Recruiting and hiring new faculty into a department/program are important responsibilities of the College, and they fall heavily on the department chair (or their designee), who normally has directed the allocation request, filled out the search authorization form, and formed the search committee. This process is ultimately how departments/programs maintain and develop their curricula.

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of searches, each with its own policies and procedures—one for tenure-track/renewable positions (allocated by CAP and the Dean), and another for short-term hires, such as leave replacements.

The primary goal in faculty recruiting is to bring to the College the best-qualified teacher-scholars, while also furthering the College’s goal to diversify the faculty. Departments/Programs may set particular criteria with regard to academic specialization, but all concerned are committed to carrying out the recruitment of new faculty without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, sexual and affectional preference, handicap, national or ethnic origin, or marital status, and with the understanding that a broadly diverse faculty is essential to our educational mission.

Positions must be filled in accordance with Hamilton’s Affirmative Action Policy. Full-time faculty positions are filled through a national search, although in some cases, after consultation with the Dean and the Affirmative Action Officer, positions may be offered to faculty already at the College or by invitation to outstanding candidates when a diversity hiring opportunity arises, as described in Hamilton’s Affirmative Action Policy. Furthermore, all searches are for entry-level positions—instructor (ABD) or assistant professor rank—unless the Dean and President grant an exception owing to particular circumstances.

Authorization to open a job search is given by the Dean. The Department/Program should submit a Request to Initiate a Search form. This form, along with an electronic copy of the proposed advertisement, is submitted to the Dean’s Office for approval of position criteria and recruiting procedures. The latter includes review of the job advertisement copy and articulation of a clear strategy by the chair of the search committee for building a deep and diverse applicant pool; the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Associate Deans of Faculty will work with department chairs to develop this strategy.

Before conducting any search, you and members of the search committee should familiarize yourselves with Hamilton’s Affirmative Action policy.

A.  Recruitment Process — Tenure-track, Continuing, and Renewable Searches

This section details the steps involved in tenure-track and renewable faculty searches that will help conduct a fair and bias-free process while also maintaining good communication between the Dean of Faculty’s office and departments/programs throughout the search process. The Associate Deans of Faculty (ADOF) manage faculty searches and serve as a point person in the Dean of Faculty’s office for department chairs, program directors, or search chairs. Note in circumstances below, searches for faculty in the Physical Education Department, the ADOF role is filled by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA). The Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also works with departments/programs in developing search strategies to enhance the depth and breadth of applicant pools for tenurable and renewable searches and to ensure bias-free procedures. The Dean of Faculty (DOF) has final approval on all aspects of recruitment.

Step 1: Preparing for the search

1.  Review the recommendations from CAP, DOF, President to confirm your understanding of the approved position (e.g., start date of new hire, start of search, area of curricular coverage). Discuss within your department the specific curricular area(s) of interest, teaching expectations, and research needs of the new hire. During this discussion it is useful to develop a rubric that will be used for evaluating your applicants at various stages of the review process: initial read, video interviews of applicants in the first cut, campus interviews.

2. Discuss your recruitment plan and strategy with ADOF, VPDEI, and DOF as appropriate. 

3. Form a search committee from members of your department/program. Consider asking someone from a cognate field to join the committee to increase the diversity of the committee, and/or for expertise in the field if warranted. In all such instances, decisions on whether external members have a vote on the search are made in consultation with the Dean. Identify the chair of the committee and someone on the search committee to serve as an inclusion specialist.

The Inclusion Specialist: Each search committee will have an Inclusion Specialist whose primary responsibilities are to:

  • Assist with identifying potential sources for a diverse applicant pool and support outreach to those candidates.
  • Raise awareness to the committee throughout the search about unconscious and other forms of bias that unfairly exclude applicants who may be qualified and competitive for the position.
  • Help the committee stay focused on their evaluation rubric.
  • Help the committee to develop questions that will shed light on a candidate's experience in working with broadly diverse student populations in their teaching, scholarship, and service.
  • Promote the benefits of diversity and inclusion throughout the search process.
  • Report to the DOF on the search process.

4. Members of the search committee will be expected to attend annual recruiting and hiring workshops, run by the DOF office, which focus on practices that will help minimize bias in the recruitment of faculty.

5. Determine when you expect to advertise and when you hope to have finalists on campus. All tenure-track finalists will meet with the VPAA/DOF, VPDEI, and your ADOF. Finalists for renewable positions will meet with your ADOF. It is important to reserve time on their calendars for interviews as soon as you identify the window of time for your campus visits; schedules get booked quickly. It is highly recommended that you also schedule a time with the VPAA/DOF and your ADOF to discuss the finalists and to determine who will receive the first offer.

6. Draft the job ad. Refer to the template below. Develop a strategy for advertising the position. Select sites that are likely to be seen by diverse sets of graduate students. Identify listservs where job postings may be free. Please note that the DOF sets an advertising budget each year for tenure-track and visiting searches.  

7. We strongly recommend that reference letters are not used in the first round of screening candidates and are requested later in the process (e.g., after the first round of video candidates are identified).

8. Complete the search initiation form and submit an electronic copy of the job advertisement, based on the template below.  The template was revised in 2023 to comply with NYS law requiring employers to advertise salary ranges. Your ADOF will provide this information during the approval process. The ADOF, VPDEI, and DOF will review and approve the ad. Approval of ad copy for faculty positions will be based on careful attention to the potential impact of the job definition and required credentials on the applicant pool. Ads should ensure the widest possible applicant pool within the technical requirements of the position. All of these considerations should reflect the original allocation request recommended by the CAP and Dean, and approved by the President. 

Search Advertisement Template


The XXXX Department/Program at Hamilton College invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of [Instructor or] Assistant Professor, beginning July 1, 202X. We seek candidates to teach ..., ..., and related courses. [In particular, we are seeking candidates who can contribute to our college's interdisciplinary program in (xxxxx Studies, Xxxxology, Yyyystics).] We are seeking candidates who can demonstrate their experience in teaching or working with broadly diverse student populations. Your cover letter should address the ways in which you would further the College's goals of enhancing the educational experiences of students while building a diverse and inclusive educational environment. [OR: We are seeking candidates who can demonstrate their experience in teaching or working with broadly diverse student populations. Your cover letter should address ways in which you raise issues of diversity and inclusion in your teaching, scholarship, and/or service and the ways in which this enhances the educational experiences of students.] The position requires institutional service including academic advising of undergraduate students after the first year.

[Add a paragraph describing your department/program <link to website>]

Candidates with ABD will be considered, although candidates with a Ph.D. are preferred. The teaching load for this position is four courses during the first year and five courses thereafter. The expected 9-month base salary range for this position is $XX,XXX to $XX,XXX. Candidates should submit cover letter, c.v., [and other materials as determined by the department] via interfolio at https://secure.interfolio.com/... Questions regarding the search may be directed to Xxxxx Xxxxxx, Search Committee Chair, at xxxxxxx@hamilton.edu. Our review of applications will begin on Xxxxx xx, 202X.

The College has adopted the following affirmative action statement that must be included in every advertisement:

Hamilton College is a residential liberal arts college located in central New York. The College has built its reputation on the teaching excellence and leading scholarship of its faculty, and on the academic distinction and intellectual curiosity of its approximately 2000 students who take advantage of Hamilton’s open curriculum (https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/open-curriculum). Accomplished faculty, highly capable and motivated students, and a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 provide an educational experience that emphasizes academic excellence, intellectual and cultural diversity, and respect for differences in the development of students as human beings. Hamilton’s commitment to diversity is embodied in its need-blind admission policy and meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every accepted student for their entire undergraduate program. Please visit the college website for more information (www.hamilton.edu). 

Hamilton College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that is committed to building an inclusive and diverse learning community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and excel. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in higher education to apply. Applicants with dual-career considerations can find other Hamilton and nearby academic job listings at https://www.hercjobs.org/regions/higher-ed-careers-upstate-new-york/, as well as additional information at https://www.hamilton.edu/dof/faculty-development/resources-for-prospective-or-new-faculty/opportunities-for-spouses-or-partners (Opportunities for Spouses or Partners). Hamilton provides domestic partner benefits.


A list of references should be requested as part of the materials, but we strongly recommend that reference letters are not used in the first round of screening candidates. It is best if letters are requested later to be used in the final stages of the process.

9. Once the position and job ad are approved by the DOF office, the department’s/program’s Academic Office Assistant (AOA) sets up the search in Interfolio, the first step of which is to generate your search-specific application link, which should be included in the ad.

10. The ad will be placed on the Hamilton, Inside Higher Ed Careers, and HERC websites by the DOF office; job ads are placed in disciplinary media by the chair/director or department/program AOA. It is the chair’s/director’s responsibility to see that this is done.

Step 2: Developing a rubric, reviewing applicant pool, and identifying the first cut of candidates

11. Before the committee is allowed to review any applications, your search rubric must be approved by your ADOF.  The criteria in your rubric should be based on your job ad. Your ADOF will also let you know if the applicant pool for your search is deep and diverse enough to proceed. Once you have received approval from your ADOF, the search committee may begin reading applications. 

12. The chair/director will notify search committee members when candidate files are open for review on the Interfolio site.

13. After consulting with the committee, the search chair sends the ADOF an unranked (alphabetical) list of candidates who will participate in zoom interviews. This list usually contains 10-15 candidates.

Step 3: Conducting video interviews (~20-30 minutes max)

14. Prepare a list of scripted questions to ask each candidate. If there is additional information you would like the candidates to know about the position, department, or institution, it is best to email that information ahead of time instead of taking time away from the video session when you should be getting to know the applicant.

15. Allow time for the candidate to ask questions of the committee.

16. From this point on, the interactions are as much about assessing the candidate as they are about the search committee recruiting (selling/representing the College to the candidates).

Step 4: Identifying finalists and arranging campus interviews

17. After the video interviews, the search committee submits the top three candidates to the ADOF for approval. The list should be unranked and should provide a brief explanation for the choices — identifying the merits of each and any concerns.

18. Once you have approval from your ADOF, use your AOA to assist in scheduling interviews, travel arrangements, lodging, etc.

19. Typical meetings during a campus interview:

  • All faculty — one-on-one, or if a large department in pairs
  • Relevant support staff
  • Students (usually over lunch)
  • VPAA/DOF (not for renewable searches)
  • VPDEI (not for renewable searches)
  • Occasionally, a faculty member from another department (e.g., junior member, international faculty if candidates are international). 
  • Candidate meals, dinners
  • Breakfast? At B&B?
  • Dinners: max budget of $300 (set annually - please ask your ADOF); two dept members may join dinners

20. During the campus visit, the chair should discuss startup needs with the candidate and explain that if an offer is extended, a startup budget will need to be submitted within a week of receiving the offer. Startups are to directly support a new faculty to get their research program up and running at Hamilton. Funds are budgeted by academic year for the first four years of the tenure-track.  Funds do not rollover from year-to-year. 

21. Solicit feedback from anyone who meets with candidates. The Faculty Handbook outlines who is eligible to vote (Section V.D.1).

Step 5: Deliberating on the offer

22. Final decisions on offers and authorization to extend offers to candidates rests with the Dean. 

23. After the department has deliberated about the candidates, the search chair should prepare a document that summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and their likelihood to succeed at Hamilton. The summaries should be unranked. The document should be sent to the VPAA/DOF and your ADOF at least a day before your scheduled meeting to determine who will receive the first offer. A contingency plan will also be discussed so that the department can act quickly in the event the first offer is declined.

24. After the meeting, your ADOF will send instructions and information (salary, position details, start-up budget template, etc.) to the department chair to make an offer. 

25. The chair should work with candidates to develop the startup budget. Your ADOF can also support these conversations. The details will be included in the contract letter, so they must be submitted for approval within the window of time given to the candidate for making a decision (usually one week). Please review our spending guidelines for startups.

26. Once an offer has been verbally accepted, the DOF office will send an appointment letter that will be contingent upon verification of credentials and a felony background check. 

Step 6. Closing the search

27. Once the signed contract is returned, it is the chair’s/director’s responsibility to inform other candidates who visited campus that they did not get the position. These communications should normally take place by phone, not email, as a matter of courtesy. Candidates that made it to the video interview stage should also be notified by the search chair via email.

28. Notification should be sent to all other unsuccessful candidates by your AOA via Interfolio. This notification should be written and signed by the chair of the search committee. 

29. Close the position on Interfolio

Step 7. Onboarding and mentoring plans

30.  In the spring, an on-boarding and mentoring workshop is held for all departments with successful searches (tenure-track, visiting, faculty of instruction, physical education, etc…). Departments/Programs are encouraged to develop an intentional plan for welcoming your new colleague(s), from the first week that your new faculty member arrives and beyond. It will be particularly valuable to establish a schedule of check-in points throughout the year.

B. Leave Replacement Hiring

Replacement of individuals in tenurable positions due to short-term absences, such as occasioned by periodic or personal leaves (Faculty Handbook: IX.E.F.) or by resignations effective before re-allocation and permanent replacement recruitment, is based on a combined consideration of curricular integrity, instructional continuity, and fiscal responsibility. These replacement positions are governed by the Faculty Handbook under “Term positions” (section: VI.A.3). 

Leave replacement or Term positions are administered directly between departments/programs and the Dean’s office.

From a budgetary standpoint, replacement of a continuing faculty member normally occurs only when there is salary recoupment, i.e., when the continuing member is receiving less salary than normal during the period of absence. This typically occurs when faculty members take periodic leave for a full year at half salary, but can also occur when a faculty member retires or resigns unexpectedly, before allocation and the search for a permanent replacement can be completed. Therefore, the college typically does not replace one-semester leaves. Exceptions to this are sometimes made when:

  • The faculty on one-semester leave comes from a very small department (e.g., one to three tenurable and renewable FTE), in order to maintain curricular integrity and instructional continuity.
  • The faculty on one-semester leave teaches a course that is required and cannot be covered by other department members. In the above cases, we first look to adjunct replacement of the two lost courses before considering a 50% (one-semester, full-time, three-course) replacement.
  • An unusually high number of one-semester leaves or other absences without salary recoupment occur in a department simultaneously that could not be staggered.

Both the Handbook statement and our practice are that “the large majority of term positions are visiting positions created for a term of one year to enable the College to appoint replacements for continuing members of the Faculty on leave” (FH: VI.A.3.). However, occasionally, individuals are appointed to subsequent one- or  two-year terms to meet additional replacement purposes. In rare instances, an individual may be appointed repeatedly to full-year replacement positions within a department, but the Handbook stipulates that no one may hold a non-tenure track position for more than six years.

Recruitment for leave replacement (term) positions

  • The recruitment process is the same as the tenure-track search process up until Step 4: Identifying finalists & arranging campus interviews. 
    • Unlike tenure-track searches, the names of 3-4 finalists for term positions should be ranked. 
    • Once the list is approved, committees may invite the first-ranked candidate to campus for a visit. The candidate will meet with your ADOF during the visit, but not the DOF or VPDEI.
      • If the first candidate is not acceptable, discuss how to proceed with the ADOF, anticipating an interview of the next candidate.
      • If a candidate is acceptable, seek approval from ADOF to make an offer.
  • Departments searching for leave replacements who are intended to cover for faculty undergoing reappointment must wait for the reappointment to be approved before extending an offer.
  • The final decision on offers and authorization to extend offers to candidates rests with the Dean. The department chair makes a verbal offer to the candidate after having received offer details (salary, moving allowance, etc.) from the ADOF. 
  • Once an offer has been verbally accepted, the DOF office will generate and send an appointment letter that will be contingent upon verification of credentials and a felony background check. 
  • For closing the search and next steps, please refer to the Steps 6 and 7 above for tenure-track searches. 

Contract renewal for term (leave replacement) positions

  • In some cases, a person serving in a leave replacement position may be eligible for a contract extension for a specific reason (e.g. another department member is approved for a year-long sabbatical and is eligible to be replaced). 
  • The Dean will consider contract renewals for certain visiting term positions in the January before the academic year in which the contract extension will take effect.  
  • For visitors who are eligible for a contract extension, please review evidence of teaching performance (e.g. in-class observation letters and course evaluations) for the semester(s) available in January.  The chair consults with the continuing eligible voting members of the department/program for consensus. Send a summary of teaching performance and the department’s request to extend the contract to your ADOF who will confer with the Dean.  
  • Your ADOF will be back in touch with next steps.  

C. Adjunct Hiring

In general, the Dean observes the following priorities in hiring adjunct faculty:

  1. meet emergency curricular needs, such as those occasioned by various types of leaves or over-enrollment in required courses that cannot be met with continuing faculty;
  2. meet our obligations to retirement agreements;

  3. increase elective breadth.

All adjunct hiring is contingent on the availability of funding. Adjunct hiring can be used to support employee spouses or partners who are academics and are qualified to teach courses as requested by department chairs, and that fit the priorities described above.

Please make requests for adjunct positions as soon as you have identified the need and before the course schedule is finalized for the semester the adjunct will be teaching. Provide a curricular rationale for your request, making specific reference to the Dean’s priorities above. To request an adjunct hire at some other time, please contact the appropriate Associate Dean of Faculty.

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