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Key Steps to Filling a Faculty Position - Choosing a Finalist

This stage precedes any communication with the finalist about his/her status in the search or about any pending tentative offer

Reference Checks

  • Conducting reference checks can give you insight about an applicant’s previous work experience and level of job performance. They can also dispel any concerns or reservations you may have about the candidate as well as give you information that could help you more effectively supervise this person as an employee.
  • If references identified by the finalist are not available or unable to provide an adequate reference about his/her prior job performance, you should ask for names of additional reference(s).
  • Please respect a candidate’s wishes about which references should not be checked.
  • You may contact other people, other than those listed by the candidate. However, you are encouraged to contact the candidate before doing so.
  • General Guidelines for Conducting Effective Reference Checks

Developing a Reference Check Form

  • The search committee chair may choose to the suggested template or develop a template to check references
  • Your FHRO is available to assist you in determining those questions that are the most relevant.
  • Reference checks may be delegated to members of the search committee.
  • Your FHRO may also be available to assist with the reference checking process.
  • A minimum of two employment related references should be contacted, and the same basic questions should be asked of all references contacted.

Review Comparative Applicant Rating Sheet with Human Resources

  • The Comparative Applicant Rating Sheet clearly distinguishes the selected finalist based on the established job related criteria. You may also include a written statement describing the subjective, but still job related, rationale for choosing the selected finalist.

Informal campus administrative reviews or approvals, if required.

  • Depending on the level of the position, you may be expected to consult with your director, dean or vice president about the recommended finalist(s) about their qualifications (i.e. research, interests, prior credit, initial rank).
  • To prepare for this discussion, consider:
    • The role of this position in relation to the department’s mission and teaching (research, services, capabilities).
    • Be prepared to summarize the search process and/or quality of the applicant pool
    • Your recommendations for a starting salary
    • Specific rank at appointment (any prior credit, max. 3 years)
    • Length of initial appointment, maximum length of initial appointment
    • Tenure Track Assistant Professor
      • One year tenure track associate hired from outside of the University
      • Two years for ongoing lecturer or instructor
      • Two year Tenure Track for professors
      • One year for fixed length
      • One year or duration of funding for soft money
    • Start up funds/equipment
    • Any necessary lab renovations
    • Space requirements and impact on staff or other departmental resources
    • Funding for moving expense reimbursement
    • Other details related to employment terms and conditions


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