Search Waiver Request Policy

At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and justice for all. UW, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, prohibits discrimination (including preferential treatment) based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, citizenship, age, marital status, disability, military status, or genetic information.

Furthermore, in accordance with state and federal law and University policy, UW is committed to providing equal opportunity employment through inclusive, non-discriminatory open recruitment and hiring practices. Conducting open searches is important to obtaining the highest quality employees and ensuring equal opportunity in the hiring of academic personnel and professional staff. Exceptions from full search procedures are therefore permitted only with appropriate justification and when they are in the best interests of the UW; all requests must be approved beforehand by the appropriate Vice President/Vice Provost/Dean/Chancellor. In determining the appropriateness of a waiver, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) also considers whether the waiver would result in a hire that supports UW’s affirmative action goals and other policies, such as being responsive to dual career couples. Please initiate a waiver request as soon as you anticipate a potential need by contacting the assigned Human Resource Compensation Consultant for professional staff requests and EOAA for academic personnel requests; last minute requests may cause delays in hiring.

The following instances or circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis:

  1. Spousal/Domestic Partner Appointment: Situations may exist where as part of a separate new appointment or the retention of an existing appointment of a fully qualified academic personnel/staff member, the individual’s qualified spouse or domestic partner is given an appointment within the University for which there is no current active recruitment.
  2. Critical Hire/”Team” Requirement: Following a competitive search for a position deemed critical to the overall advancement of the University by the President or Provost, a waiver may be granted for certain “team” members who accompany the critical hire. Generally, these would be individuals whose duties belong in academic personnel or professional staff and are deemed essential to advancing the research or other work of the critical hire.
  3. Candidate specifically named in a contract or grant: Situations may exist where a candidate is specifically named in a contract or grant award as PI (or similar role) and paid 100% from that contract or grant.
  4. Candidate Uniquely Qualified: Situations may exist where the candidate possesses an outstanding and unique specialized skill, focus area, knowledge, and/or qualification; and who can fill a special need in a department and there is documentation of unique experience that would not otherwise be reasonably available on short notice. These situations are carefully reviewed and approval depends upon, among other things, the comparison between the candidate and the needs of the department. In addition, it is important to consider previous search history(ies) to validate a candidate’s unique qualifications over any other potential candidates.

To start the search waiver request process:

Professional Staff

  1. Prior to submitting any request, contact your assigned Human Resource Compensation Consultant to discuss the position in question to see if the duties are likely to meet a professional staff exemption out of civil service, and if the situation seems to meet one of the four waiver criteria determined by EOAA. Positions that do not meet a professional staff civil service exemption and fall into classified service are not eligible for the waiver process, even if the individual is part of a “team” coming in as a group.
  2. If the position appears to meet a pro staff exemption and one or more of the waiver criteria, create an employment requisition in UWHIRES.
  3. Attach to the UWHIRES requisition a complete Professional Staff Position Description (PSPD) form or, for Research/Scientist Engineer positions, the RS/E Job Questionnaire form, and a brief narrative explaining why the department believes this individual meets one of the waiver criteria. Also include the candidate’s name in the notes section of the requisition. (If the candidate does not have a profile in UWHIRES, have them create one; if the candidate has a profile in UWHIRES have them confirm their resume is up-to-date.)
  4. The requisition will first route to HR Employment where the Employment Specialist will review it for completeness, add the candidate’s profile to the requisition, and add Compensation as an approver.
  5. Compensation will review the requisition for payroll title, grade, appropriate salary, FLSA status, internal equity within the major organization and with UW practice and, if the requisition is approved by Compensation, they will then add the EOAA Officer as an approver in UWHIRES. If Compensation does not approve the requisition; they will work with the hiring manager to resolve the issue(s).
  6. The EOAA Officer will contact the hiring department and/or dean’s/chancellor’s office to discuss any issues or concerns with the requested search waiver.
  7. The EOAA Officer will deny or approve the request in UWHIRES. If denied, EOAA will provide an explanation and notify HR Employment; HR Employment will cancel the requisition. If the department wants to proceed with an open, competitive recruitment they should create a new requisition following the normal process. If approved, the requisition will go back to HR Employment and the hiring process will be completed by HR Employment. This process will include ensuring all applicable assessments are completed, running a Criminal History Background Check if required (if required the hire is contingent completion of the background check), and providing the hire confirmation.

Academic Personnel

  1. The hiring department or dean’s/chancellor’s liaison discusses the proposed search waiver request with Academic Human Resources for preliminary feedback, if needed. Any and all appointments must be part of the school’s/college’s/campus’s Hiring Plan.
  2. Complete the online Search Waiver Request Form.
  3. Attach the candidate’s current CV and any additional supporting documentation.
  4. The EOAA Officer will contact the hiring department and/or dean’s/chancellor’s office to discuss any issues or concerns with the requested search waiver.
  5. The EOAA Officer will decide whether to approve or deny the request. If approved, the EOAA Officer will email an approval letter to the requestor. If denied, the requestor will be advised as to the reason(s) for the denial.
  6. If the search waiver is approved, the hiring department proceeds with the hiring process.