On-Campus Interviews

The invitation to visit the campus will generally be issued by the Office of Academic Affairs after consultation with the chair of the search committee. Candidates will generally be asked to spend one and one-half days on the campus.

  1. (Search Chair Step): The search committee chair contacts the Office of Academic Affairs staff support for faculty recruiting to hold potential dates for campus visits on administrators’ calendars while the Dean of Faculty is reviewing the files and deciding on which candidates to bring to campus for interviews. Timing is critical in scheduling the campus visit as administrators’ calendars fill quickly, and finding dates when they are available for interviews is the first step to setting the date for the candidate visit.

  2. (Office of Academic Affairs and Search Chair Step): When the search committee chair has forwarded the top candidate names to the Dean of Faculty and the Dean has approved campus visits for these candidates, the search chair should work with the faculty recruiting staff person in the Office of Academic Affairs to begin the process of inviting candidates to campus. An invitation to campus is generally initiated by the search committee chair or the Office of Academic Affairs (depending on the preference of the search committee chair). Transportation to and from the airport is the responsibility of the search committee chair. If no search committee members are available to meet the flights, the candidate will be asked to procure a rental car, and the fees for the rental will be reimbursed after the visit. (Note: Only under extreme circumstances does the Office of Academic Affairs purchase airline tickets for a candidate.)

  3. (Office of Academic Affairs Step): After the candidate interview dates are confirmed, the Office of Academic Affairs staff person starts the itinerary skeleton for each candidate’s visit. The itinerary skeleton will include:

    • Reservations for accommodations at Boone Tavern;

    • Interviews with the Dean of Faculty; the Provost; the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success.  (For 2020-2021, the Provost and the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will be replaced by the Interim Provost and the Interim Associate Provost.)

  1. After the Office of Academic Affairs has started the itinerary for the candidate visit, it is shared with the search committee chair/administrative assistant to complete.

  1. (Search Chair Step): The search committee chair completes the itinerary using Berea Box. Essential elements of each candidate itinerary include: (Please note: during the COVID-19 pandemic, Berea’s faculty interviews will require rigorous social distancing and other hygiene protocols. The spirit of the steps below will be honored while minimizing the health risk to the applicant and our community.)

    • A dinner meeting with the search committee (customary practice is to have the meeting with the search chair or this dinner be the first meeting on the itinerary);

    • Meetings with departmental faculty, search committee members, and the Division Chair;

    • A teaching presentation for faculty and students, the topic of which should be determined by the search chair, and communicated to each candidate by the search chair;
    • A lunch meeting with students (typically at PapaLenos. This is paid for by the Office of Academic Affairs, and the chair can work out the details with the faculty recruiting staff person). To prepare for this lunch, the search committee chair compiles a list of students to meet with all candidates and communicates the details of the meeting with the students; and

    • An historic tour of campus, scheduled by calling the Visitors Center and College Shoppe at extension 3145. Note that campus tours are scheduled at set times depending on student guide availability, so please work with the Visitors Center to find out times that tours are available.

  1. Other Protocols

    • In preparing the itinerary, please keep in mind that campus visits can be tiring. Try to provide candidates with one or two breaks during the day; time to gather one’s thoughts may be especially important before making a presentation.

    • Candidates invited to the campus should be informed that we would be pleased to have their spouses/partners accompany them to Berea. The College will provide lodging and meals for the spouse/partner, but it cannot pay for the spouse’s/partner’s transportation. Spouses/partners who do accompany the candidates generally appreciate being informed of the campus tours and special events of interest. If there is any possibility that they may be interested in College housing, advance arrangements should be made for them to meet with the administrator in charge of rental property.

    • Meal reservations at Boone Tavern are made by the Office of Academic Affairs staff;

    • Meals at Boone Tavern can be charged to the candidate’s room bill (that is tied to an Office of Academic Affairs p-card), but always remember to inform the server that the meal is for Berea College and is tax exempt. Meals can also be charged to the Provost Account.

    • Please heed the regulations about paying for alcohol, which state (See: https://www.berea.edu/vpf/policies-and-procedures/):

    • Entertainment/Hosting Expenses

        The College recognizes entertainment/hosting as an appropriate expenditure if the activities contribute to or result from a College-related business activity.

        The College will cover the costs for alcohol served at Boone Tavern for business related meals/meetings if the meals/meetings include at least one individual who is not a Berea College employee. Normally, if alcohol is ordered with a meal/meeting, those charges should not amount to more than 30 percent of the total charge.

        Additionally, use of College funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or reimbursement for such purchases also includes business meals/meetings with a donor(s).

        The purchase of alcoholic beverages for any other event is not permitted. Any exceptions must have prior approval from the appropriate Administrative Committee Members or Associate Vice President.

    • Any additional meals and airport travel can be reimbursed to the faculty who incurred the charges by submitting a travel expense report via Chrome River.

    • The search administrative assistant will maintain the itinerary in the Berea Box folder for the search so that the Office of Academic Affairs staff person has access to the completed version. When an itinerary is completed, the search committee chair or administrative assistant shares it, along with the Guidelines for Interviewers (see below), with each person who will meet with the candidate. The search chair will work with the Office of Academic Affairs support person for faculty recruitment to decide who communicates with the candidate to share the final version of the itinerary.

    • ________________________________________________________________

Guidelines for Interviewers

The issues of equal opportunity and discrimination in the hiring process have led to heightened awareness of the possibility of discriminatory intent in questions that are asked of candidates for employment. Questions that were once innocent and commonplace may be inappropriate or illegal. This information may help faculty interviewers negotiate these unfamiliar waters. The list below identifies areas of inquiry that are common in employment interviews. All inquiries related to these questions are potentially troublesome in legal terms. Inquiries into these areas are safe only if they relate to bona fide occupational qualifications.

The issues involved here are not only legal ones. Candidates for faculty positions, and especially women and members of minority groups, are increasingly and correctly sensitive to subtle and unconscious discrimination. Our hiring process will be far more effective if our candidates are comfortable with their reception on campus and have no reason to wonder about our intentions.

Do NOT ask questions about: 

    • Age

    • Religion

    • Children

    • Child Care

    • Marital Status

    • Spouse’s Job Plans

    • Previous Work Under Another Name

    • Spouse’s Maiden Name

    • Mother’s Maiden Name

    • Names of Relatives

    • Foreign Languages Spoken Fluently

    • How Language Fluency Was Acquired

    • Race, Color, National Origin, Gender

    • Sexual Orientation

    • Type of Discharge from Military Service

    • Ownership of a Car

    • Residence in a House or Apartment

    • Disabilities or Health Status

    • Birthplace

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs (extension 3487).

1.  Search committee chairs should also:

  • Oversee the development of a list of questions that will be asked of all candidates. 
  • Ensure that all search committee members are knowledgeable and comfortable talking about diversity.
  • Ask the candidates whom they might like to meet with during the visit.

2. 10 Best Practices When Conducting an Interview

    Natasha Baker suggests the following items to keep in mind:

  1. “Follow a standardized interview process;
  2. Provide training for the individuals…who conduct interviews;
  3. Avoid asking any director or indirect questions about an applicant’s protected characteristics even if the applicant raises the subject;
  4. Prepare…interview questions in advance and be consistent throughout all…interviews;
  5. Recognize that you will never see better from this individual than you do at the interview;
  6. Do more listening than talking;
  7. Take care to ensure that any notes you write in the interview will not be misinterpreted later;
  8. Clearly discuss…tenure policies;
  9. Do not imply a[n] extra-contractual right to employment;
  10. Accommodate applicants with disabilities and applicants requiring religious accommodations.”

   Natasha J. Baker, “Managing the Hiring Process.”

3.(Office of Academic Affairs Step): The Office of Academic Affairs staff person prepares a welcome packet for each candidate visit and delivers it to Boone Tavern prior to the candidate’s arrival. Each packet contains a letter from the President, along with major College brochures, and a Berea College Substitute W-9 form, which is essential to processing the candidate’s reimbursement.

4.(Search Chair Step): During the campus visits, the search chair or the assistant aiding with the search should arrange to have students attend the lunch with and/or attend the teaching presentation(s) to evaluate each candidate. This evaluation may be done via paper surveys, electronic surveys, or forms. After the candidate visits have concluded, the committee reviews evaluations and makes a recommendation to the Dean of Faculty.