Guideline UL-ACG15 Faculty Recruitment (Formerly UL-HRG15)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose

  • Decision to Recruit and Planning the Recruitment

  • Advertising the Vacancy

  • Receiving and Screening Applications

  • Screening Interviews

  • Onsite Interviews

  • Interview Schedule

  • References

  • Decision to Hire

  • Making the Offer

  • Closeout


To state the University Libraries' recommended guidelines for the recruitment of faculty at University Park and Commonwealth Campus library locations.


Upon identifying the need for a position (notice of resignation has been given by incumbent or a new position has been created), a Request to Fill form should be completed and submitted through the appropriate approval path. If a waiver of hiring hold is being requested, explanatory documentation should be attached. Through this process, priorities are established and source of funds is identified by the Dean. Approval to recruit must be given by the Dean before the start of any recruitment plan.

Once Libraries Human Resources has received the completed request to fill form, LHR will inform the Associate Dean (AD) or Department Head of the Dean’s decision. Decisions would include decision to fill, decision not to fill, or decision to hold.

The AD or Department Head works with LHR to establish a recruitment plan, which takes into account the University calendar, holiday or planned vacations, professional meetings, other recruitments already in progress, and LHR and departmental workflows. The AD notifies LHR within one week concerning intent to recruit (start-up of recruitment may or may not be immediate).

For positions at the Commonwealth Campus Libraries (CCL), the AD should inform the Director of Academic Affairs of the plans for the vacant or new position and the Libraries’ intention to recruit as appropriate. Both the AD and the DAA should review any campus and University Park timeline considerations, such as those listed above. NOTE: Coordinated planning between campus and UP is essential to a professional and successful recruitment for positions at CCL

The AD will appoint and charge a search committee. Search committees can consist of members (both faculty and/or staff), who are employed in the same department, who have similar job duties, who work closely with the position, and may contain employees both internal and external to the Libraries. Careful consideration should also be made to identify diverse individuals to serve on the search committee when possible. A Chair of the Search Committee should be identified. The names of the prospective members must be forwarded to LHR prior to the position being posted.

The appropriate AD, Department Head, and LHR representative should be present at the first committee meeting to provide pertinent information to the search committee. This information should include: a timeline which establishes ad placement strategy, application deadline, goals or expectations regarding diversity and/or Affirmative Action, deadline for completion of screening the applicants, interview time frame and desired hiring decision date, and overall responsibilities of the search committee.


The appropriate AD, Department Head and/or Search Committee are responsible for drafting the advertisement. The draft of the ad should include: a brief description of position responsibilities, the position requirements (both required and desirable), a short description of the work setting or collection (optional), and an encouraging or welcoming statement directed to members of underrepresented groups. In writing the position requirements, particular attention should be made so that stated requirements match anticipated screening criteria. An application deadline if appropriate must leave a minimum of four weeks (or 30 days) for candidates to apply, for tenure track positions. LHR will add the standard language concerning salary, benefits, application instructions, deadline, and appropriate affirmative action statements. All draft ads should be approved by the appropriate AD before formal announcement of the position is made.

To ensure consistency in presentation of the University Libraries to the professional community, and to control costs, LHR has final edit authority, but will consult with responsible individual(s) if major edits to the ad are necessary. LHR is responsible for submitting the advertisement to standard resources. Additional advertising will be done in discipline specific resources to be identified by search committee membership. Any external advertising should be coordinated by LHR, and approved by the appropriate AD if additional cost considerations are a factor.


All application materials must be submitted online via the Penn State Jobs portal. Search committees will be given access to view the applicant pool only after a search committee charge has been held.

The Search Committee is responsible for screening the candidates for job related qualifications and applying the criteria consistently across all applicants. Special effort should be made to incorporate diversity and affirmative action goals when selecting the pool of finalists. Once the initial screening of the pool has been completed, the Search Committee Chair should forward a list of candidates to be interviewed, those to be closed out, and those to be kept in a reserve pool to LHR for further handling.


Screening interviews are recommended in most cases in order to control costs and narrow the applicant pool. Committees may use various forms of technology to complete these interviews, so long as every candidate receives the same options. The following steps should be followed:

  1. Search Committee Chair must receive approval of candidates to be contacted for a screening interview from the appropriate AD, prior to proceeding with any interviews.
  2. Search Committee Chair should work with Dean’s Office administrative support to schedule the calls.
  3. Be mindful of any necessary accommodations for candidates with disabilities that would prohibit participation in the chosen technology format.
  4. At least two members of the search committee should be present during the call in order properly facilitate the conversation and document the candidate’s responses to questions, but it is recommended that the majority of the committee be present when possible.
  5. The Search Committee Chair should be present at all calls.
  6. Ask the same questions of all candidates interviewed.
  7. Keep notes of all answers to questions and impressions of the candidates. These become part of the permanent records and should be given to LHR at the close of the recruitment process.


Candidates to be interviewed are recommended by the Search Committee and approved by the appropriate AD. Schedule recommendations must be made by the Search Committee, and then shared with the Department Head, AD, and LHR to insure inclusion of key faculty and staff. The Department Head or appropriate AD can identify critical participants listed on the schedule and possible alternates should a key person not be available. AD’s administrative support should identify dates and contact the candidates. The number of open dates identified should allow each candidate a choice of at least two dates. The candidate must be given a minimum two weeks’ notice of interview date.

When the interview date has been finalized, administrative support should send the proposed interview schedule to all interview participants and include the candidate's resume, a copy of the announcement and instructions for providing evaluative comments. Administrative support should make all prepaid lodging, luncheon, and dinner reservations, the location to be identified by the Department Head or Search Committee Chair. A confirmation letter should be sent to the candidate and include information on promotion and tenure, employee benefits, the University and the community, and a confirmation number for lodging accommodations.

Additional information on faculty interviews can be found by viewing UL-ACG17, Guidelines
for Faculty Interviews.


When deciding whom to involve, it is important that the Search Committee consider the time commitment required of participants. Tenure track faculty interviews are typically scheduled to be one full day and include elements such as a 30 minute presentation, and meetings with various individuals including:

  1. Immediate colleagues
  2. Individuals the candidate may supervise
  3. Members of the Search Committee
  4. A representative from Libraries Human Resources
  5. Members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee
  6. Members of appropriate councils, committees or departments.
  7. The Dean and appropriate Associate and Assistant Deans 
  8. Representatives from collegial academic departments or services 

All individuals involved in an interview are expected to provide meaningful feedback on each candidate. The feedback should be submitted using the assessment tool, which is prepared and distributed via email by administrative support. The confidentiality of all feedback is vital to the process and is expected of all who are involved.

More detailed information on faculty interviews can be found by viewing UL-ACG17, Guidelines for Faculty Interviews.


In the event that written references are desired, LHR will contact the referees requesting letters of support. A copy of the advertisement for the position must be included in the request and at least two weeks must be given to the referee for a response deadline. LHR will acknowledge receipt of the reference letters and inform the Search Committee when the letters are available for committee viewing.

When a reference is solicited or taken over the phone by the search committee, detailed notes should be taken of the conversation. Include date, time, name of referee, questions asked and the referee's responses. Request that the referee briefly confirm the phone conversation in writing. The Search Committee Chair must provide LHR with a copy of telephone reference notes. These become part of the official recruitment record and will be retained in the search file.

Interviews may be scheduled prior to receiving references.


The Search Committee should consider input and feedback from all individuals and groups who participated in the interview process and prepare a report of their findings for the appropriate AD. This report should outline the strengths and areas of growth for each of the candidates interviewed. It must not include a ranking of candidates or a recommendation of who should be offered the position. The Department Head may make an independent recommendation and it may differ from Search Committee and other interview participants’ recommendations.

The AD will consider all information provided and confer with the Dean on next steps. The Dean makes all final hiring decisions, as well as those regarding academic rank at appointment and status on the tenure track (see below).


The AD will contact LHR with the name of the selected candidate and the suggested rank of appointment. LHR will develop a salary proposal taking into account the candidate’s current salary or salary requirements if known; professional and pre-professional experience in light of position requirements; level of position (e.g., subject head); degrees held; marketplace; and equity within the Libraries. It is the LHR's responsibility to ensure salary equity across the Libraries' system. LHR will provide a salary analysis to the appropriate AD and makes a salary recommendation. The recommendation is discussed with the Dean before any offer is made. Before offer is made, the AD should also consult with the Director of Business Services to make arrangements for salary line preparation.

The AD will make the offer to the successful candidate. Discussion points include: rank, salary, start date, moving assistance, and, in appropriate cases, tenure credit or the process for seeking award of immediate tenure. The AD may negotiate within limits approved by the Dean. All offers are subject to a successfully completed background check.

When notified by the AD of verbal acceptance, LHR will prepare the formal letter of offer for the Dean's signature and will send letter and Memorandum of Personal Service to the candidate. Written acceptance of offer is required.

The AD or Department Head notifies Libraries’ faculty and staff of the hire, and provides biographical information to the Libraries' Department of Public Relations and Marketing for announcement in appropriate publications, if appropriate. Timing of announcements should allow for unsuccessful interviewees to receive notification.


Unsuccessful candidates who have been interviewed are contacted by the appropriate AD as soon as an offer has a written acceptance is received. LHR sends closeout notice to all remaining active applicants who were not interviewed.

Search Committee members must submit all notes from initial screening of the applicants, telephone interviews, in person interviews, and any other documents related to the search to LHR for retention in the search file. Documentation should include reasons for rejecting candidates who were interviewed but not selected. LHR will prepare the necessary Affirmative Action documentation and forward appropriately. A copy is retained for the Libraries' official record.

The recruitment record and search file is retained in LHR for three years after the date position is

Effective Date: May 15, 1995
Date Approved: May 15, 1995 (Libraries Academic Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 2018 - Categorization changed from UL-HRG to UL-ACG to reflect new PSU Academic Policy classification
  • May 2017 – Revised
  • April 12, 2010 – Revised to combine the Commonwealth Campus Libraries and University Park Libraries faculty recruitment process into one guideline. 
  • July 11, 2006 – Revised to reflect campus reorganization
  • 2004 – Editorial
  • May 15, 1995 – New policy

Last Review Date:  April 2010