Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


Chapter IV: Faculty Personnel Rules and Procedures of UW-River Falls

4.1 Personnel Definitions - Faculty Personnel Rules

4.1.1 Academic Unit

The academic unit may be the department in which a faculty member serves, a College or division within a College, or an administratively designated unit which does not have departmental status. The designation of the academic unit should be made at the time of an individual's appointment and should not be changed to handle particular cases pending.

4.1.1.1 Augmented Departments for Personnel Decisions

Any department with fewer than three tenured members shall be augmented with additional members who shall participate in personnel decisions.

Specific personnel actions covered by this rule include, but are not limited to, search and screen, appointment, and reviewing for retention, promotion, and tenure. The number of faculty needed to augment the department shall be determined on a case-by-case basis. Each case shall be reviewed by the Dean and the department. Their deliberations should include such factors as the number of tenure lines and other positions to be filled, department history, and any other relevant programmatic and personnel factors.

Faculty selected to augment the department shall be tenured faculty in other UWRF departments. They shall be selected by the Dean of the College in which the department is located. The criteria for selection shall be 1) preparation in a cognate field or interdisciplinary training in the discipline of the department; and/or 2) expertise in personnel processes. The department to be augmented shall nominate up to two candidates for each position to be filled. The Dean shall consider these nominees in making the final decision but is not obligated to include departmental nominees among faculty selected to augment the department. The Dean's recommendations shall be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Applicants who are interviewed for a position shall be notified that the department has been augmented for personnel purposes. They shall also be apprised of the qualifications of the members who are augmenting the department and of the rules by which the augmented department operates. Whenever possible, the augmented department shall function from the beginning of the personnel process for a given position until the faculty member it hires for that position is nonretained, resigns, or is tenured.

In other cases, departments may be augmented if, in the best judgment of the appropriate academic Dean, it is in the best interests of the department and the University to do so.

4.1.2 Academic Unit Head

When an academic unit is identical to a department, College, or other existing administrative unit of the University, the academic unit head is the respective department chair, Dean, or other existing administrator. When an academic unit is specially created, the academic unit head is the person so designated by those responsible for designating the academic unit.

4.1.3 Faculty Appointment

Faculty appointments are agreements between the individual faculty member and the University providing for the employment of the faculty member in either a probationary or tenured position. Faculty appointments carry the following titles: professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor.

4.1.4 Probationary Appointment

A probationary appointment is an appointment by the Board made upon the affirmative recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and the Chancellor of the University and held by a faculty member during the period which may precede a decision on a tenure appointment.

4.1.5 Tenure Appointment

A tenure appointment is an appointment for an unlimited period granted to a ranked faculty member by the Board. Ordinarily, such appointments are made upon the affirmative recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and the Chancellor of the University via the President of the System. If the academic unit denies tenure and a review reveals that the denial was based on impermissible factors, a tenure appointment may be made on the affirmative recommendations of a properly constituted tenure review committee and of the Chancellor.

4.1.6 Faculty

"Faculty" means persons who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor in an academic unit of the University. The appointment of a member of the academic staff may be converted to a faculty appointment in accordance with UWS 3.01(1)(c).documentlink

4.1.7 Academic Staff

"Academic Staff" means professional and administrative personnel, other than faculty and classified staff, with duties and types of appointments that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration.

4.1.8 Dean

In these rules, the term "Dean" refers to a Dean or his or her functional equivalent.

4.1.9 Chancellor

The Board of Regents selects the Chancellor. The practice has been for the faculty to elect a committee to assist the Board. The committee has made recommendations on the basis of the candidates' papers, consulted with the Board, participated in interviews of applicants, and recommended the preferred candidates to the Board.

4.1.10 Vice Chancellors and Deans

Vacancies at Vice Chancellor and Dean levels requiring search and screen procedures will be reported to System Administration and Regents when they occur, thereby permitting Regents to identify those positions for which they want a Regent Committee to work with the Chancellor in reviewing the final list of candidates.

4.1.11 Tenuring of Administrators

Administrative candidates who may be offered tenure at the time of their hiring shall meet with the department in which they seek tenure during the campus interview process. In cases where the candidate might be considered for tenure in more than one department, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and/or Chancellor shall identify, in consultation with the candidate, which department shall first consider the candidate for tenure.

To implement this policy, the Chancellor informs the identified departments in writing that one, or more, of the candidates invited for campus interviews might potentially be tenured into their department. The Chancellor also provides the department(s) with the following written information: a) the curriculum vitae of the candidate(s), b) a copy of the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook criteria on awarding tenure, c) a copy of the criteria for considering tenure within the respective department, and d) information about the potential impact of this hire on existing and future tenure-track positions in the department.

During the campus interview, the candidates meet with members of the identified department. Following that meeting, the tenured members of the department discuss the merits of the candidate relevant to the tenure criteria and forward a recommendation to the Chancellor. Prior to the administrator returning to the department, the Chancellor and/or Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall meet with the department chair to consider the appropriate assignment of responsibilities.

4.1.12 Middle Management

Written announcements of open positions in middle management (executive/ administrative managerial positions titled Associate, Assistant, Assistant to, etc.) are to be made to the entire campus community with qualifications, duties, and salary range stated, and applications and nominations invited.

Applicants and nominees should have the opportunity to support their candidacies with a résumé, interview, and/or other materials. Administrators and search and screen committees should be alerted to and encouraged to consider non-traditional career patterns as potentially relevant for administrative positions.

The judgment of the final selecting (hiring) authority should be based on the broadest pool of talent (candidates) and the fullest information possible.

4.1.13 Department Chair

4.1.13.1 Term

The department chair shall be appointed for a period of three years, beginning July 1 of the year in which the appointment is made. The appointment is renewable.

4.1.13.2 Selection Process

The Dean of the College concerned shall initiate the selection process for department chair. Recommendations for department chairs will be made to the Dean by eligible members of the department by secret ballot through the campus mail. On request, individual faculty members may examine the total vote in consultation with the Dean.

4.1.13.3 Timeline for Chair Selection

The Dean of the College shall initiate the selection for department chair by notifying the appropriate departments by November 1 Departments must return their recommendation to the Dean by December 15 New chairs must be notified of their appointment by February 1.

4.1.13.4 Eligibility to Vote

All those full-time members of the department who are in at least their fourth semester of continuous service (not counting the summer session) and who have not received a letter of nonrenewal are eligible to vote.

4.1.13.5 Nomination Procedure

In departments of ten or more members, nominees for the position of department chair shall consist of the top three candidates; in departments of five to ten members, the nominees shall consist of the top two candidates.

To be considered for the position, a nominee must have at least 30% (thirty percent) of the total votes cast. If no person receives 30% of the votes, the Dean will report the results of the balloting to the department and instruct the members to cast another ballot. If the second ballot is inconclusive, the Dean will select the department chair. If 30% of the department wishes the establishment of a search and screen committee, then such a vote is a recommendation to the Dean and such a committee shall be established from the voting members of the department. In departments with fewer than five members, or in cases where elections are not feasible, the Dean shall make recommendation in consultation with the members of the department, when possible.

4.1.13.6 Dean's Recommendation

The Dean makes recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who in turn makes recommendation to the Chancellor for final approval and appointment.

4.1.13.7 Acting Chair Appointments

When a department chair is not on summer session staff or is absent for one semester during the academic year, the Dean, in consultation with the department chair and members of the department, will appoint an acting chair. When a department chair will be absent for more than one semester during the academic year, the Dean may either appoint an acting chair in consultation with the department chair and members of the department or initiate procedures for the selection of a new chair as outlined above.

4.1.14 New Appointment

The initiation of a new appointment is usually by the head of the department and/or members of that department. New appointments must be approved by the Dean of the College or unit head, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor. It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to provide equal opportunity for all persons. Any special agreements between a faculty member and the University pertaining to the conditions of employment or performance expectations must be made in writing and be approved by the department or departmentally approved procedure, the Dean of the College, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor, or they will have no force in subsequent personnel decisions.

4.1.15 Academic Year Appointment

An academic year appointment extends for the nine-month academic year specified in the calendar approved by the Board of Regents and should ordinarily begin no earlier than one week before the first day of scheduled campus registration for the fall term and should end no later than one week after the last day of scheduled classes. The institution may contract with the faculty member for distribution of the equivalent of an academic year of service over the twelve-month calendar year; but, in any event, the contractual academic year shall consist of not fewer than thirty-nine contiguous weeks.

4.1.16 Annual Appointment

An annual appointment extends for a period of twelve months and normally begins on July 1. Faculty members on annual appointment shall accrue vacation pay at the rate of 22 working days per year.

4.1.17 Summer Session Appointment

See 5.1.1.4 and UWRF Policy Paper #43.

4.1.18 J-term Appointment

See 5.1.1.3 and UWRF Policy Paper #43.