Dual Career Program

To maintain and strengthen its excellence, the University must recruit and retain an outstanding faculty. Many faculty members who are being recruited by the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor have partners who are accomplished professionals in their own right. Therefore, the ability of a dual career partner to find a suitable career opportunity is a key factor in the recruitment process and ultimately in the couple’s decision.  The Dual Career Program was created in response to this important need. 

The Dean’s Office welcomes the chance to work with partners and appreciates that the Medical School has been enriched by the presence of partners who have joined our faculty and staff over the years. We are committed to meeting the needs and challenges faced by the many dual career couples in higher education.

At her or his own initiative, the prospective faculty member should tell the chair of the search committee or the unit Chair/Chief/Director about interest in the Medical School’s dual career services.  Typically, the Departmental Chair/Director takes the lead in gathering initial information about the dual career partner (such as an electronic version of the CV and personal statement regarding career objectives). This information may then be forwarded to the Medical School Dual Career Coordinator for additional assistance.

Services Available to Everyone  

The Office of the Provost maintains a dual career Web site with information about employment opportunities and career resources at the University of Michigan and other area colleges and universities, major employers in the area, career search resources and the Ann Arbor community. Southeast Michigan - well known as the headquarters of the automotive industry - also has numerous high technology, life sciences, consumer and financial services businesses and organizations, as well as several dozen institutions of higher education. Job availability, of course, varies by field and fluctuates with the economy. 

Services for the Partners of Current or Potential Faculty 

The Medical School Dual Career Coordinator can assist in the following ways:

Due to limited resources, services are available only to the partners of faculty members who are at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Full Professor in any of the tracks within the Medical School (Clinical, Research or Tenure Track). 

Partners With Academic Careers - As used here, the term academic career includes instruction, research, and/or clinical work. Working together, the department or program and the Dual Career Coordinator will help the dual career partner connect with appropriate faculty and staff across campus. At such meetings, the partner can learn more about the University and begin to explore career options. In other cases, a more proactive approach may be taken to look for ways the University can utilize the partner’s expertise and experience. If for some reason the partner is more suited to a position at an institution other than the University of Michigan, contacts at nearby institutions (see Web site) may be arranged. Every effort will be taken to ensure that the partner has an opportunity to network both at U-M and other institutions in Southeast Michigan. 

Partners with Non-Academic Careers - The faculty and staff in the department or program and the Medical School, the Medical School Dual Career Coordinator and the Dual Career Specialist from the Provost’s Office all may work with partners to search for non-academic jobs.  This group of partners is defined as those looking for staff or professional positions in private industry, education, the non-profit sector or government. Partners willing to commute outside of Ann Arbor will find the widest range of opportunities.

Job Search vs. Job Placement

University faculty and staff who assist in dual career efforts do a great deal to help partners in their job searches, but the University cannot and does not guarantee job placement. The success and duration of any job search depends on many factors, including the partner’s level of effort in the job search and flexibility, the economy, and the “fit” between a partner’s credentials and job openings. Career searches are most successful when the partner takes a great deal of initiative. Partners are urged to conduct an active job search, using the Dual Career Program as one of multiple sources of information.


Contact Melissa Dorfman, Dual Career Program Coordinator, at dorfmanm@umich.edu or 734-615-6417.

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