Wednesday, August 9, 2006
A law professor writes:
I am the new chairman of my school's hiring committee and would find benchmarking on several issues helpful.
Here are my questions:
1. Is the selection ever delegated to a committee? If so, why?
2. Which categories of faculty do not vote on hiring decisions? LR&W? Clinical?
3. With respect to faculty hiring, do all law school faculties use the majority vote approach or do some require a supermajority? If a supermajority approach is used, what are the reasons for this?
4. Assuming there are multiple candidates for a position, does the faculty rank them in order of preference? Is the dean given authority to hire a lower-ranked candidate if the preferred candidate turns the school down?
I assume there are a variety of institutional practices out there. At Texas the answers are: 1. No, though the Appointments Committee has enormous influence, and its strong recommendations have never been turned down in my recollection. 2. LR&W and Clinical faculty do not vote; only tenure-stream academic faculty vote. 3. We require a kind of supermajority vote for appointments with tenure, though our voting rules are so complicated, I can't explain them! 4. We do not vote an offer unless we have a position for the candidate, so we don't ordinarily get into this situation. The Dean does not have the authority to make offers, only the faculty does.
Non-anonymous responses will be preferred, though I may post anonymous replies if I have independent reasons for thinking they are factually accurate.