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Key Steps to Filling a Faculty Position - Tentative Offer

Once you have reached this stage of the hiring process, the following steps will have occurred:

  • Review of search materials (applicant rating sheets) by your Human Resources Officer (HRO)
  • Reference checks
  • Informal campus reviews or approvals, if required ( including the next level academic officer, creditials of finalist, propsed rank, prior credit, etc.)
  • Confirmation of the department’s ability to pay the projected salary
  • Confirmation about the details and timeframe of any “start-up” package (i.e. laboratory space, equipment, staff support, etc.)
  • Note: Departments may opt to use their E&G account number or accounting ID to pay a soft money employee if the grant account has not yet been created. Once the grant account becomes active, the department transfers the change to the grant using a Labor Distribution Adjustment form (LDA).

Your Faculty HRO is available to assist or coach you through the negotiations with the selected candidate. Topics to review before making a tentative offer include:

  • Items to be negotiated or discussed with the finalist:
    • Salary and paycheck schedule
      • UMS Policy requires that non-fiscal year salaried employees be paid in 12 installments.
      • The beginning of the pay cycle coincides with the beginning of the work year.
      • Non-fiscal year employees who are hired after the beginning of their work year will have their pay prorated for the remainder of that pay cycle.
      • Salaries of over $90,000 a year require approval by the chancellor.
    • Value of the University of Maine employee benefits
    • Employment contingencies
      •  For example, the appointment or continued employment contingent on the completion of a degree or obtaining a license/certification by a specific date.
    • Start date
    • Duration of probationary period and prior credit (if any)
    • A description of the department’s college’s typical expectations for faculty (i.e. instruction, scholarship, service), as well as the mix for the faculty member’s initial workload assignment
      • - The process for determining a faculty member’s workload in subsequent years is described in the AFUM contract
    • Information about the department’s evaluation criteria for reappointment, promotion, and/or tenure
    • Moving expenses reimbursement
    • Professional development opportunities
    • Any non-standard employment situation
    • Required background checks and/or pre-employment physicals
    • Requests for any ADA accommodation should be discussed with Equal Opportunity
    • Equipment and resources
    • Contact Payroll and Benefits no later than 3 days after starting work
    • Does the finalist need authorization to legally accept employment in the US and at the University of Maine? If the finalist will need a new or changed visa status to accept employment, please contact International Programs.
    • Departmental and campus work environment
    • UM’s Family Friendly, New Employee, and Benefits web sites
    • Community resources, recreational activities, schools.
  • Tentative offer
    • Any communication to the prospective employee must make it very clear that you are recommending his/her appointment or extending a tentative offer of employment. Board of Trustee policy provides that each new employee receive an appointment letter with general information regarding the terms and conditions of employment. This official offer of employment comes from the the University of Maine President (for tenured track and tenured positions) or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

Examples of a Tentative Offer

I am pleased to recommend your appointment as (Title) to (Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost) effective (Date). This is a full/part-time appointment with an annual salary of ($Salary). Pending administrative approval, your projected date of hire will be (date of hire). The work year for this position will be (#Months). This position is considered a (tenure track/probationary/fixed-length/soft money) appointment. For soft-money positions: Funding is currently available through (date).


I am pleased to tentatively offer you the position of (Title), subject to final approval from (Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost), who will send you an official appointment letter.

This position carries a full-time regular appointment (or part-time) with an annual salary of ($Salary), effective (Date). This is a (tenure track/probationary/fixed-length/soft money) appointment. For soft-money positions: Funding is currently available through (date). [You may add any additional pertinent information about the position or the department.

What if your finalist declines the tentative offer? Or, if the candidate recommended by the Search Committee is not approved?

You may want to contact your FHRO to discuss possible alternatives, including:

  • Select the next highest ranked candidate
  • Consider whether additional candidates should be interviewed
  • Consider reopening or extending the search. Your HRO will help you with the details and strategies as well as how to handle those applicants who have not been told they are no longer being considered for the position.
  • Close the search. The Request to Fill and Request to Fill Supplement will remain active unless your HRO is notified that the position approval has been withdrawn.

The Office of Equal Opportunity requires the department to complete the Search Summary Form (be sure to complete both pages) and forward to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Any questions about this form may be directed to the Director or Associate Director of Equal Opportunity.

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