Guidance on Faculty Personnel Actions

Last updated: February 2018

Introduction

Broadly, the University’s Board of Visitors retains authority for the personnel actions of all full-time professorial faculty, including elections (hires, and elections into named chairs), salary changes, promotions, retirements and resignations. This authority is not delegated. This means that all actions are conditional until they are approved by the Board.

See reference: “FACULTY ACTIONS REQUIRING BOARD OF VISITORS APPROVAL”

On average, several hundred unique personnel actions go on the report for approval each quarter. Presenting this information for their approval requires a careful sequence of steps.

For example, consider the hire of a new faculty member:

  1. Step 1: The candidate accepts a conditional offer from the dean of a school
  2. Step 2: An HR team member enters the new hire into the HRMS/Oracle
  3. Step 3: The EVPP reviews and approves the hire.
  4. Step 4: EVPP staff download data from HRMS into a separate database used to sort, inspect, and generate the faculty actions report. The need to proofread this information and review it for accuracy requires a cut-off deadline, after which new actions that are keyed and reviewed will go to the subsequent board meeting.
  5. Step 5: EVPP and all schools review drafts of the report.
  6. Step 6: A finalized draft is sent to board members prior to each board meeting. The board meets in executive session four times a year and approves faculty actions during those sessions.
  7. Step 7: Immediately following the meeting the Secretary to the Board of Visitors sends a letter to each faculty member informing them of the approval, and sends copies to their department chair and dean.

Errors in the faculty actions are the result of several factors and often require manual rework. This rework can introduce further errors, compound problems and result in a significant investment of time. The information contained in the following pages is based on three strategies that are necessary to mitigating and fixing errors:

  1. Following appropriate processes & protocols;
  2. Entering data correctly; and
  3. Reviewing the faculty personnel actions report thoroughly.

See reference: "ACTIONS IN THE ORDER THEY APPEAR IN THE DOCKET"


  1. Elections (New Hires)

    1. Process
      1. Do not key tenure for a new hire until you have confirmation of approval by the provost. Although there is an expedited review and approval process, all tenure decisions still must go through the department, school and provost office for approval prior to tenure being entered. Individuals hired with conditional tenure offers should not go to the board as an election until their tenure has been approved.
    2. Data Entry
      1. Elections require biographical sketches.
      2. It is important to enter all necessary information in one keying session. For faculty, you will need a copy of their C.V. for their degrees and work history. Do not, for example, go back and add qualifying degrees later. It is the responsibility of the individual entering the hire to locate this information and enter it correctly.
      3. Pay careful attention to the Formal Faculty Title.
        See reference: “FORMAL FACULTY TITLES”
    3. Review
      1. Biographical sketches are compiled from information keyed in degrees earned and work history in HRMS but will appear in an edited format for the purposes of the docket as follows:
        • Degrees are listed from first to last
        • Generally faculty will have a bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree OR a bachelors and a medical degree.
        • Work history is listed from most recent to oldest
        • Work history is accounted for from the terminal degree to the year of hire or at least 10 years’ worth of experiences.
        • School names are taken as the major school name, not affiliated branches, for example: “University of California” NOT “University of California at Los Angeles.”
        • Work history is generic, only specific to role and employer, but not abbreviated, for example: “Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Health” NOT “Post-Doc Fellowship in Oncology and Geriatrics at the NIH”
      2. Salaries and terms are qualified as being academic or annual. In this context academic means 9-month and annual means 12-month. An academic salary is paid over 9 months whereas an annual salary is paid over 12. An individual cannot have a term that is academic and a salary that is annual. Review salaries and terms that are not qualified by academic or annual with extra care.
      3. Academic terms typically begin on August 25 or mid-year, on December 25. When faculty arrive early or late in the academic year special terminology is used.
  2. Named Professorships (Endowed and Eminent Chairs)

    When a new or current faculty member is elected to a named professorship, the election must be approved in advance by the EVPP. No election will go forward without this approval. When requesting approval, schools should include a cover sheet with the following information:

    1. Process
      1. Full name of faculty (including middle initial)
      2. Primary affiliation school and department
      3. Formal faculty title (i.e., Professor of Business Administration, NOT the endowed chair title)
      4. Tenure status
      5. Complete legal name of endowed chair as established by the Board of Visitors
      6. Effective date of chair
      7. Term of chair (or say without term if no term)
      8. Will this individual’s base salary change during the term of this chair, if so what is the change?
      9. Will this individual hold another endowed chair concurrently?
    2. Data Entry
      1. Contact Jenny Mikulski if the chair name is not available in the list of values in HRMS or if there is a problem with the name that is there.
      2. Enter term dates
      3. Terminate chairs when their term is over
      4. Do not use the “Formal Faculty Title” field for the “Endowed Chair Title”; these are not the same thing
    3. Review
      1. Verify the name of the professorship is correct, as well as the term (if there is one)
      2. If the professorship is resulting in a salary change make sure that is indicated in the action
      3. Check to make sure that the faculty member does not hold another professorship simultaneously, or that any previous professorship is termed.
      4. Verify the Formal Faculty Title is correct
  3. Special Salary Actions

    1. Process
      1. Salary actions must be approved in advance by Maggie Harden.
      2. Merit increases are taken to the board as a single action item for all faculty in a separate part of the executive session and not as part of the individual personnel actions.
      3. Outside of the merit process, individual salary actions may need to be taken.
        See reference: “SALARY ACTIONS”
    2. Data Entry
      1. Choose the correct salary change reason and do not choose “other” if it is a salary action that requires board approval.
      2. For new or re-hires, the salary change reason should always be “New Hire” or “Rehire”
      3. If you have a faculty member who is moving from a wage to a salaried position, use “Transfer-Wage to Salaried”
      4. If the individual is taking on additional duties, select additional duties as the reason; you can still put information in the paper clip
    3. Review
      1. Check to be sure that the salary amount is concurrent with the ongoing base rate
      2. Merit increases are taken to the board as a single action item for all faculty in a separate part of the executive session and not as part of the individual personnel actions, you will not see them in the Special Salary Actions of this report
      3. Notify the Faculty Actions Specialist of any special circumstances, including early hires with multiple salary entries and changes
  4. Promotions – promotions in rank as well as awarding of tenure

    1. Process
      1. Sometimes (particularly in the school of medicine) faculty hold more than one academic appointment. There is currently no good way to track this in Oracle. Communicate to the promotion and tenure review team, or to the faculty actions specialist if an additional title needs to be added. Be careful to verify the correct terms for each; they are often not the same. For example, a tenured professor in one field may have a three year term in another.
      2. On-cycle as well as off-cycle promotion and tenure decisions all go to the board in the docket.
      3. When a faculty member is promoted from lecturer or instructor to Assistant Professor it will import as a promotion but we will need to take it as an election instead (to the professorial ranks).
    2. Data Entry
      1. When a faculty member is promoted from lecturer or instructor to Assistant Professor, please make sure all degrees and work history are present in order to build a biographical sketch. You may also want to create your own list of the individuals who fall into this category so that you can make sure that they are on the docket when schools are asked to review the report.
    3. Review
      1. Check to be sure that all promotions have been keyed and are appearing on the report.
  5. Resignations and Retirements

    1. Process
      1. Members of the teaching faculty who do not intend to return to the University for the upcoming academic year are expected to indicate their intention in writing to their dean or department chair as soon as possible.
    2. Date Entry
      1. Schedule the resignation or retirement date in HRMS as soon as you receive a letter.
      2. Resignations are only taken to the board when they are for personal reasons, for another job, or because a faculty member is leaving the area. Choosing the correct reason is therefore critical.
      3. Typically retirements are on the 24th of the month.
    3. Review
      1. The “reason” for a resignation was a part of the resignation personnel action until early in 2017 when this component was ceased. We no longer state that in the action.
  6. Other Elections

    1. Process
      1. An explicit power and duty of the Board of Visitors is the election and re-election of the President and Vice Presidents in addition to professorial faculty. Some Vice Presidents may be faculty but increasingly they are not; they still appear on this report.

        OTHER ELECTIONS
        Rector
        Vice Rector
        President
        Chief Operating Officer
        Provost
        Secretary to the BOV

      2. This does not include assistant and associate Vice Presidents.
      3. These elections are “action” items which the board must approve: Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Vice Provosts.
      4. Typically the faculty actions specialist will be informed of these actions via email.
    2. Data Entry
      1. If the employee in question is also faculty, which is often the case, the Formal Faculty Title field must remain as their professorial title. Key this election in the Administrative Appointment Field, along with the term.
    3. Review
      1. Verify the title and term dates.
      2. Communicate with the Faculty Actions Specialist regarding any pending tenure decision or other details including secondary appointments.
  7. Appointments

    1. Process
      1. As of February 2017 it was determined that the following administrative appointments will be announced to the Board of Visitors in this section, and no others:

        APPOINTMENTS
        Deans
        Vice Provosts
        University Architect
        University Building Official
        Chief Audit Executive
        President’s Chief of Staff

      2. 2. Technically, these actions do not require board approval but are taken as a courtesy.
    2. Data Entry
      1. If the employee in question is also faculty, which is often the case, the Formal Faculty Title field must remain as their professorial title. Key this election in the Administrative Appointment Field, along with the term.
    3. Review
      1. Verify the title and term dates.
      2. Communicate with the Faculty Actions Specialist regarding any pending tenure decision or other details including secondary appointments.
  8. Emeritus Appointments

    1. Process
      1. Emeritus status is an honor; meeting the criteria in the policy doesn’t automatically qualify a faculty member for emeritus status. The faculty member must be recommended by his or her department and school.
      2. Any faculty meeting the criteria for emeritus should be presented to your dean to decide if the school would like to award it. Your dean should then request approval from the EVPP.
      3. Base criteria for an emeritus appointment
        • tenured associate or full professors retiring after at least ten years of service;
        • chair holders retiring with five years of continuous service; (the named professorship will become the emeritus title)
        • former tenured associate or full professors who have previously retired after ten years service for whom emeritus is now requested
        • (non-tenured) general academic faculty who hold associate or full professorial rank who are retiring after at least ten years of service (this is not typically requested so would be exceptional)
        • Academic deans with at least 10 years of service as dean (will take as Dean Emeritus)
      4. If a tenured associate or full professors retiring after at least ten years of service who you do NOT wish to be nominated for emeritus, notify the EVPP as well as the faculty actions specialist.
    2. Data Entry
      1. Faculty receiving emeritus appointments are not terminated. An unpaid assignment is created for the emeritus appointment.
      2. The effective date of the emeritus assignment is the day after retirement; typically this is the 25th of the month.
    3. Review
      1. Emeritus appointments should appear on the same docket as the faculty’s retirement action.
  9. Deaths

    1. The Board acknowledges in the faculty personnel actions and subsequent minutes when a former professorial faculty member has passed away who was currently employed or employed upon retirement. Letters of condolence are then sent to the next of kin.
    2. Email the faculty actions specialist if you become aware of the passing of a faculty member from your school.
    3. You may be asked for assistance providing contact information for next of kin.
  10. General Conventions for all Actions

    1. “Dr.” is used as a prefix only when a faculty member has an M.D.
    2. Middle names are always abbreviated to an initial
    3. [t] is used to precede all actions pertaining to tenured faculty