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Policy for Waived, Modified or Internal Searches


The Policy for Waived, Modified or Internal Searches was developed to reflect the current search practices endorsed by the offices of Equity and Diversity and Human Resources.  These practices have been in use but have not been placed in written format, nor included in the Guidelines for Filling Faculty, Administrative, and Clerical/Support Vacancies. 

This policy clarifies the university’s commitment to affirmative action and the university’s intent to comply with the university’s Affirmative Action Plan and the Search Guidelines, while providing needed flexibility to hiring managers in certain situations.   This policy provides a hiring manager a procedure for requesting a written waiver or modification to the university’s standard search procedures. The written request is then provided the appropriate review and approval/disapproval before the hiring manager may proceed.

Posted on: 1/8/2018
Closes on: 2/6/2018
Archived on: 3/31/2018

Primary Documents

The Request for Comments has been closed


I whole heartedly agree with comments submitted by Mr. Schacht and Mr. Olsen. 

Commentor: Anthony Masino
Submitted on: 1/10/2018
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

[1] The policy statement says "ETSU will take affirmative action and document good faith efforts to identify and employ minority, veteran, and applicants with disabilities."  The term "minority" has no definition. As written, the policy fails to explicitly encompass other classes that are protected by law or by university policy (e.g. gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic/national origin). This policy is too important to leave such details to inference.  

[2] As written, the policy  would not prohibit discrimination in hiring on the basis of political beliefs or speech on matters of public concern. Perhaps this issue should be explicitly addressed. As a public institution, ETSU could be subject to allegations of First Amendment retaliation.. 

[3] The term "good faith efforts" in the policy statement is vague. There is no statement of hiring ethics that could inform judgments of the meaning of "good faith."  For example, ETSU's hiring system can be "gamed" by inviting a person to campus to interview for an advertised position, when in fact the intent is to recruit them for a different (as yet unadvertised) position. There is no requirement that managers / chairs etc. log all contacts with persons who express interest in employment. Absence of a logging requirement means that discrimination can remained undetected when an applicant makes a phone call and is verbally discouraged from submitting an application. 

[4] ETSU would benefit from guidelines modeled after those of the Federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which are designed to insure not only that there is no unlawful discrimination, but also that the most qualified candidate is hired and that there are no improprieties in the hiring process that bypass this consideration. Why should  a hiring policy be silent on nepotism, hiring of friends and lovers, quid pro quo arrangements, conflicts of interest (financial or otherwise), influence of personal animosities or attractions, and so on? 

[5] The policy says that  promotions may be made on request of the hiring manager without advertising. This needs to be carefully analyzed with respect to how and whether it should apply to faculty and the award of  roles that carry stipends. Particularly in the College of Medicine, but perhaps elsewhere, stipend-bearing opportunities have commonly  been granted to hand-picked recipients without any advertising or search. This practice can undermine shared-governance  and department morale by creating an atmosphere of perceived favoritism, and may squelch constrructive dissent when stipends are used by a manager to purchase "loyalty." In general, the discretionary award of stipends has been an under-regulated personnel practice that invites abuse and impropriety.

[6] ETSU would benefit from a policy that clearly defined and prohibited improper hiring agreements with other entities (including but not limited to businesses, other educational institutions, community partners such as Ballad Health, and affiliated corporations such as the ETSU Foundation or MEAC). To illustrate why such a policy is important, consider the example of a current federal lawsuit against UNC and Duke for their agreement not to hire each other's faculty. See:


Commentor: Thomas Schacht
Submitted on: 1/9/2018
On behalf of: Individual Faculty

Permanent department chairs, assistant deans and associate deans do not appear to be included in the modified waiver description. I am aware of leadership positions (in the past) that have been filled  in these categories without a proper search.


I therefore suggest the following addition:

Department chair positions and Dean positions are not subject to this policy.  Permanent Department Chair postions and permanent Executive Dean, Associate Dean and Assistant Dean postions must be filled via established Affirmative Action Plans and Search Guidelines. 


Commentor: Martin Olsen
Submitted on: 1/8/2018
On behalf of: Individual Faculty