Faculty searches that involve candidates who are spouses or partners of department members can lead to difficult and awkward situations. In order to eliminate any potential for conflicts of interest, a faculty member who is the spouse or partner of a candidate for a faculty position may not participate in that faculty search.
The set of recommendations for searches involving internal candidates should be adapted for searches involving spouses or partners. While faculty members whose spouses or partners are candidates may not be involved in the evaluation of candidates, they may meet with candidates as part of the campus visit. This may be essential when the faculty member is the only person who can supply specific information about the open position. It also seems courteous to offer candidates an opportunity to meet with all of their prospective departmental colleagues when possible.