Issues and Best Practices in Dual Career




Departments and schools sometimes don’t work together to provide opportunities for spouses/partners of  dual career candidates,


Build linkages across the institution [Laursen 2014]

Be more aware of the searches in other departments and develop better camaraderie and communication between schools, including flexibility and information sharing (suggested by multiple participants at 2013 Search Committee Symposium).

Best practices for department chairs:

  • Attend university-wide search symposiums and  workshops to build and maintain good relationships with chairs and deans, in your school and beyond.

  • Think strategically about departmental directions, not just immediate needs.

  • Think beyond the department; discuss school and institutional goals with other chairs, deans and the provost [Wolf-Wendel 2014].

Lack of information about dual career options at U.Va.



Provide the dual career hiring brochure to all candidates at the beginning of the search process, as a way to get the ball rolling without having to ask any illegal questions, and as a way to advertise to candidates that U.Va. is committed to dual career hiring.

Let your candidates know that non-track faculty may have long term options at U.Va. not available at many of our peer institutions. Non-track faculty can be given an initial 3 year contract and may be extended for an additional 3 years. At the 6th year, they can go through the promotion and tenure system, or can attain ECE (expectation of continuous employment) and/or promotion in rank, eventually up to full professor.

Introduce/encourage line sharing: Traditionally U.Va. departments have not considered the possibility of a couple sharing a line/splitting a position; however, some of our peer universities offer this as an option [AAUP Recommendations on Partner Accommodation and Dual-Career Appointments]. This may work best in STEM departments since women in the sciences are much more likely to have a partner who is also a scientist(83 percent of women, compared with 54 percent of men)



Click here for a list of recommendations on partner accommodation and dual-career appointments by the American Association of University Professors