Position approved & authorization given to begin search

The position description is drafted by the appointing authority to provide guidance to the search committee. Position descriptions should contain: title and department/unit, statement of duties and responsibilities, essential job duties, and qualifications – must be job related.

Search chair selected

The search chair is appointed by the appointing authority. The search chair must have completed search chair training. It is highly recommended that the search chair is provided support staff to assist with the search.

Request for search committee nominations

The search committee should include representation of appropriate constituencies and members who provide relevant expertise and a perspective on inclusion and diversity. The role of the search committee is to identify, recruit, evaluate and recommend candidates to fill vacant positions.

Search committee appointed by appointing authority (Approved by EO Coordinator)

The search committee should be appointed as soon as a vacancy is known to exist. Some units have standing committees to conduct searches. All committees must be approved by the Equal Opportunity Coordinator (EO Coordinator).

Initial meeting of search committee

Agenda items at the initial, charging, search committee meeting generally include: the directive and priorities from the appointing authority, the format for the search committee’s final recommendation to the appointing authority, further development of the job description, search timeline, discussion of the budget, recruitment activities, evaluative screening tool, and discussion of equal opportunity and confidentiality responsibilities of the members of the search committee. The availability of the EO Coordinator should be considered for the scheduling of all search committee meetings. Attendance will be at the EO Coordinator’s discretion.

Search committee develops position description, position announcement and recruitment plan (Approved by appointing authority, Human Resources & OEO)

The final position description determines the composition and quality of the applicant pool and how it will be evaluated. When developing the description, it is important to assess every qualification for its relevance to the position and its potential to exclude non-traditional applicants. Care should be taken to use language that is inclusive in order to create as diverse a pool as possible that is consistent with the position’s responsibilities. The identification of quantifiable minimum qualifications assists in the initial screening exercise. A final copy is to be sent to the EO coordinator for review and endorsement. No advertising or recruiting is to be done until approval of the position description by HR and job announcement by OEO is granted. Announcements may be of varying length based on the cost and nature of the venue in which it is placed but should contain at a minimum the job title, synopsis of the responsibilities and qualifications, application procedure(s), and consideration date. While the core of a recruitment plan is often an online listserv, a journal, or print advertisement, the plan should include other mechanisms which will effectively assist in identifying potential candidates who, oftentimes, will help make the pool more diverse. Beyond reliance on mainstream journals, nominations and outreach to constituencies by search committee members is essential to obtain a diverse group of qualified candidates.


Each job search presents an opportunity to enhance the diversity in the membership of the University. It is the collective responsibility of the search committee to do everything within reason to recruit the broadest segment of qualified individuals. It is also the search committee’s responsibility to conduct a search that is a positive reflection of the institution. Ongoing contact with applicants and nominees regarding search progression, supplying additional information about the hiring unit, university and/or community to the short list candidates, and prompt attention to candidate questions or concerns are all important recruitment activities beyond the announcement phase of the search.

Search committee develops evaluation criteria for applicants (Approved by OEO)

The search committee needs to decide in the first search committee meeting which evaluative information it will seek and when in the search process it will request and use this information. The more information the search committee obtains about the applicants, the better positioned it will be to determine which applicant best matches the requirements of the position. The most effective method seems to be systematic expansion of information about a slowly contracting pool of individuals. Care must be taken not to evaluate areas for which there is no information. Methods of evaluation may include: an initial rating sheet to screen for minimum qualifications; an evaluation form to rate and rank applicants based on minimum and preferred qualifications; standardized interview questions to be asked of all short list candidates; job related presentation, seminar, philosophy statement, writing sample; work product example; or skills assessment exercise. The rating sheets and other evaluation materials along with corresponding search committee assessments are to be retained as part of the search materials at the conclusion of the search.

Nominations and applications received

A general call should be made to the campus at large, peer institutions, targeted organizations and colleagues to participate in identifying qualified applicants. Nominations can be made to the search committee chair. Enlisting the help of constituencies both on and off campus widens the circle of possible contacts. Direct contact by the search committee of a qualified applicant is most useful in actually obtaining that application.

Composition of applicant pool received and approved by EO Coordinator

Using overall demographic information garnered through applicant self-identification, the search chair and EO Coordinator will make an assessment of the applicant pool viability approximately one or two weeks prior to the consideration date to determine: has a pool been generated that will likely yield quality candidates, is the pool sufficiently diverse, and should recruitment be extended? Ultimately, the EO Coordinator must approve the applicant pool.

Search committee evaluates applicants and seeks OEO approval of “short list” candidates and techniques for further screening

Search committee members may independently rate applicants using the approved evaluation form. In order to ensure that evaluations are not influenced by other search committee members, there should be no discussion of applicants until all ratings are completed and the full consideration date has passed. Search committee members should discuss in advance how they might evaluate the criteria stated in the qualifications. As the applicant pool is narrowed, the committee should be careful to retain any viable candidates. It is often better to retain all the potentially viable candidates until a hire is made. Committees may need to go back into a semifinalist group for both interviews and the hire. Each time applicants are slated for elimination from further consideration, the rationale for elimination must be stated. It is the search chair’s responsibility to create rationale for each applicant as the search progresses. Requests for approval from OEO of semifinalists and finalist is done through the Talent Management System.

Candidates selected for campus interviews and schedules established

The determination of who will participate in the on-campus interviews should be made by the search committee with input from the appointing authority. Once these individuals are identified, it will be the responsibility of the search support staff person to arrange the schedule and notify the individuals scheduled. The search chair must ensure that vested campus constituencies are notified, especially if there will be open forums and/or the position is one of University-wide impact. Reminders from the search chair that interviews are anticipated around a given time will help campus constituents plan. At least two full work weeks between notification of the first interviews and arrival on campus is suggested to facilitate optimal participation.

Campus interviews take place

Participants in the interviews should be given information on how to provide their assessment. Whether a specific evaluation or comment form is used is at the discretion of the search committee. Maintaining the confidentiality of the information is imperative. Participants may be extremely reluctant to be candid if they think others outside the search committee and appointing authority may have access to their comments. It is recommended that the table of Appropriate and Inappropriate Questions During Interactions with Candidates be shared with all individuals who will interact with the candidates during the interview process.

Search committee formulates recommendation to appointing authority

At the conclusion of the campus interview process, the appointing authority should receive a final recommendation from the search committee.

Offer submitted to Office of Equal Opportunity for approval before being made to the candidate. Subject to approval by CSU Central Administration & Board of Governors.

Upon receipt of final recommendation from the search committee, the appointing authority selects the candidate(s) to receive the job offer(s). Once a selection has been made, but prior to the offer, a review and approval is to be conducted by the EO Coordinator and the OEO. The time allotted for the review is 24 hours, but additional time may be necessary if there are questions or additional information is needed. All offers, however, are subject to the approval of Colorado State University Central Administration and the Board of Governors. After the selected candidate accepts the offer, the remaining non-selected candidates should receive notification from the search chair regarding their non-selection and the completion of the search.

All search materials retained for three years

The search chair or designated search support staff member is responsible for collecting and retaining all pertinent search documents for three years. This includes any materials submitted by applicants that have been printed out and assessment notes taken: resumes, curricula vitae, reference letters, performance documents, video or audio tapes (duplicate copies may be destroyed). This also includes the materials gathered by the search committee regarding the applicants: the search committee rating sheets from the initial screening, evaluation forms, phone or campus interviews, notes from reference checks, search correspondence, summaries, list of nominations (including nominees who did not subsequently apply for position), the minutes from search committee meetings, interview schedules, final recommendation, etc. Materials may be saved electronically in an easily retrievable and confidential format.

Miscellaneous Items

Equal Employment Opportunity statementColorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services. 

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

The initial rating sheet of minimum qualifications is completed by two members of the search committee (the search committee chair and one other committee member). The resulting preliminary screen is based solely on the minimum objective qualifications set out in the position description and should include no subjective assessments. These are generally questions which can be answered yes or no. If there are questions in the minds of the either of the two screeners, an applicant is left in the pool that is then passed to the entire search committee.

Applicant Screening forms should reflect the required qualifications and can also list those qualifications that are preferred. Every search committee member reads, evaluates and scores the application of each applicant who meets minimum qualifications. Members should discuss in advance how they might evaluate criteria stated in the job description and if some criteria should be more heavily weighted than others. Assessment measures are to be objective and equitable for all members of an applicant pool and can be ascertained from the written application materials. Regardless of the information sought and the point at which it is used, there must be consistency to the degree possible among applicants.

The applicant rationales must list a brief but specific summary of rationale for elimination for all applicants meeting minimum qualifications. All information must be congruent with supporting documentation ultimately retained in applicant or search files. The applicant rationales are to reflect the consistent and equitable processes used for the applicant evaluations.