Partner Employment Program


The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the increasing importance of accommodating dual career families and the considerable benefit of such accommodation to the University in attracting and retaining faculty. Although accommodating the spouses and partners of faculty members will not always be financially feasible, the University is committed to an effort to facilitate such arrangements and has therefore adopted a Partner Employment Program. Read more about our commitment to work-life balance.


Partners of candidates for faculty and librarian positions may be hired as faculty, librarians or administrative staff within the same administrative units or across Department and College/Library lines as part of this program. Waivers of search may be granted by my office when partner employment is part of a hiring offer resulting from a national search, or is part of an attempt to retain a current academic employee. All participants hired under the Partner Employment Program must be fully qualified for their hiring status and must be approved by the host units.


Each year, the Provost’s Office plans to provide partial, temporary salary support for the spouses/partners of tenure-system faculty for recruitment or retention purposes. The amount typically provided by the Provost’s Office is 50% of the base salary floor of a Lecturer, per Article 26 of the MSP Contract. This subvention will be provided for three years only. All appointments under the Partner Employment Program will be subject to the availability of funding.


Instructions for the Partner Employment Program are as follows:

  1. The host unit will prepare a position description after the participant has been interviewed satisfactorily by the host unit. Once the initiating and host units, dean(s) and the PEP participant have agreed to a job description and salary, the proposed position details will be submitted by the Dean to Provost’s Office for approval of (a) the offer and (b) funding.
  2. In considering funding, the Provost’s Office may ask the Dean to prioritize requests. In selecting which requests to support, the Provost’s Office will consider the following (unranked) factors:
    • Contribution to diversity.
    • Strategic importance of recruiting the primary hire.
    • Value to the campus of the position created for the secondary hire.
    • Academic qualifications of both partners.
    • Number of other spouse/partner hiring subventions that the college has received recently, relative to the college’s overall hiring volume.
  3. Funding, if approved by the Provost, will follow the terms described in the Funding section above. Because funds are limited, the offer may be approved with waiver of search but without a Provost-level subvention.
  4. If the appointment is for a faculty or librarian position, the participant will be a member of the Massachusetts Society of Professors bargaining unit, and all personnel actions and evaluations will follow the terms of the MSP contract.
  5. If the appointment is for an administrative position, terms of other bargaining agreements will be adhered to, as appropriate.
  6. Documentation of all hires under the Partner Employment Program will be maintained in the Provost’s office, including a statement of the impact of each such hire on the diversity goals of all involved units.
  7. When a hire with tenure is made under the Partner Employment Program, such a hire shall be subject to normal University tenure processes.

Five College Opportunities

My counterparts in the Five College Consortium and I have developed arrangements to facilitate hiring by one institution of the spouse/partner of a new faculty member at another institution. The financial arrangement provides support for a visiting position for the spouse partner for a period of three years. The salary for the trailing spouse is split three ways: 50% from the institution that hires the trailing spouse (and therefore receives the benefit of their services), 25% from Five Colleges Inc. endowment income, and 25% from the institution with the leading spouse hire. To explore the possibility of such an arrangement, or other opportunities at the four colleges, the Dean should contact John McCarthy, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.