This article is published in the April 2024 issue.

Best Practices for Hiring Teaching Faculty in Research Computing Departments

By Jennifer Campbell (University of Toronto), Mark Floryan (University of Virginia), Geoffrey Herman (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Michael Hilton (Carnegie Mellon University), and Jérémie Lumbroso (University of Pennsylvania) 

The rising demand for computing degree programs has led to a rapid increase in teaching faculty positions in computing related fields. This white paper discusses how the diversity in teaching faculty jobs and hiring practices creates challenges for both candidates and departments and then recommends best practices for the hiring process.

Teaching faculty hiring best practices for departments include:

  • Departments should carefully plan the timing of the search in relation to other searches within the department and avoid hiring teaching faculty positions with different job descriptions using the same process.
  • Departments should clearly communicate the expectations of the role in the job ad, including key details such as workload, provisions for job security, anticipated subject area needs, expectations for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) related experience, and departmental policies related to teaching faculty.
  • Departments should develop rubrics that align exactly with the expectations of the role as outlined in annual and promotional review guidelines, and evaluate candidates against those rubrics.
  • Departments should use phone interviews not only for assessment, but also to support candidates by providing clarification about the position and interview process.
  • Departments should recognize the wide variety of teaching faculty interview formats used across institutions and provide candidates with as much information about screenings and interviews as possible in advance.
  • Departments should ensure that the job talk(s) content and format aligns with the expectations of the role.
  • Departments should provide flexibility to candidates with respect to job talk(s) subject and structure where feasible. 
  • Departments should confer with candidates about offer timelines and be prepared to negotiate on not only salary and start date, but also on contract length and support, including start-up/professional/research funds.

Beyond the hiring process itself, departments should create opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to develop teaching experience to better prepare them for teaching faculty positions.

Read the full best practices report here.