C. The Appointment Process

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Appointment and Terms of Appointment- Faculty & Librarians

The University Faculty Council and the Board of Trustees have approved a policy which requires that new appointees at faculty and librarian ranks be advised of all the terms of their appointment, the duration of the probationary period, and the criteria and procedures relevant to reappointment and tenure (see DOCUMENT C-I). The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs has assumed responsibility for seeing that new faculty members and librarians are so advised. This information is to be supplied to the appointee before or at the time of the initial appointment and must be agreed to in writing by the appointee. At the time the Board of Trustees or Administrative Officers officially approve the appointment, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs makes sure that the new faculty member has the following documents:

1. the signed Offer to Recommend Appointment which contains the tenure agreement;

2. a copy of the policy concerning reappointment and non-reappointment during the probationary period;

3. a copy of the Faculty Council procedures and criteria for promotion and tenure;

4. a copy of any school, department, and campus procedures and criteria for reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions;

5. a form for the appointee to sign and return as an indication of agreement to all terms of the appointment, as well as the criteria and procedures described.

Background Checks

By Indiana state personnel department guidelines, all new state employees are subject to criminal background checks depending on the duties associated with their positions. In 2005, the UFC adopted a policy placing limits on the background checks that could be conducted (see DOCUMENT C-II). The policy was never approved by the Board of Trustees. Current administrative practice, consistent with state law, requires criminal background checks for all new full-time permanent academic employees (see DOCUMENT C-III). Criminal background checks are initiated by the Office of Academic Personnel Services and Policies, upon receipt of an Offer to Recommend Appointment form. A criminal history or criminal conviction does not necessarily preclude employment. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs or her/his designee consults with the Legal Counsel and the President of the BFC or her/his designee to evaluate the relevance of any negative findings.

Appointment Dates

The academic year has traditionally been only vaguely defined. The needs of the department or school and of the faculty have dictated arrivals and departures for each academic year. While there is virtue in maintaining flexibility of working arrangements, this flexibility has created problems in connection with insurance, payroll, and unemployment insurance. In consequence, the academic year has been officially defined by the Academic Leadership Committee as beginning one week before the first day of classes and ending on commencement. For appointment purposes, however, all non-student academic year e-docs should reflect an academic year action as being effective from August 1 through May 31.



Summer school course lengths are set by the academic unit offering the course, with the maximum limit of six weeks in the first summer session and eight weeks in the second summer session. Pay is normally by 3-credit course, doubling for two courses, and varying otherwise only if courses are offered for fewer or more than 3 credits. (See DOCUMENT C-IV.) The salary schedule in terms of FTE and percent of previous academic year salary is as follows:


One 3-cr Intensive Session 100% (3 weeks) 11.0%

One 3-cr Summer Session I or II 50% (6-8 weeks) 11.0%

Two 3-cr Summer Session I or II 100% (6-8 weeks) 22.0%

Teaching two 3-credit courses during a summer is considered a full summer load; compensation for a full summer load is 22% of the preceding academic year rate; summer FTE may not be greater than 100% during any period on appointment. Appointments beyond the norm may be made in cases of institutional need to a maximum salary of 27.5% of academic-year rate.


The normal summer appointment for activities other than teaching, on general funds or on outside (contract or grant) funds, is two calendar months (nine weeks) full-time at a salary rate not to exceed 2.5% per week based on the previous year's salary, or 22.5% total. Appointments beyond the norm may be made in cases of institutional need (if on general funds) or project need (if on grant funds) and in the latter case if permitted by the funding agency, to a maximum of 11 weeks and 27.5% of academic year rate.

Summer Exceptions

Summer appointments for teaching, non-teaching activities, or a combination thereof, which are in excess of eleven weeks full-time may be approved by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs if recommended by the chair and dean, if institutional or project need can be demonstrated, if permitted by any granting agency involved, and if FTE is not greater than 100% during any period on appointment. Permission to go beyond the 11-week/27.5% limitation must be requested from the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs prior to appointment. The faculty member must be ready to attest that the entire period(s) of the appointment(s) will be spent working on the designated project(s)/course(s). In no case will an exception be granted beyond 13-weeks (32 1/2% of academic year salary).

Fringe Benefits on Summer Pay

The Bloomington Faculty Council Summer Faculty Salary Policy includes a provision that, "(B)eginning in summer 1993 and continuing thereafter, retirement benefits should be paid for summer teachers" (DOCUMENT C-IV).

Timely Appointments

In order to process the payroll and assure full payment, summer appointment forms must be in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs before the effective date of action.


Graduate students are appointed in a number of capacities on the Bloomington campus. The Bloomington Faculty Council approved the definitions of Associate Instructor and Faculty Assistant on March 2, 1971. (See DOCUMENT C-V.) The administration of the campus has defined two other categories: Graduate Assistant and Research Assistant. Appointees under all of these titles are normally limited to a 50% workload (20 hours per week) and for most purposes are primarily treated as students, rather than employees of the University. Students are not eligible for employee fringe benefits (life and medical insurance, retirement plans, fee courtesy, etc.) but are entitled as students to student health insurance.

Student Title Definitions

Title definitions for student academic appointees are:

  • Faculty Assistant. (SFS) A graduate student who holds an academic appointment, and who performs non-teaching services in an instructional program, where the services are equivalent in importance to those performed by Associate Instructors.
  • Graduate Assistant. (SGR) A graduate student who, in an academic department or in an administrative office, assists in work associated with the duties of the faculty members or administrators, such as library searches, curricular development, or paper grading, and who is not an Associate Instructor, Research Assistant, or Faculty Assistant.
  • Research Assistant. (SRS) A graduate student who is engaged in or assists with original, professional-level research.
  • Resident Counselor. (RC) A graduate student who is employed by the Division of Student Personnel, the University Division, or another division of the University having responsibilities in the area of student services, and who is engaged in the guidance and counseling of other students.
  • Associate Instructor. (SIN) A graduate student who is employed as a teacher and engages in activity as a teacher, providing the employee has responsibility for assigning grades for at least a portion of a course and has direct contact with students.

Bloomington Faculty Council Actions Relevant to Student Academic Appointees (SAAs)

The Bloomington Faculty Council (previously the Faculty Council) has adopted several policies affecting Student Academic Appointees over the years. (See DOCUMENTS C-VI through C-XII.) The Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) selects four representatives to the Bloomington Faculty Council on which they serve as full voting members. The BFC has established a standing committee, the Student Academic Appointee Affairs Committee, which reviews policies, recommends changes and new policies, conducts elections, and disseminates information about the status of Student Academic Appointees. The Student Academic Appointee Mediation Committee, composed of no fewer than five members of the BFC Student Academic Appointee Affairs Committee, at least two of whom are graduate students, reviews grievances that cannot be resolved at the department level. The Student Academic Appointee Board of Review, composed of three faculty members elected by the Faculty Council and three appointed graduate student members, hears grievances that cannot be resolved by the Mediation Committee. (See DOCUMENT D-XXIV.)

The Bloomington Faculty Council has also specified that Student Academic Appointees shall:

1. be employed under a written agreement,

2. be provided copies of the Academic Handbook,

3. be provided (by supervising faculty or departmental chairperson) a written set of guidelines dealing with the teaching objectives and administrative responsibilities established by the supervisor for the course in which the SAA is to function,

4. be terminated in mid-appointment only by the procedures specified by the Faculty Council which are described in DOCUMENT C-IV,

5. be paid the established minimum salary as defined by the FTE

6. be included on appropriate departmental committees (at least one SAA per committee where possible),

7. be assigned at an FTE which is commensurate with the amount of work performed, taking into consideration preparation time and office hours,

8. be selected according to the procedures and using the criteria specified by the BFC (DOCUMENT C-IX).

9. serve as the instructor of record for graduate courses only under exceptional circumstances,

10. be given access to resources essential to their duties such as mailboxes and duplication services,

11. (foreign graduate students whose native language is not English) be tested to ensure adequate proficiency in English (only applies to Associate Instructors).

Student Appointment Guidelines

Student academic appointments are to be made on special student listing forms. All student academic appointees including those on the Graduate Work Study Program will be paid on the monthly, academic year or summer session payroll. Where a student's work is directly tied to an academic year or summer session program (usually Associate Instructors), appointments will be on an academic year or summer session basis. Students involved in projects or work not tied to the academic year will be appointed on a monthly basis with fixed starting and ending dates. (Appointments may begin and end in mid-month, e.g., August 28, 2009 through April 27, 2010). General guidelines are:

1. Student academic appointees must be graduate students who are degree candidates and are expected to be enrolled during the period of appointment either for course work, for G900, or G901. Appointees at .375 or greater FTE must enroll in six hours.

2. Students are normally limited to .50 FTE (half-time) appointments.

3. Prior permission must be obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs for exceptions to the .50 FTE maximum on student appointments. This applies to any combination of appointments that exceeds .50 FTE. Approval will be contingent on the advice of a student's primary faculty advisor and the need for the additional services of the student.

4. For a 50% (20 hours per week) appointment, a minimum salary for the academic year is established each year. The actual salary takes the following factors into account: a) responsibilities assigned, b) personal qualifications and previous experience, c) educational level of appointee, and d) years of experience as a student appointee.

Student Agreement Forms

1. An "Agreement" form must be completed for each appointment. for a copy of the form should be given to the appointee and the chairperson/dean. A third copy of the "Agreement" is to be sent to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

2. Every student academic appointee must be provided a Handbook for Student Academic Appointees. A supply of these handbooks is provided to each department in the fall.

Fee Remissions

The following guidelines apply to graduate student fee remissions. 1. Students with a total FTE of .50 to .75 must be awarded a full fee remission and must enroll in six hours of credit per semester.

2. Students with a total FTE of .50 to .75 for both semesters of an academic year must receive a fee remission for six hours of summer enrollment if they enroll for summer session(s).

3. Students who did hold an academic year appointment, but who are appointed in the summer with a total FTE of .50 or greater must receive a fee remission for six hours of summer enrollment if they enroll for summer session(s)

4. Fee remissions may be awarded at less than .50 FTE, at departmental discretion.

5. Fee remissions may be awarded for a maximum of 30 hours per 12-month period beginning with the start of the fall semester with at most 12 hours in any semester or combined summer session. The stated fee remission award will cover a minimum of 90% of the credit hour fees for a resident and a minimum of 95% for a non-resident. Fee remission awards do not cover G901, mandatory, course-related, or miscellaneous fees.

Student Summer Appointments

The guidelines for appointing students during the summer as Associate Instructors, Research Assistants, Faculty Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Student Counselors, have generally received little publicity, and Schools and Departments, with the limited funds available during the summer, have attempted to give employment where deserved and needed. Practices have varied widely. Although flexibility is desirable and obtainable, some guidelines are necessary so that students are treated fairly across units. Salary minima and other policies governing student summer appointments are distributed each year by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Appointments up to 1.00 FTE for summer will be approved without special justification but no exceptions will be granted beyond 1.00 FTE. Summer appointments are limited to the period between Commencement and the official start of the fall semester. Students appointed for an intensive session or longer must be provided with a signed “Agreement” form.

Exemption from FICA Tax

Graduate students on student academic appointments who are enrolled in six credit hours or more in a given semester (or who are enrolled in three credit hours or more in a given summer session), or who are enrolled in G901 or the equivalent, will be treated as exempt from FICA taxation on wages that are paid during any part of the given semester or session.

Appointment Periods and Payroll

As with faculty on academic year appointments, students holding academic year appointments (as is usually the case with Associate Instructors during the preceding year) will normally be limited to a nine-week appointment during the period between Commencement and the official start of the academic year. All student appointments are on the monthly or academic year payroll.

Graduate Work-Study Program

The following procedure should be followed in appointing students in connection with the Graduate Student Work Study Program. Please note that these appointees are paid exactly like all other student appointees on the monthly payroll--time sheets need not be maintained.

I. Academic appointments of graduate students as Associate Instructors, Graduate Assistants, Faculty Assistants, Research Assistants, and Student Counselors may be made utilizing the Graduate Work Study Program only under the following conditions:

A. The graduate student qualifies, according to the department's or school's usual criteria for such an appointment. Duties will be consistent with the definitions of these titles given above. The graduate student will be enrolled for credit during the period of appointment.

B. Funds for 30% of the salary are available in a 2300 line in the department or school budget, which can be utilized in the special Graduate Work Study line, 2360.

C. The graduate student is approved (informally) by the Office of Student Financial Assistance for a Graduate Work Study Award.


Faculty Appointment Prior to Retirement

The Bloomington Campus administration has for several years recognized an increasing interest on the part of senior faculty members in reduced or part-time assignments, prior to retirement. In response, the administration has developed a Phased Retirement Program. The program allows tenured faculty to reduce their work load prior to retirement by taking a partial leave-without-pay (LWOP) while continuing participation in medical, dental, and other benefits. Full-time faculty are eligible for the program after reaching age 65 and completing at least 10 years of continuous full-time service. The program is not available to faculty who are eligible for 18/20 Early Retirement Benefits per IRS rules. (See DOCUMENT C-XIII and University Human Resource Services publications.)

Retention Incentive Pay

Academic employees who would otherwise terminate and begin receiving 18/20 Plan payments may be eligible for the Retention Incentive Pay program. The program provides the following: • At age 64, a $5,000 allocation for research and professional development • From age 65 to 70, a 20% base salary supplemental payment.

Retention Incentive Pay is neither automatic nor an employee entitlement. Deans, Chairs, or Directors submit requests for the incentive to their respective Chancellors or Vice Presidents for consideration. Questions regarding the effect of these provisions on benefit contributions should be directed to University Human Resource Services.

Faculty Appointment After Retirement

In unusual circumstances, it is possible to appoint a retired faculty member to teach a semester or so. On the occasions when the Trustees of Indiana University have approved such an arrangement, it has normally been on a part-time basis, of short duration, and to fill a University need. There must be compelling reasons to justify such an appointment to the Trustees. The retired faculty member should be urged, when contemplating a post-retirement appointment, to contact the retirement office concerning the possible impact on retirement income.