The College of New Jersey, founded in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, is primarily an undergraduate and residential college with targeted graduate programs. TCNJ’s exceptional students, teacher-scholars, staff, alumni, and board members constitute a diverse community of learners and leaders. The College empowers its diverse students, staff, and faculty to sustain and enhance their communities both locally and globally. To learn more about TCNJ’s mission, please click here.
Dear Faculty Search Committee Member:
Congratulations on being selected to serve on your search committee. Participating in the hiring process is one of the most important contributions that one can make to our campus community. The selection will have a lasting impact on the reputation of the College, as well as on the students who will be impacted by your decision.
STEP 1: Create a Rationale for the Position and a Job Description
In order to begin the process to hire a new faculty member, the Department, Program, or Library Faculty, in consultation with the Dean, must complete the Tenure-Track Faculty Requests Form and develop a Faculty or Librarian Position Description. This document must indicate that the hiring of a new faculty member bears a relationship to the College’s strategic planning process. The Position description is a clear and concise document that summarizes the important functions of the new faculty member. It should accurately represent actual duties and responsibilities. Position descriptions are the foundation of the College’s position postings, job interviews, and strategic planning. Click here to download a sample Faculty Position Description.
STEP 2: Authorization to Fill the Position
After completing a Tenure-Track Faculty Request Form and a Position Description, the hiring Dean will complete a Position Request Form for Faculty and Librarians (PRF). The PRF should accompany the Tenure-Track Faculty Request Form and the Position Description. All materials will be sent to the Provost. Upon final approval, the PRF, accompanied by the Tenure-Track Faculty Request Form and the Position Description, will then be sent to the Office of Human Resources (HR).
STEP 3: Convening the Search Committee
- After receiving final approval from HR, the Dean will form a search committee in consultation with the department chair and the Director of EEO/AA.
- To ensure multiple perspectives, the Dean in consultation with the Director of EEO/AA will develop diversity in the make-up of the committee membership.
- The committee shall be composed of members who are committed to protecting the integrity of the selection process and have a vested interest in the outcome of the search. Faculty search committee members will be chosen from the discipline subject area, department and relevant school, or closely related disciplines. In addition, one member must be chosen from outside the department or school.
- The search committee will comprise of three to five individuals. In the case of small departments, the Dean will work with the department chair to expand representation to meet the needs of the search.
- The search committee is responsible for conducting the search, including reviewing resumes/CVs, interviewing applicants, and determining who will become finalists for the position.
- In consultation with the faculty, the Dean will appoint the chair of the search committee. The chair is responsible for convening the search committee, following established search procedures, and ensuring timely communications with the applicants. The Department Chair or Dean, as appropriate, will assign administrative support staff to assist the search committee. The chair will work with the designated support staff to facilitate appropriate communications with candidates and organize applicant material.
- After the search committee has been convened, the committee will meet with the Dean and the Director of EEO/AA or their designees. This meeting will formally charge the committee with the task of conducting the search.
- The Dean will stress that the search committee should maintain confidentiality during the search process. Such confidentiality includes anyone not directly involved in the hiring process, which includes department faculty not participating in the search committee. Further, any communications regarding the search process should come from the chair of the search committee.
STEP 4: Placement of the Advertisement
- The advertisement should be submitted electronically to the Office of Human Resources on the Faculty-Librarian Ad Request Form and the Advertisement Request Excel Spreadsheet.
- The advertisement should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Typically, there will be no longer than a 48-hour turnaround for the postings.
- The Office of Human Resources will pay up to $1400 for the cost of authorized ads. Costs that exceed $1400 must be paid by the hiring school/department.
- The search committee chair will work with Human Resources to place ads in appropriate venues, some of which will include: The College of New Jersey website, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the New Jersey Higher Education Recruitment Consortium and Higher Ed Jobs websites. The search committee may select additional venues, using the appropriate spot in the Ad Request Form to do so. All online postings must be visible for a minimum of thirty days.
- In addition, each search committee should identify specific recruitment strategies, diversity publications and/or unique networking opportunities to increase the quality and diversity in the respective school/department. The search committee should consider placing advertisements in such publications as Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Women in Higher Education, and/or other discipline-specific organizations that focus on members of diverse populations. For assistance, please contact the Director of EEO/AA.
STEP 5: Screening Resumes/CVs
- Administrative support staff assigned to the search committee chair should promptly follow up with each applicant by sending an electronic message that acknowledges receipt of their resume/CV. Please refer to the Affirmative Action Survey for suggested language to be included in the electronic acknowledgment.
- The acknowledgment message includes a link to the Affirmative Action Online Self-disclosure Form: “The College of New Jersey is an equal opportunity employer. In order to assess the diversity of our applicant pool, The College invites all applicants for employment to complete the Affirmative Action Identification Form. This is a voluntary form that is used solely in connection with the College’s affirmative action obligations as a recipient of federal and state funding.”
- Prior to screening, the search committee will discuss and agree upon fair, objective, and uniform procedures with which to evaluate candidates. The search committee will also develop a rubric to use in the evaluation process.
- The search committee chair and search committee members should disclose any potentially significant conflicts of interest that could arise during the search process and consult with the Dean to determine if their service on the committee is appropriate. Examples of a possible conflict of interest can include when a relative, spouse, student collaborator, former student, friend or close colleague applies for the position.
- The search committee will use the Applicant Qualification Spreadsheet to list all applicants who applied for the position. This document will be used to track the progress of the search. It should be kept up to date and in a shared drive folder for referencing by the search committee, the Dean and the Office of Human Resources. A final copy will be retained by HR in the recruitment file.
- Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications are immediately screened out. Applying the rubric, the committee will then narrow the pool to a group of semifinalists.
- The preliminary list of semi-finalists must be submitted to the Dean, who will seek approval from the Director of EEO/AA before preliminary interviews may proceed.
- Typically, phone or video interviews will be held to narrow the pool to a select group of finalists.
- For the phone/video interviews, the search committee will develop a series of purposeful questions to elicit information about the applicant’s ability to be an effective member of the faculty. The questions must relate to the applicant’s potential for successful teaching or librarianship, scholarship, and service at The College of New Jersey.
- The committee must avoid asking questions that are impermissible or that may subject the College to a discrimination lawsuit. For the types of questions that may not be asked during an interview, please refer to Interview Question Guidelines. As an example, asking if a candidate has young children may be an innocent attempt to put the candidate at ease. However, the question could lead to a charge of discrimination if the unsuccessful applicant were to conclude that a fear of excessive absences related to child care caused the lack of a job offer.
- If after the phone/video interview the search committee wishes to continue to explore the candidacy of a semifinalist, then the committee will need to receive permission from the candidate to proceed with reference checks. All candidates should have supplied names, addresses, email, and phone numbers of at least five references during the application process; at least three of these references need to be checked. Reference checking for the semifinalists must be conducted by telephone, but individual references should be contacted via email to schedule the telephone calls ahead of time.
- When the committee has identified the list of finalists, the Applicant Summary Form must be completed. This form must be signed by the search committee chair and the Dean and forwarded to the Director of EEO/AA for affirmative action clearance.
- No applicants can be invited for interviews until the search committee has received all of the above-mentioned approvals.
- If a diverse pool is not present, the Director of EEO/AA will determine whether recruitment and outreach efforts were sufficiently broad. If not, and after consultation with the Dean, the search may be extended to expand recruitment efforts.
- At this point, especially in searches with larger applicant pools, the search committee chair should communicate with all candidates not selected for the semifinalist pool, thanking them for applying, but notifying that they are no longer under consideration. Click here to download a sample “rejection letter.”
- Logistics of scheduling the interviews are the responsibility of the search committee, typically the chair, following the Recruitment Travel Procedures maintained by Academic Affairs.
STEP 6: Interview Process for Finalists
- In addition to an applicant’s formal interviews with the search committee, the Dean, and the Provost, there may be a teaching demonstration or other assessment of the applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as discussions with students or peers, and/or informal interviews with interested constituents.
- The Office of Human Resources offers an optional session during the interview process. All finalists should be asked whether they would like to meet with a representative of HR while they are here; this session should be incorporated into the interview schedule for any finalist wishing to meet with HR.
- Candidates must be informed of all the components of the interview before they arrive on campus.
- Prior to their arrival on campus, all finalists must complete a Faculty Employment Application. The search committee chair will bring the form to the attention of all finalists and instruct them to print, fill out, sign, and return it to HR via US mail before the interview.
- The interviews should be scheduled at a time when all members of the search committee are available. Any announcement, posting or distribution of the finalists’ curricula vitae must exclude all references to personal information other than the finalist’s name.
- Each candidate should be given approximately the same amount of time for each component of the interview process.
- Interviews must be conducted equitably for all candidates. The same questions and assessments must be applied to all candidates. This does not mean that the committee may not ask legitimate, targeted follow-up questions for purposes of clarifying or expanding on particularly relevant experiences.
- The committee must document the method by which each candidate is to be evaluated during each section of the interview. Some methods include narrative and comparative (e.g., excellent, good, weak). Methods may differ for the various sections.
- Upon the conclusion of the interviews, the search committee will present its analysis to the Dean. The analysis will include, at a minimum, a determination of “acceptable” or “unacceptable” for each finalist, together with a list of strengths and weaknesses for each acceptable finalist. Where a position has been advertised at multiple ranks (e.g., Assistant or Associate Professor) the analysis must also include a determination of whether each “acceptable” candidate meets the Department’s Disciplinary Standards for the higher rank.
- The Dean will complete the Final Applicant Summary Form. This form indicates the name of the applicant selected for the position and a summary of each finalist’s strengths and weaknesses. Thereafter it will be forwarded to the Provost and the Director of EEO/AA.
STEP 7: The Offer
- The Dean and Provost will discuss rank, salary, startup funds, moving expenses and computer needs prior to a verbal offer to the selected finalist.
- Upon approval by the Provost, the Dean will make an offer to the candidate, keeping the Provost informed of the progress and outcome. The Dean will explain to the candidate that the offer is contingent upon the results of a background investigation.
- Once the Dean and the candidate have reached a verbal agreement, the Dean submits an Academic Appointment Request Form to the Provost listing the details of the offer. The Provost signs the Academic Appointment Request Form and forwards it to HR. The final offer letter is generated by HR, signed by the Provost, and sent to the finalist.
- Also included with the final offer letter are the TCNJ Disclosure and Authorization to Release Information. Click here to download an example.
- Assuming that the candidate accepts the final offer, s/he signs and returns to HR one copy of the contract together with the Authorization to Release Information. When the signed contract and Authorization are received, HR immediately begins the background investigation.
- When the background investigation is completed, HR notifies the Office of Academic Affairs and the Dean. Assuming that the results do not contraindicate hiring, the Dean then notifies the search committee chair.
- If the Dean and the candidate are ultimately unable to reach an agreement, or if the background investigation reveals any reason that the candidate should not be hired, the Dean may recommend to offer the position to another acceptable finalist. If that is the case, the Dean will repeat all parts of Step 7.
- Once notified by the Dean that a candidate has been hired, the search committee chair contacts all remaining finalists and semifinalists, thanking them for participating in the search, and notifying them that they have not been selected. Only at this point may the results of the search be shared.
 TCNJ has adopted the practice of completing pre-employment background investigations on all new hires. HR, in concert with a designated vendor, will conduct the background investigation upon receipt of the completed TCNJ Disclosure and Authorization to Release Information. Results are generally obtained within 24–48 hours of submission. Failure to consent to a background investigation will disqualify a finalist from further consideration. Additionally, any candidate who fails to provide the necessary information or who provides false or misleading information will also be disqualified from further consideration.
STEP 8: Important Next Steps
- Before new faculty are able to assume their duties, the following documents must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources:
- Completed Emergency Contact Form. By completing this form, the new employee is authorizing TCNJ officials to contact the listed individual(s) on behalf of the new employee in the case of an emergency. Emergency situations include but are not limited to: injury, illness, hospitalization or missing person notification.
- Employment Eligibility Verification – I9 Form with documentation verifying your eligibility to work in the United States. Under federal law, new hires must appear in person at the Office of Human Resources to complete this form.
- Please note: It may take several days for the log-in information to be transferred to other systems on campus. Therefore, new employees should be advised to visit HR and fulfill the requirements listed above as soon as is practical.
- Once these forms have been completed, the new employee’s information is entered into the College’s Employment Information System (EIS). This system automatically generates a six-digit employee ID number that the new employee will need to obtain a TCNJ username. The username, in turn, will allow access to all other College systems, including but not limited to email, LMS, and HR systems.
- Two days after submitting the required documentation, the new employee may call the Office of Human Resources to obtain their six-digit employee ID number. Once a new employee has an ID number, he or she should be directed to the IT “Getting Started” page for new faculty where the new employee will be prompted on how to obtain a username, change an initial password, etc. No access to email or other College systems is possible until this step has been completed.
- Departmental support staff should arrange for office keys, phones, computers, etc., as soon as practical after the new employee is in EIS. The new employee should be directed to the Office of Student Accounts to get an ID card, which they will need before they can pick up the keys, access parking, etc.
- The Office of Human Resources will schedule a “New Employee Orientation,” which will include a discussion of benefits. For most new faculty members, this will take place as part of the College’s New Faculty Orientation Program.