Faculty Participation in Search Committees

December 1, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John Delaney, President, University of North Florida

The Provost’s descriptions of past searches note the value placed on faculty participation in the process, but the actions issuing from Academic Affairs suggest a pattern of setting aside faculty input, or skipping faculty input altogether, in searches and in other areas. This recurrent ignoring creates the perception that faculty governance doesn’t matter, despite assertions to the contrary. How can the administration demonstrate, going forward, that UNF is a university in which faculty participation in governance is essential?

Response from the Floor from Provost Earle Traynham:
We do indeed read all feedback received from the search committee. Typically the search committee limits the list of acceptable candidates to 2 or 3 and lists the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. A decision is made based on feedback that the office has received during the interview and search process, feedback from the committee, as well as feedback from other administrators and faculty who were not part of the search committee but who submitted input regarding the candidates. A decision is made, then, based on one’s best judgment. We assure you that we pay attention to all input.

Additional Response from the Floor from FA President Radha Pyati:
We have had a lot of faculty concern expressed about meaningful faculty input and meaningful faculty governance, and we have had efforts by the administration to show how faculty input is taken. Moving forward, a focus on our actions is important to demonstrate that faculty participation is listened to and that faculty continue to participate. Paul Eason, for example, explained how faculty can have input into the strategic planning process. Faculty should participate in the upcoming Dean searches. Going forward this Spring semester, we should take an actions-oriented approach to making sure faculty input is copious and valued.