Procedures for Appointments of Special Opportunity


Last updated: November 3, 2023

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.

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:
    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 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.
    • If the candidate will be appointed at the assistant professor level, chair’s assistant requests 3 confidential letters of recommendation from the candidate.
    • If the candidate will be appointed at the associate or full professor levels, follow RPT instructions below.
    • 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.

Campus Visit

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.