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The Role and Responsibilities of the DHC

When approval has been given for a faculty appointment, the DHC is responsible for conducting a search for a suitable appointee (PDF fileArticle 4.2 C.) for tenure track and limited term faculty positions.

The DHC shall search actively for the strongest possible candidate pool, where strength is measured in all possible dimensions relevant to an academic appointment, including equity, diversity and inclusion (PDF fileArticle 4.1.E.).

Each new faculty member shall be appointed by the University on the recommendation of the Dean; the appointment will have been recommended to the Dean by the DHC (PDF fileArticle 4.2 A).

The Recruitment and Selection Process below captures the key steps and Collective Agreement obligations.

Recruitment and Selection Process

Dhc composition formed. Chair appoints one member. EDI report sent to the Dean. DHC consults with faculty members about each respective position. DHC drafts job profile, faculty members of the department are asked to comment. Job profile submitted to the Dean.
DHC selects additional member. DHC creates job advertisement and sends to for approval. DHC explores outreach options and posts job. Faculty members are provided access to the CVS of the short-listed candidates. Candidates in the department/school are not eligible to provide feedback on the CVs and candidate presentations.
DHC compiles preferred candidates list. Consults with HR Immigration unit. Invites faculty, staff and students to comment on presentations. Faculty members provide additional input. DHC drafts hiring recommendation and submits to Dean for approval. Dean submits to VPFA. Dean negotiates terms and conditions with the candidate. DHC contacts unsuccessful candidates and files records in a secure location.

Number of tenure stream Faculty
within dept./school

or designate





10 or fewer






Between 10-25 






More than 25 







DHC Activity

May 15

DHC is established for the following academic year

May 31

DHC is fully constituted including selection of final member.

DHC elects a DHC Chair. 

June 15

DHC Chair submits names of DHC members, including name of DHC Chair
to Dean, OVPFA, President of RFA. 

September 1

Commencement of DHC’s term of appointment

August 31 

End of DHC’s term of appointment

While the DHC is required to engage in departmental consultations at various stages in the recruitment process, it has an obligation to protect the privacy of candidates and maintain confidentiality of the deliberations and decision making process.

During the search process, the Committee has the ability to consult with the RFA and/or members of the Administration, which would include:

  • Human Resources
  • Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs, and
  • Office of the Vice-President, Equity & Community Inclusion

Generally, it is the DHC Chair who is authorized to communicate, as appropriate, on behalf of the DHC (PDF fileArticle 4.2.I).

Pre-tenured faculty members in their first year are strictly prohibited from serving on the DHC.

Unless required in exceptional circumstances, the placement of pre-tenured faculty on the DHC in their subsequent years of probation should still be avoided.

No more than one pre-tenure faculty member may serve on the DHC, and they must be elected members.

Selected members are placed only in 5 or 7 member committees and they join the DHC only after the job profile has been developed, taking into consideration the requirements of the position.

When selecting the 5th or 7th member, if the DHC members are unable to agree upon a member, the choice between the final candidates shall be elected by the tenure stream members of the department/school.

The same faculty member can only be appointed over two consecutive terms. They can however, be elected in the following third term.

Some searches do not have one specific home department and in those cases there may be special nuances to the composition of the DHC; agreement may be required with the VPFA and the RFA.

DHC must consult with HR/VPFA in those circumstances before proceeding with their process.

Should a member need to be replaced for any reason, the replacement shall be chosen in the same manner, that is, by either election or appointment, as the person being replaced.

Where necessary, the new member shall attend a special workshop, under the conditions outlined in this article (PDF fileArticle 4.1.K).

In exceptional circumstances, where necessary for equity or expertise reasons, one, but no more than one member of the DHC may come from outside the department/school.

A DHC which commences a search will continue until an appointment has been made or until the Dean has declared a failed search.

DHC Terms of Reference are like rules of engagement, recommended to be developed as early as possible (e.g. first meeting of the DHC). Terms of Reference establish a positive tone regarding how the DHC will be operating and making decisions in a collegial, positive and respectful manner. Some things to consider include: 

  • Collegiality: How will different opinions be respected? How will conflict be resolved?
  • Decision Making: How will decisions be made? e.g. majority vote, consensus, voting method, motions,etc. 
  • Attendance and Quorum: How will DHC members participate? e.g. in-person vs. virtual.
  • Timelines: What is the frequency of meetings and estimated completion date? 
  • Consultation and Roles: What items might require consultation and who might be the lead for different things? e.g. EDI considerations