Sample Letter to Colleagues: Help Broadening the Pool of Applicants

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An important best practice in faculty recruitment is networking with colleagues to broaden your awareness of suitable candidates who can then be invited to apply to future faculty positions. This strategy should be ongoing, but can be more focused when a search is active.

You should contact colleagues at other institutions to seek nominations of students nearing graduation or others interested in moving laterally, making sure to request inclusion of minorities and women. Each member of the search committee can deploy this tactic. The Chair of the Search Committee will want to develop a list of the nominees that come in. Without evaluating the nominee at this stage, the Search Committee can then reach out and invite the individual to apply.

The sample letter below is suitable for a position at the assistant professor level. It is broad, emphasizes the quality of the candidate and asks for help to increase the diversity of the pool. If you'd like assistance drafting a letter for another rank, or a sample memo which reaches out to the recommended individual, the Lehigh ADVANCE office can work with you.

Dear [Colleague Name Here]:

I wanted to let you know about a tenure-track faculty position that we have open this year at Lehigh for someone in [general discipline area here]. I'm attaching the ad to this email. Would you please pass this on to anyone you know who may be a good candidate for the position? We are interested in identifying students nearing graduation, recent post-docs, or others interested in moving laterally. We are continuously striving to increase the diversity of our candidate pool, so if you know of any qualified applicants who might be underrepresented in their field please encourage them to apply. I would appreciate it if you could send me their names and contact info so that I could invite them personally to apply as well.

[Search Committee Member Name]