How does WSC hire new professors?

Melissa Norris, Staff Writer

Wayne State’s staff goes through many changes with new professors hired each year, either to replace instructors who have decided to leave, or just to fill new positions.

Many students do not know how this hiring process works, or even who is in charge of these new appointments. Here are the steps according to Dr. William Slaymaker, who has served on many hiring committees:

1.) The department has to have the money to hire a faculty at entry or mid-level. The department will get a budgeted item or “a line” for a hire.

2.) A committee of several different department members will be delegated to the task of hiring to fill this position.

3.) The committee will decide what qualification the hiring candidates should have.

4.) Advertisements for applicants will be sent out, typically electronically.

5.) The committee will sift through the sometimes hundreds of applications. They will rate applicants and narrow down the applications.

6.) The committee will agree on the top three to five applicants.

7.) The college will ask the final three candidates chosen to come to the college for a day of interviews with the committee, faculty and administration. The three applicants will give a teaching demonstration in front of committee members.

8.) The committee will vote on their chosen candidate.

9.) A job offer will be made.

10.) Finally, the administration and the new hire will conduct a negotiation for their salary and benefits in their contract.

Formerly, there was a trend to have nationwide searches for applicants. However, a recent trend in academic appointments is to hire more regionally.

One such regional hire was Stephanie Marcellus in 2012. She elaborated on the process from a candidate’s point-of-view.

“I really enjoyed the time that the different faculty members and dean spent with me. It was very informative. I really just felt I was going around all day having nice conversations with people,” Marcellus said.

The relaxing day on campus was preceded by the stress of application.

“There were about 200 applicants when I was hired for the job. It adds to the stress knowing there are so many others out there,” Marcellus said.

But Marcellus got the job.

She is the latest of three generations of Wayne State women. Her grandmother was the first to come here, followed by her mother and aunt, and both she and her cousin attended WSC. Now she teaches here.

“It’s exciting to teach in my different areas, creative writing and literature. It’s fun coming up with new courses and new ideas for teaching,” Marcellus said.