They say the path to the provost’s office — or that of another senior administrator যায় passes through a faculty position. While this is true, many people often feel that they have to make a big leap from being a professor to being a full-time administrator, and that the decision to go this route requires significant consideration. This is a major lifestyle change for faculty members who have spent years using summers for focused research and regular breaks and who have become accustomed to working with different students in each term.
Moreover, once you decide to explore full-time administration, how do you find a position and then land? Faculty members often do not know where to start. You have asked me for many years, what is the recruitment process like and what can I expect?
The appointment of provosts, presidents, deans and others in senior administrative roles differs significantly from the faculty search process. With the exception of some internal promotions, searches at this level are usually associated with a search agency And for many faculty members, the first experience of working with a search consultant varies significantly from the rules they expect in a faculty search, which can be frustrating.
Most faculties considering full-time administrative positions have been engaged in faculty research for years – overseeing such research as candidates, committee members or department chairs. There is a set of faculty search conventions that may differ slightly from one institution to another, but they share basic features that most readers Inside higher ed Recognize: From the materials initially submitted for the first round of interviews and subsequent campus visits. To reduce bias, committee members usually do not talk to candidates about research outside of such established interview moments এমনকি even if they are known colleagues of committee members, as is often the case with research or internal candidates.
Although the hiring process for a provost, dean, or other senior administrative position shares a number of these features – especially a campus visit after a first-round interview – other aspects differ significantly. For starters, a search from a search consultant often starts the process instead of submitting your cover letter and CV. Unlike faculty research, at each stage you will have many conversations with that mentor: before the first round of interviews, in preparation for the campus visit, and after debriefing with each of the engagement committees. In addition, if you proceed to accept an offer, the consultant is sometimes engaged in the negotiation process.
So, as a candidate, what is your relationship with the mentor? Are they trusted allies with whom you can speak quite openly, or are they merely an extension of the inquiry committee? The answer is a bit of both. To illustrate why this is so, let us walk through the various steps of this process.
Typically, you can start by responding to an email from a consultant asking if you are interested in a conversation about a specific opportunity. What can you expect from that initial call? Is it an interview? On the one hand, this is not an interview, just an initial search. On the other hand, every interaction you have with a mentor will make an impression on you — and not just for the opportunity at hand, but for the future.
It is important to understand who these counselors are and what they are hired to do The search consultant is contracted by the hiring organization. Although the level of their involvement with the search may vary, they are often recruited to develop a pool of candidates. To do this, they will draw on several sources. They will communicate with the sitting dean, provost and president; They will send blast emails to various lists; And they will interview campus leaders, including members of the search committee, and ask for recommendations.
They will also draw candidates’ own files from past searches. (It is worth noting here that their agreements usually specify that they cannot communicate with someone whom they have placed within some recent time frame, usually within about three years. The search firm will then conduct initial search calls to find out more about their potential interests with potential candidates, as well as to get to know candidates they have not met before.
The counselor will then present the candidates to a dossier search committee, which will include profile highlights, CVs and, if they have spoken to the candidates by phone or video, their notes from that initial call. What you can gather from this is that the initial presentation of your candidacy counselor is an important moment, and if you talk to that counselor, your chances of progressing will largely depend on how the counselor characterizes their conversation with you. Committee members.
After that meeting with the committee, the consultant will let you know if you have been invited for the first round of interviews and they will probably want to talk to you to prepare for this round. If they offer a preparation call as an alternative, it is always best to accept. (In fact, any extra engagement offered with a search consultant can be quite valuable, so you should always take that opportunity.) It can also give an indication of the questions that will be asked. Take note during this call! You will learn a lot about what the committee values your candidacy, as well as what questions they will ask you. In this call, you can ask the consultant to share with you what the committee sees as both strengths and challenges of your candidacy, which will help you shape your responses to the interview.
After the first round of interviews, the committee will meet again and narrow down the pool, much like a faculty search, on a shortlist of final candidates, whom it will invite to campus. If you are on that list, the counselor will probably prepare you to visit the campus again, the meetings that will be held, the presentation that you will give and so on. At this point, I’ve seen a wide range of approaches from search consultants. In some cases, a counselor shared with me some clues as to who the other finalists were (which frankly seemed a bit unethical but was strategically helpful to me); In other cases, they will not talk about it.
I have worked with mentors who have described very clearly how the committee responded to my first round of interviews. In one instance, a search consultant I worked with gave me detailed advice on how to conduct a campus visit where they felt like coaches for my personal career. I was very grateful, and I took that knowledge to another interview and passed it on to those I advised. But at that moment, I was also deeply aware that while the advisors were supporting my candidacy, they must have been supporting the candidacy of other finalists as well.
One thing to keep in mind here is the goal of the search consultant. They want a search that runs smoothly and ends quickly, so that the recruiting agency can field their first choice candidate and the recruiting agency wants to hire someone who will be successful in their role. To that end, they want to prepare all the finalists to shine, which is well reflected on them. This does not mean that their support is uniquely unreasonable for you. But at the end of the day, when a search consultant is a matchmaker in many ways, always remember that the hiring organization is paying for their services.
Suppose you go ahead with the process, and the organization decides that they want to offer you the location. At that point, the search consultant will call you and give you some indication that you are the top candidate. They will often tell you that they are communicating with your reference. They may also indicate that they will go “off-list” for reference-for example যোগাযোগ contacting people you have worked with but whose names you did not provide. Also, the search firm will run a degree verification, a criminal background check and possibly a credit check. All of this indicates that an offer is imminent, whether or not the consultant has clearly stated.
Just before the offer, the consultant will ask a question, “Are you looking for something in particular, have you been offered a position that I know in advance?” More strongly, they may ask, “Is there an element of the offer that, if not part of the package, will lead you to reject the offer?”
In my experience, this is the most fulfilling, and subtle moment of your conversation with the counselor. How clever you are to answer this question. As mentioned, the consultant wants the search to be successful. But as a candidate, if you publish too much here, it could put a lot more negotiating power in the hands of the recruiting organization.
If this is your first experience working with a consultant, you may feel right now that they are by your side যা whatever they are, but only to a point. You may also want to land the offer and feel pressured to cite elements that would be really nonstart if not included — such as rental or research funding periods. If the consultant asks such a question, my advice is to be polite but firmly say something, “I am sincerely interested in this role, and if an offer is made, I am sure I will be able to come. Terms agreed with the organization.” If you avoid saying something specific before making a real offer, it will put you in a better position after you discuss the terms.
Remember, again, employers are paying search consultants. At the same time, though, be aware that your relationship with the consultant will not end with this inquiry. Even if you are in this role, you can work year after year with a consultant while you hire them to help you find your next position or search.
More immediately, you now have that consultant’s Rolodex (an old object, but still relevant as a metaphor), and they will contact you, or send you to another consultant on their firm for future opportunities. So while it may be useful to understand the advisors’ priorities in current research, it is also wise to consider each interaction with them as the beginning of an ongoing relationship – which can often be invaluable for your long-term career goals and worth cultivating.