Cluster Hiring Policies

Currently, the campus has placed new cluster searches and hires on hold as we make a transition to a new “ecological” model of central campus funding for new positions. The new model will provide exceptionally generous bridge funding for new faculty positions for a multi-year period, but will not pay for 100% of the position in perpetuity. For cluster faculty hired before 2012, central campus provides fixed dollar salary allocations, which deans complement or top off as needed.

Other Policies:

Pay Tools Covered by the Cluster Hiring Initiative
The Cluster Hiring Initiative will pay a portion of the base salary adjustments of cluster faculty only when applicable in cases of 1) post-tenure review; 2) promotion; and 3) compression equity. Read the details on these pay tools.  

Additionally, the Cluster Hiring Initiative and Central Campus will not cover salary adjustments related to the Critical Compensation Fund (CCF) or High Demand.

Salary Policy When Cluster Faculty Are on 100 Percent Leave or a Position is Vacated.
When a cluster hire faculty member is on 100 percent leave from the university (whether or not she/he intends to return to UW-Madison), or has resigned her/his position, the salary funds will be returned to central campus. If replacement instructional staff or visiting professors are needed for courses that the individual had previously taught, cluster coordinators should negotiate with the relevant lead deans, colleges, and departments.

Cluster Faculty Replacement
In the event that a cluster faculty member resigns from UW-Madison or is not granted tenure, the position and corresponding salary is returned to the central campus. Requests for replacement faculty may take place when the current freeze is lifted, and will need to compete with other requests when the Provost Office issue calls for proposals.

Request to Reopen a Failed Cluster Search
There is also a pause on authorizing reopening of failed searches until further notice.

Salary Savings When Cluster Faculty Pay a Portion of Their Salary with Extramural Sources
Until new fiscal policies are announced, when a cluster hire budgeted faculty member goes off-budget by paying a portion of his/her salary from extramural grants or other funding sources, any salary savings will be retained by the school/college through which the appointment is budgeted and may be used in the same way that salary savings from traditional faculty hires are used (e.g., to pay for covering courses, flexible funding for research support, etc.). Please note: The salary savings must be used by the end of each fiscal year in which they occur. If courses need to be covered, it is expected the school/college will use those savings to cover the salaries of any instructional staff or visiting faculty who teach the replacement courses. This policy puts cluster hire faculty on the same footing as other faculty in terms of the benefits that accrue to them and their departments when they find extramural salary funding. It also reduces the bureaucracy involved in negotiating funds to pay for teaching replacements when cluster hire faculty are off-budget.

Dual Career Couple and Strategic Hire Funds
Dual Career Couple and Strategic Hire funds are available in appropriate cases to facilitate the recruitment of Cluster Hires. 


Call for new proposals to be announced at a future date to be determined.