Guidelines for Joint Appointments

February 25, 2008

ASU is committed to advancing knowledge and developing solutions to complex problems facing our community in Arizona and throughout the world.  As such, we have created, by policy (ACD 506-09), opportunities for faculty to serve in more than one academic unit and/or research institute or center.  These joint appointments facilitate the engagement of faculty members in the study and teaching of these complex problems.  To ensure that we facilitate the success of faculty in such appointments, Provost Capaldi appointed a committee of deans and a representative of her office to develop better articulated guidelines to be used in concert with the policy.  With additional input from the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, and based on this committee’s analysis and recommendations, the following guidelines will be implemented for individuals on joint appointments.

All appointments of assistant professors or other ranks without tenure require the individual to have their tenure track home to be in one unit.  The unit chairs and directors must be effective mentors from the beginning, assist in developing faculty networks for the tenure track faculty and the chairs/deans must be committed to the joint appointment.  Tenure track faculty may participate in more than one academic unit through Memoranda of Understanding that may include a partial “buy out” of faculty time.  Non tenure units will contribute to the annual reviews, probationary review (3rd year review) and promotion and/or tenure review by providing a letter from the chair or director of the unit that specifically deals with those parts of the faculty member’s workload that are assigned to that unit through the Memorandum of Understanding.

Interdisciplinary tenure and promotion guidelines can be developed by pairs of units who desire to routinely make joint appointments of tenure track faculty.

Faculty engaged in interdisciplinary work and have joint appointments may need additional time to develop their careers. As a result, the faculty member may initiate a request through their chair/director and dean for an extension of their tenure clock on this basis.  Deans forward the request with their recommendation to the Provost’s Office for a final decision.

Each unit within which the person is appointed must have clearly articulated expectations and those expectations should be shared by the chair or director with their colleagues to ensure a common understanding of the expectations and methods of evaluation of the joint appointment. Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding should all stipulate to the development of an annual work plan for the faculty member and agree that it will form the basis for subsequent annual evaluations.  Within the context of this agreement, units should determine how salary costs are shared, terms for course reductions, shares of overhead revenue from external funding, etc.
The effectiveness of joint appointments rests, in part, with the department chairs/directors and deans ensuring that personnel committees who make recommendations on annual reviews and other reviews, understand the terms of the appointment, added value the appointment has for the department and the need to evaluate the individual in this context and not as any other faculty member who is spending 100% of their time assigned to the unit.  Key among the issues that chairs/directors and deans need to communicate with respect to joint appointments is the understanding that one individual cannot be reasonably expected to participate fully in all faculty meetings and service assignments for both units nor can they do all of the other “community” activities within the department because of their shared appointment.  It is also important for chairs/directors to remind their personnel committees that they are, in fact, making a recommendation regarding the annual evaluation to their chairs/directors and in turn deans, not a decision.
Joint appointments should derive from a unit’s strategic plan, key strategic areas should be shared among the deans so potential collaborations can be identified and/or cluster interests identified to enable better recruitment of a critical mass of faculty in the shared interest area.  Where a faculty member is already employed at ASU, the chair/director should first approach their counterpart before initiating conversations to a) be courteous to their colleague and their unit goals, b) to create an environment where units are working together rather than in competition, and c) to ensure there are not other issues that should be known before any discussions are initiated that might later make the arrangement untenable.  

For joint appointed faculty with tenure, the same issues exist with respect to annual and post tenure reviews and for reviews leading to promotion to full professor.

Faculty may have appointments where there are specific expectations for their participation in centers and/or institutes.  In those cases, a Memorandum of Understanding will be executed specifying the expectations including teaching assignments, service responsibilities and all other relevant responsibilities.  Center and/or Institute Directors will provide input into annual reviews, promotion, and tenure actions by providing a letter of evaluation to the Director or Chair of the academic tenure home detailing the performance of the faculty member relative to expectations specified in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Time can be paid for by a research center or institute, or performing research in the research unit can substitute for some part of teaching load with the agreement of the department chair of the tenure home of the faculty member.

Merit Raises are awarded by the tenure home department chair with input from units where joint appointments are held. If a tenure appointment is split, so that two units are paying an individual and the tenure home is shared then the two unit heads must consult on any merit pay increase and agree on the recommendation. Otherwise, faculty in joint appointments where the unit other than the tenure home is paying some portion of the salary will provide input on the annual, probationary and tenure and promotion reviews but the final recommendation will rest with the chair or director of the tenure home department.  All recommendations for pay increases go to the dean, provost and president who retains the final decision authority.

All individuals holding joint appointments (e.g., in other academic depts., research centers and institutes, etc.) shall be evaluated for promotion and tenure by the College or School where their tenure resides with input from the appropriate unit head (chair, dean, director, and/or vice president).

Tenured faculty members holding Center Directorships within Institutes will be evaluated in a different manner than other faculty holding joint appointments.  In these limited circumstances, the Director of the Institute with input from the chair or director of the academic department or school in which the individual’s tenure resides will conduct the annual review and determine the annual merit adjustment.  Appointments of tenure eligible faculty to Center Directorships within Institutes would need to be approved by the Provost and clearly articulated arrangements made to determine the criteria and process for promotion and/or tenure reviews.  Should the individual step down as Center Director but remain in the Institute, the evaluation would follow the process outlined for all other faculty in such circumstances (evaluation conducted by the chair or director with input from other collaborating or jointly appointed unit heads).  

Any exceptions to the processes described above will be outlined in a separate memorandum of understanding between the units involved and agreed to by the appropriate deans and/or vice presidents and the Provost of the University.