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Faculty Search Process for AY2021-2022 and Revised RFRA Process

Purpose: This document outlines the various stages of some previously authorized faculty searches and efforts to unfreeze these searches (see #1), changes to the current Regular Faculty Recruiting Application (RFRA) process by which regular faculty searches are currently budgeted and authorized (see #2 and #3), and future faculty hiring connected to priorities highlighted in the strategic plan. 

Revised RFRA (check with your college to determine whether they prefer that search committees use a different version of the form).

1. Regular Faculty Searches Paused in March 2020

The Provost worked with the President and CFO in early October 2020 to re-authorize these searches that were paused in March 2020 due to budget uncertainty around COVID-19. 

Search committees may now proceed in one of two ways: 1) pick-up where the search committee left off in March and continue with the search process using the existing applicant pool and any new applicants once the search gets underway again. Under this option, the search committee cannot materially alter the job ad or any internal evaluation criteria, if the committee already initiated candidate screening or, 2) start the search over, in which case applicants should be notified the search is closed, if not notified already, and the search will need to be re-approved by the EOO by submitting a job ad and the search committee names through Interfolio. 

The approved salary and start-up amounts for these searches are unchanged. 

2. Vacant Regular Faculty Lines Transferred to Provost Hiring Pool from September 2019 through August 2020

Typically, the annual RFRA budget managed by the Provost’s Office would comprise funding lines of regular faculty positions vacated from September through August each year that were transferred into the Provost’s Faculty Hiring Pool. Hiring funds will now be returned to the colleges in FY21 (current fiscal year). Colleges can then move forward with faculty searches using these funds in an effort to fill needs for fall 2021. To move forward with faculty hiring using these funds, colleges will need to follow the process described in 3a below.

3. Faculty Lines Vacated After August 2020

The colleges will retain the budget for any faculty positions vacated after August 2020 . While the budgetary funding of the vacated position will remain with the college, an annual process will be maintained whereby colleges must seek approval from the Provost and the President to proceed with regular faculty searches. An annual process for approval will assist in identifying collaborative opportunities across disciplines and help ensure alignment with the strategic plan. 

Strategic Faculty Hires Connected to Strategic Plan

A key component of the strategic plan, both in terms of financial investment and achieving Pillar I, is investment in faculty hiring. A target of 25 net new faculty lines has been set as part of the plan. Annually, a process will be developed for colleges to submit proposals to the Provost for faculty hiring from this strategic fund. 

RFRA Process in Spring 2021

In the spring of 2021 the Provost’s office and colleges will continue to engage in a RFRA process. There will be two categories of RFRAs submitted:

  • a) Positions funded by the college using their vacated faculty positions (i.e., positions vacated during FY21 or expected to be vacated prior to August 2022, when new faculty would likely start). Colleges will conduct their own ranking and funding of positions with review and final authorization from the Provost’s office. These RFRA application forms will be provided by the college.  
  • b) New positions to be funded from the Strategic Plan budget. In the spring of 2021, the Provost’s office in consultation with the OVPRP and the Deans will issue priorities and guidelines for strategic hires for AY 2021-2022. RFRAs for these positions will typically be connected to cluster hires or multidisciplinary collaborations. Some lines will be held back for targets of opportunity hires. RFRAs for these strategic hire positions will be submitted to the Provost’s Office and reviewed by the relevant parties before final authorization.
  • c) Once RFRAs are submitted, the process for approving the searches, search committees, and job ads (submitted via Interfolio) and issuing official offer letters (submitted via email or paper copy to the Provost’s Office) will remain unchanged in relation to the current process.