Skip to main content

PS-10.A.13 - Faculty Employment Policy

PDF version

Effective Date: May 31, 2019

Issue #: 3

President: Dr. Juan Sanchez Munoz

1. Purpose

This Policy Statement (PS) outlines the policies and procedures for employment of tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University of Houston Downtown (UHD) and specifies the tenets underlying the process, the responsible parties, and the sequence of steps.

2. Definitions

There are no definitions associated with this policy.

3. Policy

3.1 UHD seeks to recruit and employ the most highly qualified faculty members available.

3.2 UHD is committed to equal employment opportunity/affirmative action both in the principle and in the practice used to evaluate candidates.

3.3 UHD acknowledges the fundamental role that the faculty must hold in evaluating and recommending candidates. Responsibility for the process resulting in faculty hires rests primarily with the department faculty and department chair with the concurrence of the college dean and the provost.

3.3.1 With the needs of the discipline in mind, search committees shall make recommendations consistent with the university mission and vision, and the strategic plan of the university and college, as communicated by the dean and provost.

3.4 Appointments to non-tenure track positions will be made according to PS 10.A.20 Non Tenure & Non-Tenure Track Academic Appointments.

4. Procedures

4.1 Identification of Faculty Positions: Suggestions for new faculty lines may come from administration or faculty. In general, proposals for new faculty are embedded in the unit planning process of the university, a key part of shared governance of fiscal planning for the university. The faculty, in consultation with the department chair and the college dean, determine the need for the faculty line. Subject to approval by the college dean and provost and within departmental budgeting constraints, the department chair, in consultation with the department faculty, is primarily responsible for placing them in order of priority and negotiating their approval.

4.1.1 Replacement of faculty due to vacancies arising from departures or retirement require approval of the dean and provost.

4.2 Identification of the Search Committee: The search committee shall be composed of four members from the hiring department’s tenured/tenure-track faculty and one tenured/tenure-track faculty member from outside of the hiring department. The search committee should be as diverse as possible in gender, ethnicity, and tenured vs nontenured faculty, and should represent the disciplinary specialty of the position insofar as possible. The department chair will identify search committee members for the position and chooses the chair of the search committee. The department chair communicates the composition of the search committee and the chair of the committee to the dean for review and to Human Resources (HR). The final membership of the search committee will be reviewed and endorsement by HR prior to the final appointment of the members by the chair. After HR approval, the chair will send a formal letter of appointment to the committee members, copying the college dean. Before the search committee begins work, a meeting with HR to discuss hiring processes and procedures must take place.

4.3 The Position Announcement: The search committee prepares the position announcements in consultation with the discipline and the department chair and designates where such announcements will be made. The position announcement is sent to the dean for review, but changes to the position announcement cannot be made without the majority consent of the search committee

4.4 The Search Process: The departmental search committee will review all applications, and determine which candidates will be interviewed at each stage of the search. The departmental search committee must use the same criteria, content, and approach for every candidate at all phases of the search process, and the criteria used to evaluate candidates must reflect those stated in the position announcement. Prior to interviewing any candidate, the search committee chair will share the prospective pool with HR for review and approval. For the initial interview, the search committee will share the list of candidates to be interviewed with the dean and the chair; this list must include a statement regarding their qualifications per the position announcement. For on-campus interviews, the search committee will submit a list of candidates to be interviewed for approval by the dean and chair; this list must include a statement regarding their qualifications per the position announcement. If the dean or chair does not approve of the list of candidates for on-campus interviews, this must be reconciled in consultation with the search committee.

4.4.1 After the interview process, the search committee will recommend a candidate for hire to the department chair. If there are multiple qualified candidates with a strong fit for the position, the search committee may recommend more than one candidate, ranked or unranked, but they are not obligated to do so. If there are no qualified candidates with a strong fit for the position, the search committee will inform the department chair and the dean.

4.4.2 The department chair will forward the recommendation to the college dean, with a short assessment of the candidate(s) from the department chair’s perspective. If either the chair or dean disagree with the search committee’s recommendation, the parties must all meet to discuss and propose a course of action and notify the provost. Administration shall concur with faculty judgement except in rare and exceptional circumstances and for compelling reasons, which shall be stated in detail to the search committee, the department chair, and the provost. In the event that the dean, department chair, and the search committee cannot reach consensus, the provost, after hearing from the dean, department chair, and search committee, shall choose the final candidate to be hired, if any.

4.4.3 Upon approval by the college dean (or provost in a contested situation), the dean prepares an employment offer which is forwarded to the provost for approval. This request will include appropriate documentation as specified by the provost. Upon the provost’s approval, the department chair will extend the offer to the candidate and enter into unofficial negotiations. No hire is official until approved by the university president. In all appointments to the faculty, there must be assurance of compliance with the affirmative action and equal employment policies, procedures of the university, and UH System policy.

4.5 Hiring Timeline

May 1: Department chair is notified of new search
May 14: Department chair submits search committee names, including chair, to HR for review and approval
May 21: HR approves or makes suggestions for changes
June 1: Search Committee is formally appointed
June 15: Search Committee finalizes position announcement, including approvals from discipline and chair
July 1: Position is posted internally and externally, as appropriate to the position
October 1: Search committee begins to review candidates
November 1: Initial interviews complete
January 1: On-Campus interviews complete

5. Review Process

Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Academic Affairs

Review: As needed

Signed original on file in Human Resources.

6. Policy History

Issue #2: 10/09/89

Issue dates for previous versions are not available.

7. References

PS 10.A.20 Non-Tenure & Non-Tenure Track Academic Appointments