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Procedure for Requesting an Exception

The University is committed to principles of both equity and excellence in its hiring practices. In most cases, identifying the most qualified available candidates for a position requires that the position be advertised and competitively searched through the University’s recruiting technology. When a school/unit believes that the business needs of the University justify an exception to the University’s recruitment and selection processes, it must submit a request for an exception according to the procedures outlined in this document. All hires must be based on merit.

Any discussion of a potential offer prior to receiving approval must be qualified as contingent on obtaining the necessary approvals.

Each dean/unit head is responsible for establishing review processes within the school/unit to ensure that requests are forwarded to a central office only after receiving the dean’s/unit head’s approval.

The institutional offices through which consultations and approvals must be pursued vary depending on employee type. Please review the table below to determine which office to contact for approval.


1. Determine the potential need for an exception to the University’s recruitment and selection policies.

2. Consult with advisory groups and administrators at the school/unit level.

3. Obtain school/unit level approvals.

4. Submit documentation for institutional approval(s) (see checklist). If requesting an exception for faculty or PRS positions submit the documentation via the EVPP Smartsheet Form. If requesting an exception for University Staff positions submit the documentation to and include the UHR Senior Director for Talent Acquisition.

5. Once institutional approval(s) have been received, extend conditional offer of employment.

6. Finalize offer (consult institutional and school/unit-level approvers as needed based on changes in the offer).

7. Document and preserve a record of the selection process.

Checklist of Documentation

  • Identification of the category under which the action should be considered (see “Types of Exceptions” below)
  • Memo from the appropriate senior official in the school/unit that includes:
    • Brief statement of the position and any relevant background information on the position and the selection process (i.e., multiple failed searches, immediate teaching need, disruption to services, or other business impact, etc.)
    • Statement describing the proposed hire’s relationship to the school/unit’s approved/anticipated hiring plans and/or interrelation to existing positions and the work to be accomplished.
    • An analysis of the candidate’s credentials and a description of how the subject matter or professional expertise of the proposed hire impacts the school/unit’s existing priorities and long-range plans.
    • Any other relevant details related to the request, including those specified above (see “Types of Exceptions” below)
  • CV or resume for proposed hire (for dual recruitment/retention requests, also include CV or resume of primary hire)
  • Full description of the position to be filled (Including rank/title, responsibilities, requirements, and all relevant conditions of employment)
    • If requesting an exception under the PI/Co-PI category, the funding agreement and any sponsor requirements should be provided in support of the request.

Types of Exceptions

  • Unique Circumstances: Unique circumstances that make a search counterproductive, such as an unexpected leave or resignation, failed search(s) that result in an immediate need, unanticipated course demands, unique opportunity which aligns with the strategic goals or key curricular focus areas of a school/unit, exceptional candidate who has personal reasons for relocating to Charlottesville, etc. Whenever possible, the justification should stipulate the relationship or importance of the individual’s qualifications or expertise to the strategic priorities of the school/university.
  • Unique Qualifications: Unique qualifications that make a search counterproductive. Qualifications must be truly rare on a national or international basis.
  • Named PI or Co-PI: Research position in which the individual named serves as principal or co-principal investigator of an approved research grant(s) that specifically designates extramural salary support.
  • Dual Recruitment or Retention: Accompanying spouse appointment necessary to recruit a successful candidate of a pre-existing search or to retain a current faculty member in alignment with business necessity. Such justifications should be explicit that the primary faculty hires have made their acceptance or retention conditional upon the successful employment of their spouse. The justification should also detail the importance of the primary faculty member’s research or expertise to the school/university. When a spouse is a highly desirable hire for the school/university and has experience or expertise that aligns closely with the strategic priorities of the school/university, the exception should be made on the basis of unique circumstances and the spousal connection to another faculty member referenced as only one of several factors contributing to the justification.
  • National Matching Programs: Positions filled on the basis of national matching processes (i.e., the national resident matching program) in which the opportunity is competitive but facilitated outside of the standard applicant tracking system, schools may request a justification that applies to all positions filled through that matching process. For each matching process, the school must submit a description of the national match program and include documentation related to its standardized use across the discipline or industry.
  • Endowed Visiting Professorship: While exempt from standard recruitment/search processes, short-term visiting faculty professorships should be filled as the result of a rigorous and inclusive review process that solicits nominees through a well-publicized invitation to all relevant constituencies (for example, all faculty in the school or department, previous holders of the visiting professorship, advisory boards, alumni, and/or students, etc.). The selection process should conform with the requirements defined by policy, “Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Scholars Chairs.” Upon selection of a final candidate, the school must submit an exemption request documenting the nomination/selection process.


Required Institutional Review and Approvals

Employee Type Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights Office Executive Vice President & Provost University Human Resources Vice President for Research
Faculty (Including Wage) Approval Approval    
Professional Research Staff Approval Approval   Consultation
University Executive Staff Approval (VP, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Community Partnerships)   Approval (VP, Human Resources)  
University Staff (All Other) Consultation   Approval  
Medical Center Staff Consultation   Approval (also requires dept. administrator approval)  
UVA Wise Faculty Approval Approval and Consultation with UVA Wise Academic Dean Consultation  
UVA Wise Staff (All Other) Approval   Approval