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Recruitment and Hiring of Faculty

All faculty, regardless of type of position or rank must meet APSU Faculty Qualifications guidelines and matrix, which is based upon SACSCOC guidelines.

Although you should refer to the APSU Faculty Qualifications Matrix for specific information for each course, in general a master’s degree with at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline is required for undergraduate courses and a terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline is required for graduate courses. As chair it is your responsibility to ensure that all faculty teaching in your department, meet APSU’s Faculty Qualifications Matrix. If you believe that an exception is warranted (due to professional licensure or related work experience, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements) you can submit a “Request for Exemption” form via DocuSign. Exception requests must be approved prior to assigning the instructor to the class. The form can be found on the Faculty Qualifications and Credentials page.

At APSU the maintenance of current documentation regarding faculty credentials, falls under the leadership of the Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. The University uses Xitracs software to document faculty credentials. 

In some cases departments will use GTA’s (Graduate Teaching Assistants) to assist faculty with instruction-related duties (keeping office hours, conducting recitation sections, etc.)  Most GTA’s at APSU do not serve as the instructor of record.  GTA’s who are the instructor of record must meet APSU’s Faculty Qualifications Matrix, and permission from the Provost is required before appointing a GTA as an instructor of record.  The required form is here:  https://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/faculty-staff-resources/GTA_Instr_of_Record_Req_52418.pdf

As of this writing there is a new procedure for hiring graduate assistants and graduate teaching assistants, using Job4Govs.  Consult the APSU Human Resources Web page for details: https://www.apsu.edu/human-resources/ and https://apsu.edu/careers/jobs4govs/New_GA_Process_Guide.pdf

Categories of Faculty Appointments

  • Full time
    • Tenure/tenure-track appointments
    • Non-tenurable--fixed term appointments
    • Temporary (“visiting”) appointments
  • Part time (including adjunct appointments)

APSU Policy 2:051 Faculty Appointments governs faculty appointments. Each tenure-track faculty member is an enormous investment for the university.  Your hiring decisions now can affect the productivity of your department for decades.  There are legal requirements which govern the hiring process.  For these reasons, great care must be devoted to the hiring process.

Faculty lines must be approved by the Dean and Provost, and the search and hiring process can take several months, so it is important to begin the process as soon as you have permission to hire.  You will work with Human Resources very closely throughout the hiring process.  All steps and actions must comply with Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity guidelines, and you will receive instruction in these guidelines and in other applicable policies and procedures from Human Recourses as you go through the hiring process. 

An outline of the process follows. The reader is reminded that this Department Chair Manual is NOT a policy document.  The process outlined below is not a policy statement – it is an outline of procedures current at the time of this writing. Consult the policy for details and updates. 

The software used by APSU for hiring processes is PeopleAdmin:  https://www.apsu.edu/human-resources/peopleadmin.php.  Training in this software is available from Human Resources.  The point of contact in HR for the hiring process is the Director of Human Resources https://www.apsu.edu/human-resources/staff.php, and you will work closely with the Director throughout the process.   At each step in the process, you will enter information into PeopleAdmin and it will be routed for approval to the appropriate administrators.  At various stages required approvers may include the Dean, Provost, Budget Officer, and Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and others.

You may find it helpful to send an email to the Director of Human Resources whenever you have put something new into PeopleAdmin.  This will alert the director to the need to route the new action to the appropriate approver.

  1. You will need to appoint (or the department will need to elect) a recruitment committee. From the policy: 
A search committee shall be appointed and convened by the department chair. The committee shall include at least one tenure-track faculty member and at least one tenured faculty member.  A department chair may serve on a search committee. The department chair may chair the committee, appoint the committee chair, or choose to permit the committee to select its own chair.  Insofar as possible, the search committee shall include members of protected groups in order to comply with Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Guidelines (see B, above), which may include the addition of an APSU staff member on the faculty search committee.  At the discretion of the department, it is encouraged that a person outside the department serves on the search committee.

You will need to enter the members of the committee into PeopleAdmin, and it will be routed for approval to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

  1. Early in the process, schedule a meeting with the search committee, the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and a representative from HR. Precise details of the search process will be communicated to you and the search committee at this time.
  2. You (probably with input from the members of the search committee) will formulate a job description. PeopleAdmin will automatically filter out candidates that do not meet the minimum requirements in the job description, so you must be careful.  For example, let’s suppose you are conducting a search during the 2020-2021 calendar year for a faculty member to begin the Fall 2021.  Suppose your job description specifies that the successful candidate will have a Ph.D.  Suppose you do not wish to rule out candidates who do not have the Ph.D. in hand but who will graduate from a Ph.D. program before the fall term begins.  If you say in your job description that the Ph.D. is required, a candidate applying in April who will receive the Ph.D. in June will be automatically excluded!  Careful wording of the job description will prevent such unintended consequences.  You will enter the job description in PeopleAdmin, and it will be routed to the appropriate approvers.
  3. The university will advertise for the position. Work with the Director of Human Resources to craft appropriate language for the advertisement, and to generate a list of appropriate places to advertise.  Many departments at APSU are working to increase the diversity of their faculty.  In your discipline, do there exist professional organizations with the stated mission of increasing opportunities in the field for under-represented minorities?  If so, you may want to consider advertising in their newsletters, etc.  In general, the department will be responsible for all or part of the cost of advertising.  Be sure to clarify with HR who is responsible for advertising costs.  You will need to enter all advertising language into PeopleAdmin, and wait for approval before placing ads.
  4. After candidates have applied, you will need to request that HR release the pool for search committee consideration. After careful consideration of the candidates (using a rubric developed by the search committee in consultation with HR) the committee will select a list of candidates for phone interviews.  You (or the search committee chair) will enter the phone interview list into PeopleAdmin, and it will be routed for approval.  Upon approval, the search committee may schedule and conduct phone interviews, following guidelines for interview questions provided by HR.
  5. Consult with HR for appropriate timing and documentation of reference checks.
  6. From the policy: “The Search committee, in collaboration with the dean may then select two (2) or more candidates for formal on-campus interviews, subject to the availability of funds.”  You (or the committee chair) will enter these candidates into PeopleAdmin, and this list will be routed for approval.
  7. From the policy: “The Search committee, in collaboration with the Dean, then should select the best available candidate in terms of the written criteria used from the beginning of the search….”   The selected candidate is entered into PeopleAdmin and routed for approval. 
  8. Upon approval of the selected candidate, ask the Director of Human Resources for a salary calculation. You can ask HR to make the offer or you can make the offer. The candidate may wish to negotiate.  The Director of Human Resources and the Dean will let you know the parameters within which you may negotiate.  You should know that, in general, moving allowances, should you wish to offer them, will be the financial responsibility of the department; in certain circumstances other funds may be available—consult with the dean and HR. Please review APSU Policy 5:009 Moving Allowance.

It is suggested that when making an offer if the candidate asks for some time to think about it, you allow a very short period (no more than a few days at most).  Sometimes faculty candidates will try to “collect” multiple offers and then decide between them.  If you allow a long time and then the first-choice candidate turns you down, you may have lost the next candidates on your list, resulting in a failed search.

Occasionally, due to illness, resignation, etc., a chair will have a faculty vacancy without enough time to conduct a search. The APSU General Personnel Policy provides for an emergency hire for one year only. Consult with your dean and HR for procedures.

The current process for hiring part time instructors including adjunct instructors, professional staff who are teaching, dual services instructors, and dual enrollment instructors can be found here:  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/Search_and_Hiring_Process-PartTime_Instructors_RevApril032020Final.pdf  Just as with full-time faculty, candidates submit applications online and HR maintains the applicant pool.  The department chair or designee may check references, conduct interviews, and select the applicant for hire.  All HR policies must be followed and the chair should document the process.  Upon selecting a candidate, the chair completes the Request to Hire Part-Time Instructor form to the Associate Dean of the College who will route the form for further approval.  Check the link above for details.

Note that the Part-Time Instructor Hiring Form must be submitted in the following circumstances:

The applicant is a new part-time instructor at APSU

  • The academic department would like to hire an existing part-time instructor to teach a different course than the part-time instructor has been assigned to teach in the past (revision to existing appointment)
  • The part-time instructor is returning to teach at APSU after at least one (1) year break in service
  • The academic department requests an exception to the established pay rates (in this case, complete the form every academic year)
  • The academic department requests to hire an APSU staff member to teach the course (in this case, complete the form each semester that the person teaches a course)

Departments are also expected to submit appropriate notification when a part-time instructor will no longer work for APSU or is not returning in the next semester to teach.