Procedures for the Recruitment and Search of an Academic Dean University of Michigan-Dearborn

The following procedures outline the common elements for the recruitment and search of an academic dean along with granting them a full professor appointment in the appropriate college(s) based on academic background/discipline of the individual. All steps in the process should normally be in accordance with the Regents Bylaws, Campus Bylaws, and relevant college bylaws. 


  1. Responsible Authority: The Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is responsible for overseeing the search for a new dean.
  2. Search Firm: The Provost shall decide if a search firm is needed to assist in the search of dean candidates. The search firm, if needed, shall only perform a support role to the search committee and plays no role in making decisions about which candidates shall move forward in the search process. The Provost will work with Human Resources to select a search firm that will best fit the needs of the open position.
  3. Establish search committee: In consultation with the college’s executive committee, and depending on the college’s bylaws, the Provost shall establish a search committee consisting of faculty, staff, and student representatives from the college. The selection of committee members shall take into account the relevant demographic and disciplinary diversity within the college. The search committee members will be bound to the highest levels of confidentiality and expected to adhere to keeping all candidate names strictly confidential.
  4. Search committee responsibilities: The search committee is charged with advising the Provost during the dean search process. The committee may assist in the development of a job description outlining the responsibilities and qualifications required of the dean candidates. This should include academic qualifications, relevant experience, and any other desired attributes. The committee will review the job applications and make recommendations of candidates for further consideration; conduct interviews with top candidates to determine a final selection for on-campus interviews; and, finally, make a strengths and challenges assessment to be shared with the Provost on the final candidates after their on-campus interviews.
  5. On-campus Interviews: Typically, on-campus interviews shall be held with meetings with the college executive committee, search committee, students, representative leaders from around campus, department chairs, and a job talk open to campus. The search committee may also leverage technology and employ remote processes in the earlier phases of the search phase.
  6. Final Selection: The Provost — in consultation with the search committee — shall make the final selection of the new dean. This process shall also include reference checks and possibly additional meetings with the finalists. The Provost will work with Human Resources to review salary data to ensure the offer is appropriate and equitable. The offer to the candidate will be contingent upon a successful background check, which typically includes criminal, educational and potentially other background factors.
  7. Faculty Appointments (for external candidates): Once a dean candidate is selected, the Provost shall immediately contact the appropriate academic department in order to begin the promotion and tenure evaluation process to assess the candidate's academic credentials and make a recommendation to grant a full professor appointment, if appropriate. The Provost shall also contact the chair of the executive committee to ensure the college executive committee is prepared and ready for a similar review and, finally, the Faculty Senate, so the Senate P&T Committee can provide its process review. The University of Michigan Board of Regents shall approve the appointment with tenure as the final step. 
  8. Announce the appointment: The appointment of the academic dean and the granting of a full professor appointment should be announced publicly to the campus.

Office of the Provost

1080 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5030