Recruiting top talent, particularly into leadership roles, is one of the most important ways to shape the future of an academic health center. Despite the critical importance of leadership recruitment, studies show that there are multiple challenges inherent in the search process. One study of deans and teaching hospital CEOs showed that these problems include: haphazard administrative practices, difficulty identifying leadership competencies, challenges in assessing institutional fit, lack of diversity in the pool and misalignment between the dean and hospital CEO (from FAPDD’s article in the AAMC’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science GWIMS Watch – Summer 2012 quarterly newsletter).

Since 2010, the Indiana University School of Medicine has been working to improve the search and screen process at the executive level. Through this process, Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity has created a standardized process and toolkit of resources designed to make faculty recruitment more efficient and effective. Our process improvement has resulted in:

  • The development of a transparent process map to outline the structural, regulatory and process issues involved in searches.
  • An administrative reorganization to clarify staff roles.
  • Centralizing the process by including an Assistant or Associate Dean from FAPDD as co-chair for each executive level search.
  • Maximized the use of our web-based course management site to organize candidate materials and search committee documentation.
  • Created greater consistency in search committee practices through the adoption of the Dean of the IU School of Medicine’s charge guidelines, communication templates and a committee member code of conduct.
  • Minimized the potential impact of unconscious bias through issuing sample interview questions to all interviewers, adopting a structured interview format for the committee interview and having committee members view the AAMC module on unconscious bias and/or read the Analysis in Brief on the same topic.
  • Deeper, more diverse candidate pools through a rigorous nomination process.
  • Evaluating candidates beyond scholarly productivity on  future-oriented, emotionally intelligent leadership competencies:
    • Leadership and team development.
    • Performance and talent management.
    • Vision and strategic planning.
    • Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and personal attributes.
    • Communication skills.
    • Commitment to the tripartite mission.


Senem Guler

Associate Director of Faculty Recruiting