Equity and Compliance

Opportunity Hire Program

The Opportunity Hire Program at the University of Southern Maine enables the university to respond rapidly to opportunities to employ those who can make a unique contribution to the USM community.  This includes individuals who have national or international reputations in their fields; individuals who bring a unique or different perspective to the campus because of their personal or professional backgrounds, interests or expertise; and spouses or domestic partners of University employees who themselves have talents that match the needs of the campus.

Criteria for evaluating search waivers under the Opportunity Hire Program include:

  1. Demonstrated qualifications of the individual recommended;
  2. Impact of the recommended hire on a major institutional priority, such as the appointment of national or international experts, of individuals from diverse professional or personal backgrounds and the retention of valued employees and prospective employees (spousal and domestic partner accommodation);
  3. Consensus within the hiring department (for faculty appointments) for this recommendation and approval by hiring department pursuant to the by-laws which guide the hiring process;
  4. Degree to which funds will support the position over time (if applicable);
  5. Uniqueness of the contribution to be made through the hire;
  6. Likelihood of success within the department (through promotion and tenure);
  7. Rationale for foregoing a normal search process and degree to which there was a competitive analysis in choosing this individual.

 A.    Search Waiver Requests

University policy normally requires a competitive search before filling a faculty or executive level professional vacancy.  The Opportunity Hire search waiver is designed for ongoing or long-term appointments that meet institutional priorities.  Appointment in response to a special opportunity generally requires the ability to respond quickly to a person with competing career options.

Procedure:  Complete the Search Waiver Request and submit it to the Office of Equity & Compliance.  Normally, a decision will be made within one week of submitting the waiver request.  As with all University appointments, final approval rests with the President.