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Tenure split FAQ

Where does tenure reside?

  • Tenure resides in the appointing academic unit. For departmentalized schools/colleges, tenure resides in the department. For non-departmentalized schools/colleges, tenure resides at the school/college level.

Can a tenured/tenure eligible faculty member have tenure (eligibility) in more than two units?

  • No – tenure (eligibility) is permitted in one or two appointments. Additional joint appointments would carry no tenure (eligibility).
Primary Appt Tenure % 1st Joint Appt Tenure % 2nd Joint Appt Tenure %
100% 0% 0%
67% 33% 0%
50% 50% 0%
50% – 99% 0% 0%

Can a faculty member have split tenure and an A/B arrangement?

  • No – if a faculty member has an A/B arrangement all of their tenure (“A” portion of their salary) must be in their primary unit. Joint appointments would have no tenure.

Is a joint appointment required to include a tenure (eligibility) commitment?

  • No – only the primary tenure/tenure track appointment must have a tenure (eligibility) commitment of at least 50 percent.

Can a faculty member be paid from a secondary unit’s budget if the faculty member doesn’t have tenure (eligibility) in that unit?

  • Yes – a faculty member can be paid from a secondary unit’s budget regardless of their tenure (eligibility) in that unit.

If a faculty member can be paid from another unit’s budget without holding tenure (eligibility) in that unit, why would the faculty member want to have a joint appointment?

  • A joint appointment formally recognizes a faculty member’s long-term commitment to, and participation in, two or more units. Even if no tenure (eligibility) is held in a joint appointment, the unit may confer voting rights to the faculty member so that they can participate in shared governance in the joint unit.

If a faculty member can be paid from another unit’s budget without holding tenure (eligibility) in that unit, why would they want to have tenure (eligibility) attached to a joint appointment?

  • Tenure  guarantees funding from the unit.  This guarantee may be viewed as an important acknowledgment of the value the unit attaches to the faculty member’s relationship with the unit. It may also be viewed as an indication of status within a unit.

Beyond the funding guarantee, of what significance is the percentage of tenure in a unit?

  • The percent of tenure a faculty member has may impact their eligibility for some programs, such as paid professional leave (sabbatical), guaranteed re-employment after retirement, and VRI (if it is being offered).

Why would a unit want to include a tenure (eligibility) commitment with a joint appointment?

  • These are case by case determinations that may be influenced by factors such as the primary and secondary appointing units’ ability to make a “life-time” appointment commitment and the nature of the relationship and associated responsibilities the faculty member will have with each appointing unit.

Which appointment should be primary?

  • If tenure (eligibility) is split between a 9-month appointing unit and a 12-month appointing unit, the appointment in the 9 month appointing unit must be primary.
  • If both units have the same appointing period, whichever appointment has the greater amount of tenure (eligibility) must be primary. In the case of a 50/50 split in two units with the same appointing period, the units and faculty member would need to work together to determine which appointment should be primary.
  • In the case of a tenure (eligibility) reallocation, the primary appointment will generally remain unchanged unless there is a split between appointing periods (i.e., 9 month appointing unit must be primary).

What happens if the primary appointment discontinues?

  • In the case of a 50/50 tenure (eligibility) split, the secondary appointment would become the primary appointment.  In the case of a 67/33 or 100/0 tenure (eligibility) split, the secondary appointment would end unless the secondary appointing unit offered an appointment with at least 50 percent tenure (eligibility).

What paperwork is needed to establish or make changes to a faculty member’s joint tenure (eligibility)?

When a joint appointment is being created, include the following documents:

In the case of an existing joint appointment relationship where the secondary unit will become the primary unit, include the following documents:

Is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) required?

  • Best practice is to have an MOU and include it with the other documentation so that it is part of the personnel file.

 Does the faculty member’s voting status in the joint unit need to be determined?

  • Yes – some actions require a faculty vote so it must be clear which faculty members are eligible to vote. The faculty member’s voting status should be determined when a joint appointment is established.

 Can a faculty member’s voting status in the joint unit be changed?

  • Yes – if a faculty member has voting privileges in their joint unit and they decide they do not want to vote in that unit, they can write a letter to the chair/director or dean/chancellor to resign their voting privileges. If a faculty member does not have voting privileges, the faculty could vote to grant voting privileges.
  • If the faculty member’s voting status changes, documentation must be sent to AHR to be included in the personnel file.

Are any extra documents needed when a faculty member with joint tenure (eligible) appointments goes up for promotion/award of tenure?

The following documentation should be included in the promotion/tenure materials, even if the tenure allocation will not change:

What is the joint unit’s role in the promotion/tenure process?

  • The voting faculty in the joint unit vote on the promotion/tenure recommendation. The dean/chancellor of the secondary unit submits a letter that includes the recommendation of the faculty (including: for, against, abstaining, absent, and total number of eligible voters) and department chair (where applicable), the advice from the college/school/campus advisory group, and the dean’s recommendation. If there are student or peer teaching evaluations from the secondary unit, copies should be provided to the dean/chancellor of the primary unit for inclusion in the promotion/tenure materials. The primary and secondary unit should coordinate their efforts in the review process.