2.2 Affirmative Action Serious Search Policy and Procedures

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In furtherance of MIT's commitment to affirmative action in the employment of women and members of minority groups, Institute policy requires a thorough search of the relevant employment market for qualified candidates, including women and minority candidates to whom this policy applies. Positions for which serious search procedures apply include salaried appointments for an academic year or longer to the Faculty (assistant professor; associate professor without tenure; associate professor with tenure; full professor; assistant professor/coach; associate professor/coach; associate professor/senior coach).

This policy also applies to full-time salaried appointments for an academic year or longer to the following employment categories:

  1. Senior rank of the academic research staff (senior research scientist/engineer/associate);
  2. All campus sponsored research staff ranks (principal research scientist/engineer/associate; research scientist/engineer/associate; research specialist, technical associate, technical assistant; sponsored research technical staff; research administrators);
  3. Some academic instructional staff ranks (visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor, visiting professor; instructor, technical instructor, instructor/coach; lecturer, senior lecturer); and
  4. Administrative staff (including medical staff).

Search Process: At the time a search is begun, the department head or office or laboratory/center director will submit to the appropriate Senior Officer for approval a statement of the qualifications being sought and a plan for the search. Search plans must indicate the specific steps by which active efforts will be made to identify minority and women candidates. Such steps are expected to go beyond posting and advertising the availability of positions and may include, but not be limited to, such active efforts as a) personal telephone and/or written contacts with colleagues or other individuals or groups who can assist in locating candidates; b) visits by members of search committees to locations where minority and/or women candidates may be contacted; or c) personal contact with minority and women colleagues at professional gatherings.

In cases involving a search committee, and especially for faculty appointments, the head of the department should ensure that at least one member of the committee is assigned the specific responsibility to see that an active search for minorities and women candidates is carried out. This responsibility as equal opportunity representative may be assigned to the chair of the committee, to other committee members, or to someone outside the committee who will serve, ex officio, as a member of each search committee that is formed. In cases where a search committee is not formed, the person having major responsibility for candidate evaluation will also serve as the equal opportunity representative for that search. The head of the department will advise the equal opportunity representative and encourage exploration of ways to strengthen the search process.

At the conclusion of a search, and before a proposed appointment is approved by the relevant Senior Officer, the department head must submit to the Senior Officer a detailed report on the results of the search. The report must contain a description of the position and a reference to the approved search plan, including special steps taken to locate minorities and women. The selection process should be described, including the number of applicants and the number of minorities and women and their ranking, if ranked. The report should state the principal reasons for selection of the proposed candidate over other candidates and include a resume. The finalist women and minorities who were not chosen should be identified by name and resume with specific reasons for non selection; or if any were selected and they declined, their reasons should be given. A statement of the department’s affirmative action progress should be included.

These procedures should be followed regardless or the race or gender of the chosen candidate. Waivers of search in individual cases may be granted only by the relevant Senior Officer and only if unusual circumstances warrant such waivers. Request and approval of a waiver should involve consultation with the human resources officer for the area.

Approval Process: Final approval of search plans and results for all appointments to the Faculty and to the administrative and research staffs is delegated by the Academic Council to Senior Officers, each of whom is responsible for his/her areas. Specifically, the Senior Officers who are members of the Academic Council, the Executive Vice President of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT, and the Director of Lincoln Laboratory have final authority to approve the initiation and conclusion (or waiver) of searches for appointments of faculty or staff in the departments or offices that report to them.