University of Massachusetts Amherst
Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office


Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy
Responsibilities of Individuals Involved in the Search Process
Deadlines and Time Limits
Documenting the Search
Activities of the Search Committee
Search Pools for Full-time Professional Positions Including Post-Doctorates
Search Pools for Part-time Teaching and Professional Positions
Interview Roster Search Procedure
Cases in Which a Search is Not Necessary: Waiver of the Search Process
Appeal Process in Search Procedures
Waiver of Right of Access to Letters of Recommendation - Faculty
Waiver of Right of Access to Letters of Recommendation - Non-Academic Professional Staff
Pre-employment Inquiry Guide


Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement

            The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment.  Furthermore, University policy includes prohibitions of harassment of students and employees, i.e., racial harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for filing complaints of discrimination. 

            Affirmative action in employment is required for women; racial and ethnic minorities; disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans; and individuals with disabilities in order to address under-representation in the workforce.  Inquiries concerning applicable laws, regulations, and policies should be addressed to the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office (EO&D), 243 Lederle Lowrise Building, main number and TTY (413) 545-3464, email:,

            The Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Débora D. Ferreira, is the Title IX Coordinator for the campus.  Matters dealing with Title IX can be reported to EO&D at the above address.  In addition, the following individuals may be contacted for Title IX related matters:  Dean Enku Gelaye, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life/Dean of Students, Dean of Students Office, 227 Whitmore, (413) 545-2684, email:, web:; Becky Lockwood, Associate Director, Rape Crisis/Violence Prevention, 180 Infirmary Way, New Africa House, main number: (413) 545-0883, 24 Hour Rape Crisis Hotline: (413) 545-0800, TTY: 413-577-0940, email:, web:;  Tom O’Donnell, Lieutenant, UMass Amherst Police Department, 585 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003, non-emergency phone: (413) 545-2121 (Emergency: 911), email:, web:  Inquiries regarding contact information for the Title IX Coordination Team members may be directed to the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office.

            The Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Débora D. Ferreira, or designee, is the Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for the campus.  This person will provide information about the University's obligations with respect to the provisions of nondiscrimination statutes including information about the requirement to provide program accessibility for persons with disabilities.

            The University is committed to compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title I and Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Executive Order 11246 (1965), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its regulations found at 34 C.F.R. part 106, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Vietnam-era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapters 151B, 151C, and Chapter 149, all as amended.  Inquiries regarding federal laws may be directed to:

U.S. Dept. of Education                            U.S. EEO Commission
Office for Civil Rights                                John F. Kennedy Federal Bldg
5 Post Office Square, 8th Fl./Suite 900      475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02109-3921                        Boston, MA 02203
Telephone: (617) 289-0111                      Telephone: 800-669-4000
TTY: (800) 877-8339                              TTY: (800) 669-6820

            Inquiries regarding state laws may be directed to: Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, 436 Dwight Street, Room 220, Springfield, MA 01103.  Telephone: (413) 739-2145; TTY: (617) 994-9196.


March 24, 2014


Appointing Authority
For the purposes of this policy, the appointing authorities within the University are the chancellor, the vice chancellors, and their designees. The chancellor and vice chancellors may delegate any or all of their responsibilities under this policy. Only the appointing authority has the power to make a formal offer of position to a candidate and to negotiate salary issues. The appointing authority conveys to the search committee the precise criteria for filling the position and a commitment to addressing the unit's affirmative action goals, usually referred to as the "charge to the committee." The "charge to the committee" also includes directions regarding ranking the recommended finalists following the interviews.

Search Committee Chair
The search committee chair, selected by the appointing authority, is responsible for compiling the initial search documentation; coordinating letter writing and telephone outreach to increase applicant pool; ensuring that all committee members clearly understand the requirements of the position and the affirmative action goals of the hiring unit, if applicable; coordinating the search committee meetings; ensuring that applicants and nominees are sent a copy of the position description, a waiver of right of access to confidential information form, and an equal opportunity/affirmative action information request form; ensuring that accurate documentation of the search process is kept; maintaining contact with the appointing authority including informing the hiring authority about the composition of the bona fide applicant pool; communicating with candidates and finalists on behalf of the University; and submitting a list of recommended candidates to the appointing authority.

Search Committee Members
All members of the search committee, selected by the appointing authority, are charged with responsibility for assisting in the filling of a position by performing tasks such as paper screening, selecting candidates for interview, designing and implementing an interview process, and recommending final candidates to personnel committees and the appointing authority. The search committee may be asked to assist in letter writing or telephone outreach to identify qualified applicants who could contribute to workforce diversity.

Search committee members should be selected by the appointing authority after consultation with others who will work directly with the new appointee. In the case of professional/non-faculty bargaining unit positions (SEIU), the appointing authority must include a member of that bargaining unit in the search committee. Whenever possible, all search committees should reflect the racial and gender diversity of the campus. The major criterion for membership on a search committee should be the ability to recognize qualified candidates for a position; however, it is equally important that the search committee recognize its affirmative action and equal opportunity responsibilities. Every effort must be made to appoint members willing to do so. Members of protected groups should be asked to serve on the committee where practicable. All members need not be drawn from the unit offering the position. Students may be invited to participate on search committees. All search committee members should review, screen, and interview all applicants, whenever possible. When the size of the applicant pool is large, the paper screening stage may be divided among subcommittees.

Search Committee Staff Support
A staff person who is not a member of the search committee may be asked to provide administrative support to the chair. This individual is responsible for correspondence with applicants, record keeping, maintaining applicant folders, obtaining letters of recommendation, and arranging travel and interview schedules.


Information obtained regarding an applicant, including the status of an application within the process, must remain confidential throughout the process and thereafter. Such information may not be shared with the applicant except by the search committee chair or appointing authority acting in a formal capacity on behalf of the committee. No search committee member may contact an applicant individually without approval of the search committee chairperson. Information about the steps in the process and the timetables for the process are not confidential.


Specific deadlines for applications are encouraged so that the search committee knows on a specific date the exact composition of the applicant pool and can move forward in the selection process in a timely manner. Applications arriving after the advertised deadline which are postmarked on or before the deadline should be considered. No application postmarked and/or hand delivered after the advertised deadline can be considered. When an individual is nominated, the chair of the committee is responsible for inviting the nominated person to apply for the position through the established procedures for communicating with applicants. Time extensions can be granted to allow nominees to submit necessary materials provided they have accepted nominations by the application deadline. No offer of hire may be made before the application deadline or before EO&D approval of the search/waiver of search documentation including identification of the candidate to be offered the position.


Authorization for Recruitment The search procedure commences with the completion of the Search Proposal. This consists of the following materials:

  1. A Search Proposal Memo, which will detail three major elements of the search: First, a list of the race, gender, and rank or working title of the proposed members of the search committee (names are not required). This indicates the attempts of the department to reflect the diversity of the UMass community. Secondly, it indicates how this hire will reflect the department's affirmative action goals. Finally, the search proposal will contain a summary of the advertising plan, i.e. where ads will be placed, the extent of search, etc.
  2. Critical Needs/Authorization to Search/Personnel Requisition form. This identifies the salient features of the position which determine the recruitment procedure to be followed, including working title, how many openings, permanent/temporary, full/part-time, expected job begin date, position #, funding source, etc.
  3. Position Description (Job description for non-academic professional positions.)
  4. Advertisement. The text of the advertisement should be included, as it will appear in the publications. This advertisement will describe the position, job duties, minimum and preferred qualifications. It is important to note that the minimum and preferred qualifications should match those that appear on the position description.

    Upon receipt of the Search Proposal, the EO&D Office will provide the following information to the contact person identified on the top of the Critical Needs form:

    1. Representation of protected groups in the current workforce
    2. Availability estimates for qualified protected group members
    3. Affirmative action goals for the unit, if applicable

Waiver of the Search Process
The EO&D Office approves waivers of the normal search process on a case-by-case basis after the appointing authority has consulted with the Office regarding departmental need. A written request and rationale for a waiver of the search process should be submitted by the appointing authority to the EO&D Office. The rationale should include the name (if known) and qualifications of the proposed candidate, and the length of the appointment. If the waiver is approved by the EO&D Office, the department may fill the position; if not, the department must institute normal search procedures as detailed herein. See "Cases where a search is not necessary", page 13.

Determining Extent of Search
Whether to recruit campus-wide, locally, regionally, or nationally depends on such factors as job title and salary range, advertising budget, and availability of an appropriate pool of qualified applicants.

  1. Campus-wide Searches are implemented when there is no readily identifiable person within the executive area (For non-unit professional staff) and major budgetary unit (MBU) (for bargaining unit professional staff), promotable or transferable into the position and there is a good likelihood of finding qualified individuals representative of the appropriate availability pool who are currently employed within other schools or departments on campus. On-campus searches are open only to qualified University non-student employees. Advertisements for the position must be attached to the "Classified Employment Opportunities" sheet ("Yellow Sheet") and published on the campus's web site.
  2. Local Searches are conducted for many entry-level professional positions and part-time faculty positions. Local searches will also be advertised on campus in the "Classified Employment Opportunities" sheet. Advertisements for local searches should be placed in media that serve Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin counties.
  3. Regional Searches are used for most professional/non-faculty positions and non-tenure- track faculty positions which can be filled without national recruitment. It is suggested that advertisements be placed in publications which serve the major metropolitan areas in New England.
  4. National Searches are generally used for tenured and tenure-track faculty, high-level administrative positions, and positions for which applicants have been traditionally difficult to recruit. Advertisements are usually placed in national publications and specialty journals. Position announcements are usually sent to institutions of higher education known to produce qualified applicants, including historically Black institutions. Personal letters and telephone calls to seek nominations are encouraged. National professional associations may be contacted; notices may be posted at professional meetings.

Once the level of search is determined, an advertisement should be written which includes a brief description of the position, the required and preferred qualifications, and the deadline established for submission of applications. A statement of salary range may be made, based on the Salary Administration Program level. However, the statement "salary commensurate with qualifications and experience" may be substituted. The closing date for receipt of applications cannot be less than two weeks following the date on which the advertisement first appears in publication.

The content of all advertisements is the responsibility of the appointing authority; however, the EO&D Office will review all advertising copy before it is processed by the Employment Office. The Employment Office will ensure that all recruitment advertisements carry the appropriate affirmative action/equal opportunity statement as required by law.

When the EO&D Office receives the Search Proposal, the Office will provide (upon request) a list of recommended resources to the appointing authority, who may elect to use them in the recruitment activities.

Adequacy of the Applicant Pool
If the hiring unit has affirmative action goals for this type of position identified in the current Affirmative Action Plan and has not made appointments within the last five years, representative of the relevant labor pool, the adequacy of the applicant pool must be evaluated by the appointing authority. Upon the completion of the initial screening for applicants who meet the advertised minimum qualifications for the position, the protected group status of each qualified applicant will be identified by the search committee staff person who has sent out and received the EEO self- identification forms. Information gleaned from the application materials may also be used to identify protected group status. The pool will be evaluated against the availability estimates provided to the search chair by the EO&D Office. If the pool approximates the availability estimates, the search will go forth. If the pool does not approximate the available workforce in the recruitment area, the appointing official will contact the EO&D Office and indicate how s/he wishes to proceed. For professional staff bargaining unit positions, refer to article 14, section 14.4 of the Agreement between the University and Local 509, SEIU, 7/1/91 - 6/30/93, or current contract.

Adequacy of Interview Pool
If the hiring unit has affirmative action goals for this type of position and has not made appointments in the most recent five-year period representative of the relevant labor pool, the adequacy of the interview pool must be evaluated by the appointing authority. Upon the completion of the paper screening to identify candidates to invite for on-campus interviews, a review will be made to determine whether or not a representative pool of candidates has been identified. If the pool approximates the availability estimates, the search will go forth. If the candidate pool does not approximate the estimated availability, the appointing official will contact the EO&D Office and indicate how s/he wishes to proceed.

Offer of Employment
Before a finalist(s) is offered the position by the appointing authority, the following documentation must be submitted to the EO&D Office for review:

  1. Affirmative Action Statement - New Appointments
  2. Applicant Log
  3. Applicant Log Summary
  4. Resume(s) of the candidate(s) to be offered position
  5. Memorandum evaluating finalists from search committee to personnel committee and appointing authority (see page 11)

Once a recommended appointment has been submitted by the appointing authority and approved by the EO&D Office, a formal offer of employment may be made by the appointing authority, preferably in writing. The EO&D Office reviews the Approved Offer and Acceptance Form for New Appointments, after all appropriate signatures have been secured by the hiring department.

Closing the Search
The following steps are required to close the search:

  1. The search committee chair shall notify in writing all unsuccessful candidates who participated in the interview process of the outcome of the selection process.
  2. The search committee chair will send rejection letters to all unsuccessful applicants thanking them for applying, if this has not been done at an earlier stage.
  3. The search committee staff person will organize the search material and prepare it for storage in the hiring unit. The search committee staff person will retrieve and discard materials such as work samples, extra copies of resumes, and individual rating sheets. The final search file, which is retained by the hiring department for three years after the job begin date, should contain:
    1. Critical Needs/Authorization to Search/Personnel Requisition form
    2. Position Description form (for Professional/Non-faculty searches)
    3. Search Proposal Memo
    4. Copies of all advertisements as printed
    5. Minutes of committee meetings (if kept)
    6. Summary (group) rating sheets
    7. Memorandum from search committee/personnel committee to the appointing authority regarding finalists
    8. Affirmative Action Statement - New Appointments form
    9. Applicant Log
    10. Applicant Log Summary
    11. Memorandum from appointing authority to dean recommending offer
    12. Successful candidate's applicant file on top of all other applicant files, which are arranged in alphabetical order.
    13. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Information Request Forms
    14. Waiver of Right of Access to Letters of Recommendation forms (except successful candidate, whose form must be placed in his/her permanent personnel file.)


Developing the Applicant Evaluation System
The search committee, using the "charge to the committee", develops an applicant evaluation system against which each applicant will be measured for meeting the minimum and the preferred qualifications of the position, in order to select the applicants to be interviewed. The search committee identifies how they will make distinctions among these candidates. The committee may weigh preferred qualifications with varying importance; they may determine equivalencies or substitutions. Rating sheets with numerical values may be used but are not required. When the hiring unit is identified as underutilized in terms of a specific protected group or groups in the work force, the hiring unit must demonstrate a good faith effort to recruit, interview, and hire qualified candidates who belong to the underutilized group(s). The rating system established by the search committee describes how contribution to diversity will be considered for each applicant.

Equal Employment Opportunity Screening of the Applicant Pool
At least two members of the search committee will read each application to determine if it is complete and if the applicant meets the advertised minimum qualifications. Files which are determined to be incomplete after the application deadline will not be considered unless all applicants with incomplete files are invited to complete their files by a specific date. No attention will be paid at this time to the protected group status of any applicant. All applicants who do not meet the advertised minimum requirements of the position should be informed of that fact and removed from further consideration. The appointing authority may extend the search or call off the search if the resulting pool of minimally qualified applicants is not representative of the available workforce in the recruitment area.

Affirmative Action Screening of the Applicant Pool
The search committee selects candidates for interviews by evaluating minimally qualified applicants for demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities which meet or exceed the minimum qualifications for the position. The applicant's contribution to workforce diversity will be considered in this stage of the selection procedure when the hiring unit is underutilized by one or more protected groups. The search committee must be sensitive to the need to fairly evaluate the non-traditional careers of some protected group members who have had interruptions in their work/study history, who follow a partner's relocation, who study/work at physically accessible institutions, and/or who choose to contribute to the alternative rather than the traditional forms of scholarship related to their group membership. References may be helpful in developing a diverse pool of candidates to interview. Traditional vitae tend to emphasize experience rather than potential and competencies; references frequently speak to the professional future of the applicant. If the search committee does not identify a representative group of candidates to interview, the appointing authority may ask the search committee to reevaluate applications from underrepresented group members to determine whether any applicant appears to meet the standards of the position when compared to the already identified group of finalists.

The search committee may choose to do preliminary telephone interviews as part of the process to identify applicants who will be invited for on-campus interviews. The search committee develops a schedule of job related questions which do not request information already available in the vita except in the form of clarification or explanation of vita information. The interview process requires careful planning to ensure that the questions are not directed toward eliciting information prohibited by law (refer to the Pre-employment Inquiry Guide, p. 27). Notes from the phone conversation are added to applicant's file as documentation for the subsequent disposition of the application. Confidentiality about applicant and reference materials must be maintained even after the search has been completed. Unsolicited correspondence received that is not relevant to applicant's qualifications for the job may be discarded by the search committee.

During the on-campus interviews, it is sometimes difficult to ask each applicant identical questions. However, every attempt should be made to treat all candidates equitably. Although different questions may become necessary, every attempt should be made to elicit equivalent information in every area identified as critical to the position. Feedback sheets should be developed and used by interviewers to transmit assessments of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. These sheets should be submitted promptly to the search committee chair after the interviews have been conducted.

There is no specific required interview itinerary for applicants; this is left to the discretion of the hiring unit. However, each candidate who participates in an on-campus interview must be guaranteed equal access to the decision makers in the search and appointment process. The appointing authority decides whether to interview all candidates invited to the campus, or just the finalist pool. That decision is made when the appointing authority gives the charge to the search committee at the initial meeting. The EO&D Office is available to assist hiring units in developing strategies for effective on-campus interviews which have been previously successful in promoting UMass-Amherst as a desirable institution with which to affiliate.

The appointing authority determines if the application will include letters of reference or names of references to be contacted at the discretion of the search committee. Applicants for entry level positions or junior faculty positions are usually better evaluated if letters of reference are immediately available because references speak to potential while resumes focus on accomplishments. However, applicants for senior level positions with extensive experience enumerated on the resume may hesitate to apply for positions in which they are required to provide reference letters before they know if their application has received some interest from the search committee. Confidentiality for the applicant for senior level positions may be more critical.

Telephone reference checks are encouraged because they enable the committee to secure specific information about the applicant. The committee develops a standardized protocol of questions and includes those questions necessary to the individual applicant's situation. Notes of the reference call are included in the applicant's file. Interviewed candidates should be notified that phone calls may be placed to persons who are not identified as references but who may also be knowledgeable about the candidate. When conducting reference checks by telephone, references must be informed whether the candidate has waived or not waived his/her right to have access to reference materials.

Recommendations to the Appointing Authority
Upon completion of the interviews, the search committee recommends final acceptable candidates to the appointing authority. If a committee does not forward the requested number of finalists, explanation should be made in the memorandum; the appointing authority may require that additional candidates be identified. All appropriate departmental procedures should be followed in identifying the final acceptable candidate(s).

All recommendations in searches for faculty members must include the recommendation of the department personnel committee or analogous body. Faculty candidates may or may not be ranked by the search committee, depending on the "charge to the committee" which was given by the appointing authority; in non-faculty searches, candidates may not be ranked.

The recommendation to the appointing authority takes the form of a memorandum which lists the strengths and weaknesses of each person recommended for further consideration. The memoran- dum should clearly relate the finalists' strengths and weaknesses relative to the criteria in the job description, bearing in mind that others outside the University and the candidates may be able to gain access to the memorandum. If the search committee eliminates a protected group member from further consideration after the interview, the reason for this disposition must be included in the memorandum. In addition, the search committee must notify any professional bargaining unit member whether or not they have been recommended as a finalist. Refer to article 14, section 14.4 of the agreement between the University and Local 509, SEIU, 7/1/91 - 6/30/93, or current contract.


When departments anticipate multiple vacancies throughout the fiscal year in a professional/ non-faculty position such as residence directors or child care teachers, the department may establish a pool of qualified candidates from which the department can draw to make an expeditious offer.

To establish a pool for full-time, benefited positions:

  1. Determine the usual extent of the search (internal, local, regional, national) and develop appropriate advertising. Indicate that a pool is being established. Indicate when the earliest vacancy may occur and also the date of expiration for the pool.
  2. Conduct the search using a search committee for paper screening, reference checks, and interviews in the manner that would be used if one position vacancy were being filled.
  3. Inform the selected candidates in the pool that offers of appointments are not guaranteed and that the candidates may not be offered appointments in the order in which candidates enter the pool, if multiple searches are held while the candidates' applications are included in the active pool.
  4. Complete the Affirmative Action Statement - New Appointments form, the Applicant Log, and Applicant Log Summary. Every time a candidate is appointed from this temporary pool, submit the Critical Needs Form, along with a copy of the pool's Applicant Log Summary, with a notation that the individual has been chosen from the pool.


Often academic departments hire locally available individuals who have the requisite skills to teach courses which cannot be covered by regular faculty members of the department. If there is a need for an individual on a one-time basis, the waiver process should be used. If the department needs a regular source of individuals to cover a course which will be repeated a number of times, the department should establish a Temporary Pool to identify individuals with the requisite skill and to allow individuals to learn of the opportunity and to apply for the position.

Non-academic hiring units which continuously hire part-time professional staff, e.g., Child Care and Health Services, should also establish a Temporary Pool of qualified candidates.

To establish a Temporary Pool for part-time positions:

  1. Advertise the existence of a Temporary Pool in local and regional newspapers and through on-campus recruitment sources. This advertisement should indicate the skills being sought and/or the courses to be taught. Some indication of when these vacancies will occur should be given. In addition, a date for the expiration of the pool should be given so that individuals are not confused about the standing of their application.
  2. Complete and submit an applicant log to the EO&D Office. Every time a part-time person is appointed from this temporary pool, the Critical Needs form is submitted with a notation that the individual will be chosen from the Temporary Pool.
  3. Inform the qualified candidates in the Temporary Pool that offers of appointments are not guaranteed and that the candidates may not be offered appointments in the order in which candidates enter the pool, if multiple searches are held while the candidates' applications are included in the active Temporary Pool.


The Interview Roster is a variation of the search process which may be used when filling positions such as "Assistant to the Director." Additionally, the Interview Roster can be used effectively in searches to fill part-time professional positions or in searches to fill acting or terminal one-year positions. This process is also useful when it is difficult to coordinate schedules to meet the normal search procedure's demands. It should be used only after consultation with the appointing authority and the EO&D Office.

The Interview Roster process permits a division of the usual search committee responsibilities among two or more groups. For example, the department head or chair may do most of the recruitment work with a screening committee to review applicants' resumes and references and a second committee to conduct the interviews. The appointing authority may personally screen the applications and involve others only at the interview stage. In all cases, a committee must be used to provide input at the interview stage. Members of the interview committee may individually or as a group interview and evaluate each of the candidates . Usually those who will interact with the person hired will interview the final candidates as well and submit their comments and ratings of the finalists to the appointing authority, to be used at his/her discretion.


There are several situations in which it is more realistic to appoint than to conduct a search to fill positions. These generally relate to one or more variables: immediacy of need, temporary nature of appointment, or specific demand of funding source. A request for a waiver of search procedures must be filed with the EO&D Office first. In the following situations the appointing authority would probably choose to appoint rather than search:

  • Part-time permanent positions less than 0.5 FTE
  • Part-time temporary position
  • Full-time temporary position of one year

When the source of funding for a temporary position is nonrenewable, e.g., one year grant with no consideration of renewal in the initial application or a one year discretionary allotment, and with approval of the EO&D Office, the appointing authority may appoint a person without a regular search to fill the temporary full-time position up to one year in length if a qualified candidate is known. Departments and areas which require a number of temporary employees each year may establish a pool of names through periodic advertisement. The department must request a waiver of search procedures for each position filled and each pool created (see page 6.)

If the temporary position is continued because of the unexpected renewal of funds or a new source of funds, the appointing authority may reappoint the incumbent or appoint another qualified candidate from the pool. The EO&D Office may request the appointing authority to evaluate any temporary position which extends beyond three years on "nonrenewable" funds to determine if the position can convert to permanent status.

When a full-time temporary position of any duration becomes a permanent position, it becomes a "new" position and a search should be conducted to fill the position unless the incumbent (with temporary status) was hired after a regular search . Hence, for program consistency, if a temporary position is viewed as potentially permanent, a search should be conducted initially.

In accordance with the University's commitment to hire, retain, and promote women and minorities, the appointing authority may elect to promote a qualified professional employee within the executive area (for non-unit professional staff) and major budgetary unit (MBU) (for bargaining unit professional staff) to a position without a search upon review by the EO&D Office for compliance with the University's current Affirmative Action Plan regarding the unit's hiring goals.

Special Opportunity Fund (Faculty)
Special Opportunity appointments are coordinated through the Office of the Provost upon application from a dean to increase diversity in the faculty and in the academic offerings of a particular department or academic program.

Positions Funded by Grants
When external funding is granted for a multi-year project which includes hiring faculty and professional staff not specifically identified in the original grant application, the appointing authority may appoint a person without a search to fill any position for one year. If funding is expected from the outset to be renewed after one year, the principal investigator needs to conduct a regular search which may be advertised as an "Anticipated Position." The search begins when the funding application reaches finalist status or the principal investigator may appoint interim faculty when funding is announced and then begin to search. Successful candidates from the searches may have their contracts renewed automatically as funding is renewed.

Principal investigators are encouraged to identify experts with unique skills and students who contribute to the development of the grant application so that the grant is funded at the outset with as many of the project staff identified as possible. If a specific individual is critical to the research process, then the funding request identifies that individual so that no subsequent appointment is necessary. Similarly, if a student or technical assistant is to be rewarded for efforts preceding the receipt of the grant, that person is identified as an integral part of the research process by being identified in the grant application so that no subsequent appointment is necessary.

Interim Appointments
In order to maintain the functioning of a unit or central administrative office, the appointing authority may appoint a person to fill a position on a time-limited, acting basis. The appointing authority should seek nominations or volunteers interested in and minimally qualified for the interim opportunity and appoint from that pool. A regular search should normally begin concurrently with the interim appointment. The interim appointee may apply for the regular appointment.

Visiting Faculty Position
The appointing authority may choose to fill a visiting faculty position by appointment for one year without a national search. A search should be conducted to fill a visiting faculty position with renewable contract. If the position becomes a permanent position, it becomes a "new" position and a search should be conducted to fill the position unless the incumbent (with visiting status) was hired after a regular search.

Coaches and Assistant Coaches
Because of the nation-wide media attention to the hires and terminations of coaches, a large applicant pool may develop within a few days without advertising of positions by UMass. If the applicant pool adequately represents members of protected groups, the usual time line requirements are not necessary. Assistant Coaches are usually not recruited by separate searches because their positions are time limited, frequently need to be filled during the recruitment or playing season, and are contingent on the appointment of the coach.

Postdoctoral Appointment
The appointing authority may make a postdoctoral appointment without a search. The appointments may be renewed.

Graduate Teaching and Graduate Research Assistants
Regular searches are not conducted to fill teaching assistant and research assistant positions.


In the event of conflict between this document and any trustee policy or bargaining unit agreement, the trustee policy or bargaining unit agreement will take precedence. Questions regarding possible conflicts should be directed to either the EO&D Office or the Office of the Chancellor. In the case of disagreement between a vice chancellor, provost or designee and the Associate Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Diversity with respect to any matter covered by this policy, the Chancellor shall make the final determination.

Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide


Fair Employment Question

Unfair and Illegal Pre- Employment Questions


Birthdate and proof of true age.

Any question which implies a preference for employees under age 40.



Any inquiry relating to arrests.


Applicant's eligibility for U.S. employment and the applicant's ability to provide identification and eligibility verification as required by the immigration and naturalization service.

Whether applicant is a citizen. Any inquiry into citizenship which divulges applicant's ancestry, national origin, birthplace or present citizenship. It is also illegal to require a birth certificate or naturalization or baptismal records before hiring.


(1) It is permissible to inquire about convictions which relate reasonably to fitness to perform the particular job being applied for, provided the inquiry is limited to convictions for which the date of conviction or prison release, whichever is more recent, is within five years of the date of the job application. (2) If the employer believes that it is not practicable to inquire about specified convictions only, the employer may inquire about all convictions for which the date of the conviction or prison release is within five years of the date of the job application, provided that the general inquiry be accompanied by a disclaimer informing the applicant that a conviction record will not necessarily bar him or her from employment.

Inquiries about a conviction for an offense that does not relate reasonably to fitness to perform the particular job or which exceed the five years indicated under fair questions.


It is permissible to request job-related information; for example, whether applicant has certain specific disabilities which relate reasonably to fitness to perform the particular job which may affect work performance or which the employer should take into account in determining job placement.

Overt questions which could tend to divulge disabilities or health conditions which do not relate reasonably to fitness to perform the particular job. For example, "Do you have any handicaps?"


Applicant's ability to meet specific work requirements such as specific work schedules, travel, and attendance.

Specific inquiries concerning spouse, spouse's employment or salary, children, child care arrangements, or other dependents.

Height and Weight

Questions concerning the ability to perform actual job requirements. (Being a certain height or weight is not considered a requirement unless the employer can show that a employee with an ineligible height or weight could not do the work because of height or weight.)

All inquiries which are not based on actual job requirements.

Marital Status


Format of written questions:

   ( )  Mr.
   ( )  Mrs.
   ( )  Miss
   ( )  Ms.

Whether the applicant is married, single, divorced, separated, engaged, or widowed.


Questions about education, training, or work experience acquired in the armed forces of the United States. Questions about the type and dates of discharge may be asked about U.S. military service if an applicant claims veteran's preference.

Type or condition of military discharge. Whether applicant has experience in other than U.S. armed forces. Requests for discharge papers.


Whether applicant has worked for UMass under a different name and, if so, what name. Name applicant is known to references.

Questions about original name if the name has been changed by court order or marriage. Inquiries which could divulge marital status, lineage, ancestry, national origin, or descent.

National Origin

Questions about foreign language skills if those skills are job requirements.

Inquiries into applicant's lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, birthplace, or mother tongue. Inquiries about the national origin of applicant's parents or spouse.


Questions about job-related organization membership unless the organization membership is an indication of race, color, creed, sex, marital status, or national origin.

Requirements that the applicant list all organizations, clubs, societies, and lodges to which he or she belongs.



Mandatory or optional request that applicant submit a photograph.


Inquiries which are made to males or females concerning any anticipated absences and expected duration of employment (see also Disability.)

All questions about pregnancy, medical history concerning pregnancy and related matters (see also Disability).



Any inquiries concerning race or color of skin, hair, eyes, etc.


Names of applicant's relatives already employed at UMass.

Names and addresses of any relative other than those employed at UMass.

Religion or Creed


Inquiries concerning applicant's religious denomination, religious affiliation, church, parish, pastor, or religious holidays observed.


Mailing address and telephone number.

Names or relationships of people living with applicant. Whether applicant owns or rents his or her home.



All inquiries.

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Last updated March, 2010.
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