Skip to main content

Policy 385: Appointments of Opportunity

Category: 300 Human Resources
Sub-Category: Employment
Covered Individuals: Benefited Employees
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services
Policy Custodian: Office of Human Resources, Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Last Revised: 2022/06/23
Previous USU Policy Number: Not applicable
Download PDF File Download policy as a PDF


This policy describes the circumstances when a hiring department may request a person to be appointed to a position without a full competitive search.

385.2 POLICY

As set forth in this policy, in limited circumstances that serve the mission and objectives of the university, a hiring department may request a waiver to the university’s competitive search requirements (see USU Policy 387: Benefited Employment) and appoint a person to an open position (referred to as “Appointments of Opportunity”).

An appointment under this policy should be considered before a search is opened. However, an open search may be suspended or closed due the availability of a person qualified for an appointment under this policy.

Use of this policy to appoint a position must first be reviewed by the Office of Equity and the Office of Human Resources (HR) and approved by the Office of the Provost (for positions in academic areas) or the Office of the President (for positions in non-academic areas).

2.1 Types of Appointments

2.1.1 Dual Career Assistance

Utah State University (USU) recognizes that dual career assistance (DCA) is critical to sustaining its commitment to competitive recruiting and retention of highly qualified staff and faculty members. University leadership is committed to supporting DCA in cases that strengthen the university’s capacity to meet the institution’s mission and objectives. This policy applies to situations in which there are existing positions to accommodate the common interests of the institution and the couple seeking DCA. In these instances, approved DCA candidates will receive, when possible, priority interview opportunities for positions for which they meet the minimum qualifications. It also covers instances in which a new position may be created to utilize the qualifications and occupational interests of a dual-career couple. In the latter case, funding from the recruiting and receiving units (academic or non-academic) and the Office of the Provost or the Office of the President is sometimes necessary for the establishment of such a position. Once an individual receives DCA and is appointed into a position, further use of DCA is not permitted.

While university leadership is committed to participating as a partner in DCA proposals, the central advocacy role for DCA originates within the primary academic or non-academic unit. Department heads, supervisors, directors, deans, and vice presidents in the unit seeking a DCA play a key advocacy role on behalf of the couple requesting DCA. Individuals seeking DCA retain some responsibility for nurturing proposals through the DCA process.

The DCA procedures clarify and provide the steps required for developing a successful dual career employment package with support at all administrative levels. Procedures for DCA Appointment.

2.1.2 Institutional Need

Faculty and staff, who are nationally recognized or highly regarded for outstanding achievement in their areas of expertise, may be appointed to positions within the university. These are individuals whose qualifications are unique and exceptional and whose potential value to USU is great. Procedures for an Institutional Need Appointment.

2.1.3 Temporary Position

An individual not covered by USU Policy 390: Employment at Will or Policy 397: Non-Benefited and Student Employment, may be appointed to a temporary period not to exceed three years. The temporary nature of this position will be specified in the appointment document, and the temporary position will be eliminated after the temporary period has expired. Procedures for a Temporary Position Temporary.

2.1.4 Employment-at-Will

Certain positions at USU are defined as “at-will” (see USU Policy 390: Employment at Will). Procedures for an Employment-at-Will Appointment.

2.1.5 Sponsored Program Supported Position

Qualified individuals may be written into sponsored program budgets to fill appropriate exempt positions. The qualified individual must be named in the budget portion of the grant. These positions will be closed when the program ends. Non-exempt positions are not eligible. Procedures for a Sponsored Program Supported Position Appointment.


3.1 Department Heads, Directors, and Supervisors

Inform candidates of the Appointments of Opportunity policy, as appropriate. Work with HR in identifying opportunities that may qualify under this policy. Work with their dean or VP, the Office of the Provost, or the Office of the President to obtain necessary approvals, to initiate hiring documentation, and to follow the completion process.

3.2 Deans and Vice Presidents

Communicate support for this policy to the department head/supervisor to effectuate an interview (DCA option) or implementation of the Appointment of Opportunity. Alert the appropriate university leadership office regarding the need to seek an appointment of opportunity.

3.3 Office of Human Resources

Assume primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy. Assist USU leadership and other individuals in the application of this policy and aid in locating available positions in cases of dual career assistance. Review position descriptions for appropriate title and salary range. Review requested appointments of opportunity and make recommendations to the Office of the Provost or the Office of the President.

3.4 Office of Equity

Assist USU leadership and other individuals on affirmative action and equal opportunity related issues and in the implementation of this policy. Review requested Appointments of Opportunity and make recommendations to the Office of the Provost or the Office of the President.

3.5 Office of the Provost

Approve Appointments of Opportunity for faculty and staff in Colleges and other academic areas based on recommendations from the Office of Equity and the Office of Human Resources.

3.6 Office of the President

Approve Appointments of Opportunity for staff in administrative and non-academic departments based on recommendations from the Office of Equity and the Office of Human Resources.


  • None



  • None

Information below is not included as part of the contents of the official Policy. It is provided only as a convenience for readers/users and may be changed at any time by persons authorized by the President, subject to review by the USU Policy Committee.




  • None

Related Forms and Tools


  • none


Original issue date: 1997/01/24
Last review date: 2021/03/05
Next scheduled review date: N/A
Previous revision dates: 1997/01/24, 2015/03/06