Procedures for Appointments of Special Opportunity


Departments wishing to propose a search for a particular scholar at any ladder rank whose appointment may meet a given institutional priority 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 recommendation letters or letters for external review. For candidates who would be appointed at the assistant professor level, Yale requires three letters of recommendation from outside of Yale. For candidates who would be appointed to tenure, 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 contact candidates to let them know they are being considered for appointment. The FAS Dean’s Office requires that the candidate visit campus to give a presentation and meet with faculty and students in the department and in the general area of the person’s interest before the department can vote on the offer. Requests for exceptions to this rule may be discussed with the relevant divisional dean.

Any contact with the candidate should be made with the understanding that the process is not complete until the visit is complete and the appointment is approved by the relevant bodies (the department in the case of appointments at the rank of Assistant Professor, the department and the divisional/area Tenure and Appointments Committee in the case of appointments to Associate Professor with Tenure or full Professor) 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 opportunity

Searches that fall under the category of opportunity 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, as with appointments of eminence, a case needs to be presented for the value of an appointment of opportunity rather than a full search and the department’s support for pursuing such an appointment. 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 Yale has an unusual opportunity to meet an institutional priority by considering a particular candidate. Reasons might include the ability to hire an excellent scholar in an exceptionally vibrant field before they receive offers elsewhere, an exceptional opportunity to diversify the faculty in some way, or an opportunity to build on or preserve a particularly prized strength at Yale.

Proposals should include the following information for the FRC:

  1. Rationale for the search—for the particular individual and the field in the context of the department, division, school, and university (as appropriate), describing the opportunity at hand.
  2. Description of process through which the candidate was identified
  3. CV of proposed candidate
  4. Information about departmental teaching and graduate training needs. Such information could include:
  • 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 opportunity

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 Opportunity.”
  • 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 Opportunity” 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