Appointments to the faculty or promotion from one academic rank to another shall be primarily based on education, experience, effective performance and in recognition of special merit in some or all of the activities listed above. The criteria for recognition and evaluation of merit shall become progressively more exacting from lower to higher academic ranks. Promotion to the rank of professor shall be reserved to those members who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their respective fields.
Training and experience are generally recognized in the educational world as basic requirements for appointments and promotions. They are also recognized by Florida Tech, but without the rigidity so often found in automatic promotion plans. Florida Tech subscribes to the belief that alert and progressive faculty members will benefit from their experience, and that graduate study increases knowledge and broadens perspectives. It is definitely expected that each faculty member will endeavor to earn the terminal degree in his/her field.
Under the qualifications indicated above, the university does have a guiding policy on training and experience. It is given here as a general policy to which justified exceptions may be made.
Recommendations for appointment should be initiated at the department level. It is suggested that department heads consult with senior members of their respective departments and wherever feasible permit the senior members to meet the prospective appointee. Normally appointments will be the result of a national search, but will always comply with applicable federal and state laws and statutes including recordkeeping to assure compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements (see faculty policy “Statement of Equal Opportunity”).
Normally, the search for a faculty position is initiated at the department head level with the approval of the dean, vice president for academic affairs and the chief operating officer. An open, nationwide search should be conducted for all academic positions, including advertisement in appropriate publications. The announcement should contain the position description and responsibilities, degrees and experience required, citizenship and application materials (résumés, references and transcripts).
The screening process within the department is as follows. The department head appoints a search committee composed of several faculty members of the department, a chair and an individual responsible for assuring affirmative action compliance. The search committee maintains a log of the applications received. The chair may pre-screen applications for the rest of the committee, removing those candidates who do not satisfy the job criteria. One copy of the application is routed through the search committee members with a request for an evaluation, and comments are to be returned directly to the search committee chair. The search committee convenes when the routing has been completed, at which time each candidate is discussed. Candidates are ranked according to desirability. The search committee chair shall contact the references of the top candidates to verify their experience. The search committee chair shall have a discussion with the candidates starting with the most desirable that will include approximate salary, more detailed teaching and research interests, and availability. If this discussion is satisfactory, the résumé should be submitted to the dean for approval and to arrange an interview trip.
During the on-campus visit, interviews are scheduled with most, if not all, of the academic unit faculty, the academic unit head, heads of the other related academic units and the dean. Usually the candidate presents his/her work at a seminar attended by faculty, graduate students and, frequently, undergraduate students. Whenever possible, the candidate should be scheduled for a short, courtesy visit with the chief operating officer.
After the visit, the search committee chair solicits the evaluation of the academic unit faculty and those outside the unit who interviewed the candidate(s), and calls another meeting of the search committee. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the academic unit head makes the final decision to recommend a candidate, including appropriate salary and rank, to the dean, vice president for academic affairs and the chief operating officer. Official transcripts should accompany the written recommendations. It is the responsibility of the academic unit head to check the validity of the candidate’s academic credentials. Only the chief operating officer may make salary or employment commitments unless specifically delegated to a dean.
There are very limited special circumstances in which the full faculty search process may be shortened, e.g. an opportunity arises in which a nationally prominent faculty member becomes available and expresses an interest in Florida Tech. In such a circumstance, the chief operating officer may be solicited for permission to conduct an abbreviated “search.” The process would include a review (including on-campus interview) and recommendation by departmental faculty, endorsement by the dean of the college and submittal through the vice president for academic affairs to the chief operating officer. The chief operating officer would present the findings to the president and, if appropriate, request permission to negotiate directly with the potential faculty member.