Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee Guidelines

I. AAMC General Guidelines

The Dean of Arts & Sciences appoints an Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee in each division: Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Each divisional Monitoring Committee consists of three members from the tenured faculty, including at least one member of an under-represented group (e.g. women and minorities). Annually the Dean selects one member from each Committee to serve as Convener, who represents the divisional Monitoring Committee.

The purpose of the Monitoring Committee is to ensure that the process for each search is conducted in accordance with these guidelines and that each search committee seeks as diverse a pool of applicants as possible. The Committee does not approve who the department hires, but rather oversees how the process is conducted and whether the efforts to expand the candidate pool diversity were satisfactory.

Each Monitoring Committee monitors all searches for new full-time, tenure-track appointments in its area. The task of the Committee members is critical; the three members of each Committee are active faculty who must take the time to review all submissions thoroughly. In all cases, the Committee will attempt to respond within two days to each submission. On occasion a teaching obligation or travel schedule may prevent a Committee member from returning a same-day response. The Committee members are sensitive to issues of timing and therefore urge that the submission of any report or request be made with consideration for sufficient time for review and response.

Recusal: when a search request or review concerns a Committee member’s own Department, she or he will recuse herself or himself from the process for that search, and the department will submit a request to a Convener from one of the two other Committees to serve as the third member.

AAMC Member Duties

Beginning of search: review departments’ search plans and ads, as outlined below. Give feedback, make requests for additional information, or offer approval within 2 days of receipt.

Visits/Interviews: review department’s report as outlined below. Respond within 2 days.

Offers: review department’s request to make an offer as outlined below. Respond within 2 days.

Review Target of Opportunity requests, as outlined below.

At first faculty meeting of fall semester, make a brief report on progress within each division, and evaluate procedures and practices of the previous year’s search cycle. Send report to the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Department Chairs, and the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.
Meet annually with the Dean to discuss progress, problems, and possible changes.

Search Process and Procedures for Departments

To ensure that appropriate efforts to expand the candidate pool by attracting qualified women and minority candidates, the following procedures must be followed. A brief outline of the process is included here, followed by detailed instructions for each step.

Process Outline

Submit space plan, detailing available space and renovation costs to Dean’s office.

Submit search plan and advertisement to the Dean’s Office ( and then to the AAMC, upon receiving approval from the Dean.

Upon receiving approval of the plan and advertisement from the Dean and the AAMC, begin announcing the search/place the advertisement.

Review Application Materials

Select the top ten candidates and choose 3-4 candidates to invite to campus for interviews.

Submit the report to the Dean along with the CVs of the top 3-4 candidates chosen for invitation to campus. (Include rank order and demographic data of each of the top ten candidates.)

Submit report to AAMC. (Do not send CVs or include names/initials in the report to the AAMC. Only demographic data, to the extent that it is self-reported or made known, should be included.)

Upon receiving approval from the Dean and the AAMC to invite candidates to campus, begin issuing invitations. (Candidates should not be contacted until approval has been received from both the Dean and the AAMC.)

NOTE:  If a search committee wishes to bring a potential candidate to campus before all applications have been received and reviewed, the search committee must submit a written request to the Dean and AAMC outlining the justifications for doing so. It is expected that such requests will be rare. If approved, the search committee must still thoroughly consider all application materials submitted through the advertised application deadline so as to ensure equitable review of all applicants.

Following all campus interviews, if a candidate is selected for an offer, submit a request to make an offer to the Dean. Include all interviewees’ names, CVs, and demographic data, and note the ranking order of all finalists still in consideration.

Submit a request to make an offer to the AAMC. Only include demographic data in the report submitted to the AAMC. Do not include CVs or names/initials.

Upon receiving approval from the Dean and the AAMC, work with the Dean’s office on an offer letter and terms.

If the first candidate declines an offer, the department must receive permission from the Dean to make an offer to the second-ranked candidate, (If the first candidate declines the offer, the AAMC need not approve an offer to the second candidate, so long as the candidate was included in the approved list of interviewees.)

If the department decides not to make an offer to any candidate, the department should submit a summary of the failed search process and outcome to the Dean and the AAMC.

Detailed Instructions

When seeking to fill an established, open position, a faculty position announcement and a plan for recruitment shall be developed by the Department’s search committee. The written plan of recruitment and the advertisement shall be submitted to the Dean for review. Upon receiving the Dean’s approval of the plan and ad, the search committee will submit the documents to the Monitoring Committee for their review, prior to announcing the position. [In all cases, email is preferred in place of written material so long as a paper copy of email correspondence is kept by the search committee with all of the record keeping.] After all three AAMC members have given their approval, the position may be advertised.

The position must be advertised in a national professional journal in the field and the advertisement must include the following: 
Rank(s) and field of position as outlined in the department’s search authorization letter.

NOTE:  If the position is open to more than one rank, contact Kathy Steiner-Lang, Executive Director, at or 935-7679 for specific language to include in the ad.

Specific duties of the position (in addition to specific teaching expectations, if the candidate will be expected to teach certain types of courses): teaching, conducting research, writing for publication, advising students, participating in departmental governance and university service.

A note that a PhD in a relevant field is required. (Specify the field or fields.)


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General statement

Diversity and Inclusion are core values at Washington University, and the strong candidate will demonstrate the ability to create inclusive classrooms and environments in which a diverse array of students can learn and thrive.

EEO language: An Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those underrepresented in their academic fields. It is the University’s policy to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or genetic information.

Additional advertisement requirements can be found at this link:

The written plan should include the following:

  • ​Nature of the Position
  • New Search or Continued Search
  • Composition of the Search Committee (including ranks of committee members—Asst., Assoc., Prof, etc.)
  • Placement of Announcements of Position
  • Screening Procedures (including the typical number of candidate visits)
  • Current Faculty Demographics (noting gender and ethnicity data within each faculty rank)
  • Plan for Record Keeping
  • Space Needs (office and lab locations)

The Monitoring Committee will review the written plan and return a written acceptance or amendments to the departmental search committee within two days of receipt of this plan. The search process cannot continue until the plan has the full approval of the Dean and the Monitoring Committee.

When the search has reached the stage where the top candidates have been identified by the search committee, the Dean and Monitoring Committee must be provided with the following written documentation. This must be submitted at least two days prior to the day on which the department is scheduled to finalize its decisions to invite candidates to campus for interviews. First submit this material to the Dean and then, upon the Dean’s approval, to the AAMC.

  • ​Documentation that the approved search plan was followed.
  • Numerical analysis of the results of the search including race/ethnicity and gender of all applicants. 
    NOTE:  Race/ethnicity and gender data of applicants should be included only to the extent that they are made known or self-reported by candidates voluntarily in the application process; search committees should not directly request these data from candidates. In addition, members of the search committee should not be provided with any data which specifically identify the race/ethnicity or gender of individual candidates. (If applications are being received through the University’s employment website, the employment office can provide summary data of applicant demographics.)
  • A summary of evidence that objective and nondiscriminatory criteria have been used in the evaluation of all candidates. (A detailed file of applicant evaluations, as well as other relevant records, must be available to the Monitoring Committee upon request.)
  • A list of any selective advertisements that were not listed in the original search plan.
  • The list of the top 10 candidates for the position (excluding names and initials), with the candidates’ current ranking within the group and their self-reported demographic data, along with an indication of which candidates the department intends to invite.
  • A CV for each of the candidates whom the committee would like to invite to campus should be sent to the Dean only.

The Monitoring Committee and Dean will independently assess the list of candidates and provide approval or comments. After reviewing the search documentation, the Monitoring Committee will make a written response, either (1) accepting the report, (2) making a request for further information, or (3) making suggestions for further search. Approval from both the Dean and Committee is required before invitations may be extended. In all cases, the Committee will attempt to respond within two days to give the department chair its decision.

NOTE:  If a search committee wishes to bring a potential candidate to campus before all applications have been received and reviewed, the search committee must submit a written request to the Dean and AAMC outlining the justifications for doing so. It is expected that such requests will be rare. If approved, the search committee must still thoroughly consider all applicant materials that are submitted through the advertised application deadline so as to ensure equitable review of all applicants.

Following the campus visits and interviews of the top candidates and the department’s final review and selection of a candidate for hire, the departmental search committee will submit to the Dean and then the Monitoring Committee the request to make an offer, if a candidate was selected. The submission must include the departmental choices, in ranking order, of the applicants still in consideration. Final approval from both the Dean and Monitoring Committee is required before any offer may be made; successful candidates should not be given an offer until the Dean and Monitoring Committee have reviewed and responded in writing to the final selection process. Again, both the Dean and the Committee will attempt to respond within two days. If the first candidate declines an offer, the department must request permission from the Dean for an offer to a second-ranked candidate. No further review is required from the Monitoring Committee, so long as a subsequent offer is to a finalist from the approved list and is approved by the Dean.

If the department determines at the final selection meeting that it will make no offer, the Monitoring Committee should receive a summary of the failed search process and outcome.

An alternative way to request a new position is through the less common vehicle of a Target of Opportunity (TOO) hire. A TOO represents an opportunity to recruit a candidate of outstanding quality that has not emerged through a conventional national search. Myriad reasons justify such targeted hiring, including opportunities to recruit outstanding faculty who are not generally on the job market, to strengthen existing areas or fill needs, to make partner hires, and to diversify the faculty. A TOO hire ordinarily occurs at times when the department or program has not otherwise identified the need for a national applicant search in a particular field of scholarship. All TOO proposals must be approved by the Department Head (if applicable), School Dean, the School's Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee, and the Provost. If the appointment will hold tenure, the School's tenure committee will judge the merits of a particular candidate for tenure in accordance with the school's published criteria for promotion and tenure. 

The Department must submit to the Dean and the Conveners of the three Monitoring Committees a report explaining the qualifications of the proposed candidate, the circumstances of the requested hire, and the impact the requested hire will have on the demographics and future search opportunities for the department. The Monitoring Committee Conveners review the data for reporting purposes but are not involved in the rest of the TOO offer. The Dean will review the request with the Provost.

Each Monitoring Committee makes an annual report on all searches and hires, indicating the progress that has been made in its area and evaluating the procedures and practices followed by the Departments in which personnel changes have occurred. The three divisional Monitoring Committees (or the Conveners from each) meet annually with the Dean to discuss overall progress, to consider problems remaining, and to recommend changes in goals when conditions warrant.

The annual report of each Monitoring Committee is sent to the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the Department Chairs within its division, the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, and is available to others on request. At a faculty meeting held in the fall of each academic year, the Convener of each Monitoring Committee reports to the faculty on progress within its area.

The Dean of Arts & Sciences sends an academic year-end report to the Monitoring Committee on all searches, including target opportunity and ad hoc hires.

To assure that suitable candidates for academic employment are not excluded on the basis of sex, race, or other irrelevant considerations, Department Chairs keep a full record of all letters of inquiry, email, advertisements, and telephone contacts involved in the search and recruitment of all applicants, as well as all subsequent correspondence, contacts, interviews, etc. This record should include copies of all correspondence with the Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee. This record is kept by the Chair for three years following the date at which a new appointment becomes effective, and during this period it is available on request to the appropriate Monitoring Committee, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Human Resources, or to the Office of the Provost.