Chapter 9 – Hiring and Appointments

(Amended 6/1/03; 3/04; 3/05; 4/05; 12/1/05; 1/06; 1/08; 3/08; 10/11: 3/12; 8/12; 1/14/13; 5/14; 7/15; 8/15; 2/16; 11/16; 7/1/17; 9/17; 6/19; 6/17/22; 7/26/22; 8/1/23; 3/1/24)

Effective August 1, 2023, and March 1, 2024, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version of III-9.6 and III-9.8.

9.1 Appointments, General

(Amended 9/93; 6/24/94; 9/97; 5/00; 3/02; 5/03; 3/04; 1/06; 7/26/22)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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, their employment must be terminated immediately upon learning they are 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.
  3. 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.) 

9.2 Credential Check at Point of Hire

(6/1/03; 9/03; 1/08; 5/14; 7/20/23)

Effective July 20, 2023, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.

  1. Focus of check.
    1. Merit staff (temporary or regular):
      1. All hires in classifications that require a specific certification or license.
      2. Specific hires where the hiring selection was influenced by the representation of a higher education degree, certification, or license.
    2. Professional and scientific staff (temporary or regular): All hires.
    3. Faculty (temporary or regular): All hires.
    4. Postdoctoral scholars: All hires.
  2. 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.
  3. Notice and timing of check.
    1. Candidates are informed that an offer of  employment with 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 prior to a check being conducted. This permits the department to check credentials through a variety of methods including the National Student Clearinghouse's electronic database. The release form can be downloaded at
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  4. Acceptable methodologies. Departments may use the following methodologies to carry out a credential check.
    1. For verification of license or certification:
      1. Verification through contacting the granting institution, or
      2. Verification through visual inspection of original certification or license.
    2. For verification of academic degree:
      1. Verification through the National Student Clearinghouse's electronic database, Degree Verify.2 Verification via this method must be attempted before contacting the granting institution.
      2. If for any reason a candidate's degree cannot be verified through the National Student Clearinghouse’s electronic database for any reason, including that the granting institution is not included in the 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 they did not make the inquiry), stating the name of the office and the name and title of the person who provided the verification.
      3. If the National Student Clearinghouse 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
    3. Additional verification methods for faculty hires:
      1. 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.
      2. 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.

        Note: Verification of professional credentials for faculty health care providers by one University of Iowa unit need not be redone by another (e.g., if M.D. degrees have been verified by the UIHC, a college may use their verification)

        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.
    4. Additional verification methods for postdoctoral scholars: An official transcript or letter from the granting institution’s graduate college, registrar, or other institutional office certifying that the candidate has completed all requirements for awarding the terminal degree.
  5. Documentation and record keeping.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  6. Falsification of credentials.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. The disqualified candidate/employee is informed in writing of such action.
    4. 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.
  7. Credentials acquired post-hire or corrections to existing information.
    1. 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.
    2. 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. The National Student 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.

9.3 Criminal Background Check at Point of Hire

(12/1/05; 3/08; 1/14/13; 11/13; 7/15; 8/15; 9/17; 8/1/23)

Effective August 1, 2023, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version

  1. Purpose of policy. To protect the University, its faculty, staff, and students, and members of the public who have dealings with the University from physical, emotional, and/or financial harm while also protecting the privacy of individuals who apply to University positions. The University may refuse to hire any individual with a criminal conviction that relates to the position for which that person has applied such that hiring the person is determined to pose an unacceptable risk. Furthermore, the policy is designed to comply with federal and state regulations regarding certain types of positions.
  2. Criminal background checks (CBCs) are obtained for all regular merit, professional and scientific, and faculty positions at the time applicants are selected for hire per paragraph e(2) below. Applicants 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 Campus Safety) are governed by law or regulation. This policy is not intended to supplant any such external background check requirements.Departments conducting such externally required background checks should coordinate with the senior human resources (HR) leader to ensure that due process is afforded, similar to the procedures outlined in this policy.
  3. 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, fixed-term, or student staff position should be designated as security sensitive, thereby requiring a CBC:
    1. 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) leader 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 in consultation with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
    2. At a minimum, the factors listed below should be considered for their relevance to the position; other factors also may be relevant.
    3. If a factor 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 applicants for the position is warranted.
    4. Factors to be considered:
      1. access to secured or sensitive areas including, but not limited to, those containing cash or financial receipts;
      2. access to select agents (biological agents or toxins) and/or controlled substances;
      3. 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);
      4. cash/check handling and/or processing responsibilities;
      5. financial management and/or payroll processing responsibilities;
      6. security responsibilities;
      7. performance of duties related to critical infrastructure services or significant health or safety responsibilities;
      8. 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; access to restricted or critical data (as defined in the Institutional Data Policy);
      9. supervisory duties related to any one or more of the above.
  4. Scope of check. The senior HR leader in each college or division shall use the designated University vendor to verify social security number, conduct a CBC to include all counties, states, and countries1 of residence for the past seven years, and search the sex offender registry regardless of conviction date. As appropriate in individual instances, an alternate vendor 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.
  5. Designation, notice, and timing of check.
    1. Applicants subject to the CBC requirement shall be informed either in the postings/advertisements for the position or when the applicant formally applies for the position that employment at The University of Iowa is contingent on a self-disclosure of conviction history and a successful CBC.
    2. When a department has selected (an) applicant(s) to whom to make an offer, the department will extend a written offer of employment contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check. Upon acceptance of the offer, the hiring department shall direct the applicant(s) to complete a notification and authorization for release of information electronically, including the applicant’s self-disclosure of any criminal convictions for the past seven years. Refusal to complete and sign the release may constitute grounds for withdrawal of the offer or termination of employment. 
    3. Following the applicant’s acceptance of the contingent offer of employment and execution of the release, the senior HR leader shall conduct (a) CBC(s) through the designated University vendor by submitting a request to the vendor for a standard CBC as soon as practicable but in any event no later than 15 calendar days following the applicant's first day of employment. 
    4. The CBC report will include the past seven years of the applicant’s criminal conviction history and is sent to the senior HR leader.
  6. Documentation and record keeping.
    1. Departments shall identify on the human resources transaction (appointment or transfer) whether the CBC is required and, if so, whether it has been completed.
    2. Human Resources departmental reports will indicate incomplete CBCs. Senior HR leaders are responsible for reviewing these CBC reports regularly and acting appropriately on incomplete checks to ensure submission of the CBC request within 15 calendar days following the applicant's first day of employment.
    3. The release, self-disclosure form, CBC report, and other materials related to a CBC, including communications from the applicant about the report, shall be known as the “CBC records.” CBC records shall be retained by the University only for those applicants who are hired and those who are not hired based on information acquired during the CBC process.
    4. University Human Resources, UI Health Care HR, and senior HR leaders shall maintain CBC records regarding applicants for staff positions for five years in a confidential and secure location. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost shall maintain CBC records regarding applicants for faculty positions in the same manner and for the same period.
    5. All CBC records are confidential, and individuals other than the applicant/employee requesting access must provide a compelling justification. The General Counsel, Executive Vice President and Provost, Chief Human Resources Officer, or designee(s) shall determine whether a request for access to CBC records shall be granted.
    6. Every three years, University Human Resources, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Office of Institutional Equity will conduct an audit on positions checked and scope of checks to ensure reasonable consistency among colleges and divisions. In addition, these units will consult at least every three years with the Office of the General Counsel to assess potential disparate impact on members of protected classifications.
  7. Existence of a criminal record.
    1. Subject to the circumstance described below, when the background check reflects a criminal conviction, the senior HR leader shall  consult with:
      1. For staff positions outside of UI Health Care, University HR and the Office of the General Counsel; 
      2. For UI Health Care staff positions, UI Health Care HR and  the Office of the General Counsel; 
      3. For faculty positions, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Office of the General Counsel; and also may consult the associate dean for faculty for the college.

        These offices shall consider the conviction(s) to evaluate relevance to the specific job responsibilities of the position and whether hiring the person may constitute an unacceptable risk to the University. 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 may establish guidelines authorizing the senior HR leader to approve a hire without consulting the designated central administration offices in cases where a single, minor conviction is discovered. 
    2. 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 shared with the applicant and  the applicant will be given a reasonable opportunity to provide clarifying information. Typically, the applicant  will be contacted by the senior HR leader for that purpose.
    3. After the applicant has provided clarifying information (or has not done so after having had a reasonable opportunity to do so), the senior HR leader shall present the the applicant's information to the central offices listed above for further evaluation of the nexus 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.
    4. 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 applicant will no longer be considered for employment, or if already employed should be terminated, the senior HR leader shall provide written notification to the applicant/employee immediately. 


1. CBCs will be requested from international jurisdictions, but the ability to obtain records varies.

9.4 Filling Open Merit Positions

(Amended 6/19)

Creation of Merit System staff positions is accomplished by submitting the appropriate requisition through the designated University hiring system for review and approval. 

9.5 Recruitment Among Big Ten Academic Alliance Institutions

(President 1/7/63; amended 2/98; 11/14; 11/16)

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." 

9.6 Affirmative Action Employment Guidelines

(Provost 3/6/72; 9/93; 9/97; 9/02; 3/04; 5/04; 11/04; 2/16; 6/19; 6/17/22; 7/25/23)

Effective July 25, 2023, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.

  1. 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.
  2. Notices.
    1. Notices of available positions are published in local, regional, and national publications/websites where appropriate.
    2. Notices may not specify any preference, limitation, or specification based on sex unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the available position.
    3. 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 website, and any other job portal website utilized by the University of Iowa, shall also include the following EEO tagline: Questions regarding the appropriate usage of the EEO tagline may be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity, 202 Jessup Hall, 319-335-0705,
      1. "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."
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
  3. Application and appointment forms do not require different information for subgroups of applicants (e.g.,  men and women).
  4. Information requested during interviews is the same for all  candidates.
  5. 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.
  6. Employment of relatives. See III-8 Conflict of Interest in Employment (Nepotism).
  7. Affirmative Action and Tenure. See