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The Search Committee Handbook
A Guide to Recruiting Administrators
Theodore J. Marchese
Jane Fiori Lawrence
Paper: 978 1 57922 177 5
Published: October 2005
8 1/2" x 11"
* Reviews of the first edition:
"Finally, higher education has an intelligent guide for recruiting administrators--an activity often taken for granted and not always thoughtfully carried out." -- Paul A. Elsner, Maricopa Community College District
"The book we've needed ... the Turabian of search." -- James M. Heffernan, State University of New York
focuses on administrative searches below the level of the presidency--the searches for vice-presidents, deans, directors, and coordinators for which the appointment of a search committee is the norm. It is written for practitioners--for the institutional leaders who will plan the search, form the committee, and later make the appointment; as well as for the chair and members of the search committee itself. It is intended as a guide and a fund of ideas to promote better, more informed and more effective practice.
The second edition of this acclaimed book reflects the extensive changes that have taken place in the hiring climate. Video-conferencing allows travel-free interviewing. The Web permits desktop research and has given rise to the online posting of openings. Federal and state regulations about hiring and employment have grown apace. The use of search firms has expanded from the presidency to other administrative posts. The shift in student demographics is increasing the need for faculty-staff diversity. Perhaps the most significant change is the recent sharp decline in the size of applicant pools for administrative posts.
All these factors add up to a different–and more challenging–set of tasks for campus leadership and search committees. To unpack these issues the Atlantic Philanthropies provided a grant to AAHE and the Academic Search Consultation Service to fund a national advisory board, undertake extensive literature reviews, and conduct focus groups and numerous interviews with committee chairs and others.
The new edition of this classic and authoritative source of advice for finding, selecting, and appointing the best people to key administrative positions is informed by this extensive research.
Table of Contents:
Introduction; 1 The Vacancy: An Organizational Opportunity: Campus leaders know that nothing they do is more important than to recruit, nurture, and; advance the talents of line managers and administrative staff, who make their college or university work. When an administrative vacancy occurs, they see it as a dual opportunity for their institution: first to rethink a function—the role and goals of a position, and the character of; person needed to make it work—then to make an appointment that helps to achieve them; 2 The Committee: Composition, Charge, and Ground Rules: In this chapter we assume that the institution has completed the work outlined in chapter 1, has a good sense of what it wants from a search, and will appoint a committee to conduct it. We now address issues that confront the appointing officer as he or she gathers and charges a committee, then raise matters the officer and committee will weigh together to get the search off to a good start.; 3 The Job: Identifying Preferred Qualifications: The search committee now has its charge plus a good sense of itself, its calendar, and its terms; of work. It is ready for its initial substantive task of search: to determine as precisely as possible; what it will search for.; 4 The Search: Recruiting a Candidate Pool: An injunction heard from every search veteran we spoke with was that “committees have to; undertake active search,” meaning vigorous recruitment. We’re not sure who exactly advocates; “passive search” (an oxymoron), but the behavior proscribed is clear enough: the hapless search; committee that says at the start, “Let’s place an ad and see what comes in.”; 5 The Screening: Identifying Talent among Applicants: As the date for application review arrives, a week of intensive reading lies ahead for the committee. Members will now cull through what seem daunting piles of application materials to locate candidates of highest promise. In this chapter, we show how the committee can screen; a hypothetical set of 60 applications down to 6 or 8. It’s a task that demands care. These are choices about real people, with candidates and your campus alike trusting your judgment.; 6 The Interviews: Knowing and Courting Candidates: This longest of the Handbook’s chapters will help your search committee work through an; important set of next questions: how to interview your remaining candidates, how many to; bring to campus, how to structure those visits for mutual learning, and how to complete your evaluation of the finalists. By chapter’s end, the committee should have gathered all the information it needs to proceed with recommendations to the appointing officer.; 7 Making the Appointment: At long last the committee is ready to realize the main point of its work: the recommendation of; candidates to the appointing officer. That officer in turn will need to weigh, offer, negotiate, and; conclude an appointment. All parties then need to bring that appointee into the institution and; position in ways that set him or her up for success; Web Sites, Resources, and Associations; Annotated Bibliography; Acknowledgments; Advisory Board; About the Authors; Index.
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