Principles for Searches
The purpose of the search process is to identify a number of outstanding candidates, based on the position profile, from which a recommendation for appointment shall be made.
The search process, procedures and composition of the search committee shall be readily available and accessible to all interested parties. The search committee shall ensure consistent and meaningful communications to the community and the candidates about the process as it unfolds.
The principle of transparency must be balanced against the requirements of the search. Accordingly, the initial list of candidates will not be made public. When a short list of candidates has been established it is the responsibility of the search committee to determine whether the search will be confidential or open. If there is evidence presented to the search committee that the search will be disadvantaged by requiring public presentations of the short-listed candidates, the committee, at its discretion, may continue the search process in confidence. In the absence of such evidence, the committee is encouraged to make every effort to involve faculty and staff through such means as forums or seminar presentations.
Search committees (except the Search Committee for the President) report to the Board of Governors through the President. The report shall provide a rationale for the committee’s recommendation and include the majority and minority views (if any) held by committee members.
Information or documentation relating to any candidate will not be shared beyond the committee without the express permission of that candidate.
The deliberations and documentation of the committee will not be shared beyond the committee except for the purposes of accountability as described above.
Those constituencies most directly affected by the position should be represented in the search process subject to reasonable limits on the size of the search committee.
The process shall include broad and extensive consultations with the University community and external constituencies regarding the University’s strategic needs as they relate to the position and the attributes and skills required of candidates to meet those needs. It is critically important that all committee members are working from the same base of information and that the significance of that information is considered by the entire committee.
Search committees should be formed expeditiously and begin work in a timely fashion to ensure the transition between academic administrators occurs as smoothly as possible. Acting appointments should be avoided whenever reasonably possible.
The search process will be respectful of all groups and individuals involved in the process, including the candidates.
The search committee will conduct its work in accordance with the University’s employment equity policies.
Conflict of Interest
Any real or perceived conflict of interest by a search committee member shall be identified and disclosed as soon as a committee member becomes aware of it so that it may be appropriately considered by the committee. There are many possible relationships or interests that could constitute conflict of interest (see the University’s Conflict of Interest policy for a more complete discussion) but in particular, a committee member is in conflict of interest if he or she is biased for or against a candidate. If a committee member is considered by the committee to be, or to be seen to be, in conflict of interest, the committee member shall be excused.
Role of Individual Search Committee Members
The search committee is a deliberative body. While individual members bring the perspective of those constituencies most directly affected by the incumbent they are not explicitly representatives of those groups in the sense of a constituent assembly. Rather, their role on the committee is to exercise their independent judgment to seek the best candidate for the position. Input or feedback to the committee from constituent groups or individuals should be provided to the chair for the benefit of the entire committee.
Finite Role of the Search Committee
The work of the search committees is important but it is transitory: appointees and incumbents have no obligation to the search committee subsequent to their appointment. The accountability of positions is identified in the written profile of the position.