Communication #8:
Dual Career Academic Couples Program

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 I. Overview

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is committed to building and maintaining a faculty that is excellent in many dimensions. The Office of the Provost supports three programs in which partial or total central financial support for academic positions may be provided: the Faculty Excellence Program (see Communication No. 4); the Targets of Opportunity Program (see Communication No. 7); and the Dual Career Program, described here.

We require all appointees to faculty and academic staff positions to meet the highest standards in teaching, research and service. Normally, faculty and academic staff members meeting these criteria are best identified through the regular recruitment and search processes, funded through departmental and college procedures. In special circumstances, however, the Provost may provide funding (as described below) for a position and/or authorize a waiver of search when a special recruitment will contribute to the university’s excellence through attraction of highly qualified individuals whose recruitment supports strategic objectives and institutional priorities.

Except in rare circumstances as noted below, financial support and waivers are not available through these programs when a candidate is identified through a search that has been approved, funded and initiated at the school or college level.

The overriding criterion for granting financial support and/or a waiver search is whether the request contributes to academic excellence in the unit, as measure by usual standards for hiring and as outlined in the strategic goals of the unit, college, and campus.

Further criteria for different categories of requests are described below. 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.

 II. Dual Career Academic Couples Program

Waivers of search in the case of academic couples enhance the ability of the campus to recruit and retain faculty members when the appointment or retention of one person is contingent upon employment of another. The Champaign-Urbana labor market, compared with those where many peer universities are located, has limited employment opportunities for a faculty member’s partner. The result is that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is at a competitive disadvantage in the recruitment and retention of faculty. Requests for waivers of search are designed to address this problem and, where necessary, provide resources to the unit that hires the accompanying partner.

III. Guidelines

Dual career academic couple nominations are accepted for partners who are entry-level highly tenurable, and tenured faculty prospects. The term “highly-tenurable” applies to individuals who are currently holding assistant professorships elsewhere and have begun to establish a substantial record, but who are deemed not quite ready for a tenured appointment.

The requested waiver must support the excellence of both the unit in which the faculty member is being recruited or retained and the unit to which the partner would be appointed.

The executive officer of the first unit (i.e., the unit that is either recruiting a faculty member through a regular search process or trying to retain a current faculty member) is responsible for contacting the appropriate unit for possible employment of the partner and for negotiating an appropriate position.

The executive officer of the first unit must provide justification to appoint the partner in order to successfully recruit or retain the faculty member and must be willing to furnish at least 1/3 of the salary of the partner on an on-going basis.

The executive officer of the second unit (i.e., the prospective employer of the partner) must be able to justify the appointment on the basis of legitimate unit needs and the candidate’s qualifications, and must be willing to support 1/3 of the partner’s proposed salary on an on-going basis.

The units should forward the proposal through the appropriate channels (i.e., the deans of both the first and second units). Upon approval of a proposal from the two units, the Provost will provide a waiver of search and up to 1/3 of the partner’s salary.

Nominations are accepted for tenure-track and tenured faculty prospects. Although this policy is geared to appointments to the tenure stream, requests for partner appointments to academic professional and non-tenure stream faculty positions will be entertained when a compelling case is made. Visiting appointments are not generally eligible for support from the Provost, except in special circumstances.

IV. Approval Process

Upon agreement between the executive officers of the two units, the executive officer of the employing unit of the partner should transmit, through appropriate channels, a request to the Office of the Provost to appoint the individual. The checklist in Attachment 1 specifies the documentation required for such appointments. Please note that a separate waiver of search request is not necessary.

V. Review Process

Unless tenure is involved in the proposed appointment, the Provost acts without consultation. This process normally takes 2 to 4 workdays after the papers are received in the Office of the Provost.

If tenure is involved, the decision at the campus level is made by the Provost using the off-cycle promotion review process, which includes consultation with the Chancellor, the Dean of the Graduate College, and the Chair of the Campus Promotion and Tenure Committee. This process normally takes 5 to 10 workdays after the papers are received in the Office of the Provost.

VI. Funding Limits and Appropriation Guidelines

Subject to the availability of funds, the campus administration will provide up to 1/3 of the required recurring funding for the salary of an approved candidate. Upon the resignation, termination, or retirement of an individual hired under this program, the funds allocated by the campus to the unit and by the requesting unit to the hiring unit, plus any salary increments that have accrued against the line, will revert to the initial funding units.

Research funds may also be requested from the Vice Chancellor for Research. Questions about these funds should be directed to that office (333-0034).

VII. Appointments Other Than Faculty Appointments

As indicated above, this policy is geared toward appointments of partners to faculty positions. However, requests for partner appointments to academic professional positions and non-tenure stream faculty positions will be entertained when a compelling case is made. If an academic professional appointment is being sought, it is important that the executive officer involved contact the Office of Academic Human Resources to consult about the establishment of an appropriate title for such a position. Visiting appointments are not generally eligible for support from the Provost.

VIII.  Attachment