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Princeton University
Office of the Dean of the Faculty

Instructions on the Search Report Form

Last revised: July 2009

Enclosed are copies of the new search form that must accompany any faculty new appointment recommendation form.  

This form must be completed and returned before an appointment can be reviewed or approved.

Princeton University seeks to attract the ablest individuals as students, faculty and staff. In addition, the University has specific legal obligations as a federal contractor to develop and implement an affirmative action plan to recruit, hire, and promote women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and disabled and Vietnam-era veterans. Departments are required to run open searches and to advertise widely in order to attract qualified applicants in these categories. They must maintain records documenting efforts to produce a diverse pool of candidates. The purpose of this form is to document the department's good-faith efforts to comply with the University's equal opportunity/affirmative action policies.

It may be helpful to include here some comments about these forms and some general information about searches and search procedures, to anticipate some of the questions that may occur to you. Before doing so, though, let me remind you that all searches need prior approval from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. As usual, we will have preliminary discussions late in the spring or early in the fall to review proposed searches in the light of departmental staffing budgets and possible start-up costs, before the searches are approved. This office is available to help in all of your recruitment efforts. If you have any questions about search procedures or about affirmative action requirements, please feel free to contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

No search is required if the appointee is 1) a visitor from another institution; 2) a current member of the University's administrative staff or an academic professional (librarian, researcher, specialist); 3) an unenrolled Princeton Ph.D. candidate serving as a lecturer for no more than two years; or 4) a lecturer whose appointment is for one semester or less.

Regular search procedures, described next, apply to all faculty appointments that are more than one semester (unless the appointee is represented in the paragraph above). Note that a search is required whenever a former visitor is identified for a non-visiting appointment of more than one semester.

You must be certain to advertise for all positions for which a search is required, and to advertise sufficiently widely to make an effective effort to attract a diverse group of candidates of the position. If specific minimum qualifications or special credentials are listed in the advertisements, appointments can be made only of individuals who fulfill these requirements; if there are no such individuals, the department must open another search before an appointment can be made. It is important to keep and maintain the information requested about pools of candidates in the files of the department for a period of at least three years; you should keep records that distinguish between the broadest pool of candidates identified through any means whatsoever and the more restricted pools of those candidates considered most seriously of interviewed.

The category "candidates interviewed" should include all those interviewed either in person or by telephone, and either on campus or off campus, for instance, at a professional meeting. The category "candidates invited for an interview" is included particularly to reflect any candidates whom you have pursued, but who have declined the opportunity for an interview. If the pools of candidates considered most seriously do not reflect the diversity of the broader pools, or more generally the diversity of the pool of individuals who fulfill the requirements of the position as advertised, an explanation should be provided.

Candidates cannot be required to identify their race or gender. Information that is not provided through the self-identification process should be recorded as unknown. The reasons for selecting the proposed candidate and the comparisons with the best qualified minority or female candidate should be sufficiently detailed to justify the appointment.

If in the course of a search the department identifies a candidate who does not fulfill the specific minimum qualifications or special credentials for the search, but who qualifies for appointment under an affirmative action program or is a clearly exceptional target of opportunity, the chair may request that this additional appointment be approved with a separate formal search. Such a request must be accompanied by a detailed justification for the appointment, addressing the impact of the appointment on searches currently being undertaken by the department.

If a search is undertaken for a number of appointments, it is sufficient to submit the same search form for all of the candidates for appointment; but the information requested in items 5 and 6 of the search report form should accompany the appointment form for each individual candidate recommended.

The forms must be signed by the departmental compliance officer and the chair of the department, indicating that these individuals attest that the search and selection process complied with University policies.


Definitions of Ethnicity/Race

The race/ethnic group categories have been defined by the Equal Opportunity Commission as follows:

Ethnicity and Race – This two-part question is requested for statistical reporting purposes to government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Hispanic or Latino ethnicity: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin (including Spain) regardless of race.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
  • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Self-Identification Definitions. Completion of this information is voluntary. All information is confidential and should be reported in statistical form only. An applicant or employee declining to provide this information will not subject you to any adverse treatment.