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Special Searches and Considerations

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Special Searches and Considerations

Searches for Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Search committees for occupants of endowed chairs and professorships shall be composed of (1) two faculty members from the academic unit concerned, (2) two outside individuals distinguished within the relevant area, (3) either the dean of the relevant college or a faculty member appointed by that dean. (The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents prefer and expect the dean to serve on the search committees for occupants of endowed chairs.), and (4) at least one faculty member from another college. The President and Senior Vice President and Provost may attend the initial meeting of the search committee. The Senior Vice President and Provost, after consultation with the search committee, makes a final recommendation for appointment to the President. The President may approve and forward the appointment to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents or may reject it and request further searching.

Searches for endowed chairs and professorships should be approved through the standard regular faculty recruiting process. The President, with advice and counsel for the Senior Vice President and Provost, Dean, and unit Director, will approve the search committee composition.

Searches for Chairs and Directors

Prior to initiating search and nomination procedures for department chair, it is recommended the faculty of the department meet with the dean of the college to discuss the needs and expectations of the department as they relate to the appointment of a new chair, the role of the chair, and the type of search (i.e., internal or national) which will most likely ensure an appropriate candidate is recommended, and to discuss any budgetary considerations related to the search and appointment of a new chair. If the dean does not concur with the department faculty's recommendation for the type of search (i.e., internal or external), the dean will meet with the department's faculty to discuss reasons for disagreement. However, the dean's decision will be final and must be consistent with the EOO policies. For national searches, a search committee will be formed consisting of elected departmental faculty members, one or two students reflecting undergraduate majors and graduate students to the extent appropriate, and members appointed by the dean, including one current department chair. Elected departmental faculty shall constitute the majority. The search committee will review applications and, in consultation with the department faculty, will recommend to the dean the candidates for on-campus visits. After the campus visits, both the search committee and the faculty will rank the acceptable candidates and recommend them to the dean. The dean will forward his/her recommendation to the Senior Vice President and Provost. The Senior Vice President and Provost will approve all appointments of department chairs prior to submission to the President's Office and the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Hiring Of Faculty Members Who Are Not United States Citizens

At the request of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), we have centralized all University contacts with the USCIS concerning faculty and staff. Routine contacts are handled by Nima Zecavati, International Faculty/Staff Services (405-271-2189).

Criteria for noncitizens in the candidate pool should be identical to those for citizen candidates. Any concerns about visas or other immigration issues that arise for a noncitizen candidate will be handled by the above offices and should not be raised with the candidate or otherwise considered during the search, except that clearance to work in the United States may be noted as a requirement of the position.

Whenever considering recommending a faculty appointment (either tenure-track or non-tenure-track) for a noncitizen, please contact International Faculty and Staff Services before making any commitments and as much in advance as possible to discuss the situation and to determine the best way to proceed. The complexity of immigration laws and the uniqueness of each situation require individual review before any commitments are made to the prospective faculty member about what the University can do to assist with immigration and naturalization matters.

We will do everything we can to help. Immigration law and USCIS agency procedures are complex and rapidly changing. Because of this and the special circumstances of each case, it is crucial for any new international appointee to contact International Faculty and Staff Services and provide all requested information and documents promptly. The University will be responsible for its legal duties as an employer, but in all cases the basic responsibility for complying with immigration laws must rest with the individual to whom the offer is being made. The University will help in any way it can and will work carefully to see that we as an institution carry out our responsibilities in accordance with the law. This is essential if we are to continue to be able to secure truly outstanding faculty.

Requirements For Temporary Appointments

It is University policy that all employment appointments regardless of classification, rank, or tenure of appointment follow a University approved and published appointment procedure. The options for all faculty appointments (other than promotions) are only two: (1) the National Recruitment Procedure itself (Section 3, pages 6-9 of the 2013 Affirmative Action Plan) and (2) the Acting, Interim, and Other Temporary Appointments Policy (which follows below in this memo).

The National Recruitment Procedure should be used for continuing tenure, tenure-track, and renewable term appointments. The Acting, Interim, and Other Temporary Appointments Policy that follows should be used for temporary, non-tenure-track, and non-ranked renewable term appointments (such as those of instructors; lecturers; research associates, research professors, and visiting, acting, and adjunct faculty) and for temporary administrative appointments (such as interim dean, acting chair, and interim director). Any temporary appointment must be made for a specific and limited time. In addition, any such appointments should be made in accordance with the University’s non-discrimination policy.

Temporary appointments should be made according to the guidelines below (except for staff appointments less than 90 calendar days*):

*Employment of staff persons for less than 90 calendar days does not have to be listed with the Office of Human Resources but should be coordinated with them for determining an appropriate compensation level.

An acting, interim, visiting, non-ranked (lecturer, instructor) renewable term or other temporary appointment may be made (as opposed to tenure-track; tenure; or ranked, renewable term faculty appointments), if one of the following five conditions is met:

  1. There is not enough time for a search before classes meet.
  2. The appointment is for a short period of time, ordinarily no longer than a year, and repeated temporary reappointments are usually not expected. Some lecturers or instructors have renewable terms for up to 5 years.
  3. The purpose is to fill a temporary vacancy because of leaves of absence, terminations, or other reasons.
  4. The appointment is a special one designed to bring a distinguished individual with special expertise to the campus, ordinarily for only a semester or year.
  5. A search was conducted and no candidate for a continuous appointment was identified.

Requests to conduct a search to hire a position under the Acting, Interim, and Other Temporary Appointments Policy should be made through submission of a Freeze Exemption Form. Note that a Freeze Exemption Form is not required as part of the Regular Faculty Recruiting process. This form should be completed by the department and submitted to the dean for approval. Once approved by the dean, the form will be sent to the Senior Vice President and Provost for approval. Once approved by the Senior Vice President and Provost, the form will be sent to the President for approval. Once approved by the President, the department will be notified of approval by Payroll or the Provost’s Office.

The department should consider as wide a range of candidates as possible and appropriate to the anticipated period of temporary service, taking into consideration the immediate complexities of the tasks involved and the time available to make a decision. The selection process should basically follow the appropriate employment procedure, either the University's Staffing Plan or the National Recruitment Procedure. External advertising and oversight by the EOO is not required. Internal notification to prospective applicants is expected.

If an individual filling a regular position on a temporary basis under this policy is a candidate for the position, he or she shall be subject to the same processes and reviews that are applied to other candidates for the position. If a search (either under the University's Staffing Plan or the National Recruitment Procedure) was conducted, and a person from the qualified pool is chosen on an interim basis, that person may be reappointed to the regular position at a later date without an additional search.

Recommendation for appointment, letters for offer, and acceptance of offer should proceed as described in section 12, 14, and 15 above.

Policy On Internal Searches

To the extent that budgetary constraints have allowed, the University policy has consistently been to engage in national searches for academic officers (deans, associate/assistant deans) of the University. While internal promotions have been made in this category, it has been with the knowledge that it was an exception to University procedure. Some examples of exceptions are internal promotions made from among eligible faculty who would retain their faculty status while concurrently serving in an academic administration role on a part-time basis, reorganization that eliminates the former position of the person selected, and targeted internal promotion to appoint an exceptionally qualified candidate as an academic administrator, etc.

Whenever an internal search is being considered for associate/assistant deans or endowed chairs, the dean of the college should send a formal request to the Senior Vice President and Provost. The request for internal search must contain the following information in a cover memo:

  1. Description of the duties of the position including whether it is part-time or full-time.
  2. Minimum qualifications required to be eligible for consideration.
  3. Brief description of the screening and selection process including criteria for screening.
  4. Justification for the internal search should include reasons for not conducting a national search; the impact on recruiting a potentially diverse set of applicants; the record of the college/unit on recruiting individuals that bring additional perspectives to the University’s research, teaching and service missions; and any data to support the internal search, such as University and national data on eligible women, members of minority groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities, as well as from others who would bring additional perspectives to the University’s teaching, research and service missions.
  5. A copy of the position description that will be sent to all faculty who may be interested.

Policy On Faculty To Be Recommended For Tenure Upon Initial Appointment

Academic units should work with the deans to notify them as expeditiously as possible of faculty being recommended for tenure upon initial appointment. The normal routing procedure is:

  1. Faculty or Search Committee
  2.  Departmental Committee A (if applicable)
  3. Chair/Director
  4. College Committee A (if applicable)
  5. Dean’s Advisory Committee (if applicable)
  6. Dean
  7. Senior Vice President and Provost
  8. President
  9. University of Oklahoma Board of Regents

The materials forwarded to the Senior Vice President and Provost for such appointments should include all letters of recommendation information secured during the search process. To the extent possible, there should be evidence of effective teaching and evaluations from external distinguished individuals qualified to evaluate the candidate's research, scholarship, and creative activities. Each academic unit and college may stipulate what additional information, if any, beyond the standard materials compiled by the search committee, to include in a recommendation to appoint with tenure. All such materials, in addition to the letters of recommendations, should be forwarded to the dean, who, in turn, will transmit them to the Senior Vice President and Provost.

The dean is responsible for ensuring that the search procedure produces the information required to make an informed decision to appoint with tenure. As with other tenure recommendations, the Senior Vice President and Provost can go back to a unit for additional information about faculty being recommended for tenure with initial appointment.