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USF Libraries Faculty Search Committee Process - Template

Role of the Search Committee Chair & Members

The primary role of the search committee is to recruit and recommend highly qualified candidates for faculty positions. The committee is responsible for: actively seeking nominees and applicants in order to produce the most qualified applicant pool possible; screening applicants to identify those with the highest qualifications; managing logistics of the interviews; and making a formal recommendation to the hiring authority.  With recruitment considered as the first phase in the onboarding of the selected candidate, the search committee plays a critical role in ensuring a successful hire for the organization.


The search committee chair is responsible for managing a proactive, timely, fair, and legal search process. These responsibilities include:

  1. acting as the search committee's liaison to the library and relevant stakeholders;  
  2. leading the committee in all phases of its work;
  3. promoting a collegial working atmosphere within the committee;
  4. working with all committee members to establish processes and ground rules;
  5. contributing to a recruitment strategy and advertising plans to encourage a diverse applicant pool;
  6. maintaining evaluative equity, consistency, and fairness throughout the process;
  7. ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state laws and university policies and procedures;
  8. making sure the committee treats all candidates in the manner that we would want to be treated in the recruitment process;
  9. maintaining confidentiality of the process and candidates; 
  10. ensuring all candidates are provided with appropriate consistent and timely information about the institution, library, and position at the appropriate stage of the search;
  11. ensuring completion and submission of the formal recommendation for hire as acceptable/unacceptable, in ranked order.


Search committee members perform a critical role in recruiting and selecting library faculty. Responsibilities of the search committee include, but are not limited to:

  1. providing input on recruitment strategy, position posting, and advertising venues to attract as broad a pool as possible;
  2. marketing the position to potential nominees and applicants;
  3. proactively reaching out to professional colleagues to seek out potential candidates, specifically asking contacts to nominate potential candidates, including persons from underrepresented groups;
  4. being committed to diversity and excellence;
  5. thoroughly reviewing and assessing all initial applicant materials using the criteria formulated by the committee;
  6. conducting and reviewing results of reference checks, which might be in the form of letters of reference or phone reference checks;
  7. understanding the potential for implicit bias and acting to ensure equity in their decision making;
  8. attending to affirmative action/equal opportunity requirements;
  9. appreciating the importance of confidentiality and discretion during, throughout, and after recruitment.

Search Committee Charge

[Committee Chair: Add committee charge here]

Search Committee Protocol

Open Meetings:

  • Two or more committee members must refrain from discussions relative to the search but outside of the publicly announced committee meetings. 
  • Utilize liaison for communication.
  • Members of the public may attend but may not participate in the meetings; suggest leaving time at the end of each meeting to recognize any attendees.
  • Must advertise the meetings and hold meetings in a location that is accessible to the public.
  • All members must vote; abstentions accepted only if there is a conflict of interest.
  • Conflicts of interest must be disclosed for consideration to recuse.
  • Must maintain minutes of all meetings.

Public Records:

  • All notes taken, emails, or any other documentation of the search process are public record.
  • Any public records request should be sent to Library Administration for disposition. 
  • All materials will be retained by each member until the end of the process.
  • Keep all information regarding the search in a Box folder shared with the Library's HR Administrator.
  • At the end of the process, all materials relative to the search will be archived by the Library's HR Administrator. 
  • Procedural non-compliance can end a search without an outcome. 

 Search Procedures:

  • Committee participation of great importance.
  • Actively contact colleagues to identify good candidates.
  • Language of advertisement is what is followed, particularly minimum requirements.
  • Interview questions must only address bona fide qualifications for the position.
  • Candidates must receive equitable treatment and time.     

Search Committee Agenda

This document outlines the standard schedule of activities search committees will follow during the hiring process. See the Recruitment, Selection, Interview, and Post-Interview tabs for more detailed information regarding individual steps in the process.

Position Description

[Committee Chair: Add position description here]

Position Announcement

[Committee Chair: Add position number here]

Search committee members can access position information and candidate applications using GEMS. 

  1. Log into GEMS through MyUSF. 
  2.  From the Main Menu, select Recruiting -  Search Job Openings.
  3. Using the position number above (Job Opening ID) or the Job Posting Title, search for the opening.
  4.  Select the appropriate Job Opening on the results screen.
  5. Applicants are displayed on the following screen. View or print candidate resumes by clicking on the appropriate icons. 
  6. Use additional tabs (Activity & Attachments; Details) to navigate such positions information as Job History, Job Details, etc.  

Committee Roles and Responsibilities

The Libraries encourage all search committees to assign specific duties within their committees. This will help to more evenly distribute activities across members and facilitate one-on-one engagement with the candidates. Examples of the types of duties that can be distributed include: meeting and interview scribe; transportation to and from the airport; transportation to and from the hotel; lunch with the candidates; and tour of the library.