PROV-024: Tenured Faculty Members Appointed to Administrative Positions

Date: 08/05/2013 Status: Final
Last Revised:
Policy Type: Executive Vice President & Provost
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Applies To:

Academic Division.

Reason for Policy:

Provides: (1) the terms and conditions governing the appointment or reappointment of a tenured faculty member to a full- or part-time administrative position; and (2) clarity as to which policies govern a faculty member’s administrative appointment or responsibilities and which govern his or her academic appointment.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Academic Department:

    Department offering academic, for-credit programs of study, usually leading to a degree. For the purposes of this policy, academic department also refers to the department or school in which the faculty member holds an academic tenured appointment.

  • Administrative Position:

    Positions at a senior level of the University that require “the performance of work directly related to the management of the educational and general activities of the institution, department, or subdivision thereof.”1 These positions are within three or four reporting levels of the president (such as vice presidents, deans, and positions reporting to a dean or division chief, such as department chairs, associate deans, or section heads). Administrative positions as defined in this policy are discretionary appointments; all administrative service is at the will of the appointing authority.

    1Consolidated Salary Authorization for Faculty Positions in Institutions of Higher Education, Commonwealth of Virginia, 2001–02.

  • Administrative Salary Supplement:

    The supplement that may be added to a faculty member’s salary during his or her service in an administrative position.

  • Administrative Supervisor:

    Supervisor (division chief, dean, vice president, or president) to whom the faculty member reports in his or her administrative capacity.

Policy Statement:

This policy applies only to members of the tenured faculty who are appointed to administrative positions. Tenure-track faculty members who have not been awarded tenure may not be appointed to administrative positions covered by this policy. Members of the academic non-tenure-track faculty who are appointed to administrative positions are governed by policy HRM-003, Employment of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty.

To ensure the flexible and effective administration of the University, all administrative positions governed under this policy are discretionary appointments and all persons appointed serve at the pleasure of the administrative supervisor.

  1. Appointment:
    Members of the tenured faculty are appointed to administrative positions for a limited term and retain their status as a tenured faculty member in an academic department. Because the administrative appointment is not considered the primary appointment of a tenured faculty member, a search is not required prior to making the administrative appointment. However, in general, if the administrative appointment is greater than half-time and will last for more than one year, hiring officials are encouraged to conduct a search prior to making an appointment. The search may be restricted to internal candidates only, if appropriate.
  2. Reassignment:
    A tenured faculty member serving in an administrative position may be reassigned at the discretion of the administrative supervisor. Reassignment can involve change in administrative title or supervisory responsibilities or reassignment to another department. The faculty member’s administrative salary supplement, if one was awarded, shall remain in effect until the end of the appointment term and the administrative unit of the administrative supervisor shall continue to fund the administrative salary supplement to the extent specified in the current administrative appointment letter.
  3. Suspension or Termination:
    The administrative supervisor may choose to suspend or end the faculty member’s administrative appointment at any time for adequate cause including the faculty member’s failure to achieve the goals or to fulfill the responsibilities specified in the appointment letter or for violation of University policy or applicable law. In the event of such suspension or termination of the administrative appointment, the administrative supervisor shall provide the faculty member with written notice of such failure and provide the faculty member with an opportunity to respond in writing or to request a meeting within ten (10) working days of receiving written notice.

    The administrative supervisor shall carefully consider any response provided by the faculty member and inform the faculty member of the supervisor’s decision within ten (10) working days. If the faculty member disagrees with the decision of the administrative supervisor, within ten (10) working days of receiving the supervisor’s decision the faculty member can request a meeting with the provost or, in cases where the provost is the administrative supervisor, the president; and shall have an opportunity in that meeting to explain or document the reasons for the disagreement. In keeping with the intent to ensure the flexible and effective administration of the University for persons occupying senior administrative positions that are subject to this policy, the final decision regarding suspension or removal from the administrative position for cause shall be made by the provost or president, as applicable, within thirty (30) days of meeting with the faculty member and may not be appealed further. Suspension or removal for cause will result in the faculty member’s administrative salary supplement, if one was awarded, being terminated as of the date a final decision is made by the president or provost.

    Reassignment or the suspension or termination of the administrative appointment shall not affect the terms of the faculty member’s academic appointment except as in accordance with the policy Disciplinary Suspension or Termination of Academic Faculty.


When appointing or reappointing a member of the tenured faculty to a discretionary administrative position, the administrative supervisor will issue an appointment/reappointment letter that will specify, at a minimum:

  • that the appointment is subject to this Policy on Tenured Faculty Members Appointed to Administrative Positions and any amendments thereto;
  • dates upon which the discretionary administrative appointment will begin and end;
  • any administrative salary supplement being offered and any terms regarding possible future adjustments to the salary supplement (i.e. merit increases);
  • specific goals or other responsibilities that the faculty member will fulfill during the administrative appointment, including the criteria that will be used to evaluate administrative performance;
  • the percentage of time that the faculty member will be expected to devote to administrative responsibilities;
  • the faculty member’s administrative supervisor;
  • the terms that will apply to the faculty member’s return to his or her academic department at the conclusion of the administrative appointment, particularly the termination of the administrative salary supplement (if one is awarded), access to necessary facilities (e.g., laboratories), etc., as well as any leave to be permitted after the administrative appointment;
  • the time frame for possible reappointment, including clear notice that continued administrative service is at the discretion of the appointing official; and
  • the date by which the faculty member will receive notice of renewal of nonrenewal of the administrative appointment.

To become effective, the appointment/reappointment letter must be accepted in writing by the faculty member.

Related Information:

Disciplinary Suspension or Termination of Academic Faculty
HRM-003: Employment of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
HRM-035: University Faculty Salaries and Bonuses
HRM-039: Approval of Appointments and Reappointments of Senior School and University Administrators

Major Category: Executive Vice President & Provost Policies
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Provost, 08/05/2013
Revision History: This is the first version of this policy.