The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Superseded by 19-07



 (Voting Units: Full Senate)




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.

  The Initiator of a search for a college dean will be the President, or the Provost as the President's designee.
  Search Committee
Departmental Representatives: The Initiator will ask each department in the college to elect one departmental representative to the Search Committee. The representative must be a member of the tenured or tenure-track 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 Initiator and to the President of the University Senate, who will announce the membership of the Committee at the next meeting of the Senate.
Student Representatives: The Initiator 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.
Staff Representative: The Initiator will ask the Staff Council to select one staff member to serve on the Search Committee. The staff member should be employed within the college.
At-large Representatives: The Initiator will select three individuals from the University community (faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni) to serve on the Committee.
The Initiator will ask Human Resources to designate a representative to serve without vote.
A list of the names of Committee members will be posted electronically, and will be submitted for publication in Tech Topics and The Lode.
The Initiator (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.
The Initiator (President or Provost) will deliver the charge to the Committee. The Initiator will relate the guidelines for the search process including staffing and the budget for advertising and interviewing.
The Initiator will inform the Committee of the role of the Board of Control in the search process.


The Initiator 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 Initiator will specify the responsibilities of these individuals.
The Initiator and the Committee will agree on a target date for selection of the candidate and on other time lines of the search.
The Affirmative Action Officer and 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.
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.
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.
The Search Committee should expedite the search process by forming working subcommittees for appropriate tasks.
In order to select appropriate candidates, the Search Committee must consider the published goals, the mission, and the vision of the college.
Position description and list of qualifications and attributes
The Search Committee, with input from the Initiator, from Human Resources, from appropriate administrators, and from the Affirmative Action Office, will draft a position description (e.g., qualifications, duties, expected achievements, etc.) that is consonant with the college goals.
Before soliciting candidates, and in consultation with the Initiator, 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.
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.
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.
Mechanism for identifying candidates
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.
To ensure a diverse, well-qualified applicant pool that meets EEO requirements, the Committee should solicit applicants according to procedure established by the Affirmative Action Office and work with the Affirmative Action Officer.
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.
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.
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.
As the search progresses, deviations from the budgetary guidelines must be approved by the Initiator.
Semifinalist candidates
The Committee, after reviewing vitae, reference letters, other relevant material, the results of any screening interviews, and the advice of the Affirmative Action Officer, will produce a short list of candidates. These candidates will be invited for on-campus interviews; they become semifinalists on acceptance of an interview.
For semifinalists the Committee will obtain independent assessments from referees not listed by these candidates. The Committee should solicit faculty help for identifying appropriate referees.


Interview process
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.
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.
Each candidate will be asked to make two seminar presentations:
  1. A seminar open to the public addressed to the department in which the Dean is likely to 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.
  2. 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
The Search Committee will make appointments for the candidate to meet the Provost, the President, the Department Chairs of the college, the Dean of the other college, Deans of Schools, the Human Resources Director, and other appropriate personnel. The Board of Control may also request an interview.
The Search Committee will schedule and appropriately publicize at least one open public meeting for the candidate.
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 Initiator.
Selecting the final candidate(s)
Selection of the final candidate(s) will begin only after the on-campus interview process for all semifinalist candidates is complete.
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.
The Initiator (President or Provost) will also develop a list of acceptable individuals from the list of semifinalists.
The Committee and the Initiator will meet and agree on mutually acceptable finalist candidate(s). If no agreement can be reached, the search will be reopened.
Negotiating salary and tenure
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.
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 Control.
An explicit part of the negotiation will be salary as a tenured faculty member should the candidate resign as dean.
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.
The Search Committee should inform the Senate of any changes it deems necessary in the search procedure.

Introduced in Senate: 11 October 2006
Adopted by Senate as an Emergency Submission: 11 October 2006
Approved by Administration: 20 October 2006
Replaced by Proposal 19-07