Procedures for Appointments of Special Eminence


Last updated: November 3, 2023

Departments wishing to propose a search for a particular scholar of special eminence may do so at any time of the year by submitting a request to, with a cc to the relevant divisional dean(s). These proposals will be referred by the FAS Dean’s Office to the Faculty Resource Committee (FRC) if it is determined that there is a resource or timing question that first needs to be resolved (such as the need for a pool slot, or permission to search when other searches are already under way), and then to the appropriate divisional/area Advisory Committee or Committees (for interdisciplinary scholars) for consideration. The divisional/area Advisory Committee may request that the chair come in person to discuss the case. Chairs are encouraged to work with divisional deans in developing their cases for the FRC.

Guidelines for preparing proposals for appointments of special eminence

Searches that fall under the category of special eminence do not require the step of the formal search process, trading virtues of discovery, pool diversity, and opportunities for comparison for those of nimbleness and focus. However, the position must still be advertised if the candidate is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States (in accordance with the Office of International Students & Scholars’ requirements for Recruitment Advertising Involving International Applicants). Targeted appointments where the candidate is a US citizen or permanent resident do not require a public advertisement.

Such a search is ordinarily undertaken when the department determines—usually through a process of research, reading and discussion—that a search in a given area of need would undoubtedly yield a particular person as the top candidate. Such a search may also proceed from opportunity combined with eminence: hearing that an especially eminent scholar is suddenly moveable may spur a department to propose a search for that person.

Proposals should include the following information for the FRC:

  1. Rationale for a special eminence search—for the particular individual and the field in the context of the department, division, school, and university (as appropriate)
  2. Resource base (slot number or request for resources from the pool)
  3. Description of process through which the candidate of eminence was identified as such
  4. CV of proposed candidate
  5. Information about teaching and graduate training context, including:
    1. department undergraduate enrollment data
    2. information about graduate teaching needs
    3. potential courses the candidate may offer
    4. comparative analysis of the field at peer institutions

Interfolio and Tenure Case Process

After the assessment of the divisional/area Advisory Committee(s) is reported to the FRC and if the search is approved by the FAS Dean and the FRC, the department does the following:

  • Interfolio Search

    • If an external candidate is a US citizen or permanent resident, no public advertisement is necessary.

    • Department chair’s assistant creates a private search in Interfolio, using reason code “Target of Excellence/Opportunity Hire”.

    • Once the position has been approved, chair’s assistant adds the proposed candidate as an applicant to the search. The candidate will receive an email alerting them, and will need to fill out the EEO form within Interfolio. 

    • Chair’s assistant adds candidate’s CV to the application.

    • Position status is set to Short List / Final Candidate(s) and the applicant status of the candidate is set to Full / Campus Interview.

    • Chair’s assistant submits for approval in the Faculty Search Reporting Process (FSRP).

Note: If an external candidate is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, the position must be publicly advertised (in accordance with the Office of International Students & Scholars’ requirements for Recruitment Advertising Involving International Applicants). If that is the case, the department/program should contact the FAS Dean’s Office for further information on how to advertise this position.