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Standards & Guidelines » CAA Guidelines

Standards for Professional Placement

Adopted unanimously by the CAA Board of Directors on October 22, 1977; amended on December 12, 1992; revised on October 28, 2012; revised on October 27, 2013.

In order to protect the interests both of applicants and of hiring institutions and to allow both to know their separate responsibilities during the placement process, the following standards have been formulated. These standards are intended to supplement legal standards for job professional placement rather than supplant them, and should be considered in conjunction with other CAA Standards and Guidelines including:

Guidelines for CAA Interviews

Guidelines for Part-Time Professional Employment

Standards for Retention and Tenure for Visual Art and Design Faculty

Works in New Media: Recommendations for Formatting, Handling, and Screening of Works

I. CAA Positions Listings

A. Listing of All Positions

CAA provides job postings by employers and related job-search services to CAA job seekers via its Online Career Center. Employers are typically colleges and universities, art museums, and other similar organizations. Job seekers are CAA members with access to the CAA Online Career Center. Overall, the CAA Online Career Center constitutes a central, international, and effective means of announcing job openings to the profession.

The CAA Online Career Center requires employers to complete an online registration profile and to agree to terms and conditions set forth by CAA. Employers create a private, password-protected account in which to manage job postings and/or résumé-searching interests. Employment postings range from 30 to 150 days for full- and part-time position listings.

CAA-member job seekers can access the CAA Online Career Center and search with multiple criteria. Job seekers can create confidential, password-protected accounts which permit the uploading of documents—such as PDF files containing PowerPoint presentations with images, title information, and links to large audio and video files—when applying for jobs. Should digital file submission to a central source within an institution be a requirement of an application, CAA suggests alignment with these digital file guidelines found in the appendix below. Use of online applicant management systems that charge a fee to applicants is strongly discouraged.

B. Nondiscriminatory Listings. CAA will not accept position listings that include qualifications viewed as discriminatory under applicable law. No job posting shall reflect, imply, or contribute to any discriminatory actions, practices, or improper bias of the employer. The CAA Online Career Center reserves the right to edit any job posting to remove any such offending language whether actual or implied.

C. Right to Privacy. Hiring should be based on professional qualifications only. CAA also abides by a Privacy Policy that applies to the collection and use of information from the CAA Online Career Center (

D. Accuracy of Listings. Hiring institutions take responsibility to ensure that the content of job postings conforms to all applicable laws, standards, and regulations. Hiring institutions are responsible for the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, revision, and, when the position is filled or the request withdrawn, the removal of any posting in the CAA Online Career Center. By posting a position in the CAA Online Career Center, each hiring institution represents and warrants that it has all necessary authorization for the placement of the entire content of its posting(s).

CAA strongly recommends that hiring institutions provide clear specifications of the qualifications and requirements of positions and post only genuine, existing employment requirements. Although institutions have a legitimate interest in retaining their options, they help neither themselves nor candidates when they list entry-level positions as “open,” fail to indicate preferred areas of specialization where such preferences do exist, or exaggerate expectations (“five years teaching experience,” “PhD required,” etc.) where neither the salary being offered nor the present practices of the institution warrant such requirements. Further, while “tentative” listings are encouraged in order to maximize publicity, institutions are required to state clearly that such positions are subject to budgetary or other contingencies.
CAA reserves the right to edit any job posting, but will review any such edited posting with the employer prior to publication.

E. Application Deadlines. Hiring institutions are reminded of both the legal and moral imperatives of keeping positions open until stated deadlines have passed. Deadlines must allow reasonable time for announcements to reach applicants and for applicants to prepare and submit applications.

F. Charade Listings. Affirmative-action procedures require that all positions be given wide publicity through channels designed to reach the broadest spectrum of potential candidates. In some instances, listings are published where the successful candidate is known in advance, simply to conform to affirmative-action regulations or other legal requirements. CAA disapproves of this violation of the spirit of the law.

G. Screenings and Notification. Screenings should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. It is the obligation of all hiring institutions to inform all applicants promptly and courteously as soon as they have been eliminated from consideration. Those being seriously considered should be notified of the status of their candidacy and of the expected schedule of departmental action as soon as possible after the application deadline.

H. Return of Materials. Candidates are reminded that a response to a position listing is the initial step in the selection process and are urged not to send materials of value unless specifically requested in the announcement of the opening. In all cases where such materials have been requested by the hiring institution—whether initially or in later stages of selection—they should be promptly returned if an applicant is eliminated from consideration.

I. Report on Position Listings. It is essential that CAA have complete statistical information on how its placement service is operating. CAA has access to some statistical reports; these may include, for example, number of registered job seekers, number of curricula vitae submitted during a specific time period, number of employers that received job applications, number of employers that posted jobs, number of employers who registered to post jobs, and number of active and new jobs.

II. Interviewing

When an institution contacts a candidate for a meeting, it should make clear the essential differences among screening, a preliminary interview, and a finalist interview.

“Screening”is the process whereby an employer attempts to discern the qualifications of each applicant as weighed against the position description. A meeting with a candidate to advance this process is a “preliminary interview” and represents an opportunity for the institution to enhance its understanding of the applicant’s qualifications. Such interviews might take the form of: a live meeting at a neutral site, such as the CAA Annual Conference, or on campus; a telephone conversation or conference call; or a web-based or other video conferencing meeting.  Most meetings between applicants and employers at the CAA Annual Conference are defined as preliminary interviews.

“Finalist interviews” are meetings arranged at sites and times convenient to both parties—most often on the campus of the institution—whereby the employer a) is considering a limited number of candidates already deemed to be qualified for the position and b) is assuming responsibility for all reasonable expenses for each candidate.

Whether conducted at the CAA Annual Conference or elsewhere, interviews should proceed in such a manner as to respect the professional and personal integrity of the candidates. Interviews should take place promptly as scheduled; each applicant should be allowed sufficient time to develop her/his candidacy in some depth; and interviewers should be prepared to respond to legitimate questions about the institution, its nature, program, location, etc. (An up-to-date web site providing this information can save valuable time and energy.)

Respect for the integrity of the interviewing process involves a reciprocal obligation on the part of candidates to come to interviews prepared with all necessary supporting materials and to follow established procedures and schedules.
Institutions conducting interviews not at the CAA Annual Conference should arrange interview sites and times convenient to both parties and assume responsibility for all reasonable expenses for candidates to participate in such interviews. Remote video-conferencing technologies are recommended as an agreeable and convenient method for screening candidates in preliminary interviews but are not recommended as a substitute for, or as being equivalent to, a live personal interview.

Institutions and their representatives should familiarize themselves with federal guidelines and laws related to discriminatory employment practices. It is particularly advisable to review available resources for determining questions prohibited by law and alternative questions for obtaining important insights about candidate qualifications. Information is available from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Detailed suggestions for interviewers and candidates can be found in CAA’s Guidelines for CAA Interviews.

III. Oversight

CAA will monitor violations that can be clearly ascertained through its own administrative processes, namely:

A. Failure to adhere to application deadlines

B. Failure by interviewers to honor their commitment to be present at the CAA Annual Conference

Willful violations will be communicated by letter to the chief administrative officer of the offending institution.

Other alleged serious violations will be referred for investigation with such action as deemed appropriate in accordance with established grievance procedure.

Authors and Contributors

Ad Hoc Committee on Placement Standards (2012): Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University (chair); Susan J. Bandes, Michigan State University; Dana Clancy, Boston University; Joelle Deitrick, Florida State University; Michael Fahlund, CAA Deputy Director; Mary Hafeli, State University of New York at New Paltz; Krista Hoefle, St. Mary’s College (IN); Dennis Ichiyama, Purdue University; Jason Lahr, University of Notre Dame; Emmanuel Lemakis, CAA Director of Programs; Dominic Marner, University of Guelph; Owen Mundy, Florida State University; David Sokol, University of Illinois-Chicago; Mel Ziegler, Vanderbilt University.

Ad Hoc Committee on Placement Standards (1997): George Sadek, Cooper Union (chair); Paul B. Arnold, Oberlin College; August L. Freundlich, Syracuse University; Kenneth S. Friedman, Institute for Advanced Studies in Contemporary Art, San Diego; Daniel M. Kadish, Kean College of New Jersey; Donald R. MacKenzie, College of Wooster; Jerrold Maddox, Kansas State University; Floyd W. Martin, Champaign, Illinois; Edward D. Maryon, University of Utah; Charles E. Meyer, Western Michigan University; Minerva Navarrete, CAA; Richard Ross, University of California, Santa Barbara; Christopher R. Schultz, Federal Way, Washington; David M. Sokol, University of Illinois, Chicago Circle; Gary D. Sweeney, Hollywood, California; P. R. Szeitz, Moorhead State University; Guy Walton, New York University; Rose R. Weil, CAA; Beverly Zisla Welber, St. Anselm’s College; Henri Zerner, Harvard University.     


American Association of University Professors (AAUP) List of Censured Institutions

Adopted by the CAA Board of Directors on October 28, 2012.

The AAUP states:

Investigations by the American Association of University Professors of the administrations of the institutions listed [on the censure list] show that, as evidenced by a past violation, they are not observing the generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure approved by this Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and more than two hundred other professional and educational organizations. This list is published for the purpose of informing Association members, the profession at large, and the public that unsatisfactory conditions of academic freedom and tenure have been found to prevail at these institutions. Names are placed on or removed from this censure list by vote of the Association's annual meeting.

The censure list may be consulted at

It should be emphasized that CAA’s purpose in providing this information is solely to inform its membership of the existence of potential problems. CAA has no means of investigation or procedures in place for holding hearings and therefore cannot make factual determinations with respect to the merits of a particular complaint or accusation.

Digital Files: Guidelines and Resources

Adopted by the CAA Board of Directors on October 28, 2012.

Many institutions develop online application management systems that require digital file submissions. The following guidelines are strongly recommended for digital file format requirements. Consistency in formatting benefits all involved. If an institution does not have an online application management system, they can use free services such as Dropbox for transfer of large files. Use of online applicant management systems that charge a fee to applicants is strongly discouraged. Additional information about digital files can be found in Guidelines for Presenting Works in Digital Format.

I.   Specific Suggested Guidelines for Requested Files (Links to technical directions for all recommended
     guidelines are listed below under 5. Resources.)
     A. Format and Size
         1.  Format
              a) PDFs were invented to be a portable document format and can be produced by any program.
         2.  Size
              a) For the submission of a text PDF, the file should not exceed 1MB.
              b) For the submission of artwork, 20 artist works and/or 20 student works are generally requested.
                  To keep file size down, the artworks and student artworks should be submitted separately.
              c) Until recently, images 1024 pixels wide were sufficiently large—and larger images made files
                  cumbersome to manage on many computer screens. Since a vast majority of computers now
                  have screens larger than 1024 pixels wide, images in a PDF should reasonably be a maximum
                  of 2000 pixels in any direction. It is in the applicant’s interest to have her/his files as close to
                  this number as possible.
              d) Images can be placed within a PowerPoint file with title information below the image and
                  exported as a PDF.
              e) Recommended maximum size for PDFs containing 20 artworks is 10 MB. (Files can be
                  reduced in size by saving as optimized in Adobe PDF Reader.)
              f)  If an institution insists on the submission of individual images, thse should be saved as JPGs
                  at a resolution such that individual files do not exceed 1MB. Suggested dimensions are
                  a maximum of 2000 pixels in any direction.
     B. Labeling
         1.  File Names
              a) Application files should be contained within a folder titled with the year and the position title.  
                  Within this folder should be folders titled with the name of the applicant, last name first followed by first
              b) Files should generally be labeled with “lastName_ firstName_requested.pdf.” or
                  “lastName_firstName_requested.jpeg.” Examples include:
                  (1) smith_jane_cv.pdf
                  (2) smith_jane_images_artwork.jpeg
                  (3) smith_jane_images_students.jpeg
                  (4) smith_jane_teaching_philosophy.pdf
         2.  Images within PDFs
              a) Provide the name, title, date, dimensions, medium, date of completion. If the work is part of an  
                  important collection, a site-specific piece, a building, etc., indicate the location. Include the
                  appropriate collection or building name, etc., and, if appropriate, the city and state where the work
                  is located.
              b) Each image should have the following identifying information:
                  (1) Title of the work: all titles should be italicized or underlined.
                  (2) Medium: be reasonable in your choice of terms. Title space may affect your word
                       choice, so select terms wisely.
                  (3) Date of completion
                  (4) Dimensions: When providing dimensions for a work of art use the following conventions:
                       (a)         Three-dimensional works: Height x Width x Depth (always in that order).
                       (b)         Two-dimensional works: Height x Width (always in that order).
                       (c)         Keep units of measurement consistent. Within the Unites States, measurements are
                                    typically recorded in feet and inches. Outside the United States, the metric system is
                                    typically used. Both are acceptable. Examples of usage:
                           i)   Correct:               
                                (1)            6 x 2 feet
                                (2)            6 x 2 ft.
                                (3)            6’ x 2'
                                (4)            72 x 24 inches
                                (5)            72” x 24”
                                (6)            1.83 m x 0.61 m
                                (7)            15 cm x 7.2 cm
                           ii)  Incorrect:
                                (1)            72 inches x 2 feet (don't mix system of units)
                                (2)            72 inches x 2 m
                  (5) Location: If the work is part of an important collection, a site-specific piece, a building, etc.,
                       indicate the location. Include the appropriate collection or building name, etc., and, if
                       appropriate, the city and state where the work is located.
                  (6) Destroyed: If the work has been removed or destroyed, this should be indicated.
     C. Time-Based Media
         1.  Video should be uploaded to an external video-sharing website like Vimeo or YouTube. Audio
              should be uploaded to an external audio-sharing website like SoundCloud. These files, made
              public or private, can be linked to an applicant’s PDF of images under a video still after the
              title information.

II.  Retention of Materials
     A. Although it is reasonable for colleges and universities to retain the submitted files for a reasonable
         period of time to document the search process, institutions should not duplicate or retain copies of
         candidate files without the permission of the candidate. The search should not be used to build an
         an institution’s art collection.
     B. Should an institution request the submission of materials on CDs or DVDs, the return postage for the
         CD is generally larger than cost of the disc(s); therefore, CAA recommends that the disc(s) be

III. Resources
     A. Example of PDF with images, including video stills with links [upload to CAA site]
     B. Directions for exporting a pdf from PowerPoint:
         1. - _Toc290880028
     C. Vimeo:
     D. SoundCloud:
     E. Dropbox: