The distinction of the University of Chicago rests on the research, teaching, and service of the academics who work here. The goal of every academic search is to seek out and find individuals who are qualified to make contributions to the University’s distinction.  Screening is a systematic comparison of qualified applicants to one another and, in some cases, to others in the field, with a goal of identifying those applicants in the applicant pool who should be advanced and recommended for appointment. A successful search is one which attracts a pool of strong applicants: ideally, the decision about whom to recommend should be hard.
 
President Zimmer has challenged the University to build a scholarly community comprising a mix of individuals of all backgrounds, nations, and viewpoints, who make unique contributions to our intellectual culture. Search committees may, and are encouraged to, conduct searches where one of the goals is to increase the diversity of the applicant pool and ultimately the research and teaching in the University. This academic search policy guide is intended both to help units attract large and diverse applicant pools for every open academic position at the University, and to enable department chairs, deans, directors, and the provost to monitor the search and screening processes that preceded a request to the provost for authority to offer an academic appointment.
 
The Provost’s Office expects that the documentation of a search for a pool of applicants and of the screening of those applicants will show that the steps outlined below have been followed.   The policies and expectations of the Provost’s Office are compliant with our compliance obligations (refer to the list at the end of the policy guide) and support search processes that will attract pools of applicants which are diverse across many dimensions.
 
As a federal contractor, the University is an affirmative action employer, which means it is obligated to take active steps to recruit and advance qualified women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans. At the same time, the University is legally prohibited from considering applicants’ race, sex, national or ethnic origin, or other protected class status in making hiring decisions.
 
Recruiting outstanding academics to advance the missions of the University, including candidates from all backgrounds and nations, requires effort beyond advertising to develop an applicant pool for every open position. Decisions to offer appointments must be preceded, therefore, by actively searching for potential applicants in ways calculated to generate a large and diverse pool. When units act with fidelity to the policies and procedures here established by the University, then one of our central obligations as a federal contractor is met. As a federal contractor, the University is also obligated to monitor and evaluate our hiring and other employment processes for compliance with the law and University policies, including this policy, the Shils Report, the Provost’s Guidelines for appointments, and our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, and the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct.
 
To support academic search and recruitment processes, the University of Chicago uses Interfolio’s search module. Unless an exception has been granted, search administrators, evaluators, and unit leaders should use the module, called Academic Recruitment, to post positions and manage search processes. After hire, other aspects of career progression are managed and tracked through Interfolio’s related modules, collectively called the Academic Recruitment and Careers System (ARCS).
 
CONTENTS
Academic Search Policies
  1. Think broadly about department/school/institute hiring priorities
  2. Seek potential applicants routinely and actively
  3. Write position descriptions to include appropriate required and preferred qualifications
  4. Create a Search Plan
  5. Determine what application materials will be required 
  6. Encourage timely application without triggering a compliance issue
  7. Understand and adhere to deadlines
  8. Establish clear screening criteria
  9. Create a posting
  10. Publicize the position: “outreach”
  11. Review advertisements for accuracy
  12. Evaluate applicants and monitor the screening process
  13. Interview best-qualified candidates
  14. Write a “search narrative”
  15. Maintain records during and after the recruitment and hiring process
 
Please see the PDF document linked below for the full Academic Searching and Screening Policy.
Last edited: October 18, 2019