Policy Details

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  • Board of Trustees

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Legal, Compliance & Risk Management


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Regular Faculty Written Statement of Appointment (Including Joint Appointments)

BOT 4.2.4 -

Policy Statement

4.2.4. Written Statement of Appointment 

Every person appointed to a position covered by these sections BOT 4.2.1 - 4.2.30, shall receive a statement in writing, from the Dean or other appropriate appointing officer, of the terms and conditions of the appointment before the appointment becomes effective. All appointments are subject to the provisions of these policies and Board of Trustees approval. Joint Appointment
Because of the importance of teaching, scholarship and service at GVSU, joint appointments may be desirable in certain circumstances. A joint appointment is a formal arrangement between two units that specifies the terms under which a member of one unit also provides service to the other unit. For purposes of a joint appointment, "unit" can mean college, department, school, program or library and the "primary unit" is where the faculty member's tenure status resides and the "secondary unit" negotiates for some portion of the faculty member's service.

1. Joint appointments shall be made when a faculty member serves two units for an academic year or longer. Providing academic service to a unit for one course (or its equivalent) per academic year for one or more years shall not be considered a joint appointment for purposes of this policy.

2. The conditions of an individual joint appointment must be detailed at the time of initial joint appointment in a written Memorandum of Understanding between the primary and secondary units and the faculty member. The Memorandum of Understanding shall include the following:

a. expectations for teaching, scholarship and service in each unit to which the faculty member is jointly appointed;

b. how a faculty member's professional work will be evaluated, by whom that work will be evaluated, and the extent to which the faculty member's productivity will be evaluated differently from that of others because of the specific nature of the joint appointment;

c. how the primary and secondary units will divide responsibility according to the proportion of the faculty member's FTE assigned to each unit. Specifically, three kinds of considerations need to be addressed in this determination: (i) the definition and weighting of professional performance factors (teaching, scholarship, and service to the units, College(s), University and to the community) that will apply to the individual on joint appointment; (ii) the manner in which the evaluation of professional achievements will be divided among the units performing the evaluation; and, (iii) for new faculty, how mentoring and other aspects of faculty development will be handled;

d. clear assignment of work effort in both units, for example, number of courses taught, obligation for advising students, committee work, expectation for attending unit faculty meetings, etc.;

e. a requirement that the chairs of constituent units will confer at least annually to coordinate teaching and service responsibilities of jointly-appointed faculty, to insure that the overall load of teaching and service obligations does not exceed that of comparable faculty with appointments wholly in one unit;

f. address requests for various types of leave. Normally such decisions rest with the Dean of the faculty member's primary unit; however, chairs and deans of all units involved with the appointment will provide assessments of the requested leave before the dean makes a decision;

g. address voting rights on non-personnel matters (for example, voting on curricular decisions, allocations of department/program resources, etc.);

h. address the joint appointee's representational rights in the faculty governance system; and,

i. the amount of compensation (if any) that will be paid to the primary unit.

3. The units must agree on the proportion of the joint appointee's time that will be spent in each unit and include this information in the Memorandum of Understanding.

4.The Memorandum of Understanding must be approved and signed by the chairs of the involved units, the faculty member, the Dean(s), and the Provost before a joint appointment takes effect.

5. The unit where tenure resides will be identified as the faculty member's primary unit for purposes of reappointment, tenure and promotion, and annual reviews including salary reviews. These personnel actions will be governed by the written procedures of the primary unit; however, it is understood that the secondary unit shall also be providing information about the performance of the joint appointee.

6. A joint appointee is eligible to be considered for tenure, promotion, salary increases, sabbatical, grants and research funding in the same manner as faculty members not jointly appointed. The primary unit is responsible for initiating and carrying through the procedures leading to those changes in status; the secondary unit is likewise expected to give due and regular consideration to the joint appointee's qualifications for these advancements. With regard to personnel matters, a joint appointee will have full voting rights in their primary unit, regardless of the percentage of service in that unit. Normally, the joint appointee shall have the same rank in all units to which he or she is assigned.

7. Joint appointees shall submit a Faculty Activity Report (FAR) and annual Faculty Activity Plan (FAP) to the chairs of the primary unit and the secondary unit. Each chair must provide the office(s) of the Dean(s) with summary comments on the FAR and FAP. If recruiting for a joint appointment, the primary and secondary units shall be represented on the search committee.

8. The joint appointment will be reviewed periodically and is subject to renewal or termination at will by either the primary unit or secondary unit effective no earlier than the end of the semester. If the joint appointment is terminated or not renewed, the faculty appointment will revert to the primary unit . A faculty member whose joint appointment was either terminated or not renewed shall be able to use the complaint procedure (Section 2.18) by filing a complaint with the dean of the primary unit. For tenure-track faculty, the appointment may not extend beyond the current contract length with the primary unit nor, unless an exception is approved by the Provost, shall be more than 50% of the joint appointment be in the secondary unit.