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Policy 2101
Faculty Hiring Procedures

Date of Current Revision: November 2003
Responsible Officer: Academic Affairs Secondary Responsible Office(s): Affirmative Action, Human Resources

1. PURPOSE

This policy has been developed in accordance with state and federal law to provide uniformity in the hiring process for faculty members. Compliance is required for all faculty hires, unless otherwise specified herein.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has the authority to make all rules and regulations concerning the employment of individuals to work for the university. Where the board has not enacted rules, the authority is delegated to the President.

3. APPLICABILITY

This policy relates to the hiring of all faculty members, including Instructional Faculty as well as Administrative and Professional (A&P) faculty. This policy applies to all faculty appointments, including full-time and part-time appointments; adjunct and visiting appointments; tenured, tenure-track, renewable term, and untenured appointments; academic year, calendar year, fixed term appointments and interim appointments. (However, please note that the procedures detailed in this policy for a full search are not required for part-time appointments, interim appointments or full-time appointments of less than one year - such as visiting faculty, faculty on short-term contracts or temporary replacements for faculty on leave.)

4. DEFINITIONS

Administrative & Professional Faculty (A&P faculty)
Administrative faculty and professional faculty are normally referred to collectively, as both require advanced learning acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized training and work experience. However, the university recognizes administrative faculty and professional faculty as distinct position types.

Administrative Faculty positions are generally senior administrators who perform work related to the management of the educational and general activities of the university, for at least fifty percent of their work. Typically, administrative faculty serve in executive leadership roles such as vice president, provost, vice provost, dean, assistant or associate vice president, assistant or associate vice provost, or assistant or associate dean. Other administrative faculty roles can include (1) those responsible for the administrative direction of separately designated divisions or departments of institutional activity; (2) positions whose primary responsibility is to attract external funds; or (3) positions that are characterized by active, continuing involvement in formulating, interpreting and implementing institutional policy and exercise substantial independence, authority and discretion in areas such as program planning, design and allocation of resources. The organizational reporting relationship for administrative faculty is normally not lower than three levels below Executive Council positions. For Academic Affairs, this would include: Vice Provost/Dean (level 1), Academic Unit Head/Director (level 2) and Associate Director (level 3).

Professional Faculty require advanced learning and experience acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized work experience. Typical professional faculty positions are librarians, counselors, coaches, physicians, lawyers, engineers and architects. Other professional positions may support education, research, University Life and other such activities. Professional faculty positions must require the incumbent to regularly exercise professional discretion and judgment and to produce work that is intellectual and varied and is not standardized.

Appointment:
The establishment of a contractual relationship, even if on an at-will basis or for a limited time, between a faculty member and the university.

Documentation:
The required appropriate forms, transcripts, certificates, etc for acceptance of an offer, either mentioned explicitly in this policy or otherwise required by the Office of Affirmative Action.

Offer:
The official communication to the faculty candidate from the appropriate university official notifying the candidate that the position is presented for acceptance.

Instructional Faculty:
Sometimes referred to as 'Teaching and Research Faculty" this is a faculty member whose primary responsibility is teaching, research and service. Instructional Faculty also have specific guidelines for employment set forth in the University Faculty Handbook.

5. POLICY

The process of hiring faculty members at James Madison University, from search through hiring, is guided by a specific set of guidelines and procedures that must be followed to ensure fairness, accountability and the continuing presence of an outstanding teaching faculty. Faculty appointments are subject to approval by the Board of Visitors.

5.1 Searches:

  • The Office of Affirmative Action's Faculty Recruitment Handbook shall guide all faculty searches conducted at the university. In general, the procedures call for the establishment of a representative search committee once approval to recruit for the position has been granted; development of a tailored, aggressive search strategy, which usually includes national advertising in appropriate publications in the discipline; personal contacts with colleagues; follow up with colleagues and doctoral students listed in relevant directories; and other targeted efforts to identify a strong pool of candidates. Additional guidance on the conduct of the search and interview process is provided in the Faculty Recruitment Handbook.
  • Additional policies on searches and appointments are found in Policies 1301, 1302, 1326, and 1335.
  • The hiring department may also choose to require certain documentation - such as official transcripts - as part of the application process.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Offers:

Once a candidate has been identified as the person who will receive an offer, the appropriate university official will contact the candidate to make the offer. The offer is subject to approval by the next level of supervision before the offer is extended.

Official Transcripts & Other Hiring Documentation

1. At the time of the offer, the appropriate university official will inform the successful candidate of the documentation necessary to accept the offer. Unless and until the candidate provides appropriate documentation that is satisfactory to the university, the offer may be withdrawn by the university.

2. For all Instructional Faculty and for Administrative & Professional Faculty who will be teaching a for-credit course or for whom it is likely that teaching will be part of future job responsibilities, documentation will consist, at a minimum, of the following items:

  • The official transcript of the highest degree attained. If that degree is not directly related to the teaching assignment, an official transcript of the degree that is relevant to the teaching assignment must also be submitted. When the degree(s) represented by the official transcript(s) is/are not directly related to the employee's teaching assignment, the hiring department must also submit written justification for the hiring. A justification form is available for this purpose. This justification will explain the employee's qualifications for the particular teaching assignment in the absence of a terminal or appropriate degree in a related subject.
  • Degrees from foreign institutions must be submitted by the candidate to a service provider acceptable to the university for authentication and equivalency assessment, and the report must be accepted by the university before the documentation is complete.
  • Proof of authorization to work in the United States, as provided by the immigration laws of the United States. Without exception and by law, this proof must be provided by completing a Federal I-9 form - no later than three days after the start of work.
  • The Virginia State Job Application along with the JMU Addendum (available through Human Resources)

3. In addition to the documentation provided by the candidate, the hiring department will be responsible for any additional documentation required by the Office of Affirmative Action and the full completion of a PAR form.

4. For all Administrative & Professional Faculty who will not be teaching a class, documentation will consist, at a minimum, of the following items:

  • Proof of authorization to work in the United States, as provided by the immigration laws of the United States. Without exception and by law, this proof must be provided by completing a Federal I-9 form - no later than three days after the start of work.
  • The Virginia State Job Application along with the JMU Addendum (available through Human Resources).
  • In addition to the documentation provided by the candidate, the hiring department will be responsible for any additional documentation required by the Office of Affirmative Action and the full completion of a PAR form to represent the third mandatory hiring document.

5. Failure by the successful candidate to provide the appropriate documentation may result in the withdrawal of the offer, even if the candidate has attempted to formally accept the offer

6. When a candidate does not fulfill the official transcript documentation requirements for a position that is accepted less than 60 days prior to the start of the employee's first teaching semester, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may choose to honor the offer for no more than sixty days, with continuation of employment contingent on the candidate's successful completion of all official transcript documentation requirements.

To hire a faculty member without appropriate official transcript documentation (for whatever reason), hiring officials must complete the Emergency Hire Form (Addendum 1) in order to request this option. If the university does not receive the appropriate official transcript(s) within sixty days of the start of the semester, the faculty member will be terminated. A faculty member terminated under such conditions will not be eligible for further employment. This Emergency Hire Form option is not available to employees who accept a position more than 60 days prior to the start of their first teaching semester.

7. Hiring officials may not waive the timely presentation of the immigration documentation or the official transcript.

8. No faculty member will be hired unless and until all documentation is received or an Emergency Hire Form is approved.

9. In the event that the candidate is hired in anticipation of, but prior to having fulfilled all requirements for a particular degree, such as a Ph.D., the candidate should provide the official transcript of the highest degree attained to date and has a duty to provide the official transcript of the pending degree within 15 working days after it is awarded. Failure to provide the official transcript of the degree may result in termination or non-renewal.

10. When the official transcript is coming from a foreign institution, the following time frames apply:

When a candidate whose degree is from a foreign institution does not fulfill the official transcript documentation requirements for a position that is accepted less than 180 days prior to the start of the employee's first teaching semester, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may choose to honor the offer for no more than 180 days, with continuation of employment contingent on the candidate's successful completion of all official transcript documentation requirements. To hire a faculty member without appropriate official transcript documentation (for whatever reason), hiring officials must complete the Emergency Hire Form in order to request this option. If the university does not receive the appropriate official, translated foreign transcript(s) within 180 days of the start of the semester, the faculty member will be terminated. A faculty member terminated under such conditions will not be eligible for further employment.

6.2 Appointments and Contracts:

Faculty appointments are official when a signed contract is issued by the president and accepted by the appointee and returned to the university with the faculty member's signature, or for an at-will faculty member, when the faculty member begins work in the position. For details see the Faculty Handbook.

The contract procedure shall be as follows:

  • When the hiring department decides to initiate the hiring of a faculty member, it will generate a PAR Form and send it to Human Resources.
  • If the hiring department generates its own contracts, it will attach a copy of the contract to the PAR Form, ensuring that the appropriate data on both the contract and PAR form are correct and identical. (All academic departments will generate their own contracts.)
  • If the hiring department does not generate its own contracts, Human Resources will do so and send it to the hiring department after receiving the PAR.
  • After the dean or AVP and the vice president (or his or her designee) sign the contract, the hiring department will send it to the president's office.
  • After the president signs the contract it will be returned to the hiring department, which will send the contract to the candidate for signature.
  • Once the hiring department receives the returned, signed contract, it will keep a copy for its records and send the original to Human Resources within three working days.

Contract Templates
The university has created a series of contract templates for the varying categories and types of faculty contracts. Hiring supervisors must use one of these templates exactly as it is configured. If a hiring supervisor desires to alter one of the templates in any way for any particular candidate, it must have the vice president's prior approval to do so. Contract templates are available through the Human Resources website.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Deans, department heads, search committee chairs and hiring supervisors are responsible for knowing and understanding this policy and following it carefully through the search and hiring process. They are also responsible for ensuring that accurate documentation accompanies the hiring of every faculty member.

Where the official transcript of the highest degree attained does not match the faculty member's teaching assignment, the hiring department is responsible for submitting a 'statement of justification' to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee's file.

When hiring a candidate who has completed all coursework for a doctoral degree except for the completion of the dissertation, the search committee chair, dean, or hiring supervisor is responsible for receiving the official transcript of the highest degree attained at the time of the offer in addition to ensuring that the official transcript of the doctoral degree is received in Human Resources within 15 days after the candidate is awarded the degree.

When the official transcript of an employee being offered a position is not submitted, the search committee chair or hiring supervisor is responsible for completing an 'Emergency Hire Form' and submitting it to Human Resources.

The hiring department is responsible for the management of the contract process, including sending the signed original to Human Resources at the end of the contract process.

Human Resources is responsible for creating contracts where appropriate and for placement of received contracts into the appropriate employee's personnel file.

8. SANCTIONS

Persons who do not comply with this policy are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

9. EXCLUSIONS

For the specific hiring procedures to fill the positions of Academic Unit Head, Associate and Assistant Dean, Dean, Administrative and Professional Faculty members in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the position of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, see the Faculty Handbook, Section III.C.

In some cases, professional licenses or certificates may substitute for official transcripts. By way of an example, a CPA designation or a state license to practice medicine may suffice in lieu of an official transcript because these represent required knowledge and or degree attainment. Final determination on licenses or certificates will be made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

10. INTERPRETATION

While the authority to interpret this policy is granted to the President, it is generally delegated to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Original Version: December 5, 2001
Updated: January, 2002
Approved: November, 2003
Dr. Linwood H. Rose, President

Index of Terms
Contracts
Faculty hiring
Search committees
Transcripts
Searches
Appointments

Appendix
Emergency Hiring Form