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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.

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, 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.

Role in Governance

Authority for the governance of the university is vested in the Board of Visitors (BOV) by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The BOV is responsible for generally directing the affairs of the university, and for appointing the president as the chief executive officer of the university. The president, with the approval of the BOV, has exercised his authority to create an administrative system of divisions and areas within the university, including the Division of Academic Affairs, headed by the provost. The provost, with the approval of the BOV and the president, has exercised his authority to create a system of administrative areas and colleges within the division. A&P faculty members are generally involved in the governance of the university through this administrative structure.

This handbook is designed as a resource for A&P faculty members at James Madison University. Official university policy on A&P faculty always takes precedence over the content of this site.

Contracts for Administrative & Professional Faculty Members

  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 the next June 30 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.

  2. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

    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 15 years of full-time service with James Madison University and have an overall history of at least satisfactory performance. Fifteen years is calculated on 180 months of full-time service. There may be breaks in service and the service years may consist of any combination of full-time classified, instructional and A&P faculty employment. Periods of part-time employment are not counted.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 nonrenewals will be processed according to the policies and procedures of JMU.

Administrative & Professional Faculty Employment Agreement

Faculty Handbook

About JMU

JMU Organizational Chart

HR Communications

We want you to be connected and informed:

  • HR’s website is filled with information for your employment satisfaction
  • You will receive emails with a link to view your monthly HR Update, an employee-centered, electronic newsletter
  • If you are an administrative assistant or administrator, send a request to to join the HR Alerts for Admins ListServ to receive timely announcements and need to know information
  • New employees are automatically added to the New Employee ListServ; one of many ways Human Resources provides you with JMU community information beyond what you may have already learned and experienced through HR’s Dukes at Work onboarding program

Wondering who to call with specific questions? See Services We Provide for a list of HR services provided and the primary contact person for that service.

Policy Links of Interest

JMU Policy 1335 - Administrative & Professional Faculty, Terms and Conditions of Employment

JMU Policy 1307 - Performance Evaluation of Administrative & Professional Faculty

JMU Policy 1339 - Negotiated Amicable Separation Agreements for Administrative & Professional Faculty

Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.57-Severance Benefits

University Policy Manual

Visit the University Policy Committee's website to research policies that have a broad impact on the university's people and processes. Find out about smoking regulations, weapons, animals, and drones on campus, university bulletin boards, what to do with found items, or how to claim lost items. 

The UPC ListServ is a great way to stay informed on new and revised policies. An opt-in feature allowing you to join the ListServ is available on the Home and Ask Questions pages at

As a result of subscribing to the ListServ, employees receive notices when:

  • Policies are updated
  • Policies are posted for public review
  • The semi-annual policy change notification report has been posted on the site

Summary of Key Policies

Other important responsibilities are listed in policies found in the published regulations of the university (such as the Manual of Policies and Procedures, the Finance Procedures Manual, and the policies of various administrative divisions or departments, as well as the policies and procedures of the various colleges and academic units), and in laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America.

Personnel Data

You have the right to review your personnel file by contacting the Human Resources office to arrange an appointment. When you change your home address, marital status, number of dependents, beneficiary, or similar information, you should notify a Benefits Specialist in Human Resources. 




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