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Hiring Process

Read the procedures below for different types of faculty.

  1. Searches for Tenure-Track Faculty should follow the steps outlined on the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) website. Search committee members are required to have STRIDE training every five years.  For those participating on search committees during the 2021-2022 hiring cycle, this means members must have attended a STRIDE training on or after August 1, 2017. Preferably this training is done before the search starts, or as early in the process as possible. Training must take place before the narrative summary is submitted. More information and presentation dates are available on the STRIDE website.
  2. When the search concludes and the department is ready to make an offer, informal negotiations may occur and an unofficial letter may be sent to the candidate outlining the terms of employment. To proceed, follow the appropriate steps below.
    • Searches conducted via Interfolio (external and internal)
      1. Close the Position in Interfolio – See website. This routes the candidate selected through the appropriate channels ending with the Provost Office and OED.
      2. The department sends the appointment request to the dean’s office for approval and the dean’s office sends the request to the provost’s office for approval and processing by emailing vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu. The request should be accompanied by:
      1. When the department is ready to make an official offer, it sends the request to the dean’s office and the dean’s office sends the request to the provost’s office for approval and processing by emailing vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu. The request should be accompanied by:

3. The appointment letter is issued electronically by the provost’s office. The candidate electronically signs to accept the appointment letter. The Provost’s office copies the original signed appointment letter to the department head, college, and Human Resources. If the offer is rejected, the department may request approval from the dean and the provost to offer the position to another candidate, by following the procedures in Step 2 above.

4. The Provost Office initiates the background check, collects official transcripts from the new faculty member, sends the appointment package to HR Records and tentatively signs the employee up for HR’s Employee Welcome.

5. The department contacts the new faculty member to communicate information about joining the department and informs the candidate of the steps required to complete the hiring process.

6. The department enters the new faculty member as a pending employee in IRIS and submits the Faculty Sign-Up form to HR Recruitment to complete new employee welcome.

7. The department prepares the initial hire/rehire form and forwards it along with the original signed acceptance letter and the curriculum vitae to the dean’s office for signature. The dean’s office then submits all documentation to HR Records.

8. HR Records enters the new hire information into IRIS after the faculty member has completed the new employee welcome process and the necessary hiring documents.

9. This entire process must be completed before the new faculty member can receive a pay check or benefits from the university including the hire/rehire form and all new employee welcome documents.

10. The Provost Office will invite the new faculty to attend New Faculty Orientation. Currently, New Faculty Orientation occurs once per year just before the start of the fall semester.

  1. When the department is ready to make an official offer, it sends the request to the dean’s office and the dean’s office sends the request to the provost’s office for approval and processing. The request should be accompanied by the appropriate hiring documents, 1) the Recommendation for Faculty Appointment Form, 2) a job description, 3) a curriculum vitae, 4) the English Competency Form (if the native language is not English) for teaching faculty, 5) and a memo from the department head recording the faculty vote to vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu.
  2. The appointment letter is issued electronically by the provost’s office. The candidate electronically signs to accept the appointment letter. The Provost’s office copies the original signed appointment letter to the department head, college, and Human Resources.
  3. The Provost Office initiates the background check, collects official transcripts from the new faculty member, sends the appointment package to HR Records and notifies HR Recruitment of hire for future New Employee Welcome.
  4. The department contacts the new faculty member to communicate information about joining the department and informs the candidate of the steps required to complete the hiring process.
  5. The department enters the new faculty member as a pending employee in IRIS and submits the Faculty Sign-Up form to HR Recruitment to complete new employee welcome.
  6. The department prepares the initial hire/rehire form and forwards it along with the original signed appointment letter to the dean’s office for signature. The dean’s office then submits all documentation to HR Records.
  7. HR Records enters the new hire information into IRIS after the faculty member has completed the new employee welcome process and the necessary hiring documents.
  8. This entire process must be completed before the new faculty member can receive a pay check or benefits from the university including the hire/rehire form and all new employee welcome documents.
  9. The Provost Office will invite the new faculty to attend New Faculty Orientation. Currently, New Faculty Orientation occurs once per year just before the start of the fall semester.

This process applies to regular Non-Tenure Track faculty (lecturers, clinical, practice and research). Colleges may renew NTT at the same rank and title they were appointed by the Provost. Changes to the appointment type or rank must be done through the promotion process or Provost’s appointment process.

The bulk of faculty appointment terms start in the fall semester, but appointments may begin during the spring and summer semesters. This process should be followed each semester the college has continuations. To help maintain the integrity of the University’s records, units are asked to do the following each year.

  1. Each fall the Provost’s Office will provide colleges/departments with a templated spreadsheet for the department/college to indicate those individuals who will renew their original appointment.
  2. The College will issue the renewal letter directly to the faculty and should send copies of all letters in one batch, along with the spreadsheet above, to Faculty Affairs at vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu at the start of each semester.
    1. Renewals of appointments should be made in ample advance of the new appointment term. Appointment term durations can be up to the term duration limit for each faculty type as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
      • Every effort should be made to notify non-renewals as soon as possible.
    1. Continuation letters must comply with the Faculty Handbook and include:
      1. Title and rank, duration of term length, and financial terms.
      2. The percentage of effort the faculty is expected to devote to teaching, service, and research/professional development, as well as whether the faculty member’s position is contingent upon their ability to secure external funding.
  1. The department/college submits the HR personnel action in IRIS to extend the appointment and includes a copy of the continuation letter for the official employee personnel file.

This step is required for new temporary appointments or temporary appointments that have expired term durations as indicated in most recent Provost appointment letter.

Per HR Policy 105, temporary employees are only to be hired for needs that last one year or less. Temp faculty can be appointed up to the term length of the faculty type as described in the Faculty Handbook but should not be in pay status for longer than one consecutive year at a time.

  1. The department sends the request to the dean’s office and the dean’s office submits to the Provost’s Office for approval and processing. The request should be accompanied by the appropriate hiring documents, 1) the Recommendation for Faculty Appointment Form, 2) a job description, 3) a curriculum vitae, 4) the English Competency Form (if the native language is not English) for teaching faculty, 5) and a memo from the department head recording the faculty vote to vpfacultyaffairs@utk.edu.
    • Note that the faculty evaluation and vote on an individual faculty member may not need to occur every time the temporary faculty member is reappointed by the Provost Office. But the documentation of that original vote must be attached to the appointment paperwork.
  2. The appointment letter is issued electronically by the provost’s office. The candidate electronically signs to accept the appointment letter. The Provost’s office copies the original signed appointment letter to the department head, college, and Human Resources.
  3. The Provost Office initiates the background check (if new or a rehire), collects official transcripts (if new) from the new faculty member, and sends the appointment package to HR.
    1. If the appointment is new or a rehire:
      1. The department contacts the new faculty member to communicate information about joining the department and informs the candidate of the HR steps required to complete the hiring process.
      2. The department prepares the initial hire/rehire form and forwards it along with the original signed appointment letter to the dean’s office for signature. The dean’s office then submits all documentation to HR Records.
      3. HR Records enters the new hire information into IRIS after the faculty member has completed the necessary hiring documents.
      4. This entire process must be completed before the new faculty member can receive a pay check.