VSE Faculty and Staff


I know there has been a lot of confusion around what steps you should be taking if you have a position you are working on hiring. The attached employee hiring guide provides more detailed information on what additional steps need to be taken to move forward with the hire.


In cases where the critical vacancy request form needs to be complete (whether for approval or tracking), you will see that prior to the form being submitted, approval of the Dean is required. In order to facilitate this approval, VSE is requiring that a justification memo be drafted that provides details of why the hire fills a critical vacancy. The some of the key factors that should be considered are:


Does the position provide direct service in public safety, patient care or public health?

Is the position essential to the function and mission of the applicable agency?

Are there constitutional or statutory requirements for the position to be filled?

Redundancy of position duties being performed.

Vacancy rate or turnover issues in job / role.

Alternatives considered (automation, job redesign, temporary reassignment of duties, temporary filling as developmental opportunity.)

Impact if position is not filled – services that will not be provided to the public or other critical stakeholders.

Funding required, source and availability of funding (short and long term impact.)

Grant or federal funds that are ready and continuously available

Immediate start date vs. future date.

Cost of overtime vs. cost of hiring additional staff.


These justification memos should be reviewed with your department chair, program director, or administrative department head.  Once they agree that the hire is critical, the justification memo should be submitted to Dean Ball, Associate Dean Ariela Sofer, and myself (copied to Elizabeth Dean).  We will review these requests and determine if they have Dean approval.  If it is approved as a critical hire, we will prepare and submit the Critical Vacancy Request Form.  Faculty and Staff should not be completing the form themselves. Any critical vacancy forms submitted directly by faculty or staff will be denied by the dean.


If you have any questions on the requirements or process, please let me know. 


I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. 





Kim Goodwin-Slater

Director of Finance

Volgenau School of Engineering

George Mason University



From: Mason Faculty <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Senior Vice President
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 9:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Updated Hiring Guidance



As we continue to manage our response to COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to provide further guidance regarding employee measures with respect to hiring for specific employee groups. This incorporates additional guidance from the Commonwealth on hiring and compensation freezes that we received from the Secretary of Education on April 20. We will continue to make adjustments along the way and communicate them as quickly as possible to our community.


An Employee Hiring Guide has been developed, which describes the specific process for each employee category. A summary is provided below, but please refer to the guide for additional details. For positions requiring submission of a newly created Critical Vacancy Request Form, the workflow has been updated to include the requirement for Dean/VP approval. 


·        Instructional Faculty positions are not subject to the Commonwealth’s hiring freeze and are not subject to review by the Critical Vacancy Review Committee (CRVC) yet will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost. Decisions about hiring must be made by determining if a position is essential for instructional and/or research continuity, with a consideration of delaying hiring for all other positions. As part of our efforts to better understand and track additions to our workforce, hiring units must submit a Critical Vacancy Request Form for each position to be filled for tracking purposes only.

·        Research Faculty and Staff, Postdoctoral Fellows and Wage Employee positions supported by sponsored projects or from other non E&G sources (such as GMUF linked funds, Indirect orgs, Pool orgs and funds that are continuously available) are not subject to the Commonwealth’s hiring freeze and are not subject to review by the CRVC. Hiring units must submit a Critical Vacancy Request Form for each position to be filled for tracking purposes only. 

·        Administrative/Professional Faculty positions are not subject to the Commonwealth’s hiring freeze but are subject to review by the CRVC. Hiring units must submit a Critical Vacancy Request Form for each position to be filled for review by the CRVC as an internal control measure, in light of the additional financial pressures on the university.

·        Student Wage, Non-Student Wage, and Classified Staff positions supported from E&G sources are subject to the Commonwealth’s hiring freeze and review by the CVRC. Hiring units must submit a Critical Vacancy Request Form to the CRVC, and approved requests will also be sent to the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Education for exception approval. 

·        Adjunct FacultySummer FacultyWork Study WageGraduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Professional Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants positions are not subject to the Commonwealth’s hiring freeze and are not subject to review by the CRVC. Hiring units should follow normal HR hiring procedures, and should not submit Critical Vacancy Request Forms to fill these positions.


A similar review process is being developed for any actions that would result in increased personnel cost including in-band or stipend adjustments, voluntary transfers, and all other adjustments in compensation. We will provide more information about this process shortly. Instructional and Research Faculty will still automatically receive pay increases commensurate with promotion and tenure.


We are always looking at how we can better support you, the Mason community. We appreciate your patience and your feedback as we work to address the issues you have identified. Please continue to check Coronavirus FAQs for Employees for the latest updates and information. 



Carol Dillon Kissal

Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance

George Mason University