Academic Hiring Guidelines for the University Search Process
In accordance with UIC's equal opportunity and affirmative action obligations, all salaried Academic Professional and Faculty positions which are 50% time or greater, including Visiting Academic Professional Appointments must be filled via an open and competitive search process. This included public posting of the search for a minimum of two weeks. Postings can be online or print.
Limited searches for some administrative and faculty positions may be restricted to the University campus or even to the unit in which the position resides. These exceptional searches might be justified by the qualifications sought, e.g., direct experience with the University of Illinois system or tenured faculty at the UIC campus.
Appointments That Do Not Require a Search
- Visiting Faculty or Academic Hourly appointments which are limited to a specific time or term lasting not longer than three years
- Appointments for less than 50% time; appointment cannot be increased to 50% or greater time without a full search
- Continuing and intermittent appointments for academic employees who were originally hired as the result of a search and whose break or breaks in service have not exceeded the length of the original or previous contract
- Trainee and student appointments may be made without an open and competitive search process with the understanding that a department wishing to retain a trainee or student employee must post the opening and conduct a fair and equitable review of other comparably qualified candidates in accordance with University Academic Hiring guidelines. Trainee and student appointments include the following categories:
- Post-Doctoral Research Associates
- Post-Doctoral Fellows
- Visiting Scholars
- Pharmacy Externs
- Teaching Assistants
- Graduate Research Assistants
- Undergraduate Research Assistants
- Predoctoral Fellows
- Graduate Trainees
Reminder: Individuals appointed to positions without a search being conducted must be informed that subsequent offers of employment will not be made unless they are selected as the result of an approved search.
Search Waiver Procedures
Each year a few appointments are made and some promotions are granted without going through the standard search procedures. These positions are eligible for search waiver requests due to (a) the existence of statutory or other policy guidelines governing the appointment or search process; (b) the unique talents and skills required for the position; or (c) urgent departmental/unit teaching needs that cannot be addressed through the normal search process (i.e., increased class enrollment at the beginning of a semester requiring an immediate teaching appointment). Search waivers should be used for appointing individuals to positions within jobs groups in the academic Affirmative Action Plan. Individuals may be external to the University or may be employed in an exempt position. A request for a search waiver must include a justification detailing evidence for why a search cannot be conducted, efforts made to seek underrepresented candidates, how the individual for whom the waiver is sought was identified, and confirmation of no others at the university with similar duties or titles eligible to compete for the position.
Note: The eligibility of a position for a search waiver does not exempt a position from affirmative action requirements and equal employment opportunity regulations, including documenting good faith efforts to achieve diversity and ensuring non-discrimination.
A. Appointments eligible for Search Waivers based on statutory and campus policy objectives
- Senior Faculty Administrative Positions with the following title:
- Appointments included in Special Recruitments
Under-Represented Faculty Recruitment Program (UFRP)
- Research Associate position under the following condition:
In furtherance of the professional career development of postdoctoral associates and in support of the campus’ research mission, search waivers may be requested for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to change their title to Research Associate
B. Appointments Eligible for a Search Waiver based on urgent departmental/unit needs that cannot be addressed through the normal search process (i.e., increased class enrollment at the beginning of a semester requiring an immediate teaching appointment).
Note: These positions should generally be filled through an open and competitive process. When, however, urgent and unforeseen circumstances arise requiring the immediate filling of a vacancy to further the campus’ mission and objectives, a waiver may be requested. The waiver should generally be for a limited time (i.e., one semester) to address the immediate need.
C. Appointments Eligible for a Search Waiver based on the unique talents, skills, and experience required for the position
- Senior Faculty Administrative Positions with the following titles:
Associate Dean and Assistant Dean
Associate Head or Assistant Head
Note: For senior faculty administrative positions, good faith efforts should include notifying all tenured faculty of the position opening and encouraging those interested to contact the appropriate individual. See Chapter 3.6 for additional guidelines on these positions.
Promotion is any advancement in rank and/or salary. Faculty promotions along both tenurable and nontenurable tracks are considered non-competitive, insofar as they are not subject to a competitive external search process but are granted pursuant to the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. The Office for Access and Equity (OAE) monitors promotion of faculty along both tracks. Faculty members who are not on the tenure track can be promoted into tenurable positions if they have undergone a search.Promotions of administrative staff are normally competitive, that is, they require a search. An academic professional is defined as an administrative staff position which has been exempted from the State Universities Civil Service System. When an academic professional or administrative staff position is redefined at a higher level with similar duties and responsibilities, and when the incumbent is well qualified for the higher position, the incumbent (provided he or she was initially hired through an approved search) may be put in the position without conducting a search. Any vacancy created as a result of the promotion will require a full search. It is assumed that there are not other internal candidates qualified for the position. In situations where there may be more than one person whose duties could be expanded and who possesses comparable skill levels, the hiring unit is advised to go through a competitive selection process within the unit. If the promotion results in the creation of any vacancy, the vacancy created requires a full search. A search is required if the promotion is being sought due to the addition of substantially new and/or higher-graded duties or when there are other employees serving in similar or identical positions within the department to whom the new duties could have been assigned. Support Staff (employees holding a position in the State Universities Civil Service System) positions which become Academic Professional positions are treated as a change in employment group and require searches.
Other requests to OAE to waive search procedures can be based upon administrative reorganization or reassignment. When a unit undergoes reorganization, the filling of positions will be as outlined above. If during the reorganization a new position is created which is clearly the outgrowth of an existing position in a similar line of work, a qualified incumbent (provided he or she was initially hired through approved search procedures) may be reclassified to the equivalent or higher level position without fulfilling search requirements. It is assumed that no vacancy will result in movement of the employee to the position and that there are no other incumbents qualified for the reclassified position.
Reassignment of a qualified staff member (provided he or she was initially hired through approved search procedures) to another position at the same level and comparable rate of pay within the University may be done without announcing the position.
- Limited Search
A number of requests to waive search procedures have been transformed into requests for searches limited to the Chicago metropolitan area, the University of Illinois system, or in some instances, to the campus. These are cases where essential job duties and responsibilities entail knowledge gained from area, institutional, or UIC employment. Limited searches can be completed in as little as seven days. A Position Notice should be submitted to OAE along with the justification for a competitive internal search.
- Special circumstances at the discretion of OAE
There are a few concretely defined circumstances under which waivers are routinely allowed.
- An individual named in an externally funded grant award by a member of the UIC faculty or staff,
- An Academic employee accommodated under Involuntary Termination Polcy,
- A faculty member changing from a tenurable to a nontenurable or staff position,
- Groups of employees who join the campus work force by institutional decision, e.g., a previous state program becomes a UIC program, and
- Occasional special appointments and changes recommended by the Chancellor
To obtain a waiver, a Request for Waiver of Search Process form must be submitted to OAE along with supporting documentation:
- CV or Resume
- Job Description
- Reason for Request/Justification
OAE will review waivers on a case-by case basis and will consider several factors (as appropriate) in our review:
a) Whether an internal search within the unit may be appropriate to allow other potentially interested and qualified individuals to apply, particularly if there are other employees within the department/unit with similar titles, qualifications, and/or job titles
b) Whether the proposed change is consistent with the principles of affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and diversity
c) Whether there is an Affirmative Action goal for the position’s job group; whether the unit has undertaken a comprehensive review of their current employment workforce to ensure fairness and equity in promotion opportunities, particularly with respect to traditionally underrepresented groups
d) Whether the change will create the opportunity for a vacancy to be filled through a competitive search
Note: Requests for appointment changes and search waivers must be accompanied by appropriate justification and documentation. The requests must include the resume/vita of the individual; a discussion of the individual’s qualifications for the position; and an explanation of the justification for not conducting an open and competitive process. The request should indicate how the individual was identified and should indicate efforts undertaken to identify underrepresented individuals, particularly if the position is part of the campus’ affirmative action plan. If the request is based upon reorganization or promotion, the existing organizational chart and proposed organizational chart should be submitted. Neither an informal verbal offer nor a formal written offer can be extended until the search waiver is approved by OAE.