School of Law Faculty Appointments Policy
This policy governs the internal process for hiring law faculty.
School of Law Faculty.
1. Faculty Appointments Committee
The Dean shall form the Faculty Appointments Committee (the Committee) no later than the beginning of the academic year to recruit, invite, and evaluate candidates for tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments.
The Committee, or an additional, special committee appointed by the dean — as provided below in Paragraph 2 — also shall recruit, invite, and evaluate candidates for clinical faculty appointments, as well as lateral candidates for named professorships.
At the Dean’s request, the Committee also shall help identify and evaluate candidates for visiting, adjunct, or other kinds of faculty appointments.
The evaluation of candidates shall be conducted with due regard for their privacy interests. In general, however, the process of recruiting, inviting and evaluating candidates shall be transparent. The goal shall be to fully inform the members of the Faculty who will vote on appointments as provided below in Paragraph 8.
2. Charge and Membership
After considering the Committee’s anticipated workload during the academic year, the Dean shall decide whether to appoint a special committee in addition to the Committee.
The membership of the Committee and any additional, special committee shall be determined as follows:
a. If a clinical faculty appointment is being considered, the Dean shall include at least one member of the clinical faculty on the Committee or form an additional, special committee with clinical faculty representation to recruit, invite, and evaluate candidates.
b. If appointment of a lateral candidate is being considered to fill a named professorship, and if the Dean decides to appoint an additional, special committee to identify, recruit, invite and evaluate lateral candidates, the committee shall consist of tenured faculty members.
The Dean shall solicit input from the Faculty about the appointment needs of the School of Law. The Dean then shall charge the Committee and any additional, special committee regarding such matters as the number and type of positions to be filled, curricular needs, and whether entry-level or lateral candidates, or both, should be considered.
3. Preliminary Interviews
The Dean’s office shall make available to the Faculty a file containing the resumes of all candidates with whom the Committee or any additional, special committee has scheduled preliminary interviews at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference or otherwise.
In general, a preliminary interview shall not be conducted with a candidate whose resume is not in the file. An exception may be made only if the Dean requests, or the Committee concludes, that a candidate whose materials were not included in the AALS mailings should be interviewed while the Committee members are attending the Conference. Such circumstances might include (but not be limited to) the presence of a lateral candidate in the city where the Conference is held.
The resume of a candidate who is interviewed under exceptional circumstances promptly shall be added to the file that is available to the Faculty. The fact that the resume was added after the interview shall be noted in the file.
4. Callback Interviews
For each position to be filled, the Committee, and any additional, special committee that the Dean has formed, shall invite two or more candidates to the School of Law for at least one day of on-campus, or “callback,” interviews, including a presentation that is open to the Faculty, such as a “faculty workshop.” The Dean shall not offer a position to a candidate unless that candidate has participated fully in such callback interviews, including the presentation to the Faculty, and at least one other candidate for that position has been invited to participate in such interviews. The Committee shall give the Dean a list of the names of invited candidates. The Dean shall disclose the names upon request to any member of the tenure-track, tenured and clinical faculties.
Joint appointments in which the primary appointment is not in the School of Law, courtesy appointments, and appointments that are spousal or partner accommodations for a school other than the School of Law are not subject to the requirement that at least two candidates be invited for callback interviews for each position, but each such candidate shall be asked to make a presentation that is open to the Faculty.
The requirement that two or more candidates be invited also may be waived by a majority of the members of the Faculty who are eligible to vote as provided below in Paragraph 8.
After a callback interview, the Committee, or any additional, special committee that the Dean has formed, shall solicit written feedback about the candidate from the Faculty. Only the Dean and members of the Committee shall have access to the written feedback, and the Committee shall summarize it in the report described below in Paragraph 6.
Before a faculty meeting to vote on candidates for appointments, as provided below in Paragraph 7, the Committee shall circulate to the Faculty a confidential report summarizing the Committee’s information about each candidate. Immediately after the meeting at which the Faculty votes on a candidate, all copies of the confidential report shall be returned to the Dean’s office for shredding.
7. Meeting and Vote
The Dean shall offer a position to a tenure-track, tenured (pending completion of the tenure process), or clinical candidate only with the authorization of members of the Faculty who are eligible to vote as provided below in Paragraph 8. Such authorization shall consist of an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the faculty members present and voting at a faculty meeting duly called for the purpose of voting on any candidate(s) for appointments. The vote shall be on the acceptability of any candidate(s). The meeting shall occur with at least one week’s notice to the Faculty, except that it may be with 48 hours’ notice under special circumstances as determined by the Dean. The Dean’s notice shall specify the date and time of the meeting and the date and time of a second meeting to be held as soon as practical after the first meeting if the discussion and vote are not completed at the first meeting. The vote shall be taken by secret ballot. A vote by proxy shall be allowed for good cause as determined by the Dean.
The Electorate shall consist of tenured, tenure-track and clinical members of the Faculty when the vote will be on candidates who seek appointment to tenured, tenure-track, clinical, joint, or courtesy positions.
Only tenured full professors shall be entitled to vote on appointments of faculty members to named professorships.
For purposes of this Faculty Appointments Policy, the Director of the Law Library, but no other member of the library faculty or staff, is treated as a tenured member of the faculty.
9. Visiting Faculty
A tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty member holding a faculty or clinical faculty appointment at another law school may be invited to visit for a period of up to one academic year at the discretion of the Dean, in consultation with the Associate Dean(s) holding faculty rank. The Dean shall inform the Faculty of the intent to appoint a visiting faculty member and shall provide an opportunity for faculty advice and counsel before an offer is extended. Faculty members holding appointments at another law school might be invited to fill an instructional need, to accommodate a spouse or partner provided the visiting faculty member will make a significant contribution to the curriculum and intellectual life of the School of Law, or to enhance the School’s offerings or intellectual life.
The Dean shall not appoint a “look see” visitor, unless the appointment complies with the process described herein for appointments to the faculty. For this purpose, a “look see visit” is defined as one in which an offer for a faculty position has been extended and the candidate requests the opportunity to visit before accepting the offer or in which the appointments process associated with a faculty appointment described in this policy has been completed and the Faculty has voted (pursuant to paragraph 7) to extend an offer for a “look see” visit rather than an offer of appointment.
10. Joint Appointments
The Dean shall notify the Committee and the Faculty of any candidate for a joint appointment. Such a candidate shall be interviewed by the Committee, shall make a presentation open to the Faculty, such as a “faculty workshop,” and shall be appointed only on the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the faculty members present and voting at a faculty meeting duly called for the purpose of voting on a joint appointment to the faculty. Faculty members holding only joint appointments at the School of Law and holding tenure in another unit or school, shall not be entitled to vote on matters of faculty governance at the School of Law.
11. Courtesy Appointments
The Dean shall notify the Committee and the Faculty of any candidate for a courtesy appointment and shall circulate the candidate’s curriculum vitae and other supporting materials, if any. A courtesy appointment of a candidate shall be made if authorized by a majority vote of the faculty members present and voting at a regular or specially called faculty meeting provided the notice of the meeting included as an agenda item that the Faculty would be asked to vote on a Draft courtesy appointment for said candidate. Faculty members holding only courtesy appointments at the School of Law shall not be entitled to vote on matters of faculty governance at the School.
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is authorized to appoint adjunct faculty members with the concurrence of the Dean. Adjunct faculty members shall not teach a first-year course, except under special circumstances as determined by the Dean. Adjunct faculty members shall not teach more than one course in any semester or two courses in an academic year, including the summer semester. Any tenured, tenure-track, or clinical faculty member may suggest candidates to be considered as adjuncts by notifying the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
13. Policy to Govern Other Kinds of Appointments
In the event that consideration is given to a type of faculty appointment that is not addressed in the foregoing provisions, this Faculty Appointments Policy shall be amended to provide for such an appointment before it may be made. Any proposal to amend this policy shall be offered for discussion at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty. A vote shall not be taken on the proposal, however, until a subsequent meeting, to occur at least one week after the initial discussion. An amendment may be adopted only by a majority vote of the tenured, tenure-track and clinical members of the Faculty who are present.
School of Law
1535 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
06/27/2022: Published in the Policy Library