157.5 Joint Appointment

Created by: Donald Pierce on 10/27/2016
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 50 - Faculty Status
Originator: Faculty Status Committee
Current File:
Adoption Date: 10/27/2016
Reviewed for Currency: 10/27/2016
Replaces File:
Date of Origin: 10/27/2016
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0


A.  Background

Furman University values interdisciplinary teaching and research and recognizes that supporting it may sometimes require faculty to be appointed in more than one department.


B.  Policy

Joint appointments are established by a contract between the faculty member and Furman University, represented by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, that specifies the names of the departments (normally, two departments) concerned.


C.  Guidelines

  1. Hiring and Appointment

(a)  Before a position for a joint appointment is advertised, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the chairs of the appropriate departments will draft a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that indicates the normal teaching and administrative responsibilities of the new faculty member.

(b)  The MOU will name one department as the administrative department of the jointly appointed faculty member. The administrative department takes the lead in the procedures involved in hiring a candidate. However, all participating departments will be represented on the faculty search committee.

(c)  The terms of the MOU shall be made available to all job applicants.

(d)  Both (or all) departments concerned shall agree upon the choice of candidate before a joint appointment contract is offered to the candidate.

(e)  The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the chairs shall agree on the final terms of the MOU before any formal offers are tendered.

(f)  When the candidate is hired, the MOU is confirmed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and chairs and then signed by the faculty member at the same time as the employment contract.

(g)  In some instances, a joint appointment may be negotiated for a faculty member who currently holds an appointment to a single academic department. In addition to a new contract, a MOU shall be drafted that indicates the new responsibilities of that faculty member as described in (a) and (b) above. The affected faculty member, chairs of the relevant departments, in consultation with department faculty members, and administration shall be in agreement on the terms of the MOU as specified in (f) above.


  1. Rights and Responsibilities

(a)  The faculty member with a joint appointment and the chairs of each department will sustain normal open communication. Unless otherwise exempted in the MOU, the faculty member is responsible for participating in all relevant departments' normal business. 

(b)  While a faculty member having a joint appointment is a member of more than one department, the workload of that faculty member is shared between (or among) these departments as provided by the MOU. Faculty members with joint appointments have the same rights  as other members in their contracted departments. These would normally include voting rights on personnel matters, curricular decisions, and the allocation of departmental resources. Any variation from this shall be stated in the approved MOU. Responsibilities, on the other hand, should be expressly defined in the MOU.

(c)  Any of the parties involved may initiate a discussion to revise the terms of the MOU. The faculty member and the department chairs concerned shall mutually agree upon any revisions of the agreement. This revised MOU  must also be approved by and filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.


  1. Evaluation and tenure/promotion decisions

(a)  In the annual/biennial evaluation process, the chair of the jointly appointed faculty member’s administrative department shall write the principal evaluation and submit a single recommendation for a merit ranking. However, the administrative chair shall also forward the response form(s) from the chair(s) of the faculty member’s other department(s) and include a copy of the MOU.

(b)  When a jointly appointed faculty member applies for tenure or promotion, both departments shall participate in the decision process as described in Files 157.3  and 158.4.

(c)  If the departments disagree in their tenure recommendation concerning a jointly appointed faculty member, the Faculty Status Committee shall determine whether to recommend to the Dean of the Faculty and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost that the faculty member be tenured. If tenure is granted over the objections of one department, then the MOU may need to be revised or dissolved.