Salary Support for Strategic Faculty Recruitment and Partner Opportunity Hires

Recruiting a talented and innovative faculty remains a top university priority. To bring both flexibility and consistency to our recruitment process, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost operates a central partnership for the recruitment of outstanding faculty.


The Provost’s Office manages central salary funding support for strategic recruitment from a single fund. This allows for flexibility in partnering with colleges who have the primary role in requesting support for strategic and partner opportunity hires. Depending on the appointment type, the Provost’s Office may provide support continuously to the college (i.e., continuous appointment) or on an annual basis for fixed terms (i.e., term appointment).

Strategic recruitment (all faculty)

We expect departments and colleges to recruit excellent candidates in all of their faculty searches. In exceptional circumstances, central funds can be requested to support the strategic recruitment of a tenured, tenure-eligible, or term faculty member who supports the university's strategic goals, including contributions to the state of Iowa through extension and outreach. The department and college must make a compelling case that the targeted hire meets the university's strategic goals. 

Partner opportunity hire (tenure-eligible/tenured faculty)

The department and college can request central funds to support partner opportunity hires for newly appointed tenured or tenure-eligible faculty hires within 12 months of hire. The partner opportunity hire may reflect a faculty (tenured, tenure-eligible, or term) or staff (Professional & Scientific) appointment. 

When the partner opportunity hire is appointed to a tenured/tenure-eligible position or a continuous P&S position, the funding is considered continuous. There is a reallocation to the college base budget, as long as their faculty partner remains at the university. 

For all other term positions (faculty or P&S), the funding is provided for the length of the term, but is eligible for renewal. The term of the funding should align with the term of the appointment.   

Process for making academic partner opportunity hires

In order for the partner opportunity hiring effort to be successful, each college and department is expected to participate collaboratively in the process. Departments and colleges should aim to be flexible in identifying positions that can be successful for everyone involved, both in the long and short terms. When a faculty candidate seeks a partner hire of any type, the department chair should immediately notify their college dean or associate dean of the request. The associate dean reviews the partner’s CV to determine possible disciplinary or career fit. If the best fit appears to be in another college, the associate deans of the two colleges will discuss opportunities. Consult our more detailed workflow (PDF, 109KB) (requires ISU login) as a guide to the academic opportunity hire process.

Contingency of salary funding

The partner opportunity hire funding for term positions (faculty or P&S) is contingent upon the continued employment of their faculty partner. 

If the faculty partner is no longer employed by the university but the unit employing the partner opportunity hire wishes to retain them in their position, the funding agreement for the partner opportunity hire’s position must be reviewed by all units involved and an agreement made regarding continuation of contributed funding.  

If the partner opportunity hire chooses to pursue another position at the university, central funding may be discontinued. 

Start-up and other research funding 

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) manages research funding and faculty start-up support. The Provost’s Office does not cover or share in start-up costs.  See the VPR’s website for details about scope and process for start-up funding requests.

Availability of salary funding

The Provost’s Office will provide up to 1/3 of the proposed starting salary and benefit costs for strategic recruitment and partner opportunity hires. The source of the remaining 2/3 of the salary and benefits is determined by the units seeking the hire (e.g., if two units are involved, each may contribute 1/3). The central contribution from the Provost’s Office remains a fixed dollar amount for the term of the commitment and for as long as the primary faculty hire remains employed at Iowa State.  Annual salary increases for the partner opportunity hire are covered by the hiring department and not the Provost’s Office. Annual support for term appointments adjusts with the annual fringe benefit rate.

Consultation on search process

In the case of partner opportunity hires, once a dean receives funding approval from the Provost’s Office, the HR Partner will review the appointment request to ensure that deans and chairs follow hiring protocols and procedures. This may include: classifying a new position, requesting a waiver of advertisement, managing the application and interview process, facilitating required background checks and disclosures, ensuring visa questions are referred to International Students and Scholars Office, etc. This early consultation on the process will allow for more timely approval of the final hire by University Human Resources and/or the Office of Equal Opportunity.


The partner opportunity hire must perform to expectations as required of any employee. The partner opportunity hire’s unit, not the faculty partner’s department, shall evaluate performance. When the partner opportunity hire is appointed to a term position (faculty or P&S), their position renewal will be based on performance considerations. Poor performance can result in non-renewal or termination.

Tracking commitments

The Provost’s Office will track its financial commitments and the effectiveness of hires that receive central funding. The Provost’s Office tracks only its own funding commitments to partner opportunity hires. Each college or unit is responsible for tracking its own contributions. 

To facilitate budgetary planning within each unit, each fiscal year the Provost’s Office will report to the colleges the list of central funding committed to its departments for ongoing strategic faculty hires, partner opportunity hires, retentions, National Academy hires, and Presidential High Impact hires. This list will also list the funding that will revert to the Provost’s Office as a result of faculty departures.  

When a faculty member departs, thereby ending a continuous commitment, the partial funding commitment from the Provost’s Office ends. The provided partial salary support returns to the Provost’s Office in the same fraction of the original contribution. In most cases, this is one-third of the ending salary and benefits. The Provost’s Office reinvests the dollars into its funding pool.

Guidelines for Salary Requests

 Strategic RecruitmentRetentionPartner Opportunity Hires
What cost elements will Provost funds support?

Provost funds salary and fringe benefits. Standard contribution from Provost is 1/3 of salary plus benefits.

Summer support is not funded.

Provost funds salary and fringe benefits. Standard contribution from Provost is 1/3 of salary increment plus benefits at the current institutional average rates.

Summer support is not funded.

Provost funds salary and fringe benefits. Standard contribution from Provost is 1/3 of salary plus benefits.

Summer support is not funded.

Are funds provided on a continuous* or term basis?Funds are continuous when 1/3 is matched by 2/3 continuous commitment from other partners.Funds are continuous when 1/3 is matched by 2/3 continuous commitment from other partners.

Funds are continuous when 1/3 is matched by 2/3 continuous commitment from other partners.

For term appointments, the commitment from Provost remains fixed for length of term.

If funds are continuous, do they return when the individual leaves?Yes, funds revert to Provost at same fraction as original contribution (1/3 of beginning salary and benefits becomes 1/3 of ending salary and benefits).
Yes, funds revert to Provost and other funding partners at the same dollar amount as original contribution.Yes, funds revert to Provost and other funding partners at same fraction as original contribution.
*Continuous = a reallocation to the college base       

Submitting a Salary Request for Strategic Recruitment or Partner Opportunity Hire

A  Request for Salary Support for Strategic Recruitment or Partner Opportunity Hire form (DOC, 73KB) (requires ISU login) must be completed in full and submitted electronically to to route directly to Service Now for the Provost’s Office approval. The current CV(s) of both partners and/or the strategic hire must be attached.

Final decisions will be communicated by the Provost’s Office within 10 days of submission of the funding requests. No funds will be transferred until the appointment of the strategic hire or partner is confirmed. For continuous agreements processed after March 1, there will be a soft transfer of funds with a base reallocation the following year.

Updated April 2022