From the Provost's Desk

February 17, 2011

Best Practices of Search and Selection Procedures

Dear faculty, staff and students:

In light of a number of new hiring possibilities this year, the office of the president and my office charged Myra Gordon, associate provost for diversity and dual career development; Clyde Howard, director of affirmative action; and Gary Leitnaker, associate vice president, human resources, with preparing and conducting search committee training workshops for our campus. Our goal was to update faculty and staff on federal requirements for reporting and to share best practices of search and selection procedures.

Six separate workshops were conducted and each time we had standing room only capacity. Clearly there is an interest and an excitement for this activity. As I have said in the sessions I have attended, this is important work -- we are hiring the faculty and staff who will be K-State 2025!

Kansas State University must, by federal mandate, report certain things in the search process. This falls to the office of affirmative action and has led to the introduction of new and critically important steps to the search process.

  1. The invitation to applicants to voluntarily disclose race, ethnicity and gender, which will allow K-State to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment efforts relative to ensuring that applicant pools are representative of availability of minorities and women.
  2. Certification of applicant pools by the office of affirmative action, which allows K-State to thoroughly document what happens to applicants at each stage of the search process.

This activity is required of both regular and term hiring. Implementation of this practice is immediate.

While preparing the training workshops, our team inserted a number of steps that ensure best search practices and utilize the diversity point person in our academic units. Some colleges have been using the diversity point person in just the manner described in the workshops; others have not. Many non-academic units do not have a diversity point person at this time, and are uncertain as to what to do. Larger units have expressed concern of the work load on an individual diversity point person. We must address these concerns. There are many searches currently in process, and some individuals have voiced concern that the steps involved in implementing the best practices will, without sufficient preparation, add undue time and complexity to the process. As it was not our intent to delay current searches, we ask that you use these additional steps where you are able. We will work with constituent groups in the next months to address concerns and develop a consistent policy for all to follow for the next academic year's hiring season.

I value faculty and staff input, and we are committed to working with campus faculty and staff now and always as we work together to make our university even better. We will comply with federal mandates: this is a given. I recognize we have been successful in the past at attracting excellent and diverse pools and can build on that for the future important hires. We need to follow the very best search practices to provide Kansas State University with the most excellent and diverse pools possible for searches. We are committed to developing a consistent, federally compliant and streamlined hiring process that addresses the questions from the search committee training. This facilitates the recruitment and hiring of highly qualified, diverse faculty and staff. Let’s all plan for K-State 2025 together.

I have heard from many of you. I welcome additional comments, questions and suggestions at any time to masona@k-state.edu.

Provost Signature

Provost and Senior Vice President