Office of the Provost

Appointments in the Tenure Structure Without National Searches Guidelines

Approved May 16, 2016, by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Legislative Authority for Revised Guidelines 

The Faculty Handbook (V.A.2.a.) requires that appointments to faculty positions within the tenure structure be made "on the basis of fair and open search procedures," but allows for exceptions that "are governed by guidelines approved by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities." Such guidelines were approved in May 2006 as "Guidelines for Appointments in the Tenure Structure Without National Searches," also known as "Target of Opportunity" hires.

Those guidelines recognized that it is sometimes in the university's interest to make appointments in the tenure structure using procedures different from those specified in the handbook. This memo updates the previous policy approved in 2006 with respect to these guidelines to further define situations and provide guidelines by which the university may choose to make appointments within the tenure structure in the absence of a national search. Such appointments will only be considered for outstanding individuals whose scholarship and teaching would convincingly place them in the top ranks of a national search, if such a search were to be carried out in their area of study. 

Candidates will be considered for appointment in the tenure structure without a national search if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Bring unusual preeminence to Brandeis University.

  • Diversify the faculty or the curriculum in significant ways.

  • Are critically important for strengthening or maintaining an important discipline or field.


All appointments under these guidelines require approval by the Provost, upon written recommendations by the appropriate dean and by the chair of the department in which the appointment is proposed. Joint proposals between departments and programs will also be considered. The provost shall ensure that the following procedures have been followed before the appointment is made: 

  1. The department/program in which the appointment is proposed shall submit a report from all members of the department/program who hold a rank within the tenure structure equal to or above that of the proposed position, following an opportunity for those members to review the candidate's scholarly credentials and to meet with the candidate.
  2. Other departments/programs affected by the appointment shall normally be consulted and given an opportunity to make separate recommendations, based on adequate information.
  3. The dean's recommendation to the provost shall normally include a C.V. and letters from outside referees addressing the scholarship, teaching and professional standing of the candidate.
  4. The dean or provost may consult with an advisory faculty committee consisting of the division heads or program heads in the case that multiple proposals for appointments are submitted.
  5. The provost will evaluate the recommendation to ensure that the individual's academic qualifications are comparable to those of a faculty member hired in the same area after a national search and that the area of study serves to advance the strategic initiatives of the department and university.
  6. For any appointment made under these guidelines, the provost shall provide timely notification to the chair of the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.
  7. Appointments under these guidelines must follow established Faculty Handbook procedures for completion of the ad hoc committee process and approval by the Board of Trustees.
  8. It is understood that any exceptions to the search procedures established in handbook section V.A.2.a must follow these or other approved guidelines.
Any revisions to these guidelines must be approved by the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.