Tenure-Track Search Process Guide

6.0 On-campus interviews

6.1 Campus Visit Checklist
6.2 Interview schedule
6.3 Additional ideas for the campus visit
6.4 Teaching demonstration
6.5 Material for the interviewers
6.6 Soliciting and integrating feedback from stakeholders
6.7 Evaluating the interviewed candidates
6.8 Resources

Campus visits are a critical step in the selection process for the department/program and in the decision-making process for candidates. Therefore, thoughtful planning is crucial.

After the Provost’s Office has approved the candidates for an on-campus interview, the search chair contacts each candidate to ascertain continued interest in the position and to identify dates for the campus visit. Follow-up contact to manage the details of the visit may be completed by the department’s administrative assistant.

Even in the case of a “local” candidate, each candidate should be on campus for a minimum of 24 hours including an overnight stay.

At least 48 hours prior to the visit, candidates should receive a copy of the campus visit schedule along with an invitation for them to request time with others on campus—in particular those listed as welcoming community resource representatives included in the packet sent from the Provost’s Office. For samples of interview schedules see the resources section below. This should be accompanied by a phone call to inform candidates about the components of the on-campus interview during which they will be evaluated and the components of the on-campus visit when the candidate will have the opportunity to evaluate the position and institution. For example, a lunch with students could be used either to evaluate the candidate or for the candidate to evaluate the institution. Make clear to the students and the candidate which option is chosen prior to the on-campus interview. This discussion with the candidate can also take place during the invitation phone call between the candidate and search chair.

The Provost’s Office emails a packet of information to each tenure-track candidate prior to the interview. See additional information in the resources section below.

6.1 Campus visit checklist

Arrange for transportation to and from airport and to and from guesthouse during the visit.

Determine whether the candidate has any disability accommodations that need to be met.

Determine if the candidate has any logistical requests (bringing a nanny, will need to breast feed, bringing a spouse, etc.)

Make arrangements for disability accommodations and logistical requests.

Arrange for someone to accompany the candidate to and from all meetings.

Arrange for the candidate to attend campus events.

Create an itinerary for each candidate’s visit. Schedules should have the same content and activities for each candidate. They should include the name, rank, and department of each person the candidate will meet. Make sure the schedules account for any disability accommodations and logistical requests. Schedule breaks where the candidate will not meet anyone.

Ensure that there are both formal and informal ways candidates for interaction with faculty and students. Social gatherings with faculty will allow visitors to observe and learn about department culture.

Allow for candidate input into determining the schedule. Be sure to ask candidates about any accommodations that they may require, such as dietary restrictions. Providing the candidate with information about the college as well as about different topics, groups, and organizations associated with the college will enable candidates to determine issues of interest they could explore further during their visit to campus.

Call the candidate two days prior to the interview to confirm and to determine if they have any further needs.

Recommended Practice

Associated Challenges

Take time to reflect on the information, qualities and characteristics of the faculty, department, campus and community that will be important for candidates to know about

Simply relying on past campus visit itineraries may mean missing opportunities to highlight new departmental/campus/community information, or to address issues that may be of particular importance to candidates

Prior to their arrival on campus, provide information to candidates about their itinerary while on campus and include information about those with whom they will be meeting

Without this information, a campus visit may appear unorganized, last minute, or confusing.

Assure that those who will be meeting with candidates have all the relevant information they need in advance (CV, itinerary, their role in the process, etc.)

Interviewers who are not prepared can lead to missed opportunities for learning about the candidate and can convey a sense of disorganization or lack of interest

Make sure that the number of questions asked by interview committees is realistic for the interview timeframe

Too many questions may mean that candidates are rushed in their responses or that there is not adequate time to ask all questions.

Use a consistent set of interview questions for candidate interviews.

Inconsistent questions can contribute to an inconsistent and unfair process

During less formal components of the campus visit (meals, transitions from one interview to the next) remember that the same guidelines for in/appropriate topics are as relevant as they are during formal interviews.

Even in informal settings, asking candidates about their partnership status, whether they have children or other topics that are inappropriate to the interview process can lead to negative impressions and can have legal ramifications

When hosting underrepresented candidates, consider setting up opportunities for them to meet with individuals who can speak to the experience of underrepresented faculty.

These opportunities can address important issues for underrepresented candidates that may be important factors in their decision about whether they can see themselves having a positive experience on campus and in the larger community

Provide all candidates a packet of information about the department, the college, and the St. Peter community. Include in this packet information about resources that might be relevant to faculty candidates including family-friendly policies and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender resources, and any other resources that may be of interest to all candidates.

Trying to determine which candidates may be interested in which resources is ineffective and problematic in a number of ways. Providing all candidates with the same information minimizes inappropriate or awkward conversations.

6.2 Interview schedule

The Interview Schedule MUST include the following meetings.

  • A meeting with the department/search chair to provide an overview of the department, the teaching assignment, and the search timeline, etc. (30 minutes),
  • An interview with the full search committee (at least 1 hour), for sample interview questions see the resources section below,
  • An interview with the Provost (30 minutes),
  • An interview with the appropriate Dean (45 minutes),
  • A meeting with the Director of Human Resources, (30 minutes),
  • An opportunity to talk with department majors, and
  • If requested, a meeting with a Welcoming Community resource person.

The Interview Schedule MUST include the following elements:

  • A classroom teaching demonstration,
  • A campus tour,
  • A voluntary opportunity to attend Daily Sabbath at Christ Chapel,
  • A tour of the Saint Peter and Mankato area,
  • A tour of the library, ideally with the librarian who is the liaison for the department,
  • Meals with students or department members; meals may be used to fulfill the required meeting opportunities from above such as the meeting with students or the department chair (see section 5:6 for meal guidelines), and
  • At least one-half hour of free time prior to the teaching demonstration.

In the past, a few departments organized the campus interview around individual meetings with department colleagues; this is not an acceptable practice. Search committee members have multiple one-on-one opportunities to talk with candidates if they participate in other activities such as meals, airport trips, and tours.

Search committees must allow time for candidates to examine aspects of relocation during the recruitment visit.

6.3 Additional ideas for the campus visit

  • A meeting with Director of Faculty Grants (30 minutes). Please send a copy of each candidate’s CV and cover letter to them prior to the campus interview.
  • A meeting with a member of an underrepresented group (30 minutes). Please send a copy of each candidate’s CV to this person prior to the campus interview.
  • Attendance at a campus event—concert, play, athletic event.
  • A meeting over a meal or coffee with faculty from other departments and/or interdisciplinary programs with related interests.
  • An informal meeting with first and second year tenure-track faculty from other departments.
  • A research presentation—for some departments this is considered essential; for others the issue of the research agenda and the question of the candidate’s ability to explain her/his research is handled during the search committee interview.
  • A reception in the home of a department faculty member that includes several faculty members from other departments (see the resources section below for expense guidelines).

Note: please provide candidate feedback forms to all non-search committee members who meet with candidates. Suggested feedback forms are available in the resources section below.

6.4 Teaching demonstration

The purpose of a teaching demonstration is to provide search committee members the opportunity to assess a candidate’s ability to explain discipline-specific material to an undergraduate audience. Obviously, students must be present for the teaching demonstration. Ideally, the demonstration will occur in a regularly-scheduled course rather than with students recruited for the occasion, the latter of which may work against a candidate who is trying to engage students who are unfamiliar with each other.

The department/search chair should have a very clear conversation with each candidate to ensure that candidates understand the search committee’s expectations of the demonstration and the context (type of course, audience, etc.) for the demonstration. Each candidate should be given the same expectations, time frame, and type of demonstration. An attempt should be made to make the teaching topic(s) equally difficult for all finalists; specifically, do not advantage one candidate by choosing a topic in his/her specialty.

Strategies for Organizing the Teaching Demonstration

  • A department may ask each candidate to teach a specific item from a course syllabus, in other words, to fit their demonstration into the midst of an on-going course. For instance, the Department of Physics asks candidates to prepare a demonstration that fits into a specific course syllabus and students are responsible for learning that material.
  • A department may ask each candidate to prepare the same lesson. For instance, the Department of Classics asks each candidate to prepare the same language lesson that is demonstrated in the same course by each candidate.
  • A department may ask candidates to prepare a course demonstration that is relevant to the topic of the course rather than try to fit the demonstration into the syllabus.
  • When scheduling disallows the above options, departments ask candidates to prepare a class demonstration that is typical for the type of courses included in the job description though it is unrelated to the course in which the demonstration takes place.

6.5 Material for the interviewers

Provide a list of interview questions to be asked of each candidate. By posing the same questions to each interviewee, each member of your committee will be able to collect comparable information from all candidates.

  • Candidates should be allowed to do most of the talking during the interview so that sufficient information may be gathered about each applicant.
  • When a group of people is interviewing a candidate together, decide beforehand how the questions will be divided among interviewers.
  • Be mindful that questions about diversity should not always be posed by the interviewer who is a woman or underrepresented minority.
  • Pose questions that allow the interviewer to evaluate the ability of candidates to be respectful, fair, and cordial.
  • Provide interviewers with guidelines about what questions are not acceptable to ask.
  • Provide evaluation/rating worksheets to each committee member. Requiring interviewers to provide feedback on specific criteria will assure a fair assessment of candidates.
  • Remind the search committee that each person is required to participate in the interview, teaching demo, and research presentation. The teaching demo and research presentation can be recorded, if needed, with the permission of the candidate. If an event is missed/not viewed by a search committee member, that member may not deliberate with regard to that event during the proceedings.
  • Ensure that each person who meets with a candidate is provided with the list of appropriate and inappropriate questions. See the resources section below on appropriate and inappropriate questions.

Does “consistency” mean “exactly the same?”

Consistency in the campus visit is very important. Candidates should be asked the same interview questions, be provided the same opportunities to share their scholarly and teaching credentials, and generally receive the same high degree of welcome and attention during their visit.

At the same time, the unexamined assumption that every candidate should be treated exactly the same may unintentionally favor some candidates over others. Some candidates will have ample opportunity to meet with potential colleagues who share salient demographic characteristics and interests (e.g., white candidates in predominately white departments; male candidates in predominately male departments). Unless specifically built into the process, underrepresented candidates often don’t have the same opportunity to learn about the common experience of those who share their salient demographic characteristics or interests.

Any candidate may have an interest in learning about aspects of the campus and/or larger community to help them gauge whether Gustavus is a good fit for them. Building in opportunities for candidates to gather this information can greatly enhance their campus visit. Inviting all candidates to express their interest in meeting with representatives from academic departments, identity groups, or community resources can help you design a campus visit that will best meet their needs. These meetings are with individuals who are not part of the search process and therefore, are not part of the evaluation process.

Review your department/program website for text and images that reflect a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

6.6 Soliciting and integrating feedback from stakeholders

Search committees find student/faculty/staff feedback to be useful during the deliberation process. Feedback will be collected from individuals involved in the formal candidate evaluation components of the on-campus visit. Feedback will not be collected from individuals involved in the components of the on-campus visit where the candidate is evaluating the position and institution (e.g., Director of Human Resources, Welcoming Community resources, and so forth). Feedback forms can be distributed and collected at the teaching demonstration or emailed at a later time to all students who had interactions with a candidate. Feedback forms should also be provided to faculty/staff members who participate in evaluating the candidate and are not members of the search committee. For an example of a feedback form see the resources section below.

Input from stakeholders can be both useful and challenging. One of the most useful aspects of stakeholder input is that it can represent diverse viewpoints that are not present in the committee. The challenge is that stakeholders are not usually involved in search committee discussions on selection criteria. In addition, some stakeholders may have had contact with only some of the candidates. Others may offer only their conclusions, rather than evidence: “this candidate is the perfect fit.” Finally, it may be difficult to determine whether stakeholder input has been influenced by unreliable information such as hearsay or stereotypes.

Stakeholder perspectives can help you determine if you need more data. You may need to engage in further reference checking or revisit the larger applicant pool if stakeholders:

  • Strongly support an applicant the committee finds unacceptable
  • Strongly object to an applicant the committee finds acceptable
  • Identify an important area of strength or concern that the committee has not addressed.
  • Raise concerns about the applicant’s interactions with people from a particular identity background.

6.7 Evaluating the interviewed candidates

Each search committee member should evaluate each individual candidate with the rubric and grid after each individual campus visit. Avoid comparison evaluations within the rubric, comparisons will occur during the search committee’s final decision meeting.

The committee will deliberate in the final meeting on each candidate’s ability to meet the required and preferred criteria. The committee will identify the top candidate, make a recommendation with a rationale to the Provost’s Office, and determine whether the second and third ranked candidates are viable candidates for the position (with associated rationale).

This stage of the selection process is particularly vulnerable to unintended bias because the stakes are high as the process narrows in focus to a small number of candidates. Search committee members may be invested in different candidates, which may lead to tension or conflict on the committee.

Adherence to the recommended practices highlighted in earlier stages remains important here: awareness of implicit bias, a focus on the agreed upon selection criteria, a commitment to considering all points of view, and a commitment to articulating specific job-related rationale as a basis for candidate assessments.

Recommended Practice

Associated Challenges

The search committee should meet as soon as possible after the completion of the interviews so that information is fresh, the process continues moving efficiently, and candidates are contacted in a timely manner.

Any delay in the search committee process means that candidates will be waiting longer. This can lead to candidates’ frustration with the process, and/or the possibility of losing a strong candidate.

It is critical that candidates continue to be evaluated using the original selection criteria. At this point, the conversation often turns to determining whether the candidate is a “good fit” for the department. This is a good time to revisit the selection criteria to assure that “good fit” is assessed consistently, fairly and with the selection criteria as a reference point.

Evaluating top candidates without the selection criteria as a reference point increases the chances of unintentional bias influencing the process. Do not base selection decisions on untested assumptions, (e.g. “I don’t think they are going to be happy here. The African American community is so small in St. Peter.”)

All input should be considered. When some input differs significantly from the majority of assessments, follow up to find out more. If it is not possible to follow up with the person(s) who offered the input, you can follow up with references on the issues or concerns being raised.

Ignoring input from sources that differ from the majority of perspectives can mean missing opportunities to evaluate candidates from a variety of angles. Following up also provides the opportunity to assess whether input is based on firsthand experience with candidates rather than on assumptions.

Decide how to proceed if the top candidate does not accept the offer. Having a clear plan in place can ensure thoughtful decision making should the initial plan fall through.

If the committee has not discussed what to do if the top candidate declines an offer, then next steps are delayed. Other top candidates who do not receive courteous treatment may decide not to accept an offer should they ultimately be chosen.

6.8 Resources

Sample telephone interview script

Please take notes. Begin with introductions of each participant (name, title, and department/office). Each person should state their name before asking their question.

Thanks so much for making time for this interview. I’d like to first introduce the folks we have on the call today. [Introductions here.] We have 30 minutes together today, and we will have half or dozen or so general questions for you pertaining to the key points in the job. For reasons of equity, we must ask all applicants the same questions, so we plan on staying with our scripted questions. Thanks for your understanding in this regard. Then we will be sure to allow 5 minutes at the end for any questions that you may have. Does that sound alright? Okay, let’s begin.

  1. Tell us about your background and experiences. Why are you applying for this position?
  2. What interests you about teaching at a liberal arts college?
  3. What classes have you enjoyed teaching the most and why?
  4. Tell us a little bit about your current research project and where you see your research going in the next five years.
  5. Please tell us anything else you’d like us to know about you that we haven’t covered.
  6. What questions do you have for us?

Sample interview questions

  • Tell us a little bit about your current research project.
  • What classes have you enjoyed teaching the most?
  • How would you describe your teaching goals and strategies?
  • What kinds of methods do you prefer to use in teaching intro level courses?
  • What are some examples of the sorts of things that happen in a typical week in your beginning level courses?
  • You’ve seen our catalog. What parts of the Department’s curriculum would you be most interested in teaching?
  • What are your other academic and intellectual interests? Do you have ways of connecting with other disciplines or one or more of our interdisciplinary programs?
  • What ideas do you have about what you might want to teach during our January term?
  • In your current teaching situation, what kinds of interactions have you had with students, other than in class and office hours?
  • What interests you about teaching at a liberal arts college?
  • After seeing our catalog and browsing on our web site, what kinds of questions do you have for us about teaching at Gustavus or living in Minnesota?
  • Tell us about some of the toughest groups that you have had to get cooperation from. What did you do? What happened?
  • What are some of the most difficult one-to-one meetings you’ve had? What resulted from the meeting(s)?
  • What is an idea you have recently implemented which was considerably different from the standard procedure?
  • What would your colleagues say about your style?
  • What goals have you set recently? What were the results?
  • How do you prioritize multiple tasks that need to be accomplished in a short amount of time?
  • Tell us about particular opportunities and challenges that come with the increased use of technology.
  • Tell us about decisions you have made that have benefit to the students you have taught.
  • How have you resolved conflict in the work place?
  • What do you consider your finest accomplishment?
  • Describe ways in which you have helped students prepare to move as human beings and citizens across multiple cultural boundaries and communities.
  • How do you maintain your energy level? Describe your most tiring duties or circumstances.
  • Describe a situation where you wish you had interacted differently with someone at work. What happened?
  • How do you motivate students to do excellent work?
  • Describe a teaching situation you have been in recently that describes you at your best. Your worst?

Appropriate and inappropriate interview questions

By Thomas H. Nail, SPHR and Dale Scharinger, PhD, January 1998
Reviewed May 1999 and May 2002 (Edited by the Office of the Provost in August 2012)

You have been given responsibility for conducting employment interviews in your company and would like to conduct all interviews in a lawful manner. Also, you have reviewed your company’s application for employment and aren’t sure whether there is a need to ask some of the questions on the employment application.

This white paper will assist you by providing a general framework around which an interview format may be structured. In turn, the information may be used to ensure that your company’s employment application form asks for information from applicants in a lawful manner. Today, it is critical to conduct lawful employment interviews because jury trial awards can cost the employer several hundred thousand dollars. Your company may have to generate millions of dollars in gross revenue to pay for this amount of jury award!

The guiding principle behind any question to an applicant is, can the employer demonstrate a job-related necessity for asking the question? It is the intent behind the question that is important, as well as how the information is used that the EEOC would examine to determine if any discrimination has occurred.

Therefore, an applicant should only be asked questions that are job related. In asking applicant questions, the interviewer should ask himself/herself if this information is really needed in order to judge the applicant’s qualifications, level of skills and overall competence for the job in question?

Generally, problem areas are discriminatory questions that are posed on the basis of the applicant’s gender, race, age, national origin, religion, or other non-job-related basis. Prohibited interview questions, for example, would be asking women applicants different questions than male applicants, or asking different questions of married female applicants than single female applicants.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its Pre-Employment Inquiry Guidelines in 1981 and its Enforcement Guidance: Pre-Employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations in 1995. These address the issue of interview questions which, if used in making a selection decision, have a discriminatory effect by screening out minority applicants, female candidates, and older applicants and individuals with a disability, etc., for the particular job in question.

  1. Race – There are no job-related considerations that would justify asking an applicant a question based on race.
  2. Religion - There are no job-related considerations that would justify asking about religious convictions, unless your organization is a religious institution, which may give preference to individuals of their own religion.
  3. Gender – Generally, there are no appropriate questions based on the applicant’s gender during the interview process. Specifically:

(a) Women are no longer protected under state wage/hour laws re: number of hours worked, lifting restrictions, etc.

(b) It is unlawful to deny a female applicant employment because she is pregnant, or planning to have a child at some future date.

(c) Questions on marital status, number of children, child care arrangements, etc. are not appropriate.

(d) Questions as to availability to work should be job-related: What hours can you work? What shift(s) can you work? Can you work on weekends and/or holidays?

  1. Sexual Orientation - Under certain state and municipal laws, there are no permissible questions regarding an applicant’s sexual orientation.
  2. Height and/or weight restrictions – These questions may support gender or national origin discrimination claims unless their relationship to specific job requirements can be demonstrated.
  3. Age – Under the EEOC’s Age Discrimination Interpretive Rules issued in 1981, as amended, a request for date of birth on the employment application is permissible, with an appropriate disclaimer shown. In practice, this is not asked on applications. Any recruiting effort that is age-biased such as “recent graduate,” or any question during the interview process that deters employment because of age is unlawful. The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 bars discrimination against persons age 40 or over.
  4. Arrest & Conviction Records – Questions relating to an applicant’s arrest record are improper, while questions of an applicant’s conviction record may be asked, if job related. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and many states prohibit use of arrest records for employment decisions because they are inherently biased against applicants in protected classes. The EEOC has issued a Revised Policy Statement covering the use of conviction records by employers in making employment decisions:

(a) The employer must establish a business necessity for use of an applicant’s conviction record in its employment decision. In establishing business necessity, the employer must consider three factors to justify use of a conviction record:

(1) Nature and gravity of the offense for which convicted;

(2) Amount of time that has elapsed since the applicant’s conviction and/or completion of sentence; and

(3) The nature of the job in question as it relates to the nature of the offense committed.

(b) The EEOC’s Revised Policy Statement eliminated the existing requirement that employers consider the applicant’s prior employment history along with rehabilitation efforts, if any. The Revised Policy Statement requires that the employer consider job-relatedness of the conviction, plus the lapse of time between the conviction and current job selection process.

  1. National Origin – You may not ask an applicant where he/she was born, or where his/her parents were born. You may ask if the applicant is eligible to work in the United States.
  2. Financial Status – An interviewer should not ask if the applicant owns or rents a home or car, or if wages have been previously garnished, unless financial considerations for the job in question exist. Any employer who relies on consumer credit reports in its employment process must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 and the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996.
  3. Military Record – You may not ask what type of discharge the applicant received from military service. You may ask whether or not the applicant served in the military, period of service, rank at time of discharge, and type of training and work experience received while in the service.
  4. Disability – You may not ask whether or not the applicant has a particular disability. You may only ask whether or not the applicant can perform the duties of the job in question with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Although federal EEO laws do not specifically prohibit any pre-employment questions, the EEOC does look with “extreme disfavor” on questions about age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender or veteran status. Many state fair employment laws do expressly forbid certain types of questions. Following is a representative list of unacceptable and acceptable questions. It is NOT all-inclusive. At the end of the section, there is a bibliography of additional resources to which you may refer for additional information.




Reliability, Attendance

-Number of children?
-Who is going to baby-sit?
-What religion are you?
-Do you have pre-school age children at home?
-Do you have a car?

-What hours and days can you work?
-Are there specific times that you cannot work?
-Do you have responsibilities other than work that will interfere with specific job requirements such as traveling?

Citizenship/ National Origin

-What is your national origin?
-Where are your parents from?
-What is your maiden name?

-Are you legally eligible for Employment in the United States?
- Same as above
-Have you ever worked under a different name?

For Reference Checking

-What is your father’s surname?
-What are the names of your relatives?


Arrest and Conviction

-Have you ever been arrested?

-Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If so, when, where and what was the disposition of the case?


-Do you have any job disabilities?

-Can you perform the duties of the job you are applying for?


-What is the name and address of the relative to be notified in case of an emergency?

-What is the name and address of the person to be notified in case of an emergency? (Request only after the Individual has been employed.)

Credit Record

-Do you own your own home?
-Have your wages ever been garnished?
-Have you ever declared bankruptcy?

-Credit references may be used if in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 and the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act Of 1996.

Military Record

-What type of discharge did you receive?

-What type of education, training, Work experience did you receive while in the military?


-What is your native language? Inquiry into use of how applicant acquired ability to read, write or speak a foreign language.

-Inquiry into languages applicant speaks and writes fluently. (If the job requires additional languages)


-List all clubs, societies and lodges to which you belong

-Inquiry into applicant’s membership in organizations which the applicant considers relevant to his or her ability to perform job.

Race or Color

-Complexion or color of skin. Coloring.


Worker’s Compensation

-Have you ever filed for worker’s compensation?
-Have you had any prior work injuries?


Religion or Creed

-Inquiry into applicant’s religious denomination, religious affiliations, church, parish, pastor or religious holidays observed.



-Do you wish to be addressed as Mr.?, Mrs.?, Miss?, or Ms.?



-What was your previous address?
-How long did you reside there?
-How long have you lived at your current address?
-Do you own your own home?



-When did you graduate from high school or College?

-Do you have a high school diploma or equivalent?
-Do you have a university or college degree?


-What color are your eyes, hair?
-What is your weight?

-Only permissible if there is a bona fide occupational qualification.

Marital Status

-Are you married?
-What is your maiden name?
-Are you single?, married?, divorced?


Sexual Orientation

-We do offer domestic partner benefits. Would you like me to get you more information on that?



  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990—EEOC Technical Assistance Manual and Resource Directory.
  • Commerce Clearing House, Human Resources Management series, Equal Employment Opportunity, Vol. 1.
  • EEOC Pre-Employment Inquiry Guidelines, 1981.
  • “Enforcement Guidance: Pre-Employment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations”, Office of Legal Counsel, ADA Division, EEOC.
  • SHRM 14th Annual Legal and Legislative Conference proceedings, March 1997.
  • Thomas H. Nail, President, Thomas Houston Associates, Consultants in Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, (703) 471-9893.

Thanks to Thomas H. Nail, a member of the SHRM Diversity Committee, and Dale Scharinger, PhD of the SHRM Employment Committee for contributing this paper. It is intended as information, and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

Materials included in the candidate informational packet

The Office of the Provost sends an email to every candidate invited to interview on campus. That email contains the following information:

Once on campus, the candidate receives an additional hard-copy folder with additional information, including an optional affirmative action reporting form. Candidates are also asked to complete a W-9 form for travel expense reimbursement.

Sample tenure-track candidate visit (2 nights)

Wednesday, November 12

  • 5:20 p.m. Arrive at Minneapolis airport. Steve Smith, Associate Professor of Linguistics, will meet you. Dinner with Dr. Smith on the way to Saint Peter.
  • 9 p.m. (approximately) arrive at the Gustavus campus Guest House.

Thursday, November 13

  • 7:30-8 a.m. Breakfast with Professor Susan Anderson, Linguistics department chair. She will meet you at the Guest House.
  • 8:15-9:15 a.m. Search Committee Interview (Department members: Angela Jones, Assistant Professor, Allison Simons, Associate Professor, Professor Alex Vining, Steve Smith, Susan Anderson, and Andy Burk, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Liberal Arts Search Representative).
  • 9:20-10 a.m. Visit the campus library to see linguistics holdings, computer classrooms, meet with department’s library liaison Associate Professor Jon Bren.
  • 10-10:20 a.m. Daily Sabbath at Christ Chapel (optional).
  • 10:30-11 a.m. Interview with Provost Brenda Kelly, Carlson Building 220.
  • 11-11:30 a.m. Meet with Sarah Bridges, Director of Faculty Grants, Carlson Building 224.
  • 11:30-12: 30 p.m. Lunch with students who are linguistics majors.
  • 12:30-1 p.m. Meet with Diversity Center Director Jaime Hollis in the Diversity Center.
  • 1-1:30 p.m. Prep for teaching demonstration.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Teach LIN 101 Basic Linguistics, Confer 101.
  • 2:45-3:30 Interview with Dean Julie Bartley, Carlson Building 219.
  • 3:30-4 p.m. Tour Campus with Jennifer Lindstrom, linguistics major.
  • 4-4:30 p.m. Prep for research presentation.
  • 4:30-5:30 Research presentation: Contemporary Issues in Linguistics.
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Dinner with Alex Vining and Allison Simons.
  • 7-8pm. Reception at the home of Alex Vining.

Friday, November 14

  • 8-8:45 a.m. Breakfast with Susan Anderson.
  • 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Tour of Saint Peter and Mankato with Angela Jones.
  • 10:30 Return to Minneapolis airport, lunch on the way 2 p.m. flight.

Sample fixed-term candidate visit

Monday, October 9

  • 3:30 p.m. Arrive at Minneapolis airport. Steve Smith, Associate Professor of Linguistics, will meet you.
  • 5:30 p.m. Arrive at campus Guest House.
  • 6:00 p.m. Dinner with Linguistics Department colleagues Angela Jones, Assistant Professor and Alex Vining, Professor. Professor Jones will pick you up at the Guest House.

Tuesday, October 10

  • 7:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast with Professor Susan Anderson, Linguistics department chair. She will meet you at the Guest House.
  • 8:15-9:15 a.m. Search Committee Interview with Angela Jones, Alex Vining, Steve Smith, Susan Anderson.
  • 9:20-10:00 a.m. Visit the campus library to see linguistics holdings, computer classrooms, meet with department’s library liaison Associate Professor Jon Bren.
  • 10:00-10:20 a.m. Daily Sabbath at Christ Chapel is optional.
  • 10:30-11:00 a.m. Interview with Dean Julie Bartley, Carlson Building 219.
  • 11:00-11:30 a.m. Prep for teaching demonstration.
  • 11:30-12: 30 p.m. Teach LIN 101 Basic Linguistics, Confer 101.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch with students who are linguistics majors.
  • 3:30-5:00 p.m. Tour of Saint Peter and Mankato with Angela Jones and return to Minneapolis airport for 7:30 p.m. flight.

Travel and expense guidelines

Candidates are guests of Gustavus when visiting campus. Their expenses are paid by the Office of the Provost. The College appreciates the time faculty devote to hosting candidates and extending hospitality. The Provost’s Office also appreciates efforts made by departments to control costs, while ensuring that every candidate is treated well and has a comfortable visit.

After the Provost’s Office authorizes specific candidates for a campus visit, the search chair should contact each candidate to issue the invitation and begin making travel arrangements and arranging for the on-campus visit.

Air Travel: Please note that plane tickets are less expensive when booked in advance. When possible the Provost’s Office asks that interviews be scheduled at least two weeks in advance to moderate travel expenses.

Tickets are paid for by the Office of the Provost. Candidates may book their own flights. However, the search chair or administrative assistant can also book flights for the candidate on a college credit card. Offer both options to the candidate, as the initial expense can be an issue for candidates even when the funds will be reimbursed. If tickets are more than $600, please contact Shanon Nowell (snowell@gustavus.edu or x7541) for approval.

Candidates should be picked up from the airport or take Land to Air Express (www.landtoairexpress.com or 507-625-3977) to Saint Peter rather than renting a car.

Car Travel: Candidates who drive to campus will be reimbursed for mileage at the standard IRS rate. Please remember that even a candidate who drives from the Twin Cities will be reimbursed for mileage. While this cost is less than an airline ticket, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a “free” candidate.

Candidates who wish to rent a car for personal purposes (e.g., to visit local family) must do so at their own expense.

Lodging: Campus visits should include an overnight stay. Contact guesthouse@gustavus.edu to make Guest House reservations or, if necessary, make reservations at a local motel using a department member’s Wells Fargo card for payment. An internal or local candidate may opt not to stay at the Guest House or hotel (if the Guest House is not available).

Meals: Meals can be useful opportunities to introduce the candidate to a wider range of people on campus and to show our hospitality. Ideally, candidates will share all meals with a search committee member, department faculty or students, or other faculty with related interests.

In order to have a comfortable, informal conversation with the candidate, only modestly sized groups should join candidates for meals at the College’s expense. Although we want to be hospitable, this is a time to model good stewardship to potential future colleagues. Please adhere to the following meal guidelines (the number of listed guests below is the maximum; you may opt to invite fewer):

  • Breakfast: candidate + 2 guests (maximum $10 per person) *normally on-campus
  • Lunch: candidate + 4 students or 3 guests (maximum $15 per person) *normally on-campus
  • Dinner: candidate + 2 guests (maximum $35 per person)
  • Receptions: Limited to one per candidate ($75 per reception)
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted and will be reimbursed, but are limited to one per individual

A department member’s Wells Fargo card should be used for payment. An itemized receipt (not just the credit card receipt) needs to be obtained and the names of those in attendance at the meal should be written on the receipt before it is turned in to the Provost’s Office.

In accordance with the College Travel Policy, tips should not exceed 15% of the cost of service, unless automatically charged.

On-campus meal tickets (for the Marketplace and Campus Buffet) are obtained from Jennifer Harbo (jharbo@gustavus.edu or x6223) in the Provost’s Office.

Candidate Reimbursement: When candidates come to the Provost’s Office they will be asked to sign a form that provides the information we need in order to reimburse them for expenses. They will be directed to submit original receipts for the reimbursement of parking, mileage, tolls, etc. to the Provost’s Office upon completion of the trip. Reimbursement will normally be made within two weeks of receiving receipts.

Other Expenses: Should there be costs other than transportation, lodging (if off-campus), and meals, it is important to clear these in advance with the Office of the Provost.

Departmental budgets are expected to cover the costs of:

  • Search Committee meeting refreshments
  • Stationery
  • Postage
  • Telephone calls
  • Photocopying and printing

Additional guidelines for non-tenure-track searches

Procedures for making special (fixed-term) appointments (e.g., sabbatical replacements, emergency situations) include the following differences from the tenure-track search:

  1. Search Committee: The search committee can be a subset of department members. The decision to include a Liberal Arts Search Representative is made by the department chair and the Dean.
  2. Advertising: All position announcements will be posted (by the Provost’s Office) on the Gustavus Human Resources website, LatinosInHigherEd.com, the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, the National Registry of Diverse and Strategic Faculty, HERC, and HigherEdJobs.com. A letter or email should be sent to key graduate programs. The decision to submit an announcement in discipline-specific journals is made by the department chair and the Dean.
  3. Course Load: The total course load for the candidate will be approved by the Dean. The position description should indicate the number of courses or range in number of courses that is expected for the position (e.g. the position announcement should indicate a 7-course teaching load. Normally, this will mean a January Interim Experience teaching assignment (3-1-3 load)).
  4. Sending Files to the Provost’s Office: The basic procedure of evaluating applications for a full-time special appointment follows the tenure-track procedure. Following phone interviews, files of the top three candidates should be sent to the Dean, with a ranking and rationale, before an invitation for a campus visit is extended. After reading the files, the Dean will consult with the department chair. Normally, only one candidate is brought in for a fixed-term appointment. A second candidate is brought in if the first candidate is not acceptable or does not accept our offer. For per-course appointments, the Dean and department chair will decide whether an on-campus interview is necessary.
  5. Campus Visit: The visit must include an interview with the department search committee, a meeting with the department chair, an interview with the Dean, and a teaching demonstration.
  6. Making the Offer: For full-time appointments, the Dean makes the offer of employment. Typically, relocation costs and startup funds are not part of a special appointment offer. In the case of per-course appointments, the department chair will make the offer of employment.

Sample feedback form

Candidate Name:  

Student Name:  

  1. What did you learn about the candidate that made you interested in learning more about them and their work?
  2. Did the candidate seem to have a sincere interest in working with undergraduate students? What did you learn that supports that conclusion?
  3. What did you learn about the candidate that raised concerns for you?
  4. Describe your overall impressions of the candidate and their potential for working in the __ Department at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Last modified: 18 October 2017, by Shanon Nowell