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The academic appointments policy establishes the standards and procedures for appointments of individuals who will have teaching functions. The University asserts the importance of ensuring that our students are taught by individuals who have appropriate qualifications, are recognized as teachers, and enjoy the privilege of academic freedom. The University also affirms that an appropriate complement of regular faculty will direct the University's ongoing intellectual programs, accompanied by term (non-tenure track) faculty, academic professional and administrative employees (P&A), and graduate teaching assistants. The University will strive to ensure that all such faculty and P&A employees be appropriately selected, reviewed, and fairly treated.
In order to be able to assure our students that quality instruction is provided, to provide appropriate certification to accrediting organizations, and to comply with University regulations, instruction in courses for credit may only be offered by persons who hold appointments in one of the following five categories.
- Regular (Tenured and Tenure-Track) Faculty:
Members of the tenured and tenure-track faculty.
- Term (Non Tenure-Track) Faculty:
2A. Contract Faculty. Members of the faculty on annual, renewable, or multi-year contracts.
2B. Temporary Faculty. Members appointed to address temporary needs of 1-2 years.
2C. Visiting Faculty. Faculty at other universities who are temporarily here.
- Adjunct Faculty:
3A. Adjunct Faculty from Within the University. Persons who hold regular or term (contract or temporary) faculty status in one main department and who are appointed by a second department or college.
3B. Adjunct Faculty from Outside the University. Professionals in the community who offer instruction on an occasional, part-time basis.
- Academic Staff:
4A. Academic Professional Staff Who Hold Primary Responsibility for Teaching.
4B. Academic Professional or Administrative Staff with Primary Non-Instructional Duties Who Assume Part-Time Instructional Duties.
- Graduate Teaching Assistants:
Students registered in a graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degree program may also provide assistance to the faculty in teaching or advising students registered for specific courses, or may be the instructor of record for an entire course, in accordance with the standards of the academic unit and those in the Policy and Guidelines for Graduate Assistants.
Refer to Appendix: Academic Appointment Category Details for more complete information regarding appointments within each category and sub-category.
This policy is intended to provide general information to University employees and to serve as internal guidelines for University administrators. The information described in this policy is not a condition of employment, and the language is not intended nor does it create a contract between the University and any employee. Employees may resign their employment in accordance with the terms of their contracts and appointments, and the University may terminate an individual employee's employment as provided in the applicable University policies and in accordance with the procedures established for that class of employee. The University reserves the right to change, add to, eliminate, or modify any of the requirements and procedures described in this policy at its discretion, with or without notice, and in accordance with any applicable University consultative processes.
Provisions and Terms
Collegiate Personnel Plans
Each college or campus as appropriate, led by the dean or vice chancellor for academic affairs, must adopt a personnel plan that articulates which of the appointment options will be used by the college/campus, in addition to its regular faculty, to carry out its teaching functions and ensure the academic quality of its programs. The plan is to indicate the necessary qualifications for the different teaching functions and the appropriate balance of responsibilities carried out by faculty and those carried out by academic staff (e.g., types of courses, advisement, clinical supervision, etc.) for which members of each group will be responsible. The plan should also indicate opportunities for professional development available to employees in the relevant appointment categories. The overall collegiate personnel plan must be developed through a process that includes substantial representation of tenured and tenure-track faculty, term faculty and academic professional and administrative staff , as applicable, and must be approved by the normal college/campus governance processes and by the dean or vice chancellor for academic affairs. Appointments made to any position with responsibilities primarily for instruction (term [non-tenure track] faculty, teaching specialists, senior teaching specialists, lecturers, and senior lecturers) must also be made only in accordance with the plan.
- Supplemental Plans
The collegiate personnel plan must include the rationale for any significant variations from the established collegiate patterns in making academic appointments in specific academic units within the college/campus. In addition, the collegiate plan must include a specific supplemental plan for any unit in which the number of FTE contract faculty positions (category 2A) plus the number of FTE academic professional positions with primary responsibility for teaching (category 4A) exceeds 25% of the FTE tenured and tenure-track faculty. Each supplemental plan should indicate the appropriate balance of faculty and academic staff responsibility, to include the levels and types of courses for which members of each group will be responsible. This supplemental plan must be developed in broad consultation with the leadership, faculty, and academic staff of these units.
- Plan Approval
The Executive Vice President and Provost will review and approve all collegiate personnel plans, in consultation with the Vice President for Human Resources, other appropriate vice presidents and vice chancellors/chancellors, and the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. For units in the health sciences, college plans will first be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Clinical Affairs prior to submission to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. For system campuses, plans must be approved by the respective vice chancellor/chancellor prior to submission. This process for units in the health sciences and system campuses applies throughout this document, even though it may not be restated.
Once a collegiate personnel plan has been approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost, it need only be updated if there are substantial modifications in the plan. Each collegiate personnel plan should be reviewed at least once every five years.
- Reporting and Monitoring
The Executive Vice President and Provost, in conjunction with the Vice President for Human Resources, will produce a report documenting the numbers of individuals falling within each of these categories, broken out by department, college and campus, as well as aggregated. This information will inform the collegiate dean, vice chancellor/chancellor, and other central officers involved in the annual collegiate academic planning and budgeting compact process, and will also be available to inform the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which will review this information for consistency with the approved plan and the academic mission of the University.
- Review of Policy
This policy will undergo a comprehensive review every four years. This review should examine both the success of the policy in meeting the University's goals of providing appropriate instruction of the highest possible quality for all students and the suitability of its provisions for the future of the University. This periodic review does not preclude earlier changes, should the need arise.
Reason for Policy
This policy implements Board of Regents Policies: Employee Group Definitions (PDF) and Faculty Tenure (PDF). The University establishes the standards and procedures for academic appointments with teaching functions to (1) assert the importance of well-qualified individuals teaching the University's students and (2) assure that an appropriate complement of regular faculty directs the University's ongoing intellectual programs.