02.A.35 – Search Committees for Executive and Staff Positions

Section: Human Resources

Area: General

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1.1. This administrative memorandum sets forth the guidelines to be observed by the University of Houston System and its universities for establishing and operating search committees for executive and staff positions.

1.2. Use of a search committee assures that special concerns of affected individuals or groups will be considered, promotes identification of well-qualified candidates by pooling recruiting and employment experience and expertise, distributes the workload associated with recruiting and screening, and reduces the opportunity for illegal discrimination.


2.1. Search Committee. An advisory group of persons appointed by the division head or designee to assume the specialized duties of recruitment, identification, and recommendation of qualified applicants.

2.2. Qualified applicant. A person who meets or exceeds the posted minimum bonafide occupational qualifications for an approved position.

2.3. Bonafide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQ). The criteria that have a direct relationship to the position and the service to be rendered.

2.4. AAO. The university affirmative action officer or the university affirmative action office.

2.5. Regular, benefits-eligible position. A position occupied by an individual who is appointed for at least 20 hours per week on a regular basis for a period of at least 4.5 months at .50 FTE or greater, excluding positions that require student status as a condition of employment.

2.6. Exempt position. A position classified by appropriate university procedures as executive, administrative or professional, and paid through the University of Houston System payroll system on a monthly salaried basis. Such positions are "exempt" from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.


3.1. Search committees may be used to conduct the pre-employment activities of advertising, recruitment, and screening of qualified applicants to fill approved positions for exempt management and other positions deemed necessary by the dean, director, vice president or comparable position, regardless of source of funding.

3.2. Each university will develop and publish search committee procedures to comply with this policy. University procedures should:

a. identify the levels and types of positions for which search committees are advisable;

b. describe the duties and responsibilities of search committees and the chairperson;

c. specify the documentation standards to be met and the approval required at all stages of the search;

d. specify the confidentiality standards to be observed by search committees;

e. list the legal requirements that must be observed in conducting the search;

f. describe the position advertising standards to be met;

g. describe the notification standards to be met when dealing with applicants; and

h. identify the individuals authorized to approve and negotiate offers of employment.

3.3. The committee should meet with the university affirmative action officer or designee at the onset of committee activity, for training regarding the interview process, and maintenance of records, policy, state and federal laws and regulations.

3.4. Search committee records will be stored in compliance with the university procedures.

3.5. The policy of the University of Houston System is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, ethnicity, military status, genetic information, sex (including gender and pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or status, or gender expression, except where such a distinction is required by law. For the UH System's Official Non-Discrimination Statement, see SAM.01.D.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement.



Issued: 04/24/1996
Last Reviewed/Revised: 04/01/2024
Responsible Office(s): Human Resources