Updated 10:45 p.m. October 13, 2022
Program Guidelines and Procedures
At the University of Arizona, we recognize that hiring the best employees from across the world requires that we also consider their family context in hiring and retention efforts. We also recognize 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.
Placing partner hires across different departments and / or colleges is strongly encouraged in order to reduce workplace conflicts of interest, and the need for associated mitigations / management plans required when partners work in the same unit.
It is essential that all faculty job primary hires are notified of UArizona’s support for partner hires no later than at the time of the face-to-face meeting with the hiring unit supervisor and with the Dean. Given that it is preferred to start this process as early as possible, it is best to encourage primary hires to share their needs early in the negotiation process. It is recommended that the Dean reach out to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration as soon as possible once there is a discussion between Deans about partner hires. A partner hire should be requested to the Dean by the hiring supervisor for the primary hire. It is strongly preferable for the partner to be placed in a separate department and / or college from the primary hire, and the Deans are the responsible individuals for seeking a viable solution that will benefit the institution. The Dean receiving the partner hire is responsible for the decision on whether or not the partner hire is strategically appropriate for the College. If needed, the Vice Provost will help facilitate cooperation between departments and / or colleges. Once there is an agreement between the colleges, then, 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.
Important considerations include the following:
- Funding: It is expected that the institution will make a long-term commitment to partner hires. It may not be assumed that the partner hire will be let go once funding support from the provost and / or primary hire college is completed. The receiving unit for the partner hire is expected to pick up the full salary and support costs after year three if there are no performance issues. If there are performance issues, this must be documented during the annual review, and concerns should be conveyed to the Dean of the primary hire as early as possible to mitigate other institutional effects.
- All faculty tracks may be considered for partner hire support - tenure-track, continuing track, and career-track. Staff partner hires are also sometimes possible.
- Offer letters for the primary hire should not reference the partner hire, and vice versa.
- Partner faculty hires must be made an offer that includes relevant and resources required for their future success in a manner that is equivalent to recent competitive hires on the same track and of the same rank. This includes salary, start-up funds, and other supports. Salary and support for the primary hire may not be reduced in light of the needed support for the partner hire, and vice versa.
- There is no statute of limitations on the opportunity for partner hires after hiring. We will consider partner hires from current employees whose life circumstances may have changed.
Following is a summary of steps in the procedure for initiating partner hire offers.
|STEP 1||A partner hire is requested by the primary hire during discussions with the hiring supervisor, but ideally before hiring negotiations are completed. They are requested to provide a CV/resume for the partner.|
The hiring supervisor for the primary hire consults with their Dean about potential partner hire. The Dean will initiate contact with another department / college, as appropriate. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is consulted if/when suggestions are needed for partner hire placement options.
The Dean of primary hire works in collaboration with the Dean for the partner hire (if in separate college) to assess the case for the primary hire. The Dean for the partner hire is responsible for the decision on whether or not the partner hire is strategically appropriate for the college. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is consulted if / when questions arise regarding partner hire placement.
|STEP 4||The department for the partner hire must conduct a faculty vote for ANY faculty partner hires, for any track (tenure-track, continuing status track or career-track), in a manner concordant with the department’s and college’s bylaws.|
The Business Officers from both hiring departments / colleges should work in collaboration to prepare hiring paperwork. Partner hire paperwork is submitted by the Business Officer from the college of the primary hire.
|STEP 6||Partner hire paperwork will be reviewed and approved by the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration.|
|STEP 7||Approval email, paperwork, and partner hire offer letter are sent by Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration to the Division of Human Resources Recruitment and Outreach team and Provost. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs must be 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 talent.arizona.edu 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 initiating 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 primary hire, and the department of the partner hire, for the first three years. After three years, the entire salary of the partner will be the responsibility of the partner hire’s department. Funding is not available for a partner hire within the same department. Request for funding for an individual is limited to a maximum of a three-year commitment.
Partner Hiring Process for New Hire
In order to be eligible for partner hiring consideration, the finalist must have (or is expected to shortly have) an offer for a faculty position (in the case of a new faculty hire), or be a current / active faculty member in good standing (in the case of a retention consideration). Internal partner hire agreements are not to be used to move an individual from a non-tenure track or career track position to a tenure track position.
2. During the search
The information about partner hiring should be transparent and equally available to all finalists. It is essential that all job finalists are notified of the potential for partner hires at the time of the face-to-face meeting with the hiring unit supervisor and with the Dean. Given that it is preferred to start this process as early as possible, it is best to encourage finalists to share their needs to the hiring supervisor early in the negotiation process.
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 encouraged to discuss the needs with the hiring supervisor.
The partner hire needs of a finalist should never be discussed or considered by the search committee or department during the selection process. Finalists for faculty positions should be considered on their individual merits without regard to partner status. The challenges and / or opportunities associated with a partner hire must not be a factor in the decision to make an offer to a finalist. Partner hire information is not included in the offer letter to the finalist.
If the primary hire finalist discloses that they have partner hire needs, the hiring supervisor should consult with the Dean. The Dean is the responsible individual for seeking a viable solution. The Dean may contact the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs if the partner hire is interested in an academic appointment at the University of Arizona. The hiring supervisor 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 supervisor 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. There is no statute of limitation on the opportunity for partner hire. We will consider requests from current employees, particularly when life circumstances have changed.
Policy Considerations in Partner Hiring
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.
University policy https://policy.arizona.edu/employment-human-resources/nepotism 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
The implementation of the partner hire program may not discriminate against any individual protected by the University's non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy https://policy.arizona.edu/human-resources/nondiscrimination-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.