Faculty Recruitment and Hiring Procedures

Faculty Hiring Procedure

1) Determine Need and Funding

Deans will project faculty needs and retirement replacements in continuing discussion with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and will complete the Faculty Recruitment Request Form for replacement positions and new positions. The VPAA will discuss requests with the Provost, who gives final approval to initiate a search. 

2) Request a Search Advocate and Establish a Search Committee 

Once a search is approved, the dean will request a Search Advocate by submitting a request form to the Office of Inclusive Excellence. The Search Advocate will serve as a resource and be available for consultation on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the search and hiring process. The dean will consult with the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence on the appointment of Search Advocates. The dean will also establish a search committee for the position. 

3) Create and Advertise the Position Announcement 

The search chair, working with the search committee and dean, will create a position announcement. Positions will normally be advertised at the rank of Assistant Professor unless approval for a higher rank or open rank search is granted. 

Announcements should include a date when review of applications will begin. In addition to the Faculty Employment Application (which includes short essay responses regarding the Statement of Faith and the candidate's classroom practices regarding diversity), applicants will be asked to upload: 

  • A current CV
  • A cover letter
  • A statement of teaching philosophy

When the position announcement has been finalized, the dean will initiate a job requisition in Interview Exchange. Once all approvals are obtained, the Office of the Provost will post the job on the SPU website and the CCCU website. Contact the Office of the Provost to post to disciplinary publications or academic websites. 

4) Application Evaluation 

While applications are being received, the search chair should convene the search committee to develop a rubric for evaluating applicants based on the position announcement, utilizing search advocate best practices (a rubric template and guidance is available from the Search Advocate and can be found on the OIEX website). 

All applications must include an SPU application, which includes a one-page essay in response to the university Statement of Faith. The essay should articulate their Christian faith and its relation to their life and work. Applicants who fail to submit this essay should be contacted and must submit the essay before their file will be considered complete. 

The search committee will convene to collectively screen applications and develop a pool of semi-finalists. 

5) Semi-finalist Interviews 

Semi-finalist interviews will be conducted over Zoom. At this time, the candidate pool will be narrowed to 2-3 finalists. The names and application materials for the finalists should be emailed to the Executive Assistant to the Provost. 

6) Cross-campus Interview (XCI) 

Current practice requires all finalists for tenure-track faculty positions to interview with a committee comprised of faculty members outside the hiring department. The Faculty Handbook refers to this committee as “the faculty interview committee.” The committee typically includes 4-5 faculty from various academic units, including one representative from the School of Theology. The Faculty Handbook, Section 3.1 suggests that this committee’s primary work in the interview process results in a report “...regarding the fit of the candidate's statement of Christian faith and philosophy of Christian higher education with the mission of the University...”

Before finalists are invited to campus for interviews, the Executive Assistant to the Provost will schedule cross-campus interviews via Zoom. 

7) Campus Interviews 

Interview dates will be established by the school/department office; the program/school's administrative assistant arranges travel and confirms details with the candidate. SPU has special rates at the Marriott Courtyard on Lake Union. Click here to make a reservation.

The interview schedule on campus is set up, coordinated, and publicized by the school or department. The interview schedule for full-time faculty positions shall typically include: 

  • Discipline's school faculty
  • School or college dean
  • Office of Human Resources (to discuss employee benefits) 
  • Provost
  • President 

In addition, the candidate may be asked to make a formal presentation to the school and other interested faculty, as well as teach a class. The dean or designate should interview the candidate first in the process and should conduct an exit interview with the candidate, detailing next steps and timelines (See Sample Interview Schedule). 

Interview packets should be sent to all persons who will be interviewing the candidate. Packets should include: SPU application (including the applicant's Statement of Faith), CV, position description, and link to online candidate feedback form. The President will also receive a copy of the XCI report. Candidate feedback forms should be submitted by interviewers within 24 hours. The President will give her/his feedback directly to the Provost. 

8) Recommendation to Hire and Offer 

Upon the completion of campus interviews, the search committee should convene and make a recommendation to the dean regarding the hire. If the dean concurs with the recommendation, they will complete a Recommendation for Faculty Hire form and email it to the Provost with a copy to the Executive Assistant. 

Before an offer can be extended, the Office of the Provost will need to make requests from any institutions of higher education where the selected candidate has been employed for disclosure of sexual misconduct, pursuant to Washington State law RCW 28B.112.080. 

The Provost may seek the President's approval when necessary. Once the RCW inquiry has been sent, the Provost will notify the dean, who may choose to call the candidate to notify them of an official offer to come. The Office of the Provost sends the official offer letter with any special conditions of employment.The dean will be given an opportunity to review the letter prior to it being sent. Offer letters will be sent via USPS, with a PDF of the offer letter emailed to the candidate.

9) Final Steps 

Upon receipt of a signed offer letter from the candidate, the dean's office should submit a Personnel Action Form (PAF), which will prompt the Executive Assistant to the Provost to complete the final hire details: 

  • Initiating a background check
  • Receipt of academic credentials 
  • Receipt of responses to any sexual misconduct inquiries 
  • Moving allowance distribution 
  • Campus-owned housing requests (if needed)
  • Submit BCR (working with department/program assistant or budget manager) 

The dean's office should gather all recruiting expenses and list them on the Recruitment Expenses Worksheet. Refer to the links at the top of the page for detailed instructions and sample forms.

10) Issuing a Contract

The new faculty member should expect to see their faculty contract during the regular contracting process in the spring. If a new faculty member is hired at a different time of the year, the contract may be issued at a different time.

One-year (Contingent) Faculty Positions 

Contingent positions are approved by the Provost. In some cases, they are used when a regular faculty position has opened up because of a late departure or leave of absence that has not left sufficient time to run a regular search. In other cases, contingent positions are used as new programs are launched until it is clear whether enrollments will be sufficient to regularize the faculty position. 

When an opening occurs, the dean should confer with the VPAA regarding whether course staffing can be done with adjuncts or a contingent faculty needs to be hired. If the VPAA agrees that the situation calls for a contingent hire, the dean should complete the Faculty Recruitment Request Form and indicate that they are seeking permission for a contingent hire (indicating the contract length and FTE). Once the dean has interviewed the candidate, they complete the Request for Hire form, submitting this form along with a copy of the candidate's full file, to the Provost (copying the Executive Assistant) for review and approval. 

Returning One-Year Faculty

Returning one-year faculty who have not previously interviewed with the Provost or the XCI Team will be required to do so. An updated faculty employment application may be necessary.

In addition, the Provost shall be given the opportunity to interview, in advance, any already-employed, part-time faculty member whose load is proposed to increase to over 50%. 

Adjunct Faculty Positions 

Adjunct hiring is handled at the department/school level. 

The dean or department chair initiates contact and ensures that an SPU application form is completed. Background checks are required, as are sexual misconduct inquiries pursuant to WA law RCW 28B.112.080. Administrative assistants or budget managers will carry out these checks, but may consult with the Executive Assistant to the Provost as needed. Responses from sexual misconduct inquiries should be kept in the adjunct file in the dean or department office. 

It is up to the dean to ensure that individuals being hired into adjunct positions are aligned with SPU's mission.

Upon approval of the dean (and if necessary the Provost), an adjunct contract will be issued by the school once the position has been accepted.