Senate Procedure 802.1.1

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University



(Proposal 19-01)
(Proposal 3-07)
(Proposal 19-07)
(Proposal 12-13)

Senate Procedures 802.1.1

The following procedure is for searches for deans of the College of Engineering and the College of Sciences and Arts. Searches for deans of schools are described in the school charters.

    1.0   Inception

    1.1   The person to initiate the search for a College Dean will be the President, or the Provost as the President's designee.


    2.0   Search Committee

    2.1   Departmental Representatives: The person initiating the search will ask each department in the college to elect one departmental representative to the Search Committee. The representative must be a member of the faculty of the department, and may be the department Chair. The departmental Senator and a person appointed by the department Chair will conduct the election. Balloting will follow departmental charter procedure or standard University Senate procedure. The Senator and the appointed individual will count the ballots and announce the results. Ties will be resolved by a random process. The Senator will report the name of the departmental representative to the person initiating the search and to the President of the University Senate, who will announce the membership of the Committee at the next meeting of the Senate.

    2.2   Student Representatives: The person initiating the search will ask the Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate Student Council each to elect one Committee representative and one alternate, who should be enrolled in the college.

    2.3   Staff Representative: The person initiating the search will select at least one staff member to serve on the Search Committee. The staff member should be employed within the college.

    2.4   At-large Representatives: The person initiating the search will select three individuals from the University community (faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni) to serve on the Committee.

    2.5   The person initiating the search will ask Human Resources to designate a representative to serve without vote.

    2.6   A list of the names of Committee members will be posted electronically, and will be submitted for publication in Tech Topics and The Lode.

    2.7   Confidentiality

            All Search Committee members are responsible for signing a confidentiality statement at the beginning of the process before the committee begins any work including discussion of criteria, drafting of interview questions, reviewing of applications and/or resumes.  Confidentiality statement can be found at:



    3.0   Meetings

    3.1   The person initiating the search (President or Provost) may call the first meeting of the Committee as soon as at least a three-fourths majority of Committee members have been named.

    3.2   The person initiating the search (President or Provost) will deliver the charge to the Committee. He/She will relate the guidelines for the search process including staffing and the budget for advertising and interviewing.

    3.3   The person initiating the search will inform the Committee of the role of the Board of Trustees in the search process.

    3.4   The person initiating the search will supervise the election of a chair and associate chair by written ballot, in closed session, at the first meeting. During the first meeting the Committee and the person initiating the search will specify the responsibilities of these individuals.

    3.5   The person initiating the search and the Committee will agree on a target date for selection of the candidate and on other time lines of the search.

    3.6   The Human Resources representative or other designated persons will provide an orientation for the Search Committee at the outset of the search, and will be available thereafter for any needed consultation. The Committee should discuss the legal issues involved in record keeping and be informed of their legal responsibilities and liabilities. As of the writing of this procedure, notes must be kept for three years.

    3.7   The representative from Human Resources will assist the Committee with its tasks of organizing paperwork, documenting activities, advertising the position, and following guidelines for the search and screening processes.

    3.8   Searches will proceed under the principle of openness. Committee meetings will be open to members of the University community unless a closed meeting is necessary to maintain confidentiality.

    3.9   The Search Committee should expedite the search process by forming working subcommittees for appropriate tasks.


    4.0   Goals

    4.1   In order to select appropriate candidates, the Search Committee must consider the published goals, the mission, and the vision of the college.


    5.0   Position description and list of qualifications and attributes

    5.1   The Search Committee, with input from the person initiating the search, from Human Resources, from appropriate administrators, and from the Office of Institutional Equity, will draft a position description (e.g., qualifications, duties, expected achievements, etc.) that is consonant with the college goals.

    5.2   Before soliciting candidates, and in consultation with the person initiating the search, the Committee will establish the essential qualifications and desired attributes (inter-personal skills, management style, etc.) of candidates, and will group (weight) the attributes by major and minor importance.

    5.3   The draft position description and list of qualifications and attributes will be sent via email or otherwise to all faculty and staff of the college, and will be posted electronically. Faculty, staff, and students will be invited to send comments to the Committee. The Committee will hold an open meeting of faculty, staff, and students to discuss the position description and the list of qualifications and attributes.

    5.4   The Committee will consider the comments, and then write a final description and list of qualifications and attributes. The final version will be published in Tech Topics, The Lode, posted electronically, and sent to applicants.


    6.0   Mechanism for identifying candidates

    6.1   At the discretion of the President, the search may be conducted using the services of a search firm or consultants. The Search Committee will direct the efforts of the firm or consultants.

    6.2   To ensure a diverse, well-qualified applicant pool that meets EEO requirements, the Committee should solicit applicants according to procedure established by the Office of Institutional Equity and work with the Institutional Equity Officer.

    6.3   In the case of an open search, the position will be advertised in appropriate professional journals and publications. Faculty should be invited to nominate both internal and external candidates. Faculty should be encouraged to contact colleagues and to send them position advertisements.

    6.4   The Committee will screen applicants according to its published criteria. If an applicant appears to be a strong contender for the position, the Committee will check applicant information (e.g., degrees, positions held) and references.

    6.5   Within time and budgetary constraints, the Committee may schedule and hold screening interviews with a select pool of candidates (usually less than 10). The identity of those interviewed will be held in confidence.

    6.6   As the search progresses, deviations from the budgetary guidelines must be approved by the person initiating the search.


    7.0   Semifinalist candidates

    7.1   The Committee, after reviewing vitae, reference letters, other relevant material, and conducting screening interviews, will produce a short list of candidates. As a professional courtesy, the search committee should inform candidates prior to checking references.  Upon approval of the person initiating the search, these candidates will be invited for on-campus interviews.

    7.2   The candidates become semifinalists on acceptance of an interview.


    8.0   Interview process

    8.1   A short vita of each semifinalist candidate will be sent via email or otherwise to all faculty and staff of the college at least two work days prior to the campus visit. A full resume will be made available in the Human Resources office for examination by all faculty, staff, and students of the University.

    8.2   The interview process will include, among other assessments, the response to a hypothetical job situation that reveals how the candidate approaches problem-solving, decision-making, and ethics.

    8.3   Each candidate will be asked to make two seminar presentations:

            A.   A seminar open to the public addressed to the department in which the Dean is likely to be given a tenured position. The presentation might include but not be limited to the following topics:

                  1)   Trends, directions, and opportunities for research in the field of the candidate's expertise.

                  2)   The course(s) the candidate would like to teach, if time permitted.

                  3)   Direction of education in the department (e.g., what should and will be the attributes of the college's graduates ten years from now).

                  4)   Responses to questions from departmental faculty and staff.

            B.   An open presentation, addressed to the college, which includes but is not limited to the following issues:

                  1)   The candidate's administrative philosophy and a plan for meeting the short- and long-term goals of the college.

                  2)   The direction of education in the college and the role of the college in the intellectual life of the University (e.g., will the engineering education component be more general; will the B.S. degree program extend from its current four to five years, etc.).

                  3)   The debates and trends at the national and state level that may affect research funding opportunities for the college.

                  4)   The resources needed to attain the goals of the college.

                  5)   Questions from the audience.

            C.  The departmental presentation (8.3.A) will be waived for internal candidates who have already been granted tenure in an academic department at Michigan Technological University.  Tenured internal candidates will be required to make the open presentation to the college following the guidelines stated in 8.3.B above.

    8.4   The Search Committee will make appointments for the candidate to meet the Provost, the President, the Vice President for Research, the Department Chairs of the college, the Academic Deans and other appropriate personnel as selected by the person initiating the search. The Board of Trustees may also request an interview.

    8.5   The Search Committee will schedule and appropriately publicize at least one open public meeting for the candidate.

    8.6   Faculty, staff, and students will be invited to provide oral and written feedback to the Committee on the entire slate of semifinalist candidates, based on the published position description, qualifications and attributes. The Committee will share these comments with the person who initiated the search.


    9.0   Selecting the final candidate(s)

    9.1   Selection of the final candidate(s) will begin only after the on-campus interview process for all semifinalist candidates is complete.

    9.2   After considering the feedback from the University community, the Committee will develop in closed session a list of at most three acceptable individuals from the list of semifinalists.

    9.3   For semifinalists who are acceptable after the campus interview, the Committee will obtain independent assessments from referees not listed by these candidates, which would be a part of the due diligence verification process.  The Committee should solicit faculty help for identifying appropriate referees.


            As a professional courtesy, the search committee must inform these semifinalists prior to the due diligence checks.  These checks are only required for the selected semifinalists.  The names of independent references will not be disclosed.  If a semifinalist refuses to allow due diligence checks, the semifinalist should be informed that this refusal limits the committee’s ability to complete its evaluation and that the semifinalist will be withdrawn from consideration.  All questions asked and issues raised must be job-related and should be similar for all candidates.

    9.4   The person who initiated the search (President or Provost) will also develop a list of acceptable individuals from the list of semifinalists.

    9.5   The Committee and the person who initiated the search will meet and agree on mutually acceptable finalist candidate(s). If no agreement can be reached, the search will be reopened.


  10.0   Negotiating salary and tenure

  10.1   The Provost or President will negotiate with the chosen candidate(s). Should negotiations with the candidate(s) be unsuccessful, the Committee and President or Provost will meet to reach a consensual decision on the selection of a new finalist(s) from list of semifinalists. The search will be reopened if no acceptable candidate is found.

  10.2   The President or Provost will negotiate tenure with the Chairs and Deans of appropriate academic units, and will make any recommendation of tenure to the Board of Trustees.

  10.3   An explicit part of the negotiation will be salary as a tenured faculty member should the candidate resign as dean.

  10.4   Other professional benefits will be negotiated between the candidate and the appropriate administrative officer(s). The Search Committee will be informed of the final accepted offer.


  11.0   Closure

            The Search Committee should inform the Senate of any changes it deems necessary in the search procedure.


Adopted by Senate:  8 May 2002

Approved by President:  24 May 2002


Proposal 3-07:

Adopted by Senate:  11 October 2006

Approved by Administration:  20 October 2006


Proposal 19-07:

Adopted by Senate:  31 January 2007

Approved by Administration:  8 February 2007


Proposal 12-13:

Introduced to Senate:  23 January 2013

Friendly amendment added (in blue):  23 January 2013

Committee amendments (in green):  6 February 2013

Approved by Senate:  6 March 2013

Approved by Administration with editorial changes (in purple):  1 April 2013

Senate approved editorial changes:  10 April 2013


Changed Board of Control to Board of Trustees:  01 March 2016