Vacancy Review Process

In November 2016, responding to a need for substantial deficit reductions and a recommendation of the University Committee on Budgeting, Chancellor Motley instituted a hiring freeze at UMass Boston. This freeze remains in effect, with exceptions only in cases of critical strategic need. Grant and other externally funded positions are exempt from the freeze, as are fall 2017 replacements for faculty positions in existing programs.

All requests to fill vacant or vacating positions must be reviewed by the university’s Vacancy Review Committee. Its members (listed below) are deeply familiar with UMass Boston’s operations, its financial situation, and the imperatives outlined in its strategic plan. Each decision they make is expected to reflect scrupulous fairness and a large, long-term view of the needs of the university as a whole.

Criteria for Possible Approval

If you wish to request approval to fill a position, please bear in mind that vacancy to be filled must, as always, promote the goals of the strategic plan. In addition, requests must make a clear and convincing case for meeting at least one of these general criteria that the VRC has established in considering exemptions to the hiring freeze.

  1. Not filling the position will
    • place student, employee, and/or visitors’ health, safety, or welfare at risk, or
    • take the university out of compliance with external regulatory policies.
  2. The work of the person to fill the position is essential to the university’s capacity to
    • sustain its strategic vision and/or mission,
    • provide undergraduate and/or graduate students with a high-quality experience,
    • invest strategically in its research enterprise,
    • generate revenue,
    • reorganize in a way that results in cost savings, or
    • advance another critical strategic priority.

We urge you not to submit a request unless you are certain that your request will meet one or more of these criteria.

Submitting a Request

To request approval to fill a position, you must submit a Critical Needs Analysis Form. Please review the form before deciding to proceed; then, if you wish to do so, complete it as thoughtfully as you can. The form includes instructions and provides opportunities to justify your request in detail. You will also have to submit the standard Position Recruitment and Search Form.

If you have questions, or if you wish help in reviewing the implications of not filling a vacancy for your organization, please contact the assistant vice chancellor for human resources at

Members of the Vacancy Review Committee

Susan Wolfe, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget and Financial Planning (Chair)1, 3
Marsha Florio, Assistant Vice Provost for Business Operations, Information Technology Services3
Marie Bowen, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Anita Miller, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Theresa Mortimer, Assistant Chancellor3
James Overton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Margaret Peterson Pinkham, Director of Compliance and Outreach, Office of Diversity and Inclusion3
David Terkla, Dean, College of Liberal Arts2, 3

1Also Chair, University Committee on Budgeting

2Also Member, University Committee on Budgeting

3Also Member, Strategic Plan Implementation Group