Personnel Policies and Procedures for Members of the Supportive Professional Staff

Original Policy Source APPM Section 2. Item 15.
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 09-07-1996
Last Review Date 01-30-2013
Policy Category/Categories Faculty & Academics
  1. Preamble
    In accordance with the governing policy for Northern Illinois University and the regulations of the Board of Trustees, Supportive Professional Staff are those administrative and professional employees on appointment as faculty, exempt from Civil Service, without academic rank. Such policies and procedures are developed in accord with University and Board Policies (see Section II: Faculty and Administrative Employees). These Personnel Policies and Procedures are applicable to all supportive professional staff as herein defined, employed at Northern Illinois University; however, internal units may develop personnel practices for their respective operations as long as such practices are not contradictory to these Personnel Policies and Procedures.

    Retaliation against any individual(s) utilizing these procedures or providing information under these procedures is strictly prohibited. Reports of violations of this policy shall be directed to the Vice President of Administration and violators will be subjected to disciplinary action.
  2. Definitions 
    Supportive Professional Staff (SPS) -- For the purposes of these policies and procedures, this term is defined to include all faculty, administrators, and professional staff whose primary responsibilities are administrative or academic professional support who are exempt from Civil Service as approved by the State Universities Civil Service System, and who are under appointment by the Board of Trustees without academic rank. 

    Internal Units -- departments, colleges, divisions, or like bodies as determined by the current organization chart(s) within which SPS have reporting responsibilities. 

    Administration -- administrators of departments, colleges, divisions or like internal units, including Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs.
  3. Appointments 
    Appointments to SPS positions shall be in accord with appropriate and applicable provisions of University and Board Policies (see Section II: Faculty and Administrative Employee).
  4. Personnel Reviews and Performance Appraisals/Evaluations 
    In accordance with University Policy, each internal unit shall develop and implement written annual evaluation procedures, consistent with university-wide protocols, designed to assist the unit and SPS member in strengthening performance. For additional information, see Section II. Item 10, Performance Appraisal Procedures for Supportive Professional Staff.
  5. Conditions of Employment and Benefits 
    Members of the SPS are employed in accordance with, and are subject to, applicable "Conditions of Employment" referred to in University and Board Policies (see Section II, Subsection B). Members of the SPS are entitled to those "Benefits" outlined in University and Board Policies (see Section II, Subsection D).
  6. Notification of Termination or Nonrenewal of Contract
    Appointments to SPS positions shall be for a specified term as provided for in University and Board policies. Currently all SPS are provided with the following notice of non-reappointment except (a) for members of the President's staff, all of whom serve at the pleasure of the President and (b) SPS filling positions in any intercollegiate athletic program or (c) other staff whose primary functions are fundraising or (d) employees whose positions are fully funded and contingent upon grants and/or contracts.  See other university policies for SPS positions wherein specific contractual terms waive these notice requirements, Section II. Subsection A, 10.b.
Length of Consecutive Full-Time Service with the University at Time of Notification (in years of appointment completed) Minimum Notice of Non-Reappointment
1 year or less 4 months with the provision that termination not occur before the end of the current contract period, except for cause.
More than 1 year and less than
3 years
6 months with the provision that termination not occur before the end of the current contract period, except for cause.
3 years or more 12 months from the date of notice except for cause.
Temporary Temporary appointments carry no implication of renewal or need for notice, but termination should not occur before the end of the current contract period, if any, except for cause.

Every appointment shall be made in accordance with the applicable provisions of University and Board Policies (see Section II: Faculty and Administrative Employees).

Notices of contract nonrenewal must be in writing and coordinated with Human Resource Services. A copy of the notice shall be served on the individual by certified mail addressed to the last known address, or by personally delivering the notice to the individual.  In terminations for cause, the department is responsible for justifying the cause for nonrenewal.

  1. Grievances
    The grievance procedures provide the opportunity for a staff member to seek resolution of allegations of unfair treatment in the workplace by other members of the University faculty or staff. Grievances may include good-faith claims of (a) sexual harassment or discrimination, including excessive impact unrelated to professional qualifications, of the actions or inaction of others (University Affirmative Action policies and procedures may also be invoked); (b) appeal of reprimands or other records placed in an employee’s personnel file; (c) appeal of disciplinary actions including dismissal for cause of SPS employees (Civil Service employees refer to specific procedures for Operating Staff); or (d) arbitrary, capricious, or oppressive treatment pertaining to the application of benefits, terms and conditions of employment (including the creation of a hostile work environment within the employment context), personnel reviews, and performance evaluations. Grievance procedures for Supportive Professional Staff are found in Article 11 of the University Bylaws.
  2. Affirmative Action: Charges/Appeals
    In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and order pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    For more information regarding the Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy and Compliant Procedures, please visit the Human Resource Services website.


Should the university wish to amend or change any portion of these Policies and Procedures, the SPS Council shall be given the opportunity to meet and consult to discuss the proposed amendments or changes. The SPS Council may, at any time, propose amendments or changes to this document. Nothing herein shall prevent the university from amending or changing this document when required by enactment of state or federal law or regulation, or change in Board/University policy. Any amendments or changes to this document shall be communicated, as soon as practical, to the members of the Supportive Professional Staff.

Approved by Executive Cabinet, September 7, 1996.
Revised by the University Council, January 30, 2013.

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