Cluster Hiring Procedures for Recruitment

For the most part, the process for hiring faculty members of the cluster will follow the best practices in your school, college, or division for hiring all faculty. However, because cluster hires are a joint effort between departments, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Each department (tenure home) involved in the cluster should form its own search committee and designate a search committee chair. The chair is the point of contact between the cluster lead, department chair, Dean’s Office and Provost’s Office. The chair (or designee) is also responsible for communicating with the other search committees in the cluster to coordinate and collaborate on the recruiting process as needed. The chair (or designee) should participate in WISELI’s (Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute) workshop Searching for Excellence & Diversity.

Each search committee must create a position vacancy listing (PVL). The PVLs should make clear the prospective faculty member’s responsibilities in teaching, research, and service to the department and the cluster. Before posting, seek feedback on the PVL from the other departments in the cluster and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs at

Each search committee will deliberate and propose a set of candidates to interview to the department (tenure home) chair. The “home unit” must show clear interest and enthusiasm for the proposed candidates to move forward. Once that clear interest is secured, the candidates may be invited to interview following the approval processes in the department and school, college, or division.

Interview processes will also follow the department’s standard processes for interviewing. This phase of the recruitment also offers opportunities for involving all the departments in the cluster. Some examples for collaboration among the cluster include attending job talks, meeting with the candidates, or giving facility tours to the candidates.

The department (tenure home) must deliberate and vote to extend or not extend an offer to the candidate following FP&P and the department’s guidelines.

The appointment letter should make clear the prospective faculty member’s responsibilities in teaching, research, and service to the department and the cluster. Start-up funding should be sought through the normal processes. Units involved in hiring are expected to contribute to the start-up package. If the candidate’s salary is above what was budgeted in the cluster proposal, any overage is the responsibility of the department into which the faculty member is hired.

In the event of an unsuccessful search, the search committee should decide whether to interview additional individuals or to reopen the search in the next recruiting cycle. Please follow the procedures above in any reopened search.

Throughout the search, the following information should be sent to the Provost’s Office at

  • PVL for each position
  • Slate of recommended hires for each position
  • Accepted offer letter for each position
  • Status updates as requested to ensure both the Provost and Chancellor are updated on the program

Additionally, each search committee should be prepared to describe their recruitment efforts, including how they developed the pool of candidates.