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Placement Service Guidelines

(For a brief summary of the below information, please see the accompanying flowchart and ad checklist)

In response to the increasing complexity and pressures of the academic marketplace and in keeping with the practices of other professional societies, the SCS has a Committee on Placement, charged with monitoring current hiring procedures and suggesting modifications and improvements when necessary. The Committee consists of seven members appointed by the SCS President, with staggered three-year terms. At the time of appointing the Committee, the SCS President also designates one of its members as chair.  Rank, type of institution, gender, minority status, and geography are considered in order to make the Committee as representative as possible. The SCS makes a special effort to ensure that the Committee has members with a background in archaeology and at least one person who has had recent experience as a candidate with the Placement Service. The Committee includes as a non-voting ex officio member the Chair of the SCS Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups. As of January 1, 2017, the Placement Service and placement issues in general will become part of the responsibilities of a new Committee on Career Planning and Development, which replaces the Committee on Placement.

Users of the Placement Service are required to observe the following guidelines:

  1. Institutions that intend to conduct interviews at the Annual Meeting must purchase the Comprehensive Service package.
  2. If two individual departments or programs from the same college or university are conducting job searches, each department/program must register as a separate entity (institution) if it plans to utilize the Placement Service for its job search.
  3. Each institution may use the interviewing facilities at the Annual Meeting for up to two (2) job searches, providing the same search committee is interviewing for both job openings.  Any department/program conducting more than two searches at the Annual Meeting must purchase an additional Comprehensive Service Package.  Institutions conducting two job searches and using two search committees must rent a private suite (at a discounted rate, with limited availability) through the Placement Service), and both search committees must use the same suite to conduct all interviews.  Search committees will need to coordinate their calendars so that all interviews take place in the same suite. (Only ONE suite rental per institutional department/program can be accommodated.)  In unusual circumstances the Placement Director can waive some of these requirements.
  4. So that advertisements may reach as large an audience as possible, all openings available should be advertised in POSITIONS.  Departments are also encouraged to advertise in other appropriate fora (e.g., electronic lists, letters to individual Classics departments). 
  5. The advertisement should clearly state the deadline for the receipt of applications or for the start of review when the search is open-ended.  In selecting a deadline, institutions should take into account the date when the advertisement of the position will appear and choose a date that gives candidates a reasonable amount of time to prepare and submit their applications.  The Committee strongly suggests that, whenever it is possible, absolute deadlines be set for no earlier than four weeks after the first appearance of the advertisement in a Placement Service e-mail to candidates.  In an open-ended search, the advertisement should include the date on which review will start, and this date must be at least 15 days from the date that the ad is first published.
  6. Job descriptions should be as specific and accurate as possible.  In addition to specifying what degree requirements, specialization, and experience are desired from candidates, they should also be explicit about service obligations and the number of courses to be taught per term, especially in the case of non-tenure-line positions.
  7. It should be clearly stated whether the position advertised has been approved by the administration or is contingent on budgetary authorization. The length of time for which the advertised position is authorized should also be clearly stated.  If possible, the listing of a temporary position that might be extended should contain the words “renewable” or “possibly renewable,” and the number of years for which it might be renewed.  If the person who was originally hired for the position is not going to hold the position for the following year, or if the position at any time turns into a tenure-track position, the position should be re-advertised.
  8. The institution should state its intention to comply with fair hiring procedures.  (The Placement Service will not list discriminatory advertisements.)  These procedures should be followed at every stage in the search.  Institutions registered with the Placement Service are required to abide by the SCS Statement on Professional Ethics, including the following:  “In all matters relating to employment, the SCS strongly endorses the 1976 AAUP Statement on Discrimination.  Moreover, Classicists should be protected against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation, gender identity, and actual or perceived medical conditions, including being HIV positive, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.”  The Placement Service suggests that institutions indicate in their advertisements whether they offer domestic partnership benefits.
  9. Institutions should avoid making demands on candidates for supporting materials that would be extremely onerous or expensive, unless it has determined such materials are necessary to its deliberations at the stage at which they are requested.  In particular, ads should be explicit about what materials will be considered as evidence of successful teaching (e.g. sample syllabus, course evaluations) and research (e.g. offprint, dissertation chapter).
  10. The SCS disapproves firmly of “charade listings,” that is, listing as open a position for which the candidate has been selected in advance.
  11. Inquiries and applications should be acknowledged promptly and courteously (generally within two weeks of receipt).  So that candidates can make travel arrangements in the most economical manner possible, institutions are encouraged to provide, whenever possible, sufficient notice to candidates about whether they will be interviewed at the Annual Meeting.  Both positive and negative decisions about interviews should, insofar as it is possible, be relayed to candidates before the Meetings; negative decisions in particular should be conveyed with care and sensitivity.
  12. Interviews of the candidates, whether at the Annual Meeting or at the department, should be conducted in a courteous, friendly, and professional manner.  The interviewee’s personal and professional integrity should be respected at all times.  Interviews at the Annual Meeting should be conducted in a manner and setting that will put candidates at ease. Interviews should not be held in hotel bedrooms under any circumstances.  The Placement Service provides comfortable, private, conference-style rooms, or institutions can opt (if/when available) to rent a private suite for interviewing purposes at the Annual Meeting.  (Special suite rates have been negotiated with hotels.)
  13. Candidates should not be asked at any stage in the process about their age, political views, sexual preference, marital status, children, or whether spouses are willing to relocate in the area of the interviewing institution.  (These matters may, of course, be raised by the candidate.)  Representatives of the institutions should not make inquiries about these matters outside the interviews.  Questions about religious beliefs or affiliations are to be omitted except in the case of some institutions with religious affiliations, where such questions are lawful under the provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (Section 42, USC 2000e-2e;  Institutions that fall under these provisions and plan to consider candidates’ religious affiliations, religious beliefs, and/or willingness to support, incorporate, or accommodate the tenets of the institution’s affiliation in teaching and/or research should include in their advertisements a statement of their religious affiliation and how that affiliation will affect their consideration of candidates.
  14. At the time of an interview, the institutional representative should give the candidates some indication of when a final decision is likely to be made.
  15. Candidates eliminated from the competition should be notified of this fact in a courteous manner as soon as possible.  A common practice is for institutions to inform all candidates not designated as final candidates that such a “short-list” has been constituted.
  16. Except in unusual circumstances, candidates for junior positions should not be compelled to commit to a job offered for the next academic year before the end of January. Offers should be conveyed in writing as quickly as possible after a verbal offer; candidates should not be expected to withdraw from other searches until a written offer has been received.
  17. Institutions are encouraged to respect requests for confidentiality as far into the search process as they can, and to break confidentiality, when it has been specifically requested, only with the consent of the candidate.
  18. As soon as a decision is made, all final candidates (often defined as those who have made campus visits) should be informed.  If a decision is postponed beyond the academic year in which interviews occur, all remaining candidates should be informed of this.
  19. The institution should promptly inform the SCS of the action taken on the position listed, informing the SCS specifically of the candidate hired.
  20. If a department hires a candidate with qualifications different from those stated in the job listing, it must be prepared to defend its action, in writing, with specific and substantial reasons.
  21. Candidates are reminded that they also have obligations to the institutions and departments that have positions available.  Candidates are expected to keep their files up to date, to remove themselves promptly from consideration if they have accepted a position elsewhere, and also to inform the Placement Service of this fact, and in general to conduct themselves in an honorable fashion.
  22. Complaints with all substantiation available should be directed to the chair of the Committee on Placement or the Executive Director of the SCS. The SCS Board has directed the Executive Director to inform them fully of the nature of alleged violations of these principles.

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