Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Jan. 26, 1996

What to save when the search is over

by Linda Charles

The search is over, a candidate has been hired, and now, as a member of the search committee, you have a pile of papers. What must you keep and for how long? What can you safely toss?

In a nutshell, anything officially used by the committee must be kept a minimum of five years, said Jan Padgitt, associate affirmative action officer.

For example, if the committee rated candidates, each member's rating sheets must be kept. However, personal notes search committee members took while reviewing resumes do not have to be kept, she said.

"Minutes of the search committee's meetings are not required but could prove valuable, especially if litigation is involved," Padgitt said.

While the minimum time to keep materials is five years from the time a hiring decision is made, you may need to keep them longer if a discrimination charge is filed. In that case, all items must be kept until the suit is settled and no further appeals are in progress, Padgitt said.

Padgitt recommends that the search committee chair collect all pertinent information surrounding a search and that the information be kept in the departmental office.

Following are items that must be kept:

--A list of search committee members, including title, gender, race and approximate age.

--Copies of the position description and vacancy announcement.

--A list of all sources in which the vacancy was advertised.

--All applications, resumes, vitae and supporting documents.

--Sample copies of all correspondence (such as letters sent to unsuccessful candidates).

--Copies of interview schedules.

--Copies of core questions asked in the interviews.

--A summary evaluation of each candidate interviewed.

--A written explanation, with job-related reasons, on why an affirmative action candidate was not selected for the position.

--A written explanation, with job-related reasons, on why the successful candidate was chosen.

--Any paper work related to seeking women and minority candidates. The university's Affirmative Action Handbook spells out what is needed to document a "good faith" effort on the part of the committee. Check sections 2:30-2:77 and pages 16-17 of the "Search Procedures" chapter.

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