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Policy 1335
Terms and Conditions of Employment for Administrative & Professional Faculty

Date of Current Revision: September 2017
Primary Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure uniform procedures for the employment of administrative & professional faculty.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University.  See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600; § 23.1-1301. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE AND/OR REGULATION

This policy is written in accordance with guidelines from the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management and Code of Virginia § 2.2-3202, eligibility for transitional severance benefit.

3. 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 administrators who perform work related to the management of the educational and general activities of the university, for at least fifty percent (50%) of their work. Typically, administrative faculty serve in executive leadership roles such as vice president, provost, dean, assistant or associate vice president or dean, assistant or associate vice provost. 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.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all employees who are designated as administrative or professional faculty, as well as those who supervise them.

5. POLICY

Administrative and professional faculty members are generally appointed on an annual basis by the president on the recommendation of the appropriate vice president. In special circumstances as set out in 6.1.2 of this policy, a contract for two years may be negotiated for an A&P faculty member’s continued employment. Such a contract requires prior approval from the appropriate vice president, after consultation with the other vice presidents.

A&P faculty members are specifically obligated to abide by the policies and procedures of the university. Failure to do so carries with it the possibility of sanctions, up to and including dismissal.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Initial Appointment: A contract for employment of an A&P faculty member may be entered into at any time for a term of up to one year, with the end date of the appointment to be set as June 30 next after the appointment date. As an exception to the one year initial term limit, with the appropriate vice president’s prior approval, if an initial appointment begins no earlier than May 1, the end date may be set as June 30 of the following year. Thereafter the appointment will be on an annual basis from July 1 until June 30. The appointment of an A&P faculty member is generally on a fiscal and not an academic-year basis. 

6.1.1 Reappointment: Reappointment is typically made on an annual basis for a 12-month contractual period and is based on satisfactory performance and the needs of the university. A&P faculty members have no legitimate expectation of continuation of their appointments past the end of the contract term, and reappointment is at the discretion of the university. Reappointments are effective as of July 1 of each year, unless otherwise specified in the terms of the contract (See also Section 9 ‘Exclusions’). The university will notify the faculty member if it is determined the faculty member’s contract will not be renewed. All non-renewals will be processed according to the policies and procedures of JMU (See 6.7 below).

6.1.2 Optional two-year reappointment contract: If it is determined to be in the university’s best interest to enter into a two-year contract with a specific A&P faculty member, such a contract may be established with approval from the appropriate vice president after consultation with the other vice presidents. For faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president will determine whether a two-year contract is appropriate.

6.1.2.1 Criteria for a two-year reappointment contract may include the critical need for the continuation of the faculty member’s employment, demonstrated exceptional service to the institution, or other appropriate justification for the university’s decision to extend the length of the faculty member’s appointment. To be eligible for a two-year contract, the faculty member must have at least 20 years of full-time, continuous service with James Madison University and have an overall history of at least satisfactory performance.

6.1.2.2 It is within the discretion of the university to grant a two-year contract, and no A&P faculty member has a right to demand or entitlement to a two-year contract.

6.1.2.3 If a two-year contract is established, it will automatically renew for additional two year terms, unless the university notifies the faculty member that the contract will not be renewed. All non-renewals will be processed according to the policies and procedures of JMU (See 6.7 below).

6.2 Renewable Term Appointments (RTA): Professional faculty with appropriate credentials and assignments may be appointed to renewable-term appointments rather than A&P appointments, at the discretion of the appropriate vice president. Terms and conditions regarding RTA's are set forth in the Faculty Handbook.

6.3 Performance Evaluation Policy: Monitoring the progress and performance of newly appointed and continuing A&P faculty is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor. A&P faculty are evaluated annually to ensure that assigned duties and responsibilities are being performed in a satisfactory manner and with a high level of professional excellence. Policy 1307 Performance Evaluation of Administrative & Professional Faculty sets forth the procedure for evaluation.

6.4 Salary Increases: Salary increases are typically granted on an annual basis and are based on merit and the availability of funds. Other salary adjustments may be made on a case-by-case basis.

6.5 Reassignment: A&P faculty may be reassigned at any time, based on the needs of the university.  Reassignment is normally approved by the appropriate vice president and may include a salary adjustment as appropriate. For faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president will determine whether reassignment is appropriate.

6.6 Resignation: An A&P faculty member wishing to resign should give notice to his/her immediate supervisor as far in advance as possible. It is expected that at least one month's notice will be given prior to the effective date of resignation.

6.7 Non-Renewal of Employment Contract: Non-renewal of the employment of an A&P faculty member may occur at any time and for any legal reason, as these employees serve in their positions at the pleasure of the university. When an A&P faculty member's contract is not renewed, that person will normally be paid through the end of the contract and also be provided with separation pay as indicated below.

6.7.1 Procedures: Under normal circumstances, the A&P faculty member should be given at least 30 days’ notice before the effective date of his/her nonrenewal. However, at the discretion of the university, this notice may be eliminated and termination may take effect immediately.

6.7.2 The supervisor who determines that an A&P faculty member should not have his/her appointment renewed should send a written recommendation through the administrative line to the appropriate vice president on or before May 1. Each administrator within the administrative line between the supervisor and the vice president should submit a written document either supporting the recommendation or indicating that the recommendation is not supported. All recommendations should be given to the appropriate vice president no later than May 7. The vice president will make the decision on nonrenewal and should inform the employee and all administrators in the administrative line of his/her decision in writing by May 15. Failure to meet any of these dates will not invalidate the decision, as long as the decision is made before the end of the contract term (See also Section 9 ‘Exclusions’). For faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president will determine whether a nonrenewal is appropriate and will inform the employee and all administrators in the administrative line of his/her decision.

6.7.3 Generally, the vice president or a designee should meet with the A&P faculty member to give the written notice of nonrenewal, but when this is either not feasible or inappropriate, the notice may be delivered by any other reasonable method, including mail, email, phone, or hand delivery by a messenger. The failure to meet in person with the employee will not invalidate the decision. When a vice president or his/her designee meets with an employee to inform him/her that his/her contract is not being renewed, specific reasons for the non-renewal should not be discussed so as not to confuse non-renewal with discharge for cause - see section 6.8.

6.7.4 Appeal: The decision of the vice president or president is final and does not qualify for appeal.

6.7.5 Tenured Individuals: Upon receiving notice of nonrenewal of an administrative appointment, an employee who is in an administrative or professional faculty line, but also holds tenure, may opt to return to or be placed in an academic unit for which he/she has appropriate academic credentials on an academic year contract. In such cases, and in addition to the notifications listed above, the appropriate vice president or president will notify the academic unit head, dean, and provost of such nonrenewal. The employee will have 30 days from the date of notification from the vice president or president of nonrenewal to exercise his/her option to return to or be placed in the academic unit identified by the provost. Failure to exercise this option will be deemed a resignation from the tenured position of employment at the university. If the faculty member elects to return to or be placed in the tenured position within the appropriate academic unit, the assignment of duties for the faculty member within the academic unit will be at the discretion of the academic unit head, in consultation with the dean and provost. A tenured faculty member who exercises the option to return to or be placed in the identified appropriate academic unit upon receiving notice of nonrenewal of an administrative appointment will not receive severance pay. The new rate of pay for such a faculty member will normally be 83% of the rate the faculty member had received as an A&P faculty member, unless a different rate is approved by the appropriate vice president or president.

Separation Pay: Non-renewal typically provides employees with separation pay as set forth below:

Years of Service at James Madison University Separation Pay*
less than 2 years 4 weeks separation pay
2 or more years, but less than 3 years 8 weeks separation pay
3 or more years, but less than 4 years 12 weeks separation pay
4 or more years, but less than 5 years 16 weeks separation pay
5 or more years, but less than 6 years 20 weeks separation pay
6 or more years, but less than 7 years 24 weeks separation pay
7 or more years, but less than 8 years 28 weeks separation pay
8 or more years, but less than 9 years 32 weeks separation pay
9 or more years, but less than 10 years 36 weeks separation pay
10 or more years, but less than 11 years 40 weeks separation pay
11 or more years, but less than 12 years 44 weeks separation pay
12 or more years, but less than 15 years 48 weeks separation pay
15 or more years, but less than 20 years 52 weeks separation pay
20 or more years 60 weeks separation pay

*For the calculation, the employee's weekly salary is determined by dividing his/her annual salary by 52. The amount to be paid will be calculated according to the guidelines above. Payments for 9-, 10- and 11-month employee salaries will be calculated based on the same formula for 12-month salaries.

See exclusion regarding separation pay in Section 6.7.8.

Upon leaving state service, A&P faculty with 10 or more years of state service are paid for any unused leave up to 20 days (160 hours).

Years of Service

Maximum Leave Payout Limit

Less than 10 years

No Leave Payout

10 years or more

20 days


Visit the A&P Faculty Leave Frequently Asked Questions webpage for additional details.

6.7.7 For employees who are utilizing the Enhanced Retirement Benefit of State Severance, the maximum weeks of severance will be 36. Administrative and professional faculty are eligible for the provisions of the Workforce Transition Act; see Section 2.2-3202 of the Code of Virginia for the full listing of those eligible.

6.7.8 Employees hired and funded through grants who were hired after July 1, 2017, and employees hired and funded through affiliation agreements with outside entities (regardless of hire date) are not entitled to separation pay under this policy.

6.8 Discharge: A&P faculty may be discharged for cause at any time. Cause shall include any form of misconduct, dishonesty, violation of policy, theft, embezzlement, malfeasance, insubordination, misappropriation/misuse of university funds or property, or inappropriate behavior that adversely affects the administration and operation of the university. Discharge for cause may also include an employee's inability, unwillingness or refusal to perform essential functions of the job, job abandonment, and other appropriate reasons for the university to separate the employee from employment at the university. Discharge for cause does not require advance notification, nor will the employee be eligible to receive separation pay.

6.8.1 Waiver of Procedures: In cases where the employee poses an immediate impediment or threat to the proper administration and operation of the university, the vice president or president may act to discharge the employee immediately, without following the steps indicated below. Following such discharge, the employee will be given an opportunity to appeal the decision to the president. For faculty members discharged by the president, a request for reconsideration will replace the opportunity to appeal. There is no appeal from the president’s final decision.

6.8.2 Procedures: Where immediate discharge is not appropriate, the supervisor who determines that an employee should be discharged for cause should send a written recommendation through the administrative line to the appropriate vice president. Each administrator within the administrative line between the supervisor and the vice president should submit a written document either supporting the recommendation or indicating that the recommendation is not supported. All  recommendations should be given to the appropriate vice president. The vice president will make the decision on discharge. For faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president will determine whether discharge is appropriate.

6.8.3 Meeting with Employee: In normal circumstances, the vice president, president, or his/her designee will meet with the employee in person and inform the employee of the reasons for the decision to discharge the employee. Where such a meeting is not, in the opinion of the vice president or president, reasonable or possible, the failure to meet in person with the employee will not invalidate the decision. The employee will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him/her. If the vice president, president, or his/her designee’s decision does not change after the employee is given the opportunity to respond during this meeting, the vice president, president, or his/her designee will notify the employee and all of the administrators in the administrative line of his/her final decision in writing, specifying the final date of employment.

6.8.4 Appeal: The decision of the vice president or his/her designee may be appealed to the president within five days by presentation of a written letter of appeal, outlining the reasons the employee believes that the discharge should be reversed. On appeal, the president may make his/her decision based on the recommendations and letter of appeal, or may consult with any individuals he/she deems appropriate. The president will determine if the decision of the vice president should be upheld or reversed for the proper administration and operation of the university. The president's decision on the appeal shall be provided to the employee in writing within five days of his/her receipt of the appeal, with copies to the appropriate vice president and the administrators in the administrative line. The decision of the president is final and may not be appealed. For faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president’s decision on discharge may not be appealed, but a written request for reconsideration by the president may be filed within five days, and the president’s decision on the request for reconsideration will be final.

6.8.5 Effect of Appeal: The employee will remain on inactive status and off the payroll during the appeal or reconsideration process. If the president reverses the decision of the vice president or his/her own decision and reinstates the employee, the period of the employee's temporary separation will be erased, and the employee's record of service and compensation shall be reinstated as if no break in service had occurred.

6.8.6 Tenured Individuals: An employee who is in an A&P faculty line but also holds tenure in an academic unit may not opt to automatically return to or be placed in an appropriate academic unit upon discharge from an administrative appointment. The faculty member's assignment to an academic unit will be suspended pending final outcome of the decision concerning tenure.

6.8.7 In addition to the notifications listed above, the appropriate vice president or president will notify the academic unit head, dean, vice provost and provost of the faculty member's discharge from employment as an A&P faculty member. The academic unit head or other appropriate university official may institute misconduct procedures against the employee pursuant to Faculty Handbook, Section III.A.25 or any other appropriate procedures. The charge of misconduct, which may lead to revocation of tenure and dismissal of employment from the university, will follow the regular procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook or other appropriate procedures.

6.8.8 If the faculty member is not found responsible for misconduct and not sanctioned by dismissal from his/her tenured position, he/she may return to or be placed in an appropriate academic unit as a tenured faculty member at the end of the process.

6.8.9 If no misconduct proceeding is instituted against the faculty member within six months of his/her discharge from employment as an A&P faculty member, the faculty member may write to the president to request reinstatement to or placement in an appropriate academic unit with a tenured assignment. Such a request shall only be denied by the president upon his/her decision to order misconduct proceedings to be instituted within one month of receiving such a request. Tenured faculty members will continue to receive their academic year annual salary (83% of their A&P salary) unless and until tenure is removed.

6.9 Layoff: In addition to the procedures outlined above, A&P faculty may also be removed from their positions as a result of a reduction in force, reorganization or restructuring of the administrative unit. Normally, employees affected by a layoff should be notified as far in advance as possible, but no later than one month prior to the action. Employees separated under layoff are entitled to severance benefits in accordance with Department of Human Resource Management policy 1.57.  An employee who is in an administrative or professional faculty line, but also holds tenure in an academic unit, may opt to automatically return to or be placed in an appropriate academic unit upon lay-off from an administrative appointment, as outlined in 6.7.5. above.

6.10 Elimination of Position or Financial Exigency: A&P faculty may be removed upon reduction or elimination of the specific services for which they were employed, or in the event of financial exigency, when funds from which the salaries of such individuals are paid cease to be available to the university for such purposes as determined by the Board of Visitors. In the event a position is eliminated or there is a lack of funding, A&P faculty will be notified as far in advance as possible, but no later than one month prior to the action. Employees separated for elimination of position or financial exigency are entitled to severance benefits.  An employee who is in an administrative or professional faculty line, but also holds tenure in an academic unit, may opt to automatically return to or be placed in an appropriate academic unit upon elimination of his/her administrative position. In the event of a financial exigency, an employee who is in an administrative or professional faculty line, but also holds tenure, may not opt to automatically return to or be placed in an appropriate academic unit.

6.11 Sanctions other than dismissal: A&P faculty may be sanctioned for misconduct by their supervisors.  Sanctions may include oral or written reprimands, removal of privileges, suspension, demotion, or any other appropriate disciplinary action in the discretion of the supervisor, up to and including discharge.  For discharge procedures, see 6.8.  For all other sanctions, the supervisor shall determine the appropriate sanction, and shall send a written notice to the supervisor’s superior concerning the misconduct and sanction. In normal circumstances, the supervisor will meet with the employee in person and inform the employee of the reasons for the decision to sanction the employee. Where such a meeting is not, in the opinion of the supervisor, reasonable or possible, the failure to meet in person with the employee will not invalidate the decision. The employee will be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him/her. If the supervisor’s decision does not change after the employee is given the opportunity to respond during this meeting, the supervisor will notify the employee and supervisor’s superior of his/her final decision in writing, specifying the sanction.  The employee may appeal the decision of the supervisor by filing a written appeal with the supervisor’s superior within five days of the decision.  The supervisor will have five days to respond to the appeal. The decision of the supervisor’s superior in the matter is final and may not be appealed.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Supervisors of A&P faculty have the responsibility to oversee the effective leadership of those employees and to ensure that performance evaluations are completed on schedule. They are responsible for the supervision, assignment of duties, and professional development and support of their A&P faculty, as well as any disciplinary actions concerning the A&P faculty members who report to them. They are also responsible for making recommendations on renewals, nonrenewals, reassignments, discharges, lay-offs and position elimintion for A&P faculty members under their supervision.

Vice presidents are responsible for determining whether a two-year reappointment contract is appropriate for an eligible A&P faculty member. Vice presidents are responsible for decisions on nonrenewals, reassignments, discharges, lay-offs, and position elimination for A&P faculty members within their divisions.

For A&P faculty members not reporting under a vice president, the president will make the decisions on nonrenewals, reassignments, discharges, lay-offs and position elimination, and for determining whether a two-year reappointment contract is appropriate for an eligible A&P faculty member. For all other A&P faculty members, the president will serve as the appeal of any appealable decisions.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to instructional faculty, classified or wage employees.

Certain A&P faculty are on contracts that are different from the standard July - June period and contain separate employment arrangements. Date-relevant sections of this policy, such as the July 1 renewal date, may not apply in those cases.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: April 2015
Approved by the President: February 2008