Procedures for Appointments of Special Eminence


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.

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 begins the process of sending out for letters in accordance with the guidelines for an initial appointment with tenure at Yale, submitting a proposed list of referees and comparators to the divisional dean and and using the regular template to request letters once the list is finalized and approved. The process of review then tracks the process for any outside tenure appointment, including presentation at a Tenure and Appointments Committee (TAC).

Departments may, after consultation with the divisional dean, choose to contact candidates to let them know they are being considered for appointment; such contact should be made with the understanding that the process is not complete until the tenured appointment is approved and an offer is made.

Before an offer can be extended from the FAS Dean’s Office, department/program chairs (supported by the chair’s assistant) must prepare and submit a Faculty Search Questionnaire (FSQ) to the department’s SharePoint folder for approval. See the guidelines below about preparing an FSQ for a targeted appointment.

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 an 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:
  • department undergraduate enrollment data
  • information about graduate teaching needs
  • potential courses the candidate may offer
  • comparative analysis of the field at peer institutions

Guidelines for preparing FSQs for appointment of special eminence

The Faculty Search Questionnaire is required for all ladder and multi-year non-ladder searches, including appointments of special eminence and appointments of special opportunity.

Preparing the FSQ

  • Leave the Interfolio Position ID field blank.
  • In the Outreach Detail section on page 3 (Section A), please type in the top left table field: “Appointment of Special Eminence.”
  • In the Short List and Proposed Candidates fields (Section B), please include only the candidate of special eminence (page 5). Please list the candidate’s name, along with the description of the candidate’s qualifications for the position.
  • Sections C, D, and E are not required. Please write “Appointment of Special Eminence” in the respective text boxes for these sections.
  • When submitting the FSQ to SharePoint, please send an email to notify that the FSQ has been submitted.

The FSQ must contain as a single PDF:

  • The FSQ form
  • FRC approval email for this targeted appointment (or TRAC approval email, if non-ladder)
  • Candidate CV
  • All external letters of reference