Offer Letters

Follow this outline for the major components of a faculty appointment offer letter. For track- and rank-specific requirements for offer letters, see the faculty track pages in the Appointment Process section.

Please note that new offers to faculty in subsequent years should be emailed to the Office of Faculty Affairs (to whomever handles the track and rank) for approval.

Type of Appointment

  • Rank and track
  • Start date
  • Length of appointment

Contingency Clause

  • State that the offer is contingent upon approval by the Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, or the Medical School Executive Committee, as applicable to that appointment. 
  • State that the offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background check and pre-employment drug screening. If your new faculty member is currently living outside the US, please send your faculty member this form (ePassport) and have them print it to use the next time they are in the US.  
  • If applicable, state that the offer is contingent upon the faculty member securing valid immigration status and work authorization before the expected start date. This valid immigration status and work authorization must be maintained throughout the faculty member's employment.

Salary and Benefits

  • Salary must be divided into base, academic supplement, supplemental salary, incentive salary, and administrative differential. Summarize with a total annual salary.
  • Provide a statement about U-M benefits.
  • If it's a VA appointment, indicate the VA salary amount, and whether benefits will be provided by the VA or U-M.

Location of Work

  • Include a statement that worksite locations may change, depending on staffing needs. 
  • If the candidate has any activity at the VA, include a statement about mandated random drug testing: "The VA has instituted random drug testing for all employees. You may be requested at any time during your employment to participate in this testing."

Laboratory Space

  • If lab space will be provided, describe the location and note that the space is subject to Medical School and department space policies.

Start-Up Funds

  • List all start-up funds, including the types of expenditures those funds can be used for. Describe any limit on the length of time a faculty member has to spend the funds.


  • List specific senior-level faculty members identified to serve as mentors for a junior faculty member. For appointments of senior faculty, describe the school's expectation of mentoring duties.

Evaluation of Performance

  • Include a statement that the individual's performance (teaching, scholarly activity, and clinical care) will be evaluated annually by the chair, the division head, or another leader. When appropriate, indicate that decisions about a re-appointment are based on this evaluation, and the needs of the department and the school.

Moving Expenses (if applicable)

  • Moving expenses can be offered at the department's discretion. They should be provided consistently within the unit. Maximum reimbursement amount is 1/12th of the annual salary, exclusive of lump sums and clinical supplement B. Specify a dollar amount in the letter.


  • Outline the faculty member's teaching responsibilities, whether to medical students, graduate students, residents, nurses, or others.

Clinical Service

  • Outline clinical duties explicitly. Clinical privileges are given by the Office of Clinical Affairs for 2-year intervals. Medical staff bylaws, HIPPA compliance, and other rules apply. Professional licensure and appropriate board certifications must be maintained.


  • Outline expectations for research, grant funding, scholarly productivity, and interdisciplinary efforts should be outlined.

Professional Development Funds (if applicable)

  • Explain the amount and the types of activities it can be used for.

Medical School Bylaws

  • The department should send a copy of the Bylaws on request or after the offer has been accepted.

Non-Compete Clause

  • This is required for all Clinical Track faculty appointments. Not necessary for Instructional Track, Research Track, or Clinical Lecturer appointments. Some departments may have exceptions to this rule.

Conflict of Interest

  • Regulations regarding conflicts of interest can be sent on request or will be provided after the offer is accepted.

Counter-Signature Line

  • The candidate should sign and return a copy of the letter, which then becomes a formal contract.

Academic Promotion

  • Advancement in the faculty ranks is contingent on excellence and independence in scholarly achievement, contributions to the educational mission of the University, and organizational service responsibilities.

Moonlight Policy

  • For those offers where clinical duties will be assigned, include this statement: "Since adoption of the first Medical Service Plan in 1973, it has been both University and Medical School policy that UMMS faculty with 50% or greater appointment are not permitted to perform clinical activities outside the University of Michigan and Health Centers unless under contract through the University of Michigan to an external site. The External Clinical Activity Policy provides clarification of this longstanding policy and describes the process and guidelines in which an individual may request Division, Department, and Dean's Office approval for an external clinical activity."