Recruiting top faculty is a key to the University of Colorado Boulder achieving its strategic imperatives of shaping tomorrow’s leaders, being the top university for innovation and positively impacting humanity.
As a tier-I research, Carnegie-class institution, CU Boulder is committed to building and maintaining faculty excellence in scholarship, teaching and service. While most faculty searches follow a fairly regular path, from approval of a position to the final agreement for a faculty member to join our ranks, there are a number of occasions where the campus can adapt its processes to make a strategic hire of an outstanding individual who can build on our baseline of excellence and contribute immediately to our community. In such cases, CU Boulder is able to adapt its hiring processes.
The STAR program is a special set of processes that covers a number of different situations where the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Faculty Affairs can help academic units complete successful recruitments in a strategic and timely fashion.
It is in the university’s best interest to recruit applicants whose creative work and research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. Likewise, there are cases in which retaining an existing faculty member or recruiting a new faculty member to the Boulder campus requires cooperation and collaboration from other campus units when the appointment or retention of one person is contingent upon the employment of another.
If a unit wishes to pursue such a hire, it will submit through its dean to the provost a request to open such a search. The request will include:
The provost, through the Office of Faculty Affairs, will create a three-person review committee to make recommendations to the provost on which new positions should be authorized. The provost’s decision on which positions are approved is final.
The provost agrees that s/he will commit 50 percent of the salary of any successful search under this program. For untenured tenure-track faculty, the funding will be provided throughout the probationary period (up to the award of tenure). For faculty hired with tenure, the provost will provide up to seven years of funding.
Once approved, the unit will advertise the position and conduct its search appropriately as defined by the unit’s bylaws and the policies and procedures of the school or college, the campus, and the university system.
Once the search is completed, the unit will submit through the dean to the provost the files for the finalists including the individual selected to be offered the position. If the provost approves the hire, an offer will then be made.
In some cases, a regular search will yield two qualified candidates who both contribute to diversity. In such a case, the unit should consult with the dean and the provost about the possibility of hiring both candidates.
In order to make a dual career program work, the provost’s wffice will provide initial partial funding for an academic couple hire and will authorize a search waiver when an appropriate case is brought forward through Faculty Affairs and approved by the provost.
Except in rare circumstances, financial support and waivers are not available through this program if a candidate is identified as a finalist through a “normal” search that has been approved, funded and initiated at the school or college level, as these situations fall outside of the spirit of the joint-partner placement problem addressed here. Simply put, if two departments independently decide to hire people through approved searches that we then discover are an academic couple, then we would not usually use this program as part of the hiring process.
A unit being asked to consider hiring a spousal candidate should evaluate the request with three key questions in mind:
Decisions on requests for financial support and/or waivers of search under this policy are made by the provost in the best interest of the university. Decisions of the provost are final.
On occasions the partner in a dual career couple will be looking for a job that does not involve an appointment to the faculty. In such cases, the unit will work with the Office of Faculty Affairs and CU Boulder Human Resources to try to accommodate the partner hire. (HR will need additional resources from the campus to ensure the success of this process.)
In some cases, HR will be able to match a partner with a position that is currently open. In that case, HR and the requesting unit should consult with the unit doing the hiring to see if the partner is an appropriate hire.
In other cases, where the partner has skills or experiences that could add to the capacity of the campus but where no current position is open, HR and the requesting unit will work with a potential hiring unit to see if a new position might be created. If a new position is created, the receiving unit is responsible for following all HR procedures for the creation of this position and must also obtain a search waiver.
If such a new position is created, the salary for that position will be covered for the first year on the following basis: one-third by the provost, one-third by the requesting unit and one-third for the receiving unit. After the first year, the salary will be paid in its entirety by the receiving unit.
Where no position on campus that is appropriate can be found, HR will work with the partner to look at opportunities beyond the university. No financial commitment can be made by university for any such positions.
In a targeted hire, a unit may be able to identify an individual who uniquely meets the unit’s needs, and there is an opportunity to recruit this individual outside the normal search process. In such a case, a unit may file a request with the provost to waive the search and proceed to hire that individual.
In an accelerated hire, particularly when a hire with tenure is involved, the campus may need to speed up its processes. Such situations arise when, say, we are recruiting a senior person whose home institution is making a retention counter-offer or where an individual has competing offers from a number of institutions. When a unit is in such a situation, it should inform the Office of Faculty Affairs, which will aid the unit in moving the recruitment process forward quickly.