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Human Resources

Hiring Freeze FAQs for Staff Hiring

All answers to the questions below pertain only to positions funded through funds appropriated by the Legislature (14 and 20 accounts) and do not pertain to positions funded by other sources.

If you have questions not addressed in these FAQs, please contact your HR Strategic Workforce Solutions (SWS) consultant. Please contact your local HR resource in your College, School, or Unit (CSU) for assistance in interpreting the answers included in this FAQ.

A hiring freeze decision tree (PDF) has been developed to provide guidance in determining if a waiver application is appropriate for a position. After reviewing the following FAQs and using the decision tree, if it is determined that a waiver application is appropriate, you may download the application waiver form (PDF). All waiver applications must be submitted to a Dean/VP for approval before being routed to either the Provost of CFO office for consideration.

For any questions concerning transfer of positions, please contact your HR Strategic Workforce Solutions (SWS) contact.

General Questions:

Q1: Will certain positions be exempt?

The hiring freeze exempts positions that are not funded through legislative appropriations and those that directly impact public safety, regardless of the funding source. UT System interprets the freeze to apply to positions funded by state general revenue, statutory tuition/other E&G income (14 accounts), and the Available University Fund (20 accounts). At this time, there is uncertainty as to whether positions funded by contracts with other state agencies are frozen or not. Positions funded by designated tuition, other designated funds, auxiliaries, and restricted gifts/grants should not be frozen.

Q2: Will there be a waiver process?

Any waivers will require final approval from the Governor’s Office. The CFO, Provost’s Office, and Human Resources will work together to identify and communicate a waiver process for mission-critical positions. A hiring freeze decision tree (PDF) has been developed to provide guidance to determine whether a position is eligible for a waiver. Once it is determined that a position is eligible for a waiver, a waiver application (PDF) must be completed and signed by your Dean/VP before routing to the Provost/CFO for approval.

Q3: What positions are eligible for a waiver?

Instructional assignments and student employment are approved for hire. Guidance on funding will be forthcoming. All other positions must qualify as “mission critical” to qualify for a waiver. The definition of mission critical is “positions that would adversely impact the ability of the University to perform critical research and business operations prior to 9/1/2017 or positions that are required by federal or state law. Please see the hiring freeze decision tree PDF for further guidance.

Q4: Will open positions be closed?

Once the University has received clarification on what positions may be subject to the directive, all impacted open positions will be closed or canceled and will be removed from the job board.

Q5: Will Human Resources approve new positions?

While the University continues to seek further clarification on impacted positions, new positions (funded by appropriations from the Legislature – 14 and 20 accounts) will not be approved.

Q6: If I have an employee hired temp-to-perm, may I proceed with reclassifying the employee as permanent?

We are gathering more information in order to make decisions and develop viable processes around this area of concern.  We will update this FAQ as soon as we know more.

Q7: Can we increase a student assignment from 10 hours to 20 hours if the student started employment on January 16?

Increases in hours or additional duty pay for existing or continuing employees are not subject to the hiring freeze regardless of the funding source.

Questions Involving the 1/31/2017 Date:

Q8: If I made an offer before noon on Jan. 31 when the directive took effect, may I proceed with hiring?

Yes, if an offer was extended prior to noon on January 31, 2017, hiring may proceed.

Q8: If I made an offer before noon on Jan. 31 but the offer was not accepted, may I extend an offer to the next candidate?

No. The new offer was not made prior to the issuance of the directive.

Q10: If I have finished interviews and am ready to make an offer, may I proceed?

No. Only offers issued prior to the issuance of the directive may proceed.

Q11: If I have started interviews, may I continue with scheduled interviews?

You may continue with currently scheduled activities while the University seeks additional clarification. Do not schedule new or additional activities.

Q12: If I have not yet started interviews, may I proceed?

Do not schedule new or additional activities related to open positions until the University has received clarification on impacted positions.

Q13: Can you hire a Casual Employee for Professional Services (APS/DEFINE, OV7) before 9/1/2017?

New Professional Services that were not approved prior to the effective date and time of the freeze are not permitted and are subject to the hiring freeze if paid on state appropriated funds (14/20 accounts).

Questions Involving 14/20 Accounts:

Q14: Can we switch funding sources from general revenue (14 accounts) and AUF (20 accounts) to non-appropriated funding sources in order to complete a hire?

The university may hire for instructional assignments and student employment, provided we do not use general revenue or AUF fund sources. We are developing guidance about when and how schools and units can switch funding from general revenue (14 accounts) and AUF (20 accounts) to non-appropriated funding sources. This will include newly hired faculty who will start work before Sept. 1. We intend to return those positions to their normal funding streams on Sept. 1, the date at which the governor’s directive expires.

No other categories will be allowed to switch funding sources, unless they are positions covered by a waiver from the governor’s office.

Q15: Can you change the 14/20 funding account for a filled position to another 14/20 account?

If a positon is filled by an existing employee and is currently funded on a 14/20 account, you may change the funding source for that filled position to another 14/20 account, since that is not a new hire. Please discuss this situation with your SWS Consultant for further guidance.

Q16: How should requests for shift differential and on-call arrangements be handled as a result of needing these services to cover work needs due to the inability to hire new positions?

Payments of shift differential and on-call arrangements should continue to be paid for existing employees in routine, regardless of funding source. These payments are normally handled on a DEFINE, OV2 document.

Q17: Can a compensation increase be given to an employee in a position funded on a 14/20 account that serves as a counter-offer to prevent the employee from leaving the department for another job?

Counter-offers do not violate the directive, regardless of funding source, as this does not involve the hiring of a new position or filling a vacated one. If the compensation increase is designed to retain a valued employee, the cost savings and continuity of work justify the expenditure for this purpose. Retention of valued employees saves the university from costs of hiring a temporary who would not be able to immediately provide services with the expertise of the departing employee.

Q18: Can you promote an employee into a vacant position funded by a 14/20 account?

Unless the promotion had been approved and communicated prior to noon on January 31st, the promotion into a position funded on a 14/20 account is not authorized.

Q19: Can you reclassify a person into a position funded by a 14/20 account as part of a classification alignment, with or without a salary increase?

If this action is part of an ongoing classification alignment project or is part of a programmatic promotion, unrelated to a vacant position, then this reclassification would be authorized.

Q20: Can you pay temporary additional duty pay, permanent additional duty pay or other supplemental pay from a 14/20 account to an employee who takes on additional work due to a vacancy that cannot be filled due to the freeze? Can you pay additional pay to a person that is funded by a 14/20 account on another source of funds?

Permanent additional duty pay, Temporary additional duty-pay, or other temporary supplemental pay from a 14/20 account or another source of funds given to an employee taking on additional work due to the hiring freeze of a new or vacant position is authorized.

Questions Involving Other Funding:

Q21: Will HR process documents for hiring transactions that are not state appropriated funds (14/20 accounts)?

Yes, all HR documents that are not for salaries paid on state appropriated funds (14/20 accounts) will be processed in routine. However, please note that you should not switch funding for a position that was previously funded by a 14/20 account to a non 14 and 20 account and route for approval.  Switching funding is not permitted for non-faculty and non-summer session related hiring unless a waiver is approved. Accounts will be monitored accordingly for such activity. This includes cancelling or ending a position that was funded by a 14/20 account and then recreating the position and funding it with a different source. Accounts will be monitored for such activity.

Q22: If a position is funded by different accounts, but includes a 14/20 account, can they increase the percent funded by the non 14/20  account?  For example, 75 percent is funded by a 19 account and 25 percent is funded by a 14 account.  Can they increase it to be funded 100% by the 19 account?

Yes, this process does not involve hiring a new position and is not covered by the hiring freeze. However, this process will require Dean/VP approval.

Q23: If the funding change is happening because it was previously unfunded and not because of a vacancy, can they increase the funding on the 14/20 account?

Yes, this process does not involve hiring a new position and is not covered by the hiring freeze. However, this process will require Dean/VP approval.