Chapter 9 – Hiring and Appointments
Effective July 26, 2022, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.
It is the responsibility of the hiring administrative officer or a designee to make certain that prior to any commitment of appointment, the new appointee has a clear understanding of the terms of employment and working conditions.
Notices of new appointments, changes in status or terminations reaching by the close of business on the 20th of the month are processed for payment or adjustment during that month.
Departments are expected to make recommendations of new appointments and changes in status as soon as it is possible for them to do so regardless of the deadline, and in no case later than the effective date thereof. The processing of such recommendations before they are reported to Human Resources may take considerable time and should be originated well in advance of the deadline to assure prompt payment.
- Policy. Appointments shall be made with due consideration of the affirmative action guidelines for the university as expressed in the President's policy statements; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (IC 216) as amended in regard to discrimination in employment; other applicable federal and state law; and other relevant Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and University of Iowa policies and procedures.
- Employment eligibility. All newly appointed university employees must have their identity and their eligibility to work in the United States verified. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Form I-9 is used to verify the employee's identify and eligibility to work.
The I-9 form must be completed by the third day of employment. Failure to complete the I-9 form in a timely manner or at all may subject the hiring department to penalties and fines from the federal government for failing to provide proof of work authorization. If a person is appointed who is not eligible to work, his or her employment must be terminated immediately upon learning he or she is not authorized to work. It is the hiring department's responsibility to ensure that a completed I-9 form is submitted to the Payroll Office.
- Teaching, research, administrative, and professional staff. The appointments of vice presidents, provosts, Treasurer, Secretary, and direct reports to the President are recommended by the President and approved by the Board of Regents. Initial appointments of deans, assistant and associate deans and vice presidents, and directors of major administrative units are reported to the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the appropriate administrative officer. Initial appointments or promotions to positions of tenure are recommended by the appropriate administrative officer, approved by the President and are reported to the Board of Regents. Recommendations for appointment of other personnel are made by the appropriate administrative officer and approved by the President.
Recommendation of appointment or change in status forms are available in the HRIS HR Transaction System. These forms, carrying the proper signatures, are forwarded through regular administrative channels for university approvals. Approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost in the case of faculty, and by the Chief Human Resources Officer for all other staff members, constitutes approval of the personal qualifications of the prospective appointee, but does not constitute approval of the fiscal arrangements. When Presidential approval is required for a position as outlined above, the President’s approval must be obtained prior to the effective date of the appointment or the change.
Payroll checks are issued by the Payroll Office on the basis of the finally approved departmental recommendations without further notifications from departmental executive officers.
(See also III-8 Conflict of Interest in Employment.)
- Focus of check.
- Merit staff (temporary or regular):
- All hires in classifications that require a specific certification or license.
- Specific hires where the hiring selection was influenced by the representation of a higher education degree, certification, or license.
- Professional and scientific staff (temporary or regular): All hires.
- Faculty (temporary or regular): All hires.
- Merit staff (temporary or regular):
- Scope of check. In all cases, departments check the degrees, certifications, or licenses1 that either are relevant to a hiring selection or that influences the setting of a salary. In most cases, departments need only check the highest-level credential represented on the candidate's resume or application. However, in some cases because of the position requirements, it is necessary to check the highest-level credential and/or the most directly relevant or any required credential related to a hiring decision.
- Notice and timing of check.
- Candidates are informed during the interview stage that employment at The University of Iowa is contingent on a successful check of their credentials. This allows candidates to provide clarifying information, e.g., a degree obtained under a different last name. Departments secure a signed release from each candidate at the close of the interview. This permits the department to check credentials through a variety of methods including Degree Verify, the National Student Clearinghouse's electronic database. The release form can be downloaded at https://hr.uiowa.edu/sites/hr.uiowa.edu/files/2019-07/Disclosure%20of%20Credential%20Verification.pdf.
- If the offer letter is given to the candidate of choice prior to completion of the credential check, the offer letter reiterates that a credential check is being conducted and that University of Iowa employment is contingent on a successful outcome.
- Credential checks are conducted immediately upon selection of the candidate(s) of choice and submitted for verification no later than 15 days following the candidate's first day of employment.
- Acceptable methodologies. Departments may use the following methodologies to carry out a credential check.
- For verification of license or certification:
- Verification through contacting the granting institution, or
- Verification through visual inspection of original certification or license.
- For verification of academic degree:
- Verification through the National Student Clearinghouse's electronic database, Degree Verify.2 Verification via this method must be attempted before contacting the granting institution.
- If Degree Verify cannot verify a candidate's degree for any reason, including the granting institution is not included in Degree Verify's database, the hiring department may contact the granting institution directly. For faculty hires, if the contact is made by telephone, a dated, signed memo of the contact should be prepared by the person making the inquiry (countersigned by the DEO if he or she was not the inquirer), stating the name of the office and the name and title of the person who provided the verification.
- If Degree Verify cannot verify and a granting institution is not willing to release the information, then visual inspection of the original diploma or certified copy of a transcript may be used.
- Additional verification methods for faculty hires:
- A letter from the granting institution's graduate college, professional college, registrar, or other institutional office certifying that the candidate has received the degree or completed all of the requirements for the degree.
- A letter of reference on the granting institution's letterhead from the applicant's major adviser or department chair which includes language that clearly indicates that the candidate has received the degree or completed all of the requirements for the degree.
Colleges may set more stringent requirements, for example, disallowing verification by phone or requiring that a letter of reference from the major adviser is acceptable only if it states that the degree has been granted.
- For verification of license or certification:
- Documentation and record keeping.
- Departments list credentials on the Human Resources transaction (appointment or transfer) and identify whether a credential check has been completed. If the check is complete, the list also indicates which credentials were verified as relevant to the hiring selection or the setting of salary.
- Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) departmental reports indicate incomplete credential checks. Colleges, divisions, units, and departments are responsible for reviewing credential checks reports on a biweekly basis.
- All supporting documentation is be kept at the departmental level in the interview file, and in the event the candidate is hired, in the personnel file.
- Falsification of credentials.
- Departments who believe a candidate has misrepresented a credential discuss the discrepancy with the candidate to provide a reasonable opportunity for the individual to provide clarifying information.
- If upon further review, it is the hiring department's judgment that a material misrepresentation has occurred, such that the candidate should no longer be considered for employment, or if already employed should be terminated, the department informs their Human Resources senior leadership representative (or dean, in the case of faculty) immediately. This person consults with University Human Resources (or the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost in the case of faculty) and/or General Counsel before taking negative action.
- The disqualified candidate/employee is informed in writing of such action.
- If a disqualified candidate/employee seeks future employment at The University of Iowa, University Human Resources (or the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost in the case of faculty) may inform the new hiring department. It is the responsibility of the hiring department to take into consideration this information in evaluating the candidate/employee.
- Credentials acquired post-hire or corrections to existing information.
- If employees request a change in the HRIS credentials listing at any time post-hire, they notify the department, which then must verify the change per the methodologies identified above.
- When changing faculty credential information, a copy of the verification document should also be provided to the Associate Provost for Faculty, 111 Jessup Hall.
1. Includes driver's license when required for completion of duties. Verification can be completed through Risk Management.
2. Degree Verify is an electronic service sponsored by the National Student Clearinghouse that provides verification of higher education degrees. The Clearinghouse is a non-profit corporation, established in 1993, with an original mission to assist schools in their obligations to report student enrollment status. It has expanded its mission to degree verification. Verification can be completed at their website 24 hours per day/7 days per week. Typically, the response is immediate. However, if a degree pre-dates a participating school's electronic records, the response will typically take up to 24 hours.
- Purpose of policy. To protect the University, its faculty, staff, and students, and members of the public who have dealings with the University from suffering physical, emotional, and financial harm while also protecting the privacy of individuals who apply to University positions. The policy enables the University to refuse to hire any individual with a criminal conviction that relates to the position for which that person has applied in such a way that hiring the person would be judged an unacceptable risk. Furthermore, the policy is designed to comply with federal and state regulations regarding certain types of positions.
- Criminal background checks (CBCs) are obtained for all regular merit, professional and scientific, and faculty positions at the time candidates are selected for hire per paragraph e(2) below. Candidates for temporary merit, professional and scientific, fixed-term faculty, and student staff (including graduate teaching and research assistant) positions that have been designated security sensitive by the appropriate dean or vice president also are checked at the time of hire. Background check processes for some positions (such as those within the Department of Public Safety) are dictated by law or regulation. This policy is not intended to supplant any such external background check requirements.
- Criteria and process for determining whether a temporary, fixed-term, or student staff position is security sensitive. There are two steps in determining whether a temporary or student staff position should be designated as security sensitive, thereby requiring a CBC:
- At the time of a temporary staff, fixed-term faculty, or student staff vacancy, positions shall be evaluated by the hiring department in consultation with the senior human resources (HR) leadership representative or associate dean in each college or division, and a written recommendation shall be made to the appropriate dean or vice president providing specific justification for the determination that the duties and responsibilities are such that the position should be designated security sensitive. The dean or vice president shall determine whether or not the position is security sensitive and, if so, then the position shall be so indicated on the requisition. For fixed-term faculty positions, such determination shall be made also in consultation with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
- At a minimum, the domains listed below should be considered for their relevance to the position; other domains also may be relevant.
- If a domain is considered relevant to a particular position, then a determination must be made regarding whether the access, contact, or responsibility is of such a level that the University or persons in the University community would be at sufficient risk that a mandatory CBC on selected candidates for the position is warranted.
- Domains to be considered:
- access to secured or sensitive areas including, but not limited to, those containing cash or financial receipts;
- access to select agents (biological agents or toxins) and/or controlled substances;
- patient and/or child and/or dependent adult population contact, not including University students who are under the age of 18 (see also Youth Programs Policy Manual and Sports Camps and Clinics Manual);
- cash/check handling and/or processing responsibilities;
- financial management and/or payroll processing responsibilities;
- security responsibilities;
- performance of duties related to critical infrastructure services or significant health or safety responsibilities;
- access to information technology: "root" or "administrator" access level to enterprise systems; "administrator" access level to institutional databases; unsupervised physical access to critical infrastructure services or systems such as telephone switch equipment, networking routers and switches, and data centers;
- supervisory duties related to the above.
- Scope of check. The senior HR leadership representative in each college or division shall use the designated University vendor to verify social security number and conduct a CBC to include all counties and states of residence for the past seven years. As appropriate in individual instances, an alternate designated by the vice president or dean or, in the case of faculty, the Associate Provost for Faculty, may conduct the check. Background checks for access to select agents will be conducted by the Department of Justice.
- Designation, notice, and timing of check.
- Applicants subject to the CBC requirement shall be informed either in the advertisements for the position or when the applicant formally applies for the position that employment at The University of Iowa is contingent on a declaration of conviction history and a successful CBC.
- When a department has selected (a) candidate(s) to whom to make an offer, the department shall ask the candidate(s) to complete a notification and authorization for release of information either electronically or via hard copy. (When using hard copy, a stamped and addressed envelope should be provided for this purpose.) This includes their conviction history and is sent to the senior HR leadership representative or, alternatively, for faculty, to the Associate Provost for Faculty. Refusal to complete and sign the release may constitute grounds for withdrawal of the offer or termination of employment. The candidate(s) are reminded that the background check will now be conducted.
- The senior HR leadership representative shall conduct (a) CBC(s) through the designated University vendor upon selection of the candidate(s) of choice and shall submit a request to the vendor for a standard check as soon as practicably possible but in any event no later than 15 days following the candidate's first day of employment. A more comprehensive check may require a longer period of time. In the case of faculty, the Associate Provost for Faculty may conduct the check.
- If the offer letter is given to the candidate of choice prior to completion of the background check, the offer letter shall reiterate that a CBC is being conducted and that University of Iowa employment is contingent on its successful outcome.
- Documentation and record keeping.
- Departments shall identify on the human resources transaction (appointment or transfer) whether the CBC is required and, if so, whether it has been completed.
- Human Resources Information System departmental reports will indicate incomplete CBCs. Senior HR leadership representatives are responsible for reviewing these CBC reports regularly and acting appropriately on incomplete checks to ensure completion of the CBC within 15 days following the candidate's first day of employment.
- The declaration form and materials acquired through a criminal background check shall be retained by the University only for those candidates who are hired or those who are not hired based on information acquired via the form or the background check.
- The Offices of the General Counsel, UI Health Care HR, and, in the case of Carver College of Medicine faculty, the collegiate dean's office shall maintain all acquired and supporting documentation in a confidential and secure location. Such records shall be retained for ten years.
- All acquired and supporting documentation is confidential information, and individuals other than the applicant/employee requesting access must provide a compelling justification. The General Counsel, President, UI Health Care HR, or designee(s) shall determine whether a request for access to acquired and supporting documentation shall be granted.
- Every three years, University Human Resources, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity will conduct an audit on positions checked and scope of checks to ensure reasonable consistency between colleges and divisions and to assess potential disparate impact for members of protected groups.
- Existence of a criminal record.
- Subject to the circumstance described below, when the background check reflects a criminal conviction, the senior HR leadership representative, in consultation with University HR and the Office of the General Counsel; or, in the case of UI Health Care, in consultation with the Director, UI Health Care Employee and Labor Relations and, as appropriate, the Office of the General Counsel; or, in the case of faculty, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Office of the General Counsel shall evaluate the conviction to determine whether it is relevant to the specific job responsibilities of the position and whether hiring the person may constitute an unacceptable risk. Specifically, the University will consider the nature, gravity, recency, and frequency of convictions and the nature of the job duties. University HR, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, in consultation with the senior HR leadership representatives, may establish guidelines authorizing the senior HR leadership representative to approve a hire without consulting the designated central administration offices in cases where a single, minor conviction is discovered. All records relating to the CBC in the University's possession are not considered a public record and shall be treated as a confidential personnel record.
- If a preliminary judgment is made that the conviction has sufficient nexus to the position and that the hire may present an unacceptable risk such that further consideration is warranted, this information shall be discussed with the candidate to give the candidate a reasonable opportunity to provide clarifying information. Typically, the candidate will be contacted by the senior HR leadership representative or the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
- After the candidate has provided clarifying information (or has not done so after having had a reasonable opportunity to do so), the senior HR leadership representative shall present the evaluation of the information to University Human Resources or, in the case of faculty, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Office of the General Counsel prior to presenting the information to the dean or vice president. The dean or vice president shall then make a recommendation to University Human Resources (or the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, in the case of faculty) regarding whether the conviction is sufficiently closely related to the position and whether hiring the person may constitute an unacceptable risk such that denial of employment is warranted. University Human Resources or, in the case of faculty, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost shall make the final decision on this issue in consultation with the college or division, as appropriate.
- If the final decision is that the conviction has significant nexus to the position and that the hire may present an unacceptable risk such that the candidate will no longer be considered for employment, or if already employed should be terminated, the senior HR leadership representative or the dean/vice president shall provide written notification to the candidate/employee immediately.
Creation of Merit System staff positions is accomplished by submitting the appropriate requisition through the designated University hiring system for review and approval.
The presidents of the fourteen institutions which are members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin) have fixed May 1 of each year as the date after which offers for faculty cannot be made by one BTAA institution to the faculty of another BTAA institution without the latter's consent.
The resolution reads as follows: "Inquiries about an individual's interest in and conversations concerning a new full-time, academic appointment are in order at any time of the year, but after May 1, an offer for an appointment at the assistant professor level or above, to take effect in the next academic year, will not be made unless the administrative head (usually the dean or his designated substitute) of the offering college, school, or institute, etc., has determined that the date at which the appointment is to take effect is agreeable to the administrative head of the college, school or institute, etc., which the individual will be leaving if he accepts the new appointment."
Effective June 17, 2022, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.
- Records of efforts made to locate qualified women and minority group members (e.g., individuals contacted, published notices, and copies of letters) are kept by office and departmental administrative personnel for review.
- Notices of available positions are published in local, regional, and national publications/websites where appropriate.
- Notices may not specify any preference, limitation, or specification based on sex unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the available position.
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tagline. To ensure compliance with federal regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), university departments shall include the following EEO tagline in all new external job announcements, advertisements, postings, and solicitations for nominations for all employment vacancies at the University of Iowa. The university’s jobs.uiowa.edu website, and any other job portal website utilized by the University of Iowa, shall also include the following EEO tagline:
- "The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences."
- A professional and scientific or administrative position is requested from University Human Resources, after which it is advertised for a minimum of ten business days. Departments are notified of the earliest date on which the position may be filled. A Merit System position is requested from University Human Resources after which it is advertised for a minimum of ten calendar days.
- Creation of professional and scientific staff positions is accomplished by submitting the appropriate requisition through the designated university hiring system for review and approval. Faculty and professional and scientific positions that are 50 percent or more time and extend for one year or more require a search which must comply with the affirmative action procedures at the university. Please consult the Office of Institutional Equity's Recruitment Manual for faculty and professional and scientific searches or contact the Office of Institutional Equity for more information about search requirements and procedures.
- Application and appointment forms do not require different information forsubgroups of applicants (e.g., men and women).
- Information requested during interviews is the same for all candidates.
- Salaries are determined on the basis of merit only. Such factors as marital status, number of dependents, spouse's income or other sources of income are not considered in setting salaries.
- Employment of relatives. See III-8 Conflict of Interest in Employment (Nepotism).
- Affirmative Action and Tenure. See III-10.1 Tenure and Non-Tenure Appointments.
- Employment of individuals with disabilities.
- Applicable federal and state law prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment practices such as job application procedures, hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, training, benefits, and other conditions of employment. See also II-7 Disability Protection Policy. For more information about accommodations and about when an essential job functions analysis is required, please contact University Faculty and Staff Disability Services.
- For information about job application and employment of individuals with disabilities, see https://hr.uiowa.edu/support/faculty-and-staff-disability-services.
- For information about complaints of discrimination, see https://diversity.uiowa.edu/report/report-problem.
- Temporary appointments.
- A temporary appointment is considered a short-term appointment to meet an emergency, such as when a position is vacated unexpectedly, or to meet temporary needs of the university. Temporary appointments may be made for one year or less to a faculty or professional and scientific position that is 50 percent (1040 hours) or more time without the requirement of an affirmative action search. Affirmative action searches are not required for faculty or professional and scientific positions that are less than 50 percent time (1040 hours), regardless of the length of appointment. Temporary appointments of less than 50 percent (1040 hours) will not be subject to the one-year appointment limitation.
- If during the term of the 50 percent (1040 hours) or greater temporary appointment the department anticipates the position extending beyond one year, then an affirmative action search must be completed as soon as possible and no later than within one year of the start of the initial temporary appointment. An affirmative action search also must be completed in the event that a temporary appointment of less than 50 percent (1040 hours) is increased to 50 percent (1040 hours) or more time and is expected to extend beyond the initial one-year temporary appointment. Exceptions include appointment in classifications designated on an annual basis by Compensation and Classification as experiencing a labor shortage.
- Limited extensions of temporary appointments of 50 percent (1040 hours) or more time beyond one year are permitted in extenuating circumstances with the prior approval of the Office of Institutional Equity.
- Temporary appointments held by retirees are subject to the standards outlined above, with the exception of those classifications designated on an annual basis by Compensation and Classification to be experiencing a labor shortage.
- The Office of Institutional Equity establishes search procedures for affirmative action searches. Contact the Office of Equal Institutional Equity for more information about search procedures.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
(Adapted from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division)
1. Who qualifies as a disabled individual under the ADA?
The ADA defines an individual with a disability as a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of such an impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
Major life activities include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
2. What practices and activities are covered by the employment nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA?
The ADA prohibits discrimination in all employment practices including job application procedures, hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.
3. Does an employer have to give preference to a qualified applicant with a disability over other applicants?
No. An employer is free to select the most qualified applicant available and to make decisions based on reasons unrelated to disability.
4. What is a "reasonable accommodation"?
Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.
5. When is an accommodation unreasonable?
An employer is not required to implement any accommodation that would impose an undue hardship. An undue hardship is an action or accommodation that would require significant difficulty or expense in relation to the size of the employer. If it is found that a particular accommodation would impose an undue hardship, the employer must consider whether there are alternative accommodations that would not impose such hardship.
6. What about health and safety standards?
The ADA permits employers to establish qualification standards that exclude individuals who pose a direct threat — i.e., a significant risk of substantial harm — to the health or safety of the individual or of others, if that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced below the level of a "direct threat" by reasonable accommodation. The employer must establish through objective, medically supportable methods that there is significant risk that substantial harm could occur in the workplace.
The ADA recognizes the need to balance the interests of people with disabilities with the legitimate interests of employers in maintaining a safe workplace. That goal is realized by requiring employers to make individualized judgments based on reliable medical or other objective evidence rather than on generalizations, ignorance, fear, patronizing attitudes, or stereotypes.
7. What about performance standards?
In the performance of essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodations, an employer can hold employees with disabilities to the same standards of production/performance as other similarly situated employees without disabilities.
8. What impact does the ADA have on interviewing practices?
The ADA prohibits employers from asking a job applicant any questions that would cause the applicant to disclose a disability or medical condition. Interview questions must focus on the applicant's ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Interviewers may not ask an applicant if he or she has a disability or needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job. If the applicant volunteers that he or she needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job, an interviewer may ask about the type of accommodation needed by the applicant. The interviewer may not, however, ask any follow-up questions about the applicant's disability or medical condition.
The guidelines below are followed in the filling of all positions for executive/administrative/managerial staff at pay level 6 or higher in the professional and scientific classification system and for faculty appointments with significant administrative responsibilities:
As a requisite job qualification, a statement must be included in the position announcement that candidates and/or applicants be able to demonstrate job-related experience with and/or commitment to diversity in the work/academic environment.
Examples of language that may be used in advertisements to satisfy this requirement are listed on the Office of Institutional Equity website at https://diversity.uiowa.edu/resources/facultystaff-recruitment-manual.
(See also III-9.6 Affirmative Action Employment Guidelines.)