school director, if appropriate). The Executive Committee does not review financial arrangements for individuals. To protect privacy, the College office must delete such material out of documents used for general review.

Updated April 2003