Faculty Hiring Process

A number of University policies and procedures impact the process of hiring a new tenured, tenure-track, or professional-track faculty member. The campus policy on the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (APT) of faculty establishes baseline standards for all faculty appointments, including possible faculty titles, credential requirements, contract requirements, and the tenure and promotion process.

Please note that the University currently has a hiring freeze in place for new tenured/tenure track appointments. Units must secure permission (click here to review the procedure) to hire prior to beginning a search process.

The faculty search process is governed by a number of policies and guidelines that include:

Big Ten Academic Alliance Resources

Unconscious Bias Training: The Big Ten Academic Alliance, with an AGEP grant from the National Science Foundation, has created training content for search committees. These short videos and facilitator guides explore unconscious bias in various scenarios along the development of a faculty search. The videos themselves are provided as links at the top of every guide.

Professorial Advancement Initiative (PAI): Several of the Big Ten institutions participate in an initiative to promote greater proportions of historically underrepresented faculty in STEM fields. “Through cross-institutional mentoring and coaching, the program is preparing more than 100 Big Ten URM postdoctoral scholars to transition to tenure-track faculty positions, including an online professional development program designed for focused skill development. The postdoctoral scholars also enroll in an online searchable directory used by search committees for faculty recruitment.” More information may be found here.

If you are interested in accessing the directory of postdoctoral fellows currently in the program for recruiting purposes, please contact the Office of Faculty Affairs at faculty@umd.edu.

Using eTerp

eTerp, the University’s online job posting and application system, is used to manage the documents and processes associated with searches. Information about using eTerp:

When the department is undertaking a targeted search or recruiting a star faculty member, it is still necessary to document the process through eTerp. You will need to produce a complete hiring proposal in eTerp, thus it is useful to preserve all correspondence, emails, and notes of discussion regarding such cases.

The major unit head and the equity administrator review the search committee report and the chair’s rationale for his or her selection prior to producing the hiring proposal.

Making the offer

After the hiring proposal has been approved by the appropriate hiring authority, an offer letter can be sent to the candidate. Below are resources that may be useful to review and consider prior to making an offer to a potential faculty member:

Appointments that are joint and/or include modified tenure criteria require appropriate memorandums of understanding. The APT policy and guidelines detail the procedures and requirements for these processes.

Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

A core belief and operating principle of the University of Maryland is that excellence requires diversity at all levels. The university is fully committed to the highest standards of equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education in general, and among the faculty in particular. Faculty diversity is essential to fulfilling our mission as a public land grant and flagship institution that makes its teaching and research available to all citizens of the state, and that recognizes excellence and diversity as inextricably linked.

To support this imperative, the university is committed to increase the diversity of its faculty; to further foster a welcoming and inclusive campus community; to continue to develop a supportive environment through mentoring and other supports to promote faculty success; and to engage in strategies that create opportunities for faculty growth and development. 

The Faculty Diversity and Inclusion and Faculty Leadership and Development Initiatives described here are designed to encourage the university community to work together at all levels to increase faculty diversity and development, with particular attention to historically underrepresented minorities, and to contribute to an inclusive campus climate. Specific programs include the following hiring and leadership initiatives:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Program—In 2016, the University of Maryland joined the University of California-sponsored consortium of universities, originally organized in 1984, with the objective of building a pipeline of under-represented minority faculty. This consortium collaborates in seeking postdoctoral scholars who can contribute to an enhanced understanding of the experiences of historically underrepresented scholars through their research, educational background, or personal experience.
  • Assistant Professor Diversity Initiative—This program provides partial support for hires at the assistant professor level that enhance faculty diversity at the department and college levels. The intention is to secure faculty early in their academic careers who show great promise.
  • Senior Targeted Hire Diversity Initiative—This program provides support for the targeted recruiting of renowned senior faculty (tenured—generally full professor) who enhance faculty diversity and mentoring and foster the university’s goal of inclusive excellence.
  • Spousal Hire Guidelines—In order to aid recruitment efforts for an excellent and diverse faculty, previously informal guidance for hiring dual-career couples has been codified into official guidelines and procedures
  • Leadership and Development Initiatives—The Office of Faculty Affairs and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provide a range of leadership, development, and mentoring opportunities for faculty and postdoctoral scholars. These efforts include the Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership and Department Executive Officer Programs, Department Chair workshops, Faculty Forums, grant writing and productivity support groups, mentoring networks, and postdoctoral scholar workshops.

Faculty diversity hiring funds are limited and available on a competitive basis for hiring individual faculty or clusters of faculty for the purpose of achieving broad strategic goals and enhancing faculty diversity when special opportunities arise. The purpose of these funds is not to provide budget relief for routine faculty hires. Multiple requests from the same unit must include a priority ranking.

More information and details regarding the above initiatives are provided below.

President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Provost launched the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in 2016 as one component of the university’s efforts to diversify the faculty. The program is coordinated by the University of California through a common application process, and encourages women and underrepresented minority Ph.D. recipients in particular to pursue academic careers.

Funding is competitive, and applications are considered by a review committee. More details on the review process are available here. Normally only one Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship will be funded every two years from any single unit or department. Multiple requests for fellowship funds from the same unit must be prioritized. The Provost will provide 50% of the funding (salary + benefits) for up to six new fellows per year, with a 50% salary match plus benefits commitment from units/colleges hosting a fellow. The current salary is set at $55,000/year (12 months), though colleges and departments can elect to offer higher salaries at their discretion and cost. The college or department must also supply at least $5,000 in start-up and travel funds for each position. Priority for funding will be given to those units that expect to have a tenure-track faculty opening within the next two years for which the fellow might realistically compete.

The expectation is that fellows would serve for two years, with a review and renewal during the spring of their first year. The Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship does not convert automatically to a tenure track position, but fellows are eligible to apply for open tenure-track positions in academic units which are conducting searches.

Assistant Professor Diversity Initiative

The Assistant Professor Diversity Initiative provides partial support to the hiring unit for new faculty hired at the assistant professor level who will enhance diversity in the department, college, and university. Preference will be given to requests that:

  • Increase the diversity of the unit and college;
  • Serve a need for additional faculty in that unit; and
  • Contribute towards the strategic goals of the unit, college, and university.

Funding is limited and competitive. The Provost’s Office will provide up to $200,000 per year at $20,000 per hire for this initiative. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Provost’s Office and Faculty Diversity Hire Review Committee. Units with multiple requests for funds must include a priority ranking. If received separately and without prioritization mentioned in later submissions, multiple funding requests from the same unit/college will be prioritized by the Provost’s Office. Should the faculty member leave the university for any reason, the contributed funds will revert back to the Provost.

Funding requests must include:

  • The candidate’s CV;
  • A letter of support from the unit head;
  • A letter of support from the dean (for departmentalized colleges), including prioritization when applicable;
  • A ranking of faculty if multiple simultaneous requests are being made;
  • Data regarding demographics of tenure-track faculty of the unit, college, and field/discipline;
  • Data regarding student enrollments and demographics; and
  • A mentoring/career development plan for the hire(s).

If the faculty hire has a joint appointment, the above materials must be provided by the tenure home department/college, but the secondary appointment unit should provide additional materials outlining the expected role of the new faculty member in the secondary unit. All materials must be provided through a single request application. Requests should be submitted via the online submission system.

All departments that utilize faculty diversity hiring funds are expected to submit an annual report to the Senior Vice President and Provost by March 31 documenting progress toward the university’s goals of diversity and inclusion.

Senior Targeted Hire Initiative

[Note: Due to budget considerations, this program is temporarily suspended].

The Senior Targeted Hire Initiative seeks to provide partial support to recruit renowned senior (generally full professor) faculty hires who will enhance diversity in the unit, college, and university, and contribute to building a community of outstanding scholars who can mentor and support a diverse faculty. Preference will be given to recruits who:

  • Increase the diversity of the unit and college;
  • Have established a significant scholarly presence in their field/discipline at the national and/or international level;
  • Support an inclusive department, college, and university culture and environment;
  • Support the strategic goals of the unit, college, and university; and
  • Serve a need for additional faculty relative to workload in that unit.

Funding is limited and competitive, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Faculty Diversity Hire Review Committee. Units with multiple requests for funds must include a priority ranking. If received separately and without prioritization mentioned in later submissions, multiple funding requests from the same unit/college will be prioritized by the Provost’s Office. The Provost will provide up to 50% of permanent salary support, with a cap of $100,000/year per hire. Should the faculty member leave the university, the matching funds will revert back to the Provost.

Funding requests must include:

  • The candidate’s CV;
  • A letter of support from the unit head;
  • A letter of support from the dean (for departmentalized colleges) including prioritization when applicable;
  • A ranking of faculty if multiple simultaneous requests are being made;
  • Data regarding demographics of tenure-track faculty in the unit, college, and field/discipline;
  • Data regarding student enrollments and demographics;
  • The impact of the scholarship of the candidate; and
  • A description of how the candidate would contribute to building an inclusive department, college, and university culture and environment, including description of past efforts at prior institutions.

If the prospective faculty hire would have a joint appointment, the above materials must be provided by the tenure home department/college, but the secondary appointment unit should provide a statement explaining the reasons for and advantages of the joint hire. All materials must be provided through a single request application. Requests should be submitted via the online submission system.

All departments that utilize faculty diversity hiring funds are expected to submit an annual report to the Senior Vice President and Provost by March 31, documenting progress toward the university’s goals of diversity and inclusion.

Leadership and Development Initiatives

The Office of Faculty Affairs and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provide a range of leadership, development, and mentoring opportunities for faculty and/or postdoctoral scholars.These efforts include:

  • Big Ten Academic Alliance Leadership Programs. Leveraging resources and cultivating the expertise of its member institutions, the Big Ten Academic Alliance offers professional development opportunities that are highly relevant and effective. Specific programs include:
    • Academic Leadership Program (ALP): One of the most successful Big Ten Academic Alliance Leadership initiatives is the Academic Leadership Program (ALP). Established in 1989, this intensive year-long professional development experience develops the leadership and managerial skills of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional ability and academic promise. Many of the program’s nearly 1,000 fellows have gone on to serve with distinction as college presidents, provosts, and deans.
    • Department Executive Officer Seminars (DEO): Each year, approximately 50 department heads and chairs from Big Ten Academic Alliance universities come together for a unique leadership development seminar. Topics at this three-day event range from conflict resolution and time management to faculty development, performance reviews, and group problem solving. 
  • Chair Workshops. These workshops provide an opportunity for chairs to discuss issues related to academic leadership, campus affairs and university administration. The sessions are designed for department/unit leaders to meet, discuss, and share best practices with each other and campus-level academic administrators.
  • Faculty Forums. Addressing issues faced by the faculty, our campus community, and higher education in general, the forums provide timely information, discussion, and relevant resources to navigate the current context in academia.
  • Faculty Productivity Groups. Faculty writing and workshop productivity groups are designed to support faculty members as they write for publication, and by extension, for promotion, tenure, and continuing contribution to scholarship. The program works with faculty members to promote and share strong writing practices and build communities of faculty on campus.
  • Faculty Workshops. Often presented in partnership with other campus groups, these sessions cover a range of topics for different faculty audiences, such as promotion workshops (for tenure/tenure-track and professional-track faculty) and teaching dossier development. Specific workshops are offered throughout the year as orientation follow-ups for new faculty members to learn about university resources, connect with campus colleagues across disciplines, and assist in career progression.
  • University of Maryland Emeritus/Emerita Association (UMEAA). Established in 2017 for retired faculty members with emeritus and emerita status, UMEEA organizes programming to connect and engage with the university, and to support its members involved in academic, educational and social initiatives.

More information about these initiatives is available from the Leadership and Development menu tab above.