Provost's Office Guidelines for Justification for Filling Faculty Positions

Original Policy Source APPM Section II Item 29
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 03-26-2002
Policy Category/Categories Faculty & Academics

Step 1: College Appeal for Position

Faculty positions funded from general revenue operating dollars become available in one of two ways. In the first instance, an existing position is vacated. For example:

  • The vacancy is created by faculty resignation, retirement, death, or termination.
  • A temporary faculty appointment ends.
  • A faculty member transfers to an administrative position or is reassigned to another position.

Second, new faculty positions are authorized and funded, usually when new monies become available or through reallocation.

The essential first step is for the department/unit to request from the college dean or division director permission to fill a vacant position. If permission is granted, the terms of the appointment must be clearly understood, including: regular (tenure-track) or temporary, full-time or part-time, rank/title, and an agreed upon "upper limit" for the salary figure, although the actual salary is not fixed at this point.

Step II: Filing of the Positon Request Form (PRF)

A departmental search committee may now be formed to conduct business in accordance with the Guidelines for Faculty Searches and Appointments (Section II. Item 27).

"The Position Request Form (PRF) should be filled out carefully and completely." The PRF should be signed by the chair/director and the dean and should clearly provide all the requested information, including: the position number if seeking to refill an existing position, position budget amount, funding distribution information, and attributes of the position.

Accompanying this form should also be proposed position description and ad copy and, for all full-time regular hires, a position justification in the form of a written narrative that contains information pertaining to the items outlined on the following pages. The provost will not review the PRF without having all of this information.

Deadlines for placing ads, and/or plans to attend a conference for recruitment purposes, should be a factor in planning timely submission to the Provost's Office.

Position Justification Information (Provost's Questions)

  1. Position Description and Priority
    • Review of the importance of this position to the mission of the department/college and its programmatic goals and priorities for the next three years. This summary should minimally indicate:
      1. The substantive area of the discipline that will be covered by the position. If this area is different from the area which had been covered by the previous faculty member, please explain why the department is looking to strengthen another area or to develop a new area of expertise.
      2. The expected teaching load of the new faculty member.
      3. An explanation of the importance of this expertise to the department's curricula. If the faculty member contributes to a particular emphasis or specialization, how many faculty currently staff each area.
      4. The relationship of this position and expertise to existing departmental/collegial curricular, service and research strengths/weaknesses.
      5. The demand for individuals with this expertise.
      6. The relative priority of this position to other present positions in the department/college. In other words, if the department had to rank its current faculty positions, where would this one fall: essential, desirable, or deferrable, and why? [Please Note: Not all positions can fall in the upper half of the department/unit priorities.]
  2. Activities of Faculty Member Vacating the Position
    • Briefly indicate the load and the typical courses taught for the last three academic years, including summer, by the previous faculty member, and indicate how (or if) the department will continue to cover these courses.
    • List the numbers of completed and in progress theses/dissertations/independent studies supervised during the last three years, and how the department will cover this load until the new faculty member is able to take on such responsibilities.
    • List other service activities/duties or professional obligations performed during the last three years.
  3. Resources
    • Recommended salary and rank for the new position. Replacement faculty will be authorized at the assistant professor level unless specific approval has been received from the Provost for recruitment at a higher rank. If the recommended rank and/or salary is above the assistant professor level, explanation and justification must be provided.
    • It is assumed that all start-up costs associated with a hire in this area (e.g., equipment, travel, commodities/contractual funds; alterations in teaching load, assignment of graduate assistants; etc.) and all space needs associated with a hire in this area (e.g., laboratory, field access, renovations, etc.) will be covered and/or provided by the department's existing resources and/or by pre-approved arrangements between the department and college. If this is not the case, then:
      • Indicate anticipated start-up costs that result in the need for resources beyond those able to be covered and/or provided by the department's existing resources and/or through pre-approved arrangement with the college.
      • Indicate anticipated space needs, including renovations, beyond those available and able to be accommodated within the department's existing space and/or through pre-approved arrangements with the college.
    • Indicate the source of the resources required. If the salary is above that for an assistant professor and/or above that of the previous incumbent, indicate the source of the additional funds. Also indicate the source of anticipated start-up costs or space needs beyond those able to be covered and/or provided by the department's existing resources and/or by pre-approved arrangements between the department and college.

The PRF and above mentioned materials should be transmitted to the appropriate college dean or division director for review and signature, then forwarded to the Provost's Office where they will be reviewed in order to assure that programmatic, budgetary, space, personnel and other planning implications of the request are fully addressed. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which replacement or movement of tenure-track faculty positions will contribute to the goals and priorities of the department and college as specified in planning documents, the university's priorities and stated goals which the university must address.

The Provost's Office will either sign the PRF and forward it to Contracts, Records and Reports, or contact the appropriate dean or director for further amplification. Contracts, Records and Reports will process the PRF and distribute copies immediately. The Office of Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance (AAEC) will receive its copy along with a copy of the ad. AAEC will review the ad copy and contact the department/unit to convey that the ad copy is either approved or that some changes are needed. Ads are placed either by AAEC or the unit or both. No ads can be placed without the AAEC approval. Ad costs should be considered carefully, as these are often covered by the department or hiring unit.

Step III: The Search, Affirmative Action Part I

Policies covering the conduct of the search and the completion of the Affirmative Action Part I are given in the Guidelines for Faculty Searches and AppointmentsThe Affirmative Action Part I, with the appropriate signatures, should be sent directly to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance.

Step IV: Hiring, Affirmative Action Part II and PAF

After interviews are completed and a candidate is selected in accordance with the Guidelines for Faculty Searches and Appointments the department/unit should complete both the Affirmative Action Part II  and Personnel Action Form (PAF). Both the Affirmative Action Part II and PAF, with all appropriate signatures and attachments, should be sent directly to the Provost's Office. Once the PAF is signed by the Provost's Office, both the PAF and Affirmative Action Part II will be forwarded to AAEC.

Approved by Executive Vice President and Provost, March 26, 2002


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