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UT Dallas - Human Resources

Administrative & Professional Position Search Plans
& Affirmative Action Reports

There are two documents required as part of the search process to fill an administrative or professional position (known as an “A&P” position):  the search plan and the affirmative action report.  The search plan serves several purposes:  it brings together necessary documentation such as the job description, the plan to obtain a diverse pool of candidates, the composition of the search advisory committee (SAC), and a tentative time line for the search.  The affirmative action report provides a record of the search committee’s actions and documents the diversity of the candidate pool.  This documentation is required as part of the University’s obligations as a Federal contractor.

Step One:  Prepare Search Plan

The search plan should be formatted as a memorandum addressed to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer through the appropriate Dean in an academic unit, or Director or Department Head in other units.  The plan should include:

  • A paragraph identifying the position by title and administrative location, and documenting the need for initiating the search (i.e. the incumbent left, is it a new position, etc.);
  • A paragraph addressing the plan to build a diverse pool of applicants, including the list publications in which to advertise;
  • A list of the minimum qualifications and essential duties of the position;
  • The search plan time line, including closing date(s) for the ad(s), starting date to  review candidates, and any other information necessary to fully and adequately describe the procedures to be used in identifying the top candidate for the position;
  • A list of SAC membership, including designation of a chair.  The chair should not be the supervisor of the A&P position.

Attachments to the plan must include:

  • An organization chart clearly indicating the vacant position;
  • The required HRIS/Budget documents to establish the position;
  • A draft of the vacancy announcement to appear on the UTD employment web; and
  • A draft of any print ad(s) proposed to be used in the search.

When the Office of Human Resources places the vacancy on the UT Dallas Jobs Website, it will be assigned a search number.  The HRIS/Budget documents will be routed for approval.  With respect to new positions, HR will place the vacancy on the UTD web only after the position is approved and funding identified.  With respect to existing positions, HR will place the vacancy on the UTD web and consult with the hiring unit with respect to any print ad(s) to be used in the search.

Step Two:  The Search

Due to compliance requirements with federal regulations, it is strongly recommended that applications only be accepted via the UTD on-line application system.  If this option is chosen, all documents received in response to the advertisements will be electronically forwarded to the SAC chair. The SAC can begin reviewing files at any point.

The SAC is involved in the selection process by (a) identifying those candidates who meet minimum qualifications (the applicant pool), and (b) identifying from the pool the most qualified candidates who will be invited for a UTD campus visit and interview.  Arrangements for such campus visits are handled by the appropriate Dean or Director’s Office and in accordance with guidance from the Dean or Director, including obtaining candidate’s signatures on background check forms and reimbursement documents.

It is customary for the candidate to visit with the SAC, the Dean or Director, and other individuals, groups and administrators as appropriate.  It is very helpful if an itinerary for a candidate's visit is prepared and circulated along with the candidate's résumé (prior to date of visit) to all offices scheduled to meet with the candidate.

After the interviews, the SAC prepares a recommendation identifying the top candidate, or the top 2 or 3 candidates, from the pool.  This recommendation is submitted to the hiring official for consideration.  A copy of the written recommendation should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.  The hiring official makes the final selection and if the candidate clears the background check, the hiring official notifies the SAC chair and the Office of Human Resources.  The hiring official, the SAC chair, or the Office of Human Resources can send the offer letter.

Unsuccessful candidates should be notified in writing, with a copy of the notification to be place in the search file.  Any documents to be returned to candidates should be returned at this point with proper notation in file.

Step Three:  The Affirmative Action Report 

The SAC chair prepares a narrative report describing the history of the search beginning with the development of the search plan through the selection of the finalist.  A list of applicants by ethnicity and gender must be attached to the report, unless the search was exclusively conducted on-line.  In that case, the on-line system captures the metrics.

If the search plan allowed applicants to apply in ways other than the on-line system, then the following additional step must be taken:

All applicants for a particular position constitute the "pool" for that search.  The SAC chair must attach a matrix to the affirmative action narrative.  The matrix must contain the following three elements:  (a) an alphabetized list of all applicants in the pool (including the chosen candidate), (b) a brief statement rating all of each candidate's qualifications relative to the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy and (c) the reason each candidate was not chosen.  This matrix is not required if the search was exclusively conducted on-line, as that data will be entered on-line.

This report must be received by the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer within 15 days of the close of the search.

Step Four: Housekeeping 

If the search permitted applicants to apply in ways other than the on-line system, the SAC chair should alphabetize all files created in the search and send the files to HR.  The files will be scanned and maintained for two years.

Questions should be directed to the Office of Human Resources. 

SAMPLE OFFER LETTERS FOR A & P CANDIDATES:

I am pleased to offer you an appointment as Director of _________ at The University of Texas at Dallas at an annual salary rate of $_______, effective October xx, 20xx.  Your appointment, as others like it within The University of Texas System, serves at the pleasure of the President.

To aid with your relocation, the University will provide reimbursement in an amount not to exceed $_____ for expenses incurred in moving your household belongings, as documented by appropriate receipts.

We hope that you will accept this offer.  A formal letter of reply by October xx, 20xx would be appreciated.  We are looking forward to your joining us as a colleague.

Sincerely,

OR:

I am pleased to offer you the position of _____________________ at The University of Texas at Dallas effective August xx, 20xx.  Your annual salary will be $_____.  Future increases will be dependent on available funding.  This position, as others like it in The University of Texas System, serves at the pleasure of the President.

I feel that you can make a valuable contribution to achievement of goals for the University and look forward to your assistance in those efforts.  If you accept this offer, please sign below and return a copy to me as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

SAMPLE NON-SELECTION LETTERS FOR A&P CANDIDATES:

Thank you for applying to our Executive Director search.  The search committee narrowed the search to those candidates who in our opinion best meet the requirements of our vacancy. 

Thank you for the opportunity to consider your credentials.

Sincerely

OR:

Thank you for your interest in the _____________ position at The University of Texas at Dallas.  We are pleased with the overwhelming response to this vacancy.  At this time we have narrowed our search to a short list of candidates who in our opinion best meet our needs at this time.

Thank you for your interest in The University of Texas at Dallas, and we wish you the best of success in your career pursuits.

Sincerely,

SAMPLE AFFIRMATION ACTION REPORT – ON-LINE APPLICANTS ONLY:

MEMO TO:                 Affirmative Action Officer

FROM:                        John Smith, Chair of Search #8000

SUBJECT:                 Affirmative Action Report –Search #8000

In August of 20xx, a search was initiated for an Executive Director of Development.  A search plan was developed and approved, a copy of which is attached.

The search committee, composed of:  (list names), considered the qualifications of all those who responded to advertisements placed in: (list periodicals and dates) resulting in a pool of XX applicants.

Because all applicants were required to apply on-line using the UTD on-line application service, the affirmative action data has been completed on-line as the on-line vacancy was closed.

SAMPLE AFFIRMATION ACTION REPORT – APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED ON-LINE, ON PAPER, VIA FAX, ETC:

MEMO TO:                 Affirmative Action Officer

FROM:                        John Smith, Chair of Search #8000

SUBJECT:                 Affirmative Action Report –Search #8000

In August of 20xx, a search was initiated for an Executive Director of Development.  A search plan was developed and approved.

The search committee composed of:  (list names), considered the qualifications of those who responded to advertisements placed in: (list periodicals and dates.)

Applicants applied on-line using the UTD on-line application, and applicants were allowed to submit paper applications to the Office of the Provost.  Any paper applications received by the Provost’s Office were forwarded to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs, where acknowledgment letters were sent.  These candidates were then made available to the search advisory committee for review. 

The search advisory committee received 45 applications.  The statistical data for affirmative action purposes is:

Ethnicity Male Female Total
White 4 9 13
Black 2 7 9
Hispanic 6 4 10
Asian 7 1   8
American Indian 1 0   1
Unknown 0 4   4
Total 20 25 45

Each candidate’s file was reviewed individually by all members of the committee, and their comments were included in the candidate’s file.  The evaluations were based on each candidate’s background and area of expertise.  Those candidates whose backgrounds were deemed inadequate or in the wrong area, were then sent notification letters.  Copies of those letters are in the SAC file.  The remaining candidates were placed an “active” group.  Letters of reference and other appropriate documents were requested. 

Of the pool of 45 applicants, the committee deemed 9 applicants to have related experience and education acceptable for additional consideration.  Those nine were invited to come to campus for interviews.  The interviews were designed to confirm the written record, as well as to determine the degree of match with this vacancy.   Also, interpersonal and communication skills were evaluated at this time. 

The interview results:

  • John Alpha.  Candidate was determined to have less fund development experience in research universities than required for this position.
  • John Beta.  Qualified fund development professional with limited higher education experience and no knowledge of local community or Texas.  Oral presentation was not as well-organized as other candidates’.
  • Janet Omega.  Well-qualified and experienced fund development professional with experience in large Texas public universities and in the U.T. System.  Candidate has worked in both a centralized and decentralized fund development model.  She has broad array of knowledge and is engaging to talk with on fund development.
  • D, E, F.... Etc.

After these nine interviews, 2 candidates were selected for a second interview on campus.  After the interviews and consultation of the search committee members, the Deans, Vice Presidents and the President, Janet Omega was chosen for the position and an offer was extended.

Conclusion of Search

The following 11 applicants lacked experience in major gift and annual fund drives, or in alumni affairs:

            (Names)

The following 21 applicants lacked university experience:

            (Names)

The following 3 applicants listed salary requirements that were above the salary range:

            (Names)

One applicant withdrew from consideration:

            (Name)

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Revised Fall 2005