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How to Use the Offer Letter Manual

PURPOSE

In general, offer letters define the terms and conditions of employment for individuals who are being invited to accept a new position at the University of Connecticut.  Because these letters personalize individual employment conditions as well as the parameters of future changes, they provide a balanced overview to prospective faculty and unclassified staff about to make a decision.  The letters are also a significant first step in the process of new employee orientation.

SELECTION

Letters for faculty and unclassified staff positions are grouped as follows: Management Exempt Executive and Administrator, Faculty, Non-teaching Professional Staff, University Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate Assistant, Adjunct Faculty and Other Special Payroll Appointments. The Table of Contents lists the titles within each broad section of the Manual and the Appendix is a compilation of various policies and required enclosures.

CORE LANGUAGE

All letters contain boilerplate language that must be included.  The personalization of names, titles, salary and other specific data should be done by the hiring authority and may be reviewed by the Provost’s office, the Department of Human Resources and the Office of Diversity and Equity.  There is one paragraph that is intended to create a sense of community and enthusiasm for the arriving colleague.

VARIABLE LANGUAGE

At the top of each sample letter there is a list of selected topics or variables which may differ with each position.  Following each group of letters is a page entitled “Possible Variables for….” which provides sample text for the most commonly used variables. Before you begin drafting the letter it would be wise to review the variables for applicability.  Please note that some variables, such as reimbursement of moving expenses and tenure, are limited to specific titles.  If applicable for a particular letter, it will be listed at the top of the page.  Omissions are purposeful.

PERSONALIZATION

These are not intended to be form letters, but the language has the virtue of being vetted for compliance with relevant contractual and legal provisions. If you need to say something that is significantly different, contact your Human Resources Associate who will be happy to assist and certainly will appreciate the opportunity to consult before the letter goes out.

ATTACHMENTS

Continuing the theme of new employee orientation, descriptive attachments can be a helpful educational tool.  These can be specific to the duties of the position, general department, college/school or university information or community information.  Please identify the material sent either by a contextual reference or as a listing at the bottom of the letter.  Some sample attachments are located in the Appendix.  They are not intended to be all inclusive.

Last reviewed: 12-01-2008