Partner Hiring Program

Program Guidelines and Procedures


The University of Arizona recognizes that addressing the needs of partner hires is an essential part of recruiting and retaining the highest quality faculty. The university regards partner hires as a legitimate practice of non-competitive recruitment and retention. It is expected that the partner hire will have qualifications commensurate with the position that they are hired into and will adhere to standards of performance associated with that position.

Partner hire needs are best addressed after the job finalist has been selected as the finalist for the position. The best timing is during the preparation of the offer letter. The decision to pursue a partner hire rests with the college Dean in collaboration with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration. However, the hire may be requested by the finalist’s department chair on the finalist’s behalf. If needed, the Vice Provost will act as a broker to facilitate cooperation between departments and colleges if a faculty commitment is being sought for the potential hire. In most cases, the hiring authority reaches out to the partner department/dean to initiate the coordination of hiring. If they concur, the business office of the college forwards the request to the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration to work on the offer letters, funding, and commitment coordination.

STEP 1 Partner hire is requested by the finalist after an offer has been made and appointment letter of offer preparation has begun but before it is completed. They are required to provide a CV/resume for the partner.

The hiring authority of the finalist consults with the potential partner hire department head. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is consulted if/when suggestions are needed for partner hire placement.


Dean of finalist works in collaboration with partner hire Dean (if in separate college). The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is consulted if/when questions arise regarding partner hire placement.

STEP 4 Business Officers from both hiring departments work in collaboration to prepare hiring paperwork. Partner hire paperwork is submitted by the Business Officer in the college of the finalist.

Partner hire paperwork received and approved by Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration.

STEP 6 Approval email, paperwork, and partner offer letter is sent by Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration to Division of Human Resources Recruitment and Outreach team and Provost. Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is copied on approval correspondence.

For the partners of new faculty looking for non-academic employment or appointments, the Division of Human Resources encourages prospective applicants to visit for information and resources about opportunities throughout the University of Arizona community. If a department is interested in finding a non-academic position for a partner, the department is responsible for beginning the process of recommending the individual for hire and securing the support necessary. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs may provide additional general information on resources.

In some cases, the partner may be interested in and qualified for admission to a graduate, professional or undergraduate degree program. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs can provide general information about the admissions process but does not influence admissions decisions.


All hiring opportunities are subject to available funding and the interests of related colleges and departments. Each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the salary for the partner will be shared equally by the Office of the Provost, the department of the original finalist, and the department of the partner for the first three years. After three years, the entire salary of the partner will be the responsibility of the partner’s department.

Partner Hiring Process for New Hire

1. Eligibility

In order to be eligible for partner hiring consideration, the finalist must have an offer for a faculty position (in the case of a new faculty hire) or a current/active faculty member (in the case of a retention consideration).

2. During the search

A department conducting a search for a faculty appointment may contact the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs if needed when a finalist has been identified and they would like to discuss transition issues, including partner hire needs if applicable. The information about partner hiring should be transparent and equally available to all finalists. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will share no information about the finalist with the department unless the finalist has agreed to release such information.

If the finalist discloses information to the search committee about partner hire needs, or if partner hire needs are generally known during a search, the finalist should be referred to the department head/chair for assistance.

The partner hire needs of a finalist should never be discussed or considered by the department in the selection process. Finalists for faculty positions should be considered on their individual merits without regard to partner status. The challenges or opportunities associated with a partner hire must not be a factor in the decision to make an offer to a finalist.

3. After an offer is made

After a finalist has been selected and recommended for an offer, the department chair may initiate a discussion regarding needs the finalist has that can be supported by the University. If the finalist discloses that they have partner hire needs, the department chair should consult with the dean. The dean may contact the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs if the finalist's partner is interested in an academic appointment at the University of Arizona. The department chair should contact the Vice Provost for information about partner hire opportunities in non-academic employment or appointments.

Partner Hiring Process for Retention Cases

A faculty member may request partner accommodation as part of a negotiation to remain at the University. In this case, the faculty member’s department head/chair may notify the dean, who will determine whether to initiate the process described above. In collaboration with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs or Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, the department works to issue a retention letter of offer.

Policy Considerations in Partner Hiring

1. Equity

The partner hire program should be implemented, to the greatest extent possible, so that each eligible partner is considered for appropriate positions in an equitable manner. It is the goal of the program that partners be evaluated on their own merits.

2. Nepotism

University policy permits the employment of near relatives in the same department as long as they comply with the requirements outlined in the policy such as there is no direct reporting or supervisory relationship between the relatives and all employment decisions are made by others. The hiring authority is required to create a memo at the time of hire that documents the supervision or direct lines of reporting of the individual

3. Non-discrimination

The implementation of the partner hire program may not discriminate against any individual protected by the University's non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy Partner hiring should be monitored to ensure that policies and practices do not foster inequities based on gender, marital status, race, or other protected classifications.