Academic Hiring Manual

2.4 Final Selection

Last updated: 2/20/24 (details at bottom of page)

A.  Search committee interviews all the candidates on the final list, makes its final recommendation to the Chairperson, and submits to the Chairperson:
  1. Final candidates who were offered the position and those not to be offered the position
  2. a resume or curriculum vitae for each final candidate
  3. Academic Hiring Availability Data & Recruitment Activities form, if in addition to planned efforts listed previously, further special efforts have been made to include women and minorities in the candidate pool
  4. search committee's evaluation of final candidates (See "Sample Search Committee Report.")
  5. assessments made by individuals and/or groups who interviewed the final candidate(s)
  6. for each applicant who is not on the final candidate list, specific job-related reason(s) for non-selection along with supporting documentation
  7. applicant files including letter of application/nomination, curriculum vitae, reference letters, etc.
  8. a file of the search committee's procedures including copies of sample letters, screening criteria, core questions asked in the interview, meeting minutes if kept, etc.

These materials must be retained for three years after the date of appointment.

B.  Dean reviews final selection and appointment terms for clear and convincing evidence of affirmative action, equal opportunity and non-discrimination in all decisions. Chairperson and Dean approve a final selection and the appointment terms. Chairperson approves the final candidate list of those offered positions and those not to be offered positions.

  1. As a general matter, salary offers are to be within the range stipulated in the CHR Approved Academic Position Request. A salary offer within 10% of the range stipulated on the CHR Academic Position Request may be made if approved by the Dean.

    Salary offers more than 10% above the range limits originally approved must be approved by the Provost's Office before the offer is made. Also, when the approved salary range has been stated as "open" or "competitive" the salary offer must be discussed and agreement reached with the Provost's Office before an offer is made. In either case, the Dean sends an e-mail to the Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs to request approval.

  2. If rank exceeds the originally approved terms, the Dean has the following options:
    • Request a waiver to hire the preferred candidate at the higher rank. If a waiver is not appropriate, the options are limited to the following options below
    • Repost the position, since if the position had been posted at a higher rank originally, a different pool of applicants may have resulted.
    • Select a different final candidate as the preferred candidate.

C.  Prior approval must be obtained from the Provost and President to make an offer for any position with tenure. Prior approval must also be obtained from the Provost to make an offer for a position as Senior Academic Specialist with continuing appointment status. Questions about these arrangements can be directed to the Vice Provost/Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs.

Resource: Please review the "Hiring Faculty with Tenure: Steps for Obtaining Provost Pre-Approval and Board of Trustees Final Approval" resource guide created by the Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs.

Request Process: A Dean's request to make an offer with tenure is sent to the Office for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs via a Microsoft Form
The following materials are required in the request for recommendations for any appointment with tenure:

D.  Chairperson makes an offer to the final candidate and for continuing positions, details in writing (as per policy approved by the Board of Trustees) the terms and conditions of employment and provides a copy to the Dean. See also "Letter of Offer" in the "Handbook for Faculty Searches with Special Reference to Affirmative Action". The terms and conditions of employment should include:

  1. academic rank and/or title, department, appointment basis (AN/AY), appointment status (e.g., tenure system, fixed term, continuing appointment system, etc.), and percent time, the time period covered by the appointment, and the salary provision
    • for AN status (except for executive management positions) include the following statement:"The University's basic appointment commitment is to academic year (9-month) appointment. Your appointment on an annual (12-month) basis is justified by the mission of the Department and your specific assigned duties and responsibilities. Although changes in your appointment status are not foreseen, in the event that either the Department's mission changes and/or your specific duties and responsibilities are modified so that an annual appointment is not appropriate, your appointment status will revert to an academic year basis." (See Faculty Handbook: "Academic Personnel System Appointments: Basic Employment Commitment on an Academic Year Basis.")
    • probationary period for appointments in the tenure system without tenure, or in other continuing appointment systems without continuing appointment
  2. specific statement that the appointment is subject to approval of the Provost, President, and/or Board of Trustees (See "Final Approval of Academic Actions.")
  3. A criminal background check is a prerequisite for all faculty appointments at Michigan State University.  Note that foreign nationals who come to MSU directly from residence outside the U.S., for whom the Department of Homeland Security provides the necessary clearance, are excluded from the background check, but are subject to degree verification. The offer letter must indicate "The offer of appointment is contingent on satisfactory criminal background check results, including degree verification. You will be contacted by _________ to initiate the background check process."
  4. the general expectations in regard to the professional responsibilities of the person being appointed
  5. relevance of the Code of Teaching Responsibilities to position responsibilities
  6. if the position was not posted, there must be a statement, "Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation." (Such a statement is required in all postings.)
  7. information about employee processing, including completion of an I-9, noting that an individual from the department will contact the person being appointed to initiate the I-9 process; (If it is known that the individual will be on campus soon after accepting the position, the unit may choose to complete the I-9 rather than directing the individual to have it completed by a notary.)
  8. Summary of benefit programs (Please visit the Benefit Summaries & Brochures website for the most up-to-date summary.)

E.  If the preferred candidate rejects the offer, make an offer to the next final candidate to be offered the position from the final candidate list. If no final candidates remain, a new final candidate list taken from the initial applicant list may be considered by returning to item 5 under Section 2.3, "Advertising, Recruiting and Screening", and proceeding from there.

F.  If the candidate accepts, and any conditions listed on the Exposure to Health Risks / Physical Demands form apply to the position, the form must be filled out and sent to the applicable office as soon as a candidate accepts. The department/school must schedule an appointment for evaluation before the employee begins work.

Last revision:

(2/20/24: Updated to add resource guide on Provost approval for offers of tenure and new request form)

(7/17/19: Updated to clarify that Provost approval is required for all offers including tenure)

(6/27/16: Updated to remove copy of degree requirement, correct Associate Provost/VP title, and to include link to Benefits Summaries.

(1/22/15 - Updated to reflect electronic I9 system).

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