Placement Service Guidelines

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 Career Planning and Development (formerly known as the 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 non-voting ex officio members, the Chair of the SCS Committee on Diversity in the Profession, the Chair of the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession, and the Vice President for Professional Matters.

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

A. Institutional Registration for the Placement Service

  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 SCS disapproves strongly of “charade listings,” that is, listing as open a position for which the candidate has been selected in advance.

B. The Job Advertisement

  1. 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.
  2. 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-stream positions.
  3. 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-stream position, the position should be re-advertised.
  4. The institution should state its intention to comply with fair hiring procedures at every stage in the search. US institutions should follow all EEOC anti-discrimination regulations (https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/). Religious institutions should see #B6 and #C8 below.
  5. In addition, it is expected that institutions registered with the Placement Service  will abide by the SCS Statement on Professional Ethics regarding discrimination:
    “In all matters relating to employment, the Society for Classical Studies strongly endorses the 1976 AAUP Statement on Discrimination, revised in 1994 and 1995. Moreover, classicists should be protected against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and actual or perceived medical conditions   The Society for Classical Studies supports the principles of affirmative action and urges Classics departments to pursue affirmative action programs and policies aggressively.”
  6. Religious institutions within the scope of 42 USC 2000e-2(e) should include in their advertisements a statement of their religious affiliation and how that affiliation will affect their consideration of candidates, if it is the case that they 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. Additionally, institutions that may intend to condition employment on compliance with a code of conduct should include such information in the advertisement and provide a link to any applicable code of conduct so that potential candidates can access the information.   
  7. The Placement Service suggests that institutions indicate in their advertisements whether they offer domestic partnership benefits.
  8. Institutions should be aware that SCS has members in countries around the world, some of whom may not possess authorization to work in the country in which the institution is located.  Institutions should disclose to candidates relevant information regarding the position, e.g. whether the institution can (or cannot) sponsor a visa for the position advertised according to institutional policies. 
  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).

C. Communication

  1. 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 communicated with care and sensitivity.
  2. Candidates eliminated from the competition should be notified of this fact in a courteous manner as soon as possible. Institutions should advise candidates when they are not among the short list of final candidates.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. The institution should promptly inform the SCS of the action taken on the position listed, informing the SCS specifically of the candidate hired.
  5. 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 and should be given a reasonable period of time (preferably two weeks but at least one week) to negotiate and tender a decision.
  6. 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. Email requests for informal recommendations are discouraged.
  7. 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. 
  8. 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; http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html). 
  9. 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.

D. Interviews

  1. Interviews of the candidates, whether at the Annual Meeting or at the department or at a distance through a teleconferencing platform, should be conducted in a courteous, friendly, and professional manner.  The interviewee’s personal and professional integrity should be respected at all times. 
  2. As stated in the Guidelines, all interviews should ordinarily be conducted in the same manner. That is, if a department conducts distance interviews with some candidates to avoid travel, even candidates in the local area should be interviewed in the same way. On the other hand, an isolated distance interview may be appropriate if a candidate or interviewers cannot travel to the meetings because of illness or weather. All candidates should be interviewed for approximately the same amount of time.
  3. Interviews should be conducted in a manner and setting that will put candidates at ease. At the annual meeting 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.) For distance interviews the search committee should ensure that the surroundings visible to the candidate are professionally appropriate. In general, specially equipped teleconferencing rooms are preferable; in any case, backdrops that would be inappropriate for face-to-face interviews (e.g. bedrooms) are equally inappropriate for distance interviews.
  4. Distance interviews should be arranged and conducted in the same formal manner as in-person interviews. All search committee members should be in the same room and visible to the candidate and should confirm that the candidate can see them. When the search committee is a large group, they should select a venue and teleconferencing platform that allows speakers to be visible on the screen and voices amplified, as needed. If conditions are less than optimal, interviewers should take care to identify themselves each time they ask a question. They should also remain present and engaged as they would in a face-to-face interview (i.e. not checking electronic devices or leaving the interview except for extraordinary reasons). Candidates should be told at the start how long the interview will last. Search committees should make every effort to avoid allowing unavoidable technical difficulties to affect their view of the candidate, for example by testing connections in advance (lack of appropriate preparation by the candidate is of course a different matter). In turn, institutions should make teleconferencing rooms available to their graduate students and faculty (non-tenure and tenure-stream) for distance interviews.Institutions may wish to consult additional resources on distance interviews, e.g.:
    https://grad.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/career-resources/Skype_Interview_Best_Practices.pdf
  5. The Placement Service strongly discourages institutions from recording candidates at any stage of the job search. If a department needs to record interviews (i.e. because a member of the search committee cannot participate due to illness or inability to travel), it should ask candidates in advance for consent as a matter of basic fairness and, in some states, of law.  SCS expects that institutions will comply with applicable laws relating to the recording of communications, including by obtaining any necessary consent.  Departments should however be sensitive to the pressures that such queries present, because candidates are not in a position to withhold consent. Departments should also explicitly tell candidates if the recordings will become an official part of the search’s records.

E. Candidates

  1. Candidates are reminded that they also have obligations to the institutions and departments that have positions available. They should conduct themselves in a professional fashion.
  2. Candidates are expected to keep their files up to date.
  3. Candidates are expected to remove themselves promptly from consideration if they have accepted a position elsewhere and also to inform the Placement Service by email of the change in their status.
  4. Distance interviews pose special challenges for both candidates and interviewers. It is incumbent on candidates to test internet connections and equipment in advance. They should also present themselves in a professional manner and be aware of the impressions that different backdrops, lighting, camera angles and distances can create. To this end, they may wish to ask faculty advisors and mentors to conduct practice interviews in advance. Institutions should make teleconferencing rooms available to their graduate students and faculty (non-tenure and tenure-stream) for distance interviews. Candidates may wish to consult additional resources on distance interviews, e.g.:
    https://grad.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/career-resources/Skype_Interview_Best_Practices.pdf

F. Complaints

  1. Complaints with all necessary substantiating documents should be directed to the chair of the Committee on Career Planning and Development or the Executive Director of the SCS.
  2. The SCS Board has directed the Executive Director to inform them fully of the nature of alleged violations of these principles.

Approved, June 7, 2018

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