College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Policy
Regarding Joint Center-Departmental Tenure Track Appointments

(Approved by CLAS Council, 11/26/90)

Under certain circumstances it may be both educationally and economically desirable for faculty members, both those currently on campus and future appointments, to have joint appointments in appropriate academic centers and departments.  Specific conditions for each individual joint appointment must be detailed at the time of initial appointment in a written statement of understanding between the involved units and the candidate.  While the faculty member and the involved units should have the freedom and flexibility to negotiate individual agreements, certain fundamental guidelines need to be observed in all such appointment statements.  All offers of joint appointment should be accompanied by a statement which addresses the following:

  1. DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECRUITMENT AND HIRING.  During the process of recruitment, all units involved in the joint appointment should be represented on the search committee.  In cases when a research or interdisciplinary center initiates a search, the initial search committee shall have representation of college faculty not on appointment in the center or program.  In these cases, departmental representatives of potential hiring departments will become involved in the search process as soon as a short list of candidates has been determined.  Only a candidate who is acceptable to all units in which the faculty will be assigned shall be offered the joint appointment.

  2. DETERMINATION OF FACULTY MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITIES.  At the time of offering the position, a memorandum of understanding shall have been prepared by the cooperating units which specifies the division of the new faculty member's time to be spent in each of the units, the weighing of factors (teaching, research, and service) in the faculty member's annual merit evaluations, all expectations for tenure and promotion, and the process by which all evaluations will be conducted. 

    The director or responsible administrator of the center and department chair(s) must be willing to provide release time for such faculty members to teach and pursue independent research where appropriate.  The proportion of release time for the faculty member's research shall be specified in the initial agreement and should be shared between the time assigned to the involved units.  As a general rule, this assignment of duties shall involve teaching a minimum of one course per year in the faculty member's tenure department.  The department(s) shall also agree to credit all of the faculty member's teaching (whether in the department or in interdisciplinary programs) to her or his overall teaching record.  As a general rule, at least 1/3 of the faculty member's total assignment shall be designated for research.  Beyond these stipulations, the department and center, in consultation with the faculty member, shall negotiate terms of load for the candidate's assignment with the department agreeing to release the faculty member to the center or program for a specified percentage of his or her time.  In determination of responsibilities, all parties involved in joint appointments should take into account the increased time demands of active participation in more than one professional unit, particularly for members of underrepresented groups, and insure that the faculty member's total teaching, research and service obligations do not exceed those of faculty members not on joint appointment.  In the event that a regular faculty member holding a 100% time appointment in a department wishes to secure a joint appointment in a center, the appointment must be mutually acceptable to both the center and to the department.

  3. PARTICIPATION IN FACULTY GOVERNANCE.  There shall be a clear and mutually agreeable articulation of understanding regarding the locus and nature of a faculty member's involvement in the faculty governance structure of the units, the college, and the university.

  4. EVALUATION PROCEDURE AND THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANNUAL EVALUATION.  Terms of the faculty member's evaluation shall be specified in the memorandum of understanding accompanying the offering letter, which clearly states if and how one unit is to provide the other with an evaluation to be incorporated into the overall yearly evaluation.  If the participating units are to evaluate the faculty member's performance equally, there should be a clear and mutually agreeable determination of where and how the two evaluations will be reconciled and how and by whom yearly increment ratings will be determined.  In all joint appointments there must be a clear and mutually agreeable prior statement of 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 others in their department(s) because of the specific nature of the joint appointment.  Specifically, two kinds of considerations need to be addressed in this determination: (1) the weighing of professional performance factors (research, teaching, service) that will apply to the individual on joint appointment; (2) the manner in which the evaluation of professional achievements will be divided between the two participating units performing the evaluation. 

  5. TENURE/PROMOTION AND THE DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR TENURE/ PROMOTION.  General expectations for tenure and promotion must be agreed upon and communicated in writing to the faculty member at the time of appointment.  Since only departments can recommend tenure, the procedure by which the tenure will be conducted and the role of the center in the evaluation process must also be specified at the time of appointment of new faculty accepting joint appointment.  Each unit in which the faculty member is assigned will provide an annual merit evaluation, the components of which will be weighted in proportion to the faculty member's mutually agreed upon assignment.  The department chair(s) and center administrator shall maintain regular communication regarding the faculty member's performance in their units, and the center and department will each provide a written three year review of the candidate's progress toward tenure.  In all cases, the emphasis must be upon the degree of excellence in the faculty member's performance according to college criteria and must not exceed the overall requirements for faculty members not on joint appointment. 

    Should a candidate on joint appointment fail to gain tenure, the center shall retain its portion of that personnel line for a subsequent hire.  If the department's decision for tenure is negative, the center may nevertheless wish to offer an alternative form of appointment without tenure.  Alternatively, if the center is opposed to a recommendation of tenure, the department may then petition the college to absorb the entire personnel line, resources permitting, and put forward its own tenure/promotion recommendation.  A faculty member's rank is normally the same in all departments in which the faculty member has an appointment.

  6. CHANGES IN STATUS BEFORE/AFTER TENURE.  The granting of tenure in an academic department does not automatically free faculty members with joint appointments from obligations in either unit.  The initial statement of agreement on the joint appointment, however, may be amended at any time after the appointment has been made, subject to the agreement of all concerned parties, including the college office.  If any of the parties to the agreement wishes to change the division of time devoted to either unit, this must be accomplished through mutual consent of all parties involved.