Recruitment and Selection, Exempt from the Human Resources Act (EHRA) Staff

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Policy Code: 
3125
Approval Authority: 
Board of Trustees
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Administration and Finance
Responsible Office: 
Human Resources - 828.251.6605

I. Purpose

To provide consistent standards for recruiting and selecting employees in a process that promotes open and fair competition and selection of the best qualified persons to fill vacant positions. Adherence to these procedures assists UNC Asheville in meeting goals and obligations under The Code of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, UNC regulations, and applicable state and federal laws.

II. Scope

This policy applies to regular EHRA Staff positions: Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (SAAO), and Instructional, Research and Public Service positions.

III. Definitions

A. EHRA Staff – Employees in regular positions who are not faculty members, but who are otherwise exempt from the State Human Resources Act (Chapter 126 of the North Carolina General Statutes).  EHRA Staff categories are defined in The Administrative Manual of the University of North Carolina, and in particular, Chapter 300 of the Manual. EHRA Staff positions are classified as Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (SAAO), and Instructional, Research, or Public Service (IRPS); they may be full-time or part-time positions.

B. Senior Academic and Administrative Officer (SAAO) Positions – As defined by Section 300.1.1 of the UNC Policy Manual, generally, the Chancellor, the vice chancellors, provosts, deans, and directors of major administrative, educational, research and public services activities of the University.

C. Instructional, Research and Public Services (IRPS) Positions – Areas of institutional activity that may include these Staff positions are: Instruction, Organized Research, Agricultural Research, Public Service, Academic Support, Student Services, Student Health Service Physicians (without faculty appointments), Institutional Support, Area Health Education Centers, and the Library. See Section 300.2.1 of the UNC Policy Manual.

D. Hiring Official – Typically the immediate supervisor or department head of the subject vacancy. The hiring official is responsible for undertaking the search, ensuring that each search committee member is trained on legal hiring procedures, identifying and charging the search committee, implementing outreach strategies to ensure a diverse applicant pool, recommending candidates to be interviewed, and recommending the final candidate for approval.

E. Division Head – The respective leader for each division, i.e. Provost, Vice Chancellor, or Director of Athletics/University Enterprises.

F. Pre-Employment Screenings – Includes criminal background checks for every candidate, and, depending upon the position requirements, may include credit checks, skills tests, etc.

G. Senior Staff or Senior Officers – Members of the Senior Staff at UNC Asheville are: Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, University General Counsel, and Senior Administrator of University Enterprises/Director of Athletics.

IV. Policy

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville) is an equal opportunity employer and seeks its workforce through a systematic recruitment and selection process that promotes open and fair competition to select from the most qualified applicants to fill vacant positions. The University prohibits the use of discriminatory practices in employment, and it adheres to the rules and regulation of the UNC Board of Governors, “The Code of The University of North Carolina,” all UNC policies, and to State and Federal laws. The University of North Carolina at Asheville encourages employment of disabled individuals who meet essential position requirements. The University will not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, genetic information, and any other legally protected status with respect to the terms, conditions and privileges of University-sponsored activities, employment, or the use of university facilities.

Selection decisions will be based solely on job-related criteria that are objective and relate to the requirements of the position. Employment is offered based upon the job-related qualifications of applicants and upon satisfactory completion of all relevant reference checks and pre-employment screenings.

The Chancellor and members of Senior Staff, the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action, Associate Vice Chancellors/Provosts, Assistant Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads, as well as managers and supervisors, accept responsibility for ensuring that hiring practices are applied consistently and equitably, thereby demonstrating commitment to and support of the merit-based recruitment and selection plan. The recruitment and selection process shall be consistently applied to promote open and fair competition, a non-discriminatory process, and the hiring of a diverse workforce. Preferential treatment will not be given to any individual based on undue influence, including political affiliation or political influence.

A. Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)

Members of an immediate family shall not be employed within the University if such employment will result in one member supervising another member of the employee’s immediate family, or if one member will occupy a position that has influence over another member’s employment, promotion, salary administration, or other related management or personnel considerations. Immediate family is defined in the University’s Nepotism Policy.

B. Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens

The University is permitted to hire only properly verified U.S. Citizens and aliens with proper work authorization from the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Newly hired employees must complete Section I of a Form I-9 no later than the first day of work for pay. UNC Asheville also participates in the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program, an internet-based system that allows the University to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the United States.

C. Federal Military Selective Service Act

State law requires selected applicants to indicate whether they are in compliance with the Federal Military Selective Service Act. An individual who fails to comply with the registration requirements is not eligible for employment at UNC Asheville.

D. Verification of Credentials and Criminal Background Checks

The University will inform applicants in writing at the time of selection that the appointment is conditional pending verification of credentials.  The Office of Human Resources will be responsible for verifying the highest level degree, including working with new employees to obtain official transcripts, if necessary.

State laws (G.S. 126-30 and 14-122.1) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional body for accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, require the verification of certain education and professional credentials. When falsifiecredentials are discovered prior to employment, the applicant must be disqualified from consideration. Confirmed falsification of required credentials discovered after the employee has been hired will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. State law mandates dismissal where the employee provided false or misleading information in order to meet the position qualifications.

Falsification of other credentials (i.e., false or misleading information provided by the employee or concealed employment history or other required information significantly related to job responsibilities, but not used to meet minimum qualifications) will result in dismissal, demotion, reduction in pay, or written warning. Disciplinary action must consider sensitivity of the employee’s position, effect of the false information on the hiring decision, and effect of the false information in determining starting pay, and the advantage gained by the employee in subsequent promotion and salary increases. Job performance should not be considered in such cases, nor can decisions be made on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, genetic information, and any other legally protected status.

E. Criminal Background Checks

UNC Asheville’s employment application requires the applicant to disclose a criminal conviction more severe than a minor traffic violation. The acknowledgment or existence of a conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual. 

The Office of Human Resources will initiate a criminal background check on the recommended candidate before an offer of employment is extended. When a background check is returned with information that could potentially result in an adverse employment decision, the background check review committee is convened to review the findings. In making a determination whether to recommend employment, the committee will consider the following factors:

i. Whether the applicant presents a potential danger to the University or the University community based on the criminal history
ii. The nature of the crime
iii. How recently the incident occurred
iv. The frequency and severity of the incident(s)
v. The age of the individual at the time of the incident
vi. Evidence of rehabilitation
vii. The relation of the incident to the position’s duties
viii. Whether minors were involved
ix. Whether the crime involves theft or embezzlement
x. Truthfulness of candidate in disclosing information regarding the conviction(s)

If the committee determines that the incident does not pose a threat or risk to the university, the Office of Human Resources continues to work with the search chair to conclude the search.  If the committee supports an adverse employment decision, the Office of Human Resources follows the policies of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, U.S.C. § 1681.

F. Approval Authority

The University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Board of Trustees has delegated to the Chancellor, as the chief executive officer, the responsibility of developing and promulgating employment policies and procedures.

The Chancellor, in turn, has delegated the coordination of the University’s employment practices and procedures for EHRA Staff employees to the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action, while giving the institution’s department heads the authority to review and recommend candidates. The Chancellor and members of Senior Staff exercise authority to initiate recruitment for budgeted EHRA Staff positions within their divisions.

Final appointment authority depends on the status of the position under recruitment, as specified below:

  1. For Senior Academic and Administrative officers as defined by UNC Policy 300.1.1, Section I-A (SAAO “Tier I” positions), final appointment authority is exercised by the Board of Trustees based on recommendation Chancellor. 
     
  2. For Senior Academic and Administrative Officers as defined by UNC Policy 300.1.1, Section 1-B, (SAAO “Tier II” positions), final appointment authority is exercised by the Provost or Division Senior Officer on the recommendation of the Hiring Official. Tier II appointments are reported to the Board of Trustees annually.
     
  3. For EHRA Instructional, Research and Public Service (IRPS) employees as defined by UNC Policy 300.2.1, final appointment authority is exercised by the Provost or division Senior Officer on the recommendation of the Hiring Official. Instructional and Research appointments are reported to the Board of Trustees annually.

G. Waiver of Recruitment

In order to ensure equal employment opportunity, the university is committed to the open recruitment of all vacant positions that afford continuing employment and benefits. However, under limited circumstances, with prior approval by the Chancellor of UNC Asheville, a waiver of recruitment may be allowed when one of the following conditions applies:

  1. For continuation of essential University business. To acquire the services of an individual critical to institutional needs when operating requirements are immediate and a public search would result in undue delay or disruption.
     
  2. To obtain special skills. To acquire the services of an individual whose academic, research, or professional qualifications are responsive to an expressed need of the institution and are so noted in their discipline as to provide a reasonable presumption that the individual would be one of the top candidates in an open search.
     
  3. To recruit or retain a spouse/partner. In an effort to recruit and/or retain highly qualified professionals, a spouse/partner may be offered an EHRA faculty or staff position. The continuation of both appointments shall be entirely within the scope of the appointing departments and in accordance with all university policies and procedures.
     
  4. Outstanding diverse candidate. A hiring department may have the opportunity to recruit a highly qualified under-represented candidate for a position whose appointment would assist in current underutilization of available pools.
     
  5. Other compelling circumstances. The Chancellor, with prior approval by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, may waive recruitment for any position defined in UNC Policy 300.1.1 Section I.A as Tier I Senior Academic and Administrative Officers.  The Chancellor may authorize a waiver for any position defined in UNC Policy 300.1.1 Section I.B Tier II Senior Academic and Administrative Officer, or any position defined in Policy 300.2.1 Instructional, Research, or Public Service as deemed to be in the institution’s best interest.

Contact the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action before initiating a request for waiver of recruitment. All waivers of recruitment require written documentation that outlines the special circumstance (above) that applies, and details the qualifications of the individual recommended for appointment and includes a current resume or curriculum vitae. The request for waiver requires the written concurrence of the Affirmative Action Officer and will be reported to the Board of Trustees annually.

H. Conclusion

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville) is an equal opportunity employer and seeks its workforce through a systematic recruitment and selection process that promotes open and fair competition to select from the best qualified applicants to fill vacant positions, and to increasing and sustaining the diversity of its workforce. The Recruitment and Selection Procedures for EHRA Staff Positions provide guidelines for hiring managers and search committees to follow that help to ensure selection of the best qualified applicants for University position.