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Faculty Searches

The diversity and excellence of our faculty is critical to Northwestern University’s position as a leading research and teaching university. The University appoints the strongest possible candidates to its faculty, individuals who show outstanding potential or accomplishment in scholarship, research, and creative work and who meet similarly high standards in their teaching. By attracting diverse and exemplary teachers and scholars with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, the institution strives to create an inclusive environment that fosters personal and intellectual growth.

our commitment to candidate diversity

Faculty Search Guidelines

These guidelines have been prepared to assist all faculty, deans, department chairs, and search committees in carrying out searches for qualified candidates. In addition to providing information on faculty hiring procedures, these guidelines stipulate best practices designed to assist committees in conducting searches that are both effective and inclusive. Search committees should also contact their school dean’s office for school-specific policies and resources related to faculty hiring.

We invite you to review and utilize the guidelines and resources on these pages. You may also download and print a PDF version of these pages.

  • Preparing for a Search
    Forming the search committee, defining the position, and cultivating a broad applicant pool through a thoughtful outreach and advertising strategy. 
  • Review Process
    Using consistent criteria and agreed-upon strategy to review applicants and create your short list. 
  • On-Campus Interviews
    Information to provide to all candidates ahead of campus visits and best practices for conducting the visits and evaluating the candidates. 
  • The Offer
    Requirements for the search committee recommendations and review by the Office of the Provost.
  • Follow-Up Procedures
    Documenting your search and best practices for notifications to non-selected or unsolicited applicants. 
  • Appendices and Additional Resources
    Tips sheet for the Equity Representative role, a list of advertising venues for faculty recruitment, templates for candidate evaluation rubrics, legal considerations for conducting interviews, resources to help minimize the impact of unconscious bias, information on the Faculty Recruitment System, and more. 

Candidate Diversity

True diversity is defined not only as differences in individual backgrounds, personal identities, intellectual approaches, and demographics; it is also the removal of barriers and the creation of spaces that allow individuals to engage in the full life of the University. As individuals with our own distinct identities—be they comprised of faith, race, sexuality, gender, abilities, socioeconomic class, etc.—we each offer an irreplaceable opportunity to understand and examine the issues before us from a newly encountered dimension. The commitment to providing these opportunities equitably to each and every member of our community is the force behind creating a diverse, inclusive, and ideal Northwestern University

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty. Success in this pursuit requires concerted, well-planned, intentional actions on the part of all faculty as well as search committees, department chairs, deans, and the institution at large. Toward this end, it is essential and expected that a thorough search will be conducted in accordance with these Faculty Search Guidelines when filling any full-time faculty position at Northwestern, including the campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Doha, Qatar. (“Full-time faculty” includes all tenure-line faculty, clinical faculty, instructional faculty, librarian faculty, lecturers, and faculty in residence, if the faculty member’s appointment is full-time for two academic years or longer.)

Northwestern reaffirms and renews its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We must strive to strengthen and sustain this pledge in order to keep pace with the societal changes that are now occurring and in order to be an exemplar among our peers. Through fostering this ideal, we weave together the fabric of our dynamic, vibrant, and just community.”

President Morton Schapiro

For Affirmative Action purposes, underrepresented group designations include women, African American or Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, those who identify with multiple races, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.