The Opportunity Hire process is intended to provide a framework and funding mechanism for the recruitment of “faculty who meet identified needs within the university.” This would include individuals who “offer diversity in areas where under-representation exists or who bring a unique or different perspective because of their professional or personal backgrounds, interests, or expertise.”
Opportunity Hiring is a special hiring process that is typically characterized by one or more of the following:
- There is no immediately available hiring line or open position in the hiring unit, although there is anticipation of one in the coming years,
- Bridge funding” is requested from OED to support the costs of the hire in the early years (the bridge period) until the hiring unit can fully fund the position, and
- The individual being hired is exceptional in all regards; the assumption being that this candidate would be lost to future searches if not immediately pursued.
OED typically waives the normal open search requirements however some departmental setting is required.
It is important to note that Opportunity Hires are not intended to circumvent a normal search process. In all cases where a candidate might be hired through a normal, open and competitive search process, then, that should be the preference.