Printed on: 02/16/2019. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Hiring an Academic Employee without a Search

Appendix to Policy

There are several types of no search hires that can be made following specified procedures, including appropriate documentation and approvals. These no search hires include (1) spousal/partner hires, (2) exceptional hires, and (3) current University employee into a new or vacant academic position.

Several factors are taken into account when considering approval of these types of no-search hires.

  • Whether the subject matter and skills of the proposed candidate are consistent with the unit's existing academic priorities/plans;
  • In the case of academic administrators, the adequacy of the candidate's affirmative action accomplishments and the results of the consultation process;
  • The affirmative action record of the unit and impact of the proposed hire (If the job group is underrepresented in the unit and/or the hiring of the individual will make a positive contribution to affirmative action obligations, this will be regarded positively. If that is not the case, the unit or appointing authority must identify a convincing pattern of affirmative action in their past hiring and promotion activity); and
  • Additionally, when reviewing materials for approval a spousal/partner hire, consideration is given to whether the subject matter expertise of the proposed spousal/partner candidate is consistent with the unit's existing academic priorities and plans.

Spousal/Partner Hires

Hiring authorities may make the following appointments without a search for a spouse or partner: (1) tenure-track or tenured faculty, (2) term faculty, (3) academic professional, or (4) academic administrator (with the exception of senior administrator). Appointments of this type may be made in cases where the University desires to hire a highly qualified individual who has been identified as the finalist in a search process and for whom a major condition for their acceptance of the position is the employment of their spouse and partner. A spousal/partner hire might also be considered in retention cases of valued faculty or other academic staff where employment of a spouse or partner may be a factor in the decision to stay or leave. Appropriate documentation and approvals are required.

Exceptional Hires

Hiring authorities may hire individual from outside the University for (1) tenure-track or tenured faculty, (2) term faculty, or (3) P&A positions without a search. Exceptional hire appointments may be made where there is an opportunity to hire an individual who is well suited for the position considering the individual's gender, race and ethnicity; academic scholarship; teaching recognition; exceptional achievement; outstanding leadership and service; or other special talents so as to confer a distinct benefit to the institution's mission. Exceptional hires are rarely permitted and only when there are compelling reasons to do so. Appropriate documentation and approvals are required.

Current University Employee Hired into a New or Vacant Academic Position

Hiring authorities may appoint a current University employee into a new or vacant (1) term faculty, (2) academic professional (excluding those on probationary or continuous appointments), or (3) academic administrative (excluding those in the senior administrative group) position, with appropriate documentation and approvals.

As the University seeks to more demonstrably recognize and value its talented and dedicated staff, opportunities may present themselves where an individual, either within the unit or from within the University system, is clearly prepared and qualified to take on a new position. Where a compelling case can be made that a current employee has demonstrated the blend of education, skills, and experience required by the position, or where a particular individual can uniquely assist a unit in achieving its goals and objectives, the hiring authority may request approval to make an appointment without a search.

In addition to this critical decision, the hiring authority must also identify advantages and disadvantages of hiring an individual from within the unit as opposed to hiring from within the larger University community. Also, hiring P&A employees or contract faculty who have received a notice of non-renewal or hiring P&A employees, contract faculty, temporary faculty or tenure-track faculty whose units will be closed is encouraged by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

The risks of this staffing strategy should be considered carefully before proceeding. Questions to consider include:

  • What are the current staff demographics of the employees in the unit? How diverse is the unit? Would this appointment bring greater diversity to the unit?
  • Is it likely that a more qualified and diverse applicant pool may be found by conducting a search to fill your position?
  • Have communications with the current employee groups been clear about unit staffing strategies and goals or will appointing an individual to your position within your unit from outside the unit be seen as reflecting badly on your staff?

Appointments made through this no search option require careful documentation of position information, as well as the consultative and approval process used. Additionally, the individual recommended for this appointment must have been initially appointed to a position through a recruitment search that was external to the University. While this type of hire does not include all of the components of a limited search, an additional approval step by the Vice President of Human Resources and the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action is required.

Other No-Search Hire Options

On limited occasions and with appropriate approvals, a faculty or P&A employee hire may be made without a search. The following are no-search options.

Individuals who have been Awarded a Grant through Competition, e.g., Principal Investigator (PI). Individuals from either within or outside the University who have been awarded a grant through a search or competition (from either within or outside the University), including but not limited to: Young Investigator awards, Principal Investigators and academic professionals working with Principal Investigators. This information is to be captured in the HRMS database by entry of the appropriate Action/Reason code.

One Semester Only. Individuals may be hired for one semester (or equivalent time period), either full or part-time, without a search. This type of appointment may be done only once per individual. The appointment must be date specific and is limited to one semester. No reappointment or extension is permitted without an appropriate search. This appointment information is to be captured in the HRMS database by checking the single semester exemption box on the UM Job Appointment page.

Visiting Professor. Individuals may be hired on a visiting appointment, non-regular faculty appointment, appointment type 'V', without a search. "The appointment is designated a Visiting appointment because the faculty member is from another institution or is a professional from a government or private agency on a leave of absence to accept a temporary appointment at this University" (Tenure Regulations, Sections 3.3 and 3.4). The appointment is date specific and the rank is the same as the rank at the home institution. For professionals from government or private agencies, the appropriate rank depends on the person's qualifications and experience. This information is to be captured in the HRMS database by entry of the appropriate Action/Reason code.

Graduate Assistants who have Completed Degree. Students who graduate while they hold assistantships and have not been officially admitted into another graduate level degree program, may complete any remaining full semesters of an appointment after graduation with a change of class title. The individual would change to one of the following titles in that case:

  • Teaching Assistants to either Teaching Specialist (9754), if they have completed the master's degree or Lecturer (9753) if they have completed the Ph.D.,
  • Research Assistants to Research Specialists (9755) and
  • Administrative Fellows to either Research (9755) or Teaching (9754) Specialist.

The appointment may not extend beyond the basic term year (end date of 'B' term, 'A' term, etc.). This information is to be captured in the HRMS database by entry of the appropriate Action/Reason code.

University of Minnesota Retirees. Individuals who have officially retired from the University may be rehired without a search. The appointment must be date specific and carry no additional benefits aside from their existing retirement benefits. This information is to be captured in the HRMS database by entry of the Appropriate Action/Reason code.

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