Affirmative Action

7.1 Visiting the Campus - Affirmative Action Searches

When the final (on-campus interview) candidate pool has been approved by the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the final candidates may be invited to visit the campus. The unit administrator should be involved in planning and conducting the campus visit. The unit administrator should meet with each candidate to discuss topics such as faculty evaluation procedures, position responsibilities, and unit plans and goals. The exact role of the unit administrator in this process is best decided at the local level. Before the candidate arrives, a detailed and thorough agenda should be established. This will include the individuals and groups the candidate will meet, facilities to be visited and faculty who will escort the candidate from place to place. One person, often the chairperson of the search committee, should be designated as the primary host for the visit. The agenda should be sent to the candidate or shared with her or him at the outset of the visit. All members of the search committee should also receive a copy. Since broad exposure of a candidate to potential colleagues is desirable, the search committee may wish to send copies of the agenda to all members of the academic unit.

You may also wish to send to a candidate whom you are attempting to recruit, or whom you invite to campus for an interview, information about your unit and college, e.g., a unit handbook which includes the names and major achievements of the unit's faculty or a college bibliography of faculty publications and activities for the past year.

The Office of Public Relations has a variety of brochures and pamphlets about the University, which may be of interest to a candidate: the MSU Campus Guide, which points out landmarks and places of general interest; the Michigan State University Profile, which contains general information about the University, to name a few. The search committee should provide a tour of the campus and of the unit's facilities for the candidate.

The committee may wish to have the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives (OIII) send the candidate materials on affirmative action at Michigan State University or have a women's or minority organization on campus send appropriate information (see "MSU Affirmative Action Resources").

If the committee wishes to send the candidate general information on the City of East Lansing and on employment opportunities for a spouse or significant other, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce may be of assistance (see "Dual Career Couples").

When recruiting a candidate, the search committee should arrange to have the individual picked up at the airport. Shortly before the visit, when writing or calling the candidate to determine arrival and departure times, it is advisable to ask if there are any special circumstances about which the search committee should be apprised. If the candidate, for instance, is a person with a disability, it would be useful to know if a van or full-size car is needed. If the candidate, has special dietary needs or requests, suitable menus should be arranged.

The escort who goes to the airport should be prepared for the candidate's visit. One should, for instance, know how to pronounce the candidate's name and should review her or his dossier in order to be familiar with the candidate's academic interests. Instead of filling the time from the airport to the University with idle chatter, the escort may wish to inform the candidate about cultural events and entertainment facilities in central Michigan, as well as provide a brief overview of the University. If the candidate asks a question which the escort or members of the search committee do not have sufficient information to answer ("Tell me something about the Asian community in East Lansing"), inform the candidate that a member of the committee will get the needed information. If the committee is unable to find a suitable answer during the campus visit, inform the candidate that the committee chairperson will either write or call with the answer.

Back to the Handbook for Faculty Searches with Special Reference to Affirmative Action