Hiring Freeze for Faculty and Staff Positions

Update 3/18/21: Beginning July 1, 2021, pending approval from the Board of Regents, the budget for the next fiscal year would provide for the following for the Ann Arbor campus:

  • A resumption of “prudent levels of new faculty recruitment,” with searches beginning in the next academic year.
  • A resumption of staff hiring, “in a measured way, to meet critical needs across campus” that have resulted from leaving positions unfilled.

Read about the update in the University Record

With the exception of designated patient care staff and faculty in roles considered critical, Michigan Medicine will continue to maintain the approval process that requires executive officer approval to post and recruit for open positions.

Read more in Michigan Medicine Headlines

About Current Hiring Freeze

University hiring is currently frozen with the possible exception of staff or faculty in roles considered critical and those fully funded by grants from the federal, state or non-profit sectors (visit the Office of Research for information about sponsors and other details involving research). Units may still hire student employees as appropriate. The university may still honor its outstanding offers extended to staff or faculty, depending on operational needs. Faculty, postdoctoral research fellows and graduate student assistant hiring is currently frozen for new hires regardless of funding source (see guidance below).

Michigan Medicine will continue to apply its own criteria based on patient-care needs. 

This freeze includes temporary staff positions across the university. In addition, some current temporary staff positions will not be continued.

Faculty Hiring Freeze

This guidance applies to all faculty hiring (tenure track, research, clinical, lecturers, librarians, curators, archivists), postdoctoral research fellows and graduate student assistants (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs), regardless of funding source.  Exceptions may be granted for critical appointments and to meet instructional needs.  

The provost has delegated authority to the deans for exceptions for all new hire faculty, postdoctoral research fellow and graduate student assistant appointments. Deans may authorize categorical hiring freeze exceptions for positions, in accord with the unit's critical needs.

Exceptions are not needed as follows (but still require local HR signoff via the hiring freeze exception form for academic and research appointments):

  1. Offers that were extended prior to the 4/20/2020 hiring freeze;
  2. Reappointments of term-appointed instructional faculty, research faculty or postdoctoral research fellows; and
  3. Dry appointments

Staff Hiring Freeze

This applies to staff positions in non-critical roles for all three campuses and Michigan Medicine, and strengthens previous university guidance. Staff positions funded by federal grants may proceed.

Process and Documentation

Units should use the templates provided in this folder in the unit approval process. There are separate forms for academic and staff appointments. 

Approval by a vice president, dean or designee is required for all job posting and job offer activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will there be a centralized notification to current applicants about the freeze?
A: No, the hiring unit is responsible for notifying applicants.
Q: Can a unit rescind an offer once it has been formally accepted but the person has not yet started work?
A: Yes. Contact Staff HR Services, Michigan Medicine HR Business Partner, or regional campus human resources department for guidance. 
Q:  Is an exception needed for re-appointing term-limited research faculty and research fellows?
A:  The exception process to the hiring freeze applies to new hires only and not to existing employees. While units should be mindful of the financial impacts of reappointing term-limited faculty and research fellows, units may make those reappointments outside of the exception process.
For example, if a unit wanted to extend the appointment of a term-limited research scientist track faculty member or a postdoctoral research fellow (within the 5-year limit), they may reappoint without an exception. 
Q:  Is exception approval needed if the salary is funded by sponsored funds (grants)?
A: Grants and contracts from federal, state or non-profit sponsors should continue operations to fulfill the aims and scope of the grant or contract. This includes hiring, if needed (with attention to RIF candidates), along with ongoing salary and purchases utilizing external funding needed for the completion of the committed project. (More information can be found on the Office of Research website.)
Hiring of GSRAs, research fellows, research faculty, etc. using discretionary funds is subject to the exception process and subject to dean approval.