Policy on Term-Limited Assistant/Associate Dean Positions

UW-La Crosse Policy on Term-Limited Assistant/Associate Dean Positions
Adopted by the UWL Faculty Senate, 19 April 2018


This procedure supplements the UW-La Crosse Policy on Administrative Searches. That policy is recommended to be followed for the positions of assistant/associate Dean simpliciter. The following policy, however, may be used in cases of strictly term-limited versions of the position, as defined below.


The purpose of this policy is to provide a search process for assistant/associate Dean positions that allows for a purely internal search procedure, in order to fill such positions from within the ranks of UW-La Crosse faculty. The usual process for filling such positions on an ongoing basis (i.e., without term limitation) will be expected to follow the UW-La Crosse Policy on Administrative Searches. When seeking to fill these positions on a term-limited basis, however, it is expected that the policy outlined in this document will be followed. As with the existing policy for filling senior administrative positions, the purpose of this policy is to ensure that the process be conducted in a consistent, fair, transparent, and inclusive manner, while allowing for both efficiency and involvement by relevant constituencies and governance groups.


Assistant and associate Dean positions are typically filled using the UW-La Crosse Policy on Administrative Searches, which dictates search committee composition and recruitment policies; positions filled in such a manner will continue to be governed by past practice as to term of employment. When it is desired by the relevant hiring authority that an assistant/associate Dean position be filled based upon a purely internal search, then the position will be a term-limited one, with a maximum contracted duration of 3 years. As always, continuance in these positions is at the pleasure of the relevant administrative heads. (This is distinct from situations in which an interim assistant/associate Dean is selected; such selections will be governed by past practice, and the position title will still carry the interim designation.) At the end of the limited term, a new search to fill the position will be conducted, using whichever policy is appropriate given the term of service expected; persons currently holding the position may re-apply, or apply for the new version of the position, at that time if desired.

When seeking to fill such a term-limited position, the relevant hiring authority will make a recommendation to the Chancellor, who will have final approval over that decision. If the relevant hiring authority recommends to the Chancellor that neither the Administrative Search process, nor the process outlined in this document, be followed in filling an assistant/associate Dean position, the Chancellor will have final approval over that decision as well. When neither search procedure is used, please see paragraph 5.3.


Search committees for a term-limited position should follow the guidelines outlined in paragraph 4 of the UW La-Crosse Policy on Administrative Searches, specifically those dealing with committee diversity.

To form a search committee, the hiring authority will put out a call for nominations to the various campus governance groups. The search committee will consist of five members: three faculty members nominated by Faculty Senate, one staff member nominated by the Academic and University Staff Councils, and one student member nominated by the Student Senate. At least two of the three faculty members will come from the college or school that the assistant or associate Dean will represent.

As outlined, it is expected that the Academic and University Staff Councils will work together to nominate a single staff member to the search committee. In the event that the two Staff Councils each choose a different staff nominee, they will send those nominees to the Senate Executive Committee, who will ensure that the nominees from each council are selected for the search committee in alternating order. Any nominee not selected will serve as an alternate to the search committee, in the event that the other staff member is unable to complete their term.


5.1. UWL Recruitment Policy. The complete procedures detailed in the UWL Recruitment Policy shall apply to the search for a term-limited assistant/associate Dean position, unless any provision of that policy conflicts with this one. Specifically, the Recruitment Policy sections on internal searches will be followed, including duration for which openings will be posted. If an internal search process fails to lead to a position being filled, the hiring authority will recommend to the Chancellor whether another attempt to fill the position on a term-limited and internal basis should be pursued, or whether a full and external search to fill the position is warranted. Again, the Chancellor will have final approval over that decision.

5.2. Finalists. The search and screen committee will identify a pool of finalists, expected to be no less than 3 persons, to present to the hiring authority for in-person interviews. The hiring authority, along with Affirmative Action, determines how many and which finalists will receive these interviews; no less than 2 such finalists should be selected. After in-person interviews, the search committee verbally provides pros and cons associated with each finalist to the hiring authority, but does not vote on suitability or rank finalists. The identity of the successful candidate alone will be made available to public records requests.

5.3. Additional steps for searches under different procedures. If neither the UW-La Crosse policy for administrative searches, nor this policy, are to be followed when engaging in search for a term-limited assistant/associate Dean—as always, contingent upon the Chancellor’s decision that this is appropriate—then the relevant hiring authority will provide each governance group with the proposed alternative plan for hiring, including timeline, expected committee size, and expected committee composition. Each governance group will have up to 7 calendar days after notification to provide feedback to the hiring authority.