Affirmative Action - Search Committees

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Approved By:
Effective Date:
Revised Date:
Diversity & Equity
Policy Owner:
Chief Diversity Officer
Office Number:


This policy applies to all search committee members appointed to recruit for full time instructional, administrative, and professional vacancies.

Policy Statement

This policy advances SUNY Geneseo's institutional objective to recruit and retain candidates that exhibit a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.



Procedures are intended to ensure a consistency of policy and practice within Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action requirements, and include training to reduce implicit bias in recruitment, screening, and selection of applicants. Searches for classified positions will be in accordance with civil service guidelines. Searches that require modifications from the standard hiring process, such as the use of a search firm, should identify these in consultation with Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Equity. 

General Procedure

  1. Search committees are appointed by the cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit. Search committee chairs and 50 percent of each committee are required to have attended an Equity-Minded Search Practices session within the last two years before their committee work commences. Individuals responsible for or involved with hiring decisions (such as department chairs, deans, directors, and other unit leaders) must not also serve on the search committee; appeals for exception may be made to the cabinet-level administrator involved in the search. If the cabinet-level administrator is the individual making the request, appeals may be made to the President. If the appeal is approved, the cabinet-level administrator or President informs Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Equity of the final decision.
  2. Search committee chairs consult with the Office of Human Resources (HR) to review the job description and job advertisement plan, recruitment outreach efforts, establish a timeline (in consultation with the hiring manager) for reviewing applications and conducting interviews, and to discuss effective use of the evaluative criteria.
  3. Faculty and professional staff postings include “a commitment to diversity and inclusion” as a required qualification, with language tailored for specific positions. Evaluative criteria should exist to adequately assess this commitment.
  4. The cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit or their designee works with HR to create an advertising plan for the open position which can include relevant platforms such as the state job service, publications and listservs, and with organizations that predominantly attract diverse candidates. Discipline-specific advertising is the responsibility of the hiring department.
  5. In consultation with the cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit, or their designee, the hiring manager creates evaluative criteria.
  6. HR, through its online employment system, acknowledges receipt of applications and allows candidates an opportunity to complete and submit an online voluntary self identification form for EEOC reporting purposes.
  7. Initial and campus interview questions must be submitted by the search committee to HR for approval prior to interviewing candidates. At least one question during each interview must focus on assessing a commitment to diversity and/or inclusion.
  8. The search committee evaluates all applicants using the established evaluative criteria. The committee deliberates and forwards requests for interviews through the chain of command.
  9. The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) reviews requests for interviews for equity purposes. Approval must be granted before proceeding with interview coordination.
  10. The search committee invites all selected candidates to indicate if a reasonable accommodation is needed prior to the interview(s). The search committee contacts ODE after learning of any requests; ODE makes decisions regarding approval or denial of accommodation requests. Note: A candidate should not be rejected on the basis of their disability or their request for an accommodation.
  11. The cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit and ODE discusses the pool with the search committee chair to determine whether or not special efforts need to be made to expand the pool of candidates to be interviewed.
  12. After completing the interview and reference checking process, the search chair (after deliberation with the committee) sends names of acceptable candidates through the chain of command to the Cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit. Cabinet-level administrative officer of the unit makes recommendation for appointment to the President.
  13. The search committee chair completes the necessary documentation to allow HR to notify candidates and close the search, and forwards all search materials to HR for record retention purposes.

Frequency of Review and Update

Every 2 years

Periodic Review Completed:  


Signed By  
robbie routenberg

robbie routenberg
Chief Diversity Officer

Date of Approval