DATE: March 13, 2000
TO: Dr. Ali Malekzadeh, Interim Vice-President Academic Affairs
FROM: Ravindra Kalia, Faculty Association President
SUBJECT: Search Committee Rights to Rank and Disseminate List of Finalists
The faculty association had made very clear to now interim president Dr. Williams our position as supported by Minnesota Statutes last year. I am stating the healthy democratic principles involved in the Searches including Faculty and Administrative searches by this urgent memo. I would like to reiterate those principles:
1. It is up to the Committee to rank or not to rank.
2. The Search Committee has the right to disseminate the list of finalists to the community and the media, as supported by Minnesota Statutes. The principle governing this statute is that the coworkers and the community have the right to peruse the credentials of the finalists.
2. The principle of dissemination is nationally accepted norm. The finalists name, pictures, and a brief description of the finalists are published in the newspapers and other forms of media. We read such information in the newspapers all over the nation.
[April 15, 2002]
I've received many queries recently relating to the question of faculty search committees and departments ranking candidates. There is at least one memorandum from an administrator that instructs faculty not to rank candidates. Faculty are directed to provide strengths and weaknesses of finalists.
Please note that faculty (departments and faculty search committees) can rank candidates according to:
a. IFO/MnSCU Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 20, Section 1, Subd. 3 which states that faculty can make a RECOMMENDATION regarding departmental matters such as faculty search committees.
b. Affirmative Action Hiring Policy, Phase Six, under faculty hiring, which refers the committee's RECOMMENDATION and also refers to the committee's SECOND and THIRD choice.
Additionally, in recent discussions between the IFO and MnSCU there was agreement reached on:
a. Faculty CAN rank according to the above citations.
b. Administration can request faculty NOT TO rank.
Neither one is a violation of the contract - according to MnSCU. We (IFO/FA) might disagree with them on whether it is a violation of the contract, but we know the LONG and mostly FRUITLESS journey of a grievance (not that there won't be cause to file more grievances many times in the future). But how about trying a new approach????
If faculty in departments and on faculty search committee WANT to rank candidates then they can certainly do so according to the contract, Affirmative Action Hiring Plan for faculty search committees, local FA, IFO, and now MnSCU.
As FA President, I recommend that faculty do rank candidates because we are in essence giving up our rights to make a recommendation if we merely assess the candidates strengths and weaknesses.
I hope this helps.
President, Faculty Association