The Chronicle of Higher Education recently posted an article that details the dos and don’ts of faculty searches at institutions of higher education.
Among many faculty members interviewed is UW-Madison’s Jerlando Jackson, who is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and chair of the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Jackson is also the director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and a faculty affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE).
Likening the search for faculty to nit-picky dating, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that more often than not, the search process can become chaotic. Jackson remembers a time when he was being recruited, making the decision between UW-Madison and another university. He recalls confusing signals sent by the other university while he was a candidate.
The Chronicle goes on to cite this kind of experience as a sign of a poorly crafted search plan. The report states the most efficient faculty search is a well-organized one, and gives multiple examples of components that need better control. Jackson chimes in on this issue, suggesting that there needs to be more thought put into how unsuccessful internal candidates are handled, saying “I do think that institutions should put some thought into at least sharing what they believe to be appropriate behavior.”
Jackson also touches on the candidates’ perspective in this report from the Chronicle. He notes that not only does the institution have to choose a candidate, but the candidate must also choose an institution. He recognizes the importance of hiring, and recommends that it be done thoroughly and well. He says, "You may not select every person, but you want to be in a position to do so.”
Read the entire report and the rest of Jackson's thoughts at this Chronicle of Higher Education web page.