COVID-19: Search Committee Guidance

This webpage will be updated regularly as UO plans and responds to the evolving COVID-19 situation and its impact on our students, faculty, and staff.
Last updated March 25, 2020 at 4:03p.m.

Regular University practices for faculty and staff recruiting are being adjusted in response to COVID-19. Effective Thursday, March 19th, the University has suspended most recruitment activities, with exceptions for some positions critical to continued operations. Units seeking an exception to this suspension may submit an exception request.

All interviews for searches with an authorized exception request will be conducted virtually until further notice.

  • For searches where an approved exception has been made by the Institutional Review Panel, search chairs should notify candidates that we will make arrangements for a virtual interview process. Search chairs should assure candidates that the virtual process will not affect our consideration of their candidacy.
  • For assistance with obtaining bulk contact information for candidates, visit the MyTrack guides OR contact your recruiter buddy.
  • HR has prepared an email template with approved text to use in candidate outreach.
  • The university encourages committees to utilize best practices when conducting virtual selection events.
  • Some searches may already have conducted in-person visits for some of their candidates in the current round of consideration and may need now to conduct virtual interviews with others.
  • Search committees are asked to use the same base interview format and questions whenever practicably possible.
  • Search chairs and search administrators should clearly document in the search record any adjustments to the search process that were made in a single round (for example, which candidates were interviewed in person vs. virtually, how the processes were structured for each type of interview, etc.).
  • For additional guidance on planning virtual interviews where in-person visits have already occurred, consult with your assigned recruiter.
  • For all interviews going forward, consider the number and composition of interview events; limit interview events to those essential for making hiring decisions. Introductions to key stakeholders can often be postponed and can be made as part of the new hire onboarding and orientation instead.
  • Search committees should discuss and agree upon evaluation criteria of candidates in the event that current search committee composition is impacted prior to a selection decision.
  • Search committee members' availability may be impacted by shelter in place orders and personal life circumstances during this time including travel restrictions, school closures, illness, etc. Search chairs and search administrators should document adjustments in search committee members as part of the search record.
  • When discussing candidates, committees should not engage in any speculation of the of potential exposure, travel bans or other COVID-19 responses – current or future – on any candidate.

    The University makes selection decisions based on job-related factors and without respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, or other protected characteristics. It is important to remember that viruses don’t discriminate.

    We are confident in the campus community’s ability to select new colleagues in the collaborative spirit of our traditional hiring practices, even while adapting to the realities of current events.

    For more information about campus response to COVID-19, visit the UO’s COVID-19 website. Search-related inquiries should be sent to