- Section I. Probationary and Continuous Appointments
- Section II. Probationary Service
- Section III. Criteria for Awarding a Continuous Appointment
- Section IV. Appointment Letter and Position Responsibility
- Section V. Annual Appraisals of Probationary (H) Academic Professional Employees
- Section VI. Steps in the Process for Review of Probationary (H) Academic Professionals Considered for Continuous (G) Appointments
- Section VII. Recommendation/Approval Steps Summary
- Section VIII. Dossier
- Section IX. Documentation to Accompany Recommendation for Continuous Appointment
- Section X. Unit Review Committee
- Section XI. University Continuous Appointment Review Committee
- Section XII. Confidentiality of Assessment Information
- Section XIII. Nonreappointment of a Probationary (H) Appointment
Section 1. Probationary and Continuous Appointments
Probationary (H) appointments for selected academic professional classifications lead to review and decision concerning a continuous appointment. During the probationary period, the individual is expected to establish a consistent record of achievements and show evidence of continued professional development and growth. A continuous (G) appointment cannot be achieved without appropriate review, recommendation, and approvals. If a continuous appointment is granted, such action becomes effective the fiscal year following the decision.
Section II. Probationary Service
Year of Service
Probationary appointments require a minimum of two-thirds or 67 percent time for a term of nine months or longer. An academic year of service is defined as the equivalent of two semesters of employment at 67 percent time or greater. For the purpose of calculating a year's service, time is based on the academic year, therefore summer employment counts neither for nor against the service time worked.
There are circumstances that may give rise to a request to "stop the clock" for a period of time. Upon approval of such a request, the maximum period of probationary service would be extended by one year. Following are typical reasons to request an extension of time:
- On the occasion of the birth of the academic professional employee's child or the adoption or foster care placement of a child with the employee;
- When the academic professional employee is a major caregiver for a family member who has an extended serious illness, injury, or debilitating condition; or
- When the academic professional employee is on extended medical leave.
The request for extension must be made in writing using form UM 1627 "Extension of Maximum Period of Probationary Service for Academic Professional Employees" within three months of the events giving rise to the claim, and no later than June 30 preceding the year a final decision on a continuous appointment would be made. This provision may not be used more than two times during the employee's probationary period.
Maximum Period of Probationary Service
The maximum period of probationary service for an academic professional employee working a full-time 100 percent-time appointment is normally six years, whether consecutive or not. The maximum period of probationary service for an academic professional working an academic year of nine months at full time or 75 percent to 99 percent time is nine years. The time in a probationary (H) appointment is designed to give the University ample opportunity to determine the potential for sustained accomplishments over time of those academic professionals for whom it is considering continuous (G) appointments. At the end of this probationary period, the academic professional must either be given a continuous (G) appointment or a one-year terminal appointment. Failure to review a probationary employee in the mandatory decision year will result in an extension of the employee's contract for the time necessary to perform the review.
Units may elect to grant up to three years of probationary service credit for prior work done in similar positions at other institutions. This reduction in the maximum number of probationary years allowed, before a final decision regarding continuous appointment is required, must be communicated to the employee in the letter of offer and documented on the form UM 26 Appraisal of Probationary Academic Professionals.
Early Decisions Permitted
The granting of a continuous (G) appointment prior to the expiration of the maximum period of probationary service is allowed. A decision to terminate an employee prior to the end of the employee's maximum probationary service, if timely notice is given, is also permitted.
Section III. Criteria for Awarding a Continuous Appointment
The basis for awarding continuous appointment is the determination that the achievements of an individual have demonstrated the potential for continuing to contribute significantly to the mission of the University and for enhancing its programs of teaching, research, and service/outreach during the course of the academic professional employee's career. Sustained accomplishments over a period of time constitute evidence that the individual is likely to continue to make significant contributions in the future. These general criteria are written broadly, allowing for the wide variety of academic professional positions to be covered by its provisions. Criteria for continuous appointment are different from faculty criteria for tenure, which focus on teaching, research, and service/outreach. While those central elements are mentioned here, the academic professional employee may not necessarily do all three functions.
Beyond the information stated in the General Criteria section, each unit is to establish more detailed criteria specific to the position for which promotion to continuous status is anticipated.
Candidates hold responsibility to become familiar with their department's criteria for promotion of their position to continuous status. They are to understand the relative weight of different elements of their specific professional position. Consultation with the responsible administrator to fully understand the expectations tied to each criterion is expected.
Professional vs. Administrative Responsibilities
Continuous appointment is not awarded on the basis of administrative responsibilities. Administrative duties sometimes overlap or are a part of a professional position, but continuous appointment candidates must be aware of the balance as they move through their probationary period. They need to be certain, as the job evolves, that elements that make them a partner in the academic mission of the University are not overshadowed by supervisory, budgetary, or other administrative type responsibilities. If the job description and performance documented reflect a preponderance of administrative duties, the appropriateness of continuous appointment for the position will be questioned.
Section IV. Appointment Letter and Position Responsibility
General position responsibilities and performance expectations should be included in the employee's appointment letter or in a follow-up document. Reference should be made to the criteria by which the person will be evaluated for continuous appointment. This letter should also contain Appendix C: Information for the Probationary (H) Academic Professional Candidate Being Reviewed for Continuous Appointment.
Section V. Annual Appraisals of Probationary (H) Academic Professional Employees
Annual Performance Review
The responsible administrator is to complete an annual performance review of the probationary (H) employee. This review is to assess for the year the candidate's overall accomplishments and professional growth related to the established criteria for continuous appointment in the position held. Upon completion of the review, form UM 26 Appraisal of Probationary Academic Professionals is to be completed and signed as required. The form is then retained by the department.
Job description and performance expectations must be consistent with unit criteria for promotion to continuous status. It is expected that these criteria be kept up to date and are appropriate to discuss in the context of the employee's annual review.
UM 26 "Appraisal of Academic Professional Probationary (H) Employees"
Units prepare and submit the form UM 26 Appraisal of Probationary Academic Professional Employees for every probationary academic professional employee in the unit. The annual performance evaluation for probationary academic professional employees must address the progress toward the decision concerning continuous appointment, with input from appropriate constituencies as defined by the unit. The performance appraisal is to include strengths and areas needing attention, so that the individual may build upon the strengths and receive timely guidance on areas where improvement is needed.
The responsible administrator initiates form UM 26 Appraisal of Probationary Academic Professional Employees and forwards it through other academic administrators according to annual instructions sent by the Executive Vice President and Provost. Employees sign the annual appraisal form indicating their review of the summary evaluation. Employees may submit a written response to the evaluation, which will be retained with the file. In addition, the responsible administrator must meet with the employee to discuss progress toward the continuous appointment decision. The annual appraisals provide a documented progress record covering the entire probationary period at the time the individual is considered for continuous appointment.
Section VI. Steps in the Process for Review of Probationary (H) Academic Professionals Considered for Continuous (G) Appointment
Step 1: Candidate prepares dossier. It is recommended that the responsible administrator name or assist the candidate in selecting a knowledgeable/seasoned academic professional with continuous status to help in preparing the dossier.
Step 2: Responsible Administrator establishes the Unit Review Committee. The Unit Review Committee is to consist of at least three members, all of whom hold continuous or tenured appointments. At least two of the committee members must be academic professional staff members on continuous appointment. Tenured faculty members who are knowledgeable about the candidate's area of work and assignment may also be appointed to serve on the committee, but may not constitute a majority. The candidate may suggest individuals for the Unit Review Committee, but the ultimate decision rests with the responsible administrator.
Step 3: Responsible Administrator meets with the Unit Review Committee and sets the timeline; the responsible administrator (or designee) meets with the committee to review the criteria on which the recommendation and decision for continuous appointment will be based and reminds the committee that the information they gather is confidential. The committee should be provided with copies of the unit's established written standards based upon the position's duties and responsibilities.
Step 4: Responsible Administrator/Unit Review Committee may solicit written or oral evaluations from internal and external peers, faculty, and students, or other appropriate constituencies. The letter or notice requesting information and the responses become part of the candidate's dossier.
Step 5: Unit Review Committee reviews the dossier along with outside evaluations and prepares a written report which includes a recommendation regarding support of a continuous appointment. The report is forwarded to the responsible administrator.
Step 6: Responsible Administrator reviews the report and prepares a recommendation with comments.
Step 7: Dean/Administrative Unit Head (if different from the responsible administrator) reviews and prepares a written recommendation, to be added to the dossier and supporting materials.
Step 8: Responsible Administrator meets with the candidate to share and discuss the recommendation.
Step 9: Responsible Administrator forwards the dossiers of probationary academic professional employees who will be recommended for continuous appointment to the Office of Human Resources administration. Dossiers are then provided to members of the University Continuous Appointment Review Committee.
Step 10: University Continuous Appointment Review Committee reviews and makes recommendation to the Executive Vice President and Provost.
Step 11: Executive Vice President and Provost reviews and makes final decision. The Executive Vice President and Provost may: (a) forward the recommendation for continuous appointment to Board of Regents for approval; (b) send a nonreappointment notice letter to the candidate, including a statement of reasons for denial, or (c); defer a decision providing it is not the mandatory decision year and continue the individual on probationary status, including a statement of reasons for continuation.
Step 12: Executive Vice President and Provost presents recommendation for continuous appointment to the Board of Regents for approval in a spring meeting, as scheduled.
Step 13: The academic professional employee's University appointment record in HRMS is changed to reflect the change in appointment type from probationary (H) to continuous (G).
Section VII. Recommendation/Approval Steps Summary
Awarding of Continuous Appointment
Decision Year Recommendation/Approval Steps
Prior to the review and subsequent recommendations/approvals as outlined here, internal unit processes are to be followed.
|Unit Review Committee||x|
|Responsible Administrator (e.g., department head/chair)||x|
|Dean/Vice President (as appropriate)||x|
|University Continuous Appointment Review Committee||x|
|Executive Vice President and Provost||x|
|Board of Regents||x|
Section VIII. Dossier
Preparation of dossiers is a joint responsibility of the candidate and responsible administrator. The responsible administrator is to collect evidence related to the position description and criteria for promotion to continuous status, including solicited evaluations from others.
Dossiers should contain the following:
- current curriculum vitae;
- current position description;
- annual appraisals;
- documented evidence of professional development and growth;
- peer assessment of professional performance relating to the position; and
- evaluation of service contributions to the profession, the community (if appropriate to position), and to the University. Note: The performance of administrative duties cannot be used to support a continuous appointment recommendation.
When written or oral evaluations are sought by the responsible administrator or review committee from internal and external peers, faculty, and students or other appropriate constituencies, both the letter requesting evaluation and the entire response are placed in the dossier.
Section IX. Documentation to Accompany Recommendation for Continuous Appointment
The following is a list of suggested documentation to accompany the recommendation for continuous appointment:
- Letters from chancellors, vice presidents, deans, or directors expressing concurrence or disagreement with the recommendation of the review committee with an explanation of their views.
- Statement from the responsible administrator summarizing the accomplishments of the candidate, support of the recommendation of the review committee or lack thereof, and the basis for that decision.
- Information from Unit Review Committee relevant to the voting procedures includes:
- number of majority votes, minority votes, abstentions, and eligible persons not voting due to absence;
- review committee recommendation based upon the majority view with a statement of the grounds upon which the recommendation rests; and
- a statement of any minority view that has substantial support and the basis for such a position.
- Evaluations from distinguished individuals in the profession from outside the University regarding the candidate's professional activities (include copy of request letter sent to external evaluators).
- Evaluations from peers within the University regarding the candidate's professional activities (include copy of letter sent to internal evaluators).
- Evaluations from the users of the service performed by the candidate, where applicable.
- Statement of the criteria associated with this continuous appointment review and the unit process that was followed. Criteria must be consistent with the job responsibilities of the candidate. Examples of the performance that led to meeting specific criteria are to be included.
- Current annual appraisal, UM 26 "Appraisal of Probationary Academic Professional Employees" and copies of annual appraisal forms from prior years.
- Current position description for the individual candidate.
- Complete and current curriculum vitae to include:
- undergraduate, graduate, or professional, and, if applicable, postdoctoral education and experiences with respective institutions, locations, dates, and degrees awarded;
- former and present employment with years and dates of service at the University, and present personnel status;
- professional distinction such as research and scholarly activities, participation in professional organizations, and awards, citations, and other recognitions;
- professionally related services within the University, the community, the state, and elsewhere; and special contributions to department, college, and University functions.
Where activities are listed, specify the results of these activities, e.g., if a committee member, state some of the accomplishments made by that committee and the contributions of the candidates in achieving those accomplishments.
Section X. Unit Review Committee
Unit Review Committee
The responsible administrator is to establish a Unit Review Committee in consultation with the person who is being considered for a continuous appointment. If the unit has a sufficient number of peers with continuous appointments, this group may constitute the Unit Review Committee, or a Unit Review Committee may be appointed that includes other members from within the unit and members from outside the unit. A majority of members are to hold continuous appointment. Tenured faculty members may serve, but may not constitute a majority. Committee members are to be knowledgeable about the person and the department. In general, members should include a professional peer and represent major constituencies served.
Unit Review Committee File
The Unit Review Committee must establish an official committee file. The file must contain review committee minutes, letters of evaluation, and any other materials providing information on the person being reviewed. A summary of the responses to surveys, interviews, or letters will be part of the official committee file and are available for inspection and comment by the person being reviewed. This file will be open for inspection by the probationary candidate, who may submit information to be included in the file to supplement or refute materials contained therein. At the end of the committee's work, this file will be turned over to the responsible administrator who requested the review. The file itself is to be held during the employee's full term of employment and 30 years beyond termination of employment.
Unit Review Committee Report
The Unit Review Committee is to develop and carry out a plan to assess the performance of the continuous appointment candidate according to the established position criteria for awarding continuous appointment status. The committee prepares a report of their findings and recommendation, and forwards it to the responsible administrator. The responsible administrator provides additional written comment and recommendation. If there are additional administrative position levels (e.g., dean) between the unit and Executive Vice President and Provost, their written recommendations are to be added to the report.
Section XI. University Continuous Appointment Review Committee
The University Continuous Appointment Review Committee is charged with the task of advising the Executive Vice President and Provost as to the appropriateness of awarding continuous appointment status to candidates recommended by their respective units. The role of the committee is to review the material presented based on the statement of the respective unit's criteria for granting of continuous appointment. The four members of the committee are appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost or delegate. All four members are to hold continuous appointment status at the University.
Section XII. Confidentiality of Assessment Information
The responsible administrator or review committee may seek written or oral evaluations from internal or external peers, faculty, students, and other appropriate constituencies. All persons from whom evaluations are sought should be informed that evaluations may be accessible for review by the candidate.
Because identification of the source of evaluative information enhances the validity and credibility of a performance review, review participants are asked to identify themselves. The responsible administrator or Unit Review Committee generally will not take into account information from anonymous sources. One exception is for the direct reports of the candidate. Direct reports — if they have concerns about having their comments attributed to them — may submit evaluative information anonymously. All persons asked to provide evaluative information should be informed as to whether they must provide attributed information, or whether they may provide information anonymously.
Section XIII. Non Reappointment of a Probationary (H) Appointment
Notice of Non Reappointment.
Written notice of non reappointment is to be sent by the Executive Vice President and Provost and may be sent in any year of the probationary period.
The notice dates are:
- First year — on or before March 1; non reappointment effective at the end of the current contract year, and
- Second and subsequent years — on or before May 15; non reappointment effective at the end of the following contract year.
Non reappointment of a probationary (H) professional employee is not a dismissal for cause. Non reappointment may not be based on any belief, expression, or conduct protected by law or the principles of academic freedom. Non reappointment notice is to be preceded by a full, fair, and appropriate review.
Notice of Non Reappointment Complaint
Employees with a complaint regarding notice of non reappointment are directed to the Conflict Resolution Office and Board of Regents policy: Conflict Resolution for Employees and accompanying administrative procedure: Implementing the Conflict Resolution Process. In situations of claims of discrimination, employees are directed to the Conflict Resolution Office or the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office for assistance.