Partner Hiring Program Guidelines and Procedures


The University of California, Berkeley recognizes that addressing the needs of dual career couples is an essential part of recruiting and retaining the highest quality senate faculty. Berkeley is committed to furthering institutional excellence by providing an array of services in support of the partner hiring needs of candidates for senate faculty appointments and senate faculty.

A partner hire into a campus appointment is not an entitlement. Every partner hire must meet the qualifications and standard of excellence for the appropriate appointment. A partner hire that is made without an open search must meet the criteria for a search waiver. All partner hiring opportunities are contingent on available funding.

Options for Addressing Partner Hire Needs

The Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty coordinates services addressing the partner hiring needs of senate faculty and candidates. For partner hires who may meet the standards for Berkeley faculty or research appointments, the Vice Provost will act as a broker to facilitate cooperation between departments and schools. For partners looking for non-academic employment or appointments at other colleges and universities, the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare, under the Associate Vice Provost for the Faculty, will provide information and assistance.

Dual career services for non-academic employment and academic employment at other universities

The Associate Vice Provost for the Faculty can provide job search guidance and referrals to job networking contacts. The campus provides access to employment opportunities at local colleges and universities through its partnership with the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, a searchable web resource for higher education that provides both academic and administrative job listings for colleges and universities throughout Northern California.

Information regarding academic degree programs at Berkeley

In some cases, the partner may be interested in and qualified for admission to a graduate, professional or undergraduate degree program. The Associate Vice Provost for the Faculty will provide information and assistance in coordination with the appropriate campus offices. The Associate Vice Provost for the Faculty can provide general information about the admissions process, but has no influence on admissions decisions. A candidate’s application for admission will be reviewed like any other, through the appropriate department, school, or undergraduate admissions process.

Consideration for an academic appointment at Berkeley

In some cases, the partner qualifications may match needs for an academic appointment at Berkeley. Such appointments may be full or part time, with or without salary, and include the following options:

  • Ladder Rank Faculty
  • Split Ladder Rank Faculty Appointment *
  • Lecturer with Security of Employment ("Teaching Professor")
  • Professor in Residence
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Lecturer
  • Researcher
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Visiting Scholar
  • Academic Coordinator
  • Librarian

Funding for the position for the partner and terms of the partner appointment will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Possible funding sources include the primary department (faculty member or candidate) and secondary department (partner), as well as the administration. Terms of the partner appointment may include the duration of funding support, renewal criteria, and other factors that concern the relationship between the primary and secondary departments. Cases for appointing partners in academic positions will be reviewed in the normal fashion.

Procedures for investigating partner hire options at UC Berkeley

1. Eligibility 

In order to be eligible for partner hiring consideration, one member of the couple must have an appointment or an offer in a senate faculty position. Assistance is available to a partner without regard to either marital or registered domestic partnership status.

2. During the search 

A department conducting a search for a senate faculty appointment may contact the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare when a finalist has been identified and they would like to discuss transition issues, including partner hire needs if applicable. The information about partner hiring should be transparent and equally available to all candidates. The Associate Vice Provost will share no information about the candidate with the department unless the candidate has agreed to release such information.

If a candidate discloses information to the search committee about partner hire needs, or if partner hire needs are generally known during a search, the candidate should be referred to the Associate Vice Provost for assistance.

The partner hire needs of a candidate should never be discussed or considered by the department in the selection process. Candidates for faculty positions should be considered on their individual merits without regard to partner status. The challenges or opportunities associated with a partner hire must not be a factor in the decision to make an offer to a candidate.

3. After an offer is made 

After a candidate has been selected and recommended for an offer, the department chair may initiate a discussion regarding needs the candidate has that can be supported by the University. If the candidate discloses that they have partner hire needs, the department chair should consult with the dean. The dean may contact the Vice Provost if the candidate's partner is interested in an academic appointment at Berkeley. The department chair should refer the candidate to the Associate Vice Provost for information about partner hire opportunities in non-academic employment or appointments at other colleges and universities.

Retention Cases

If a partner hire need is identified as critical for the retention of a senate faculty member, the department chair should consult with the dean and refer the candidate to the Associate Vice Provost for information. The dean may contact the Vice Provost for assistance as needed, and depending on the type of position sought by the partner.

Legal considerations in partner hiring

1. Equity 

The partner hire program should be implemented, to the greatest extent possible, so that each eligible partner is considered for appropriate positions in an equitable manner. It is the goal of the program that partners be evaluated on their own merits.

2. Nepotism 

University policy permits the employment of near relatives in the same department, upon recommendation, if the appointment is justified and in the best interests of the University (APM 520).

3. Non-discrimination 

The implementation of the partner hire program may not discriminate against any individual protected by the University non-discrimination policies (APM 035). Partner hiring should be monitored to ensure that policies and practices do not foster inequities on the basis of gender, marital status, race or other protected classifications.

4. Affirmative action and search waivers 

Academic personnel policy and U.S. Department of Labor Laws require an open search for most regularly authorized academic appointments. Because partner hiring supports academic excellence, it is recognized as a justification for a search waiver.

*For example, two individuals may split one appointment at 50% each or .5 FTE might be added for two 75% appointments