Master's and Ph.D. Career Symposium

1.1 An Inside Look at an Academic Search Committee

Time: 9:00-10:15am

Room: 126 Wellman

How does a department develop a position description for tenure and adjunct faculty positions? What do search committee members look for in the application packet? What screening tools are used for evaluating the “short list”? What are search committee members considering when selecting potential applicants for an on-campus interview? What do they look for in making the final decision to recommend hiring a new faculty member? Join our panel of distinguished faculty members as they share their experiences as academic search committee "insiders" and gain a better understanding of what these committees look for in the successful job candidate.


Beth Rose Middleton (Afro-Caribbean, Eastern European) is Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Davis. Beth Rose’s research centers on Native environmental policy and Native activism for site protection using conservation tools. Her broader research interests include intergenerational trauma and healing, rural environmental justice, indigenous analysis of climate change, Afro-indigeneity, and qualitative GIS. Beth Rose received her BA in Nature and Culture from UC Davis, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley. Her book, Trust in the Land: New Directions in Tribal Conservation (University of Arizona Press 2011), explores Native applications of conservation easements, with an emphasis on conservation partnerships led by California Native Nations. Beth Rose has published on Native economic development in Economic Development Quarterly, on political ecology and healing in the Journal of Political Ecology, on Federal Indian law as environmental policy, and the history of the environmental justice movement in The CQ Guide to US Environmental Policy, on mapping allotment lands in Ethnohistory, on using environmental laws for indigenous rights in Environmental Management, on the application of market-based conservation tools to Garifuna site protection in Caribbean Quarterly, and on challenges to cultural site protection in Native California in Human Geography. She is currently working on a text on the history of Indian land rights and hydroelectric development in northern California, a study of the application of Senate Bill 18 (the “traditional tribal places law”) in California, and providing staff support (volunteer) to an alliance of Native American land trusts. Other organizations she works with include the Maidu Summit Consortium, the Roundhouse Council Indian Education Center, the Maidu Cultural and Development Group, and the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment.

Michelle Norris earned her PhD in Statistics from UC Davis in 2008 and is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at California State University, Sacramento.  Her research focuses on developing flexible, nonparametric Bayesian models for longitudinal data with unknown changepoints.  She also enjoys collaborative work with scientists in developing statistical models for complex data from diverse disciplines such as epidemiology, parapsychology and geology.  Michelle has served twice on hiring committees at California State University, Sacramento.

Bruce Zenner has taught at Sacramento City College since 1998. He received his B.S. in biology and chemistry at UCSC, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC Davis.  Bruce worked for two startup biotech companies prior to his teaching career and has extensive experience in research, project management, intellectual property, and product development as well as teaching. As a professor of chemistry at Sacramento City College, Bruce has taught at every level from preparatory chemistry through organic chemistry. He has served as department chair, and on numerous committees, including hiring committee. Bruce’s current interests include development of basic skills and college readiness in new college students, and community science outreach activities.