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Faculty Searches and Appointments

The process for hiring faculty is determined by the Office of the Provost. You can find a comprehensive description of the processes for regular tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty as well as temporary appointments on the Provost’s website for hiring faculty.

Please remember that all members of your search committee must have had up to date STRIDE training prior to the start of the search. The current requirement for AY2021-2022 searches is that all STRIDE committee members must have had STRIDE training on or after August 1, 2017.

See below for tips on tenure-line faculty searches. If you have any questions, please reach out to tcehrfaculty@utk.edu.


Tenure-Line Faculty Searches

When a search is requested, complete and submit the Preliminary Space Request Form to tcehrfaculty@utk.edu. This is a non-binding request to alert the college of likely upcoming research space needs.

All open searches are to be requested, approved, and tracked via Interfolio. Review the Office of Equity and Diversity’s “Ten Steps for Conducting a Faculty Search” for a detailed list of the necessary steps in the process and links to the correct resource.

When the department is ready to name the primary and alternate pools and submit the narrative summary, see the pull-down below for “Narrative Summary”

When searching to fill multiple positions from a single pool, make one of the positions “PUBLIC” in Interfolio. This position will accumulate the applications for all positions. Clone this position for all others but make all others “PRIVATE”; they should be identical to the “PUBLIC” position (same search committee, etc.) Give the PRIVATE positions the same name as the PUBLIC position, but add the suffix “(1/2)” to the PUBLIC listing and “(2/2)” to the PRIVATE listing, for example, if you will be hiring two faculty members from the same pool. These “PRIVATE” listings will not be accessible to applicants and will not accumulate applications. In BOTH the position description and in the general notes for the position, include text like “(NOTE: This is a PRIVATE posting that will use the same pool as the PUBLIC position Interfolio ID: #######.)

Internal searches follow the same basic process as open searches, with a few changes. They are not requested, approved, or tracked with Interfolio. PDF forms are used and approved by the department head, college, and provost. Review the Office of Equity and Diversity’s guide for “Conducting an Internal Search” for a list of the differences between conducting an open faculty search.

When the department is ready to name the primary and alternate pools and submit the narrative summary, see the pull-down below for “Narrative Summary”

Any search where a single candidate is pursued requires an exemption to the search process. Like internal searches, these searches are not requested, approved, or tracked with Interfolio. Follow OED’s instructions to make a “Request for Exemption” to obtain an exemption.

After the exemption has been obtained, no additional approvals are needed until the unit is ready to extend an offer. For more information about extending an offer, see the pull-down below for “Informal Offer”.

When the department is ready to submit the narrative summary declaring the primary and alternate pool candidates, review the provost’s website on the “Narrative Summary Process.”

When the department is ready to make an offer, see the pull-down below for “Informal Offer”.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not make arrangements for campus visits until the narrative summary has been fully approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Office of Equity and Diversity. Be sure to check the progress of your narrative summary in the “Dynamic Forms” system.

When a final candidate has been selected, the department will make an informal offer to the candidate to confirm the details.  Prior to issuing the informal offer, send a draft copy to TCE (tcehrfaculty@utk.edu ) to be sure it is compliant with the university’s expectations and to let the college know if there have been changes in the request for start-up funds, space, etc.

If there are no changes in the anticipated startup costs and the letter is consistent with the university’s expectations, the turn-around will be quick.  If the startup costs increase above what was initially requested or there are compliance concerns, it could take longer.

After the letter is submitted to and signed by the prospective hire, please send a copy to tcehrfaculty@utk.edu  for the college personnel files.

Proceed to “Select Candidate, Close Position, and Route for Approval” below.

When the search has concluded, a candidate has been selected, and the informal offer has been accepted, follow the steps in Interfolio for “Closing the Position”.

Pay particular attention to the statement: “Enter a hiring note on the successful candidate file with any information you would like the signatory approvers to see. This should include at a minimum the expected offer salary and details and start date. This becomes part of the official search record.” Also, attach the accepted informal offer letter to the successful candidate’s application.

After completing STEP 5 and the request to close the position has been fully approved by the provost, proceed to the “Request for an Appointment (RFA)” below.

If you are searching for more than one position and are using a shared pool of candidates, please follow the steps below on how to close such a position:

  • From the PUBLIC posting, download the candidate packet for the successful candidate.
  • In the PRIVATE posting for which the candidate is being hired, position actions>add new applicant. You will fill in the applicant information. (This will trigger an email to the candidate. I typically advise the committee chair or whoever has made the offer to reach out to the candidate and tell them they can disregard that email.)
  • Once the candidate is added, you will need to upload their packet material.
  • Submit the candidate for offer approval. In the “General Notes” section of the position, make sure you have added that it is a shared pool search and give the primary Interfolio ID. This makes it easier for the vice provost to verify the candidate was a part of the approved pool on the narrative summary.

IMPORTANT: If you are hiring from a shared pool for multiple positions, make sure the candidate is attached to the position number they are being hired for. When we compare internally, we want to make sure the numbers match up.

Note: If you are not certain that the candidate will accept the provost’s offer, wait to set the disposition codes and email the remaining candidates until the candidate has accepted. After the offer has been accepted, you should go back to the position, email the unsuccessful candidates, and set the disposition codes.

When the department is ready to make an offer, please include the following in a single PDF document to tcehrfaculty@utk.edu:

  1. Recommendation for Faculty Appointment: Download the Recommendation for Faculty Appointment form.
  2. Signed informal (departmental) offer letter
  3. Candidate’s CV
  4. Position Announcement
  5. The “English Competency Form” if the native language is not English.


Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Faculty Searches

Non-tenure line searches do not require an open search process. Visit the Provost’s website where you will find a description of the process for lecturers, faculty of practice, and research faculty.

Interfolio is used to request and manage searches to fill non-tenure track faculty positions, if a search is desired. The process is similar to that used for tenure line searches, with the following differences: 1) the position type “All other faculty” should be selected from Interfolio when creating the position, and 2) the search is not routed through OED, as it would be for tenure line searches.


Other Faculty Processes

  1. Faculty member submits their letter of Intent to Retire to the Department Head and/or Dean. The department forwards a copy to Office of Finance & Administration. The department confirms the faculty member has contacted the Retirement Benefits office.
  2. The Dean (Office of Finance & Administration) submits his/her recommendation to the Provost Office and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs along with the Letter of Recommendation from the department head from which the faculty is tenured. This letter needs to include the retirement date and the home address of the faculty member retiring. You will need to attach a CV to complete the request and have it processed. All of this is handled through the Office of Finance & Administration. As of 2/10/2020, the Coordinator is Susan England for this type of request.
  3. You will receive an approval letter from Provost office.
  4. The department will process the termination with “Retirement” as the reason code, if applicable.
  5. The department will process the Rehire paperwork, preferably with no break in service, to put them in their Professor Emeritus position. Temp/Special Appointment; 2snp; 1%. Attach a copy of the Emeritus approval letter, along with the recommendation letters and CV.

The process for requesting, setting up, and carrying over startup budgets for new faculty is explained in the document “Startup Process Workflow” below. This document refers to several additional documents, available through the links given below, in the order they are needed.

  1. Startup Process Workflow (start here)
  2. Startup Funding Request
  3. Startup Budget Spreadsheet
  4. Cost Center Startup Request Template
  5. Department Head Startup Ledger Approval
  6. Startup Carryover Request Form


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