Step 6: Campus Visit

By now, the search committee should have a sense that each of the interviewees has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job.  However, there still a need for information in some areas.  The on-campus visit allows the campus community to get a feel for the candidate/institution "chemistry," the candidates' personal traits, and in short, whether the candidate will be effective in the institution.  The candidates also may have questions on a range of topics.  Campus visits promote the goals of both the candidates and the institution.

All visits across the campus, as well as meal visits, are considered an extension of the interview process.  A committee member should accompany the applicant to each meeting to ensure that discriminatory questions are not posed to the interviewee.  If an inappropriate question is directed to the interviewee, it is the responsibility of the committee member to inform the applicant that the question(s) should not be answered.

Schedules should be planned to get the best use of time.  A committee member or other staff on hand for transitions between appointments, to provide for introductions, to help guide the candidate around campus, and to answer questions.  Attempt to schedule all appointments in the administration building consecutively.  Experience on this campus suggests that it is better if the candidate can be scheduled to meet with the vice president late in the day.  This allows the candidate time to get a feel for the culture of the campus, and to formulate questions best asked of the vice president.

It will be necessary to secure an Authorization of Release of Information form from finalists, if it has not been done previously.  It is typically done prior to a campus visit.  One can secure it at the time of the finalist's campus visit, if it occurs prior to the committee conducting reference checks.