Choosing the right person for a position is important to our department. The Selection Committee is an important step in this process and is designed to ensure that the applicant pool is considered fairly. The committee consists of employees who have been nominated by their supervisors and must be free of any conflicts of interest. It is also important that the committee members be familiar with the responsibilities of their roles and that they understand their deliberations should remain confidential.
The number of people on the committee was chosen to allow for a broad range of viewpoints and geographical representation, as well as active discussion. The 13 members have different backgrounds but are all college sports administrators. Some of them are athletic directors or conference commissioners; others have experience working in NCAA divisions other than their own; and some are academic leaders.
Each week the committee meets to evaluate teams. It produces rankings and then holds a conference call on selection weekend to discuss potential matchups for the four semifinal and six New Year’s Six bowl games. The process is complex and involves a great deal of nuance.
In the case of the college basketball committee, it is trying to decide which at-large teams should make it into the field, how those teams should be seeded, and whether to invite a couple of top-tier conferences to fill out the bracket. The biggest question is how to treat St. John’s, West Virginia and Columbia. All three have strong resumes and a chance to win in the tournament, but the committee might feel that they do not deserve to join the top eight because of their lack of quality wins over teams ranked 26 to 50 in the NET.
It might seem that the committee is a little too complicated, but it works well. There are some things that are black and white, such as the fact that a team must have a high NET ranking to qualify for a playoff berth. But most decisions are much more complicated and nuanced.
Assigning a chairperson to the committee can help make sure that all members are heard and that no one is left out of discussions. This is especially important in committees with many members, and it can be helpful when there are close calls.
The chairperson should review the qualifications for each member of the committee and be sure that everyone is aware of what they need to do as part of their role. This helps the committee to work together more effectively and minimizes the likelihood that any individual has a bias against or for a particular applicant.
The committee should be as diverse as possible, with attention being given to gender, ethnicity and functional expertise. The committee should try to include members who will interact with the applicants on a regular basis. In the absence of this, committees should look outside of the department for individuals who will provide a unique perspective.