Top Ten Ways to Blow a Search
10. Do not keep search committee records of contacts, inquiries, etc.
9. Refuse to consider a candidate with disabilities because you are concerned (s)he
won’t be able to do the job before you determine what type of accommodations
you might need to provide for the person.
8. Do not develop a uniform set of criteria for evaluating all candidates for a specific
position so that there is no agreed on grounds for decision-making.
7. Develop position criteria that are very narrow and then find the perfect candidate
who has not met the criteria. For example, you require an earned doctorate in
one specific field and then find out someone with a Ph.D. in a different field is the
best candidate for the position. It is too late to change the criteria.
6. Go to a national meeting before the search deadline and mention that there is
already an outstanding candidate who has applied for the position. This will
ensure that everyone thinks the job is already “locked up.”
5. Set a deadline for applications and then violate it.
4. Make unfounded assumptions about what a candidate will or will not find
acceptable and then base the committee’s decision on that assumption; i.e., “I’m
sure she’d never come at what we’ll be able to offer” or “I heard her husband
doesn’t want to move to Madison.”
3. During the formal campus interview process, include a trip to the mall for all
women and bowling for all men.
2. Introduce extraneous and possibly discriminatory information about a candidate
into search committee deliberations. For example, “Isn’t he a little old to be
starting a tenure track position?” or “Don’t you think it would be hard for someone
with a visual disability to keep up with the demands of the job?”
1. Describe all female candidates as “cute.”