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Guidance: University of Georgia Direct Appointment

1. Overview

The general rule is that all faculty and administrative appointments require an advertised, open search of the required posting duration.  This guidance identifies certain exceptions to the general rule.  Per BOR Policy, it is the University’s responsibility to ensure that the direct appointment option is used judiciously. 

Whenever the discretion not to advertise is exercised in accordance with this guidance, care must be taken to ensure that there is no other faculty or staff member in the University, and in particular, the unit concerned, who could be deemed a suitable candidate for the position.  Where this may be the case, it is recommended that the role is advertised internally, allowing all faculty or staff to be equitably considered for the role, subject to approval for search process exemption, as defined below.


2. Applicability

All employees and units of the University of Georgia


3. Definitions

a. Direct Appointment – Direct appointment, also referred to as a search waiver or non-search hire, refers to the regular (i.e., full-time, permanent) appointment of a person, where the normal advertising and competitive selection process is not applied, and institutional business needs support this approach for an appointee whose unique skills and qualifications are documented. Direct appointments must be approved by the Equal Opportunity Office (EOO).  Direct appointment categories include:

1. Target of Opportunity: The candidate presents an unusual opportunity to hire a new faculty or staff member whose distinctive qualifications and extraordinary promise or accomplishments will contribute significantly to the excellence of the academic and public mission of the university.

2. Uniquely Qualified: The faculty or staff candidate possesses significant leading status; international recognition; or rare, exceptional skillset that will contribute significantly to the excellence of the academic and public mission of the university.

3. Principal/Co-principal Investigator: The faculty or staff candidate has been awarded research grants in their name or has been documented as “key personnel” on an approved research grant or contract, including principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and other key persons who play a critical role in the design, conduct, and reporting of the research.

4. External Candidate, Previous Applicant: The faculty or staff candidate is an external candidate who was a previous applicant for the same or similar position within the past 12 months.

5. Dual Career Hire: The scenario presents an opportunity to enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff members who are part of a dual career academic or professional couple.

i. Primary appointment refers to an external faculty or staff candidate being recruited by a unit, for whom a major condition of acceptance of an offer from the university is the employment of both members of the dual career couple; or a current UGA faculty or staff member being actively recruited for, holding a job offer from, or being preemptively retained from pursuing offers from another institution or organization.

ii. Associated appointment refers to the accompanying member of the dual career couple who may be considered for Direct Appointment in a faculty or staff position in the same or a different unit.


b. Other Appointment Types: These appointments will follow the current, applicable University Human Resources (UHR) and Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) appointment processes as well as EOO exception/exemption approval. These appointments do not require Direct Appointment approval as noted in section 4 of this guidance. These appointments include:

1. Part-time: Staff or faculty. Part-time faculty are non-tenure-track/non-tenured, do not serve on annual contracts, and are budgeted at less than 100% of the time.

2. Limited-term: Staff or faculty (i.e., temporary, term, or visiting).  Limited-term faculty are non-tenure-track/non-tenured, do not serve on annual contracts, and are full-time (100%).  They typically be given a “term” appointment for one academic or fiscal year and may be reappointed, consistent with the governing policy.

3. Internal, acting, interim appointments: Typically for duration of less than 12 months. However, all search and employee recruitment rules are applicable if and when an interim is assigned to the role on a regular basis.

4. Promotions: Promotions within a unit or upline, including faculty rank promotion or staff career-ladder promotion (e.g., Director to Senior Director).

5. Administrative Add-on or Step-down: Addition or removal of administrative assignment or responsibilities to a faculty member’s position, typically up to 75% of total assigned effort.

6. Rank conversion, departmental reassignment, reclassification: These changes may be as a result of terminal or other degree attainment, additional credentials, retention, or change in duties.

7. Unpaid adjunct or emeritus faculty status.


c. Search Process Exemption – Search process exemption refers to searches for which the general rule regarding advertised, open search of the required posting duration is waived or modified due to specific circumstances of the search, including internal and truncated searches. Search process exemptions must be approved by EOO.


1. Internal search, including for certain faculty administrative appointments or staff appointments for which there may be suitable internal candidates who should be equitably considered.

2. Truncated search, i.e., advertised for less than 31 days for faculty positions, under exigent circumstances.


4. Direct Appointment Approval Process

a. The role of the Vice President or Dean is to make nominations or recommendations for direct appointments of faculty or staff, according to policies and procedures within the hiring unit.


b. EOO is responsible for evaluating the nomination or recommendation to ensure that the applicable Direct Appointment criteria in the UGA Policy on Recruitment and Definitions in 3.a above, are satisfied.


c. Following EOO approval, the following approvals are required prior to directly appointing a faculty candidate:

1. Provost

2. Chief Financial Officer

3. Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

4. President


d. Following EOO approval, the following approvals are required prior to directly appointing a staff candidate:

1. Provost (for units reporting to the Provost)

2. Chief of Staff (for units reporting to the President)

3. Chief Financial Officer


5. President


e. The following documentation is required to be submitted to UHR in support of all direct appointment nominations or recommendations:

1. Written rationale for the appointment, explaining why a direct appointment process is preferable to a standard, competitive recruitment process;

2. Satisfactory evidence of how the proposed appointee meets the qualifications and possesses the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities;

3. Rationale explaining how the appointment is expected to contribute to the Institutions’ strategy and in support of student success;

4. Candidate’s CV or resume, qualifications, appropriate references, and details of their current position (if applicable) within another organization or institution.


5. Direct Appointment Compliance and Related Policies:

a. The hiring unit and institution must ensure that all requirements of this guidance are met and recorded for audit, as requested by internal or external agency requests.

b. The justification materials for the direct appointment nomination or recommendation may also be used for the University System of Georgia Human Resources Administrative Practice (HRAP) Manual Advanced Salary Increase (PDF) request process when necessary.

c. Upon approval for a direct appointment from the university's CHRO and the university’s President all employment policies (including background checks) must be followed and adhered to.

d. An approved faculty Dual Career appointment may also qualify for job placement and limited salary support under UGA Academic Affairs Policy Manual (AAPM) section 08-7, Dual Career Academic Hiring Policy.

e. For direct appointments of faculty candidates, all faculty appointment and credentialing requirements as described in UGA appointment, promotion, and tenure guidelines, as applicable, and UGA AAPM sections 09 and 4.07-13 must be followed. This includes recommendation for appointment vote in the faculty member's academic unit, according to the appropriate faculty appointment and promotion guidelines.


References & Related Documents