Faculty Handbook-2.5.4 Part-Time Tenure-Earning and Tenured Appointments

Faculty Handbook-2.5.4 Part-Time Tenure-Earning and Tenured Appointments

This section of the Faculty Handbook describes the requirements for a part-time tenure-earning or tenured faculty appointment.
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2.5.4 Part-Time Tenure-Earning and Tenured Appointments

While tenure-earning and tenure appointments are normally full time, UAB recognizes the importance of allowing flexibility in employment so that faculty members can better manage the balance between their professional work and family or personal obligations over a defined period of time, or perhaps permanently. This policy is intended to encourage departments to accommodate reasonable requests for part-time appointments; however, approval of part-time appointments is at the discretion of the department chair, dean and provost and part-time appointments are not an entitlement, and requests may be denied when the faculty member and the department cannot agree on a workable plan.

Tenure-earning faculty members may make a request for a part-time appointment only for reasons of balancing work and family for the arrival or care of a child, the care of a family member or member of the immediate household, or for personal circumstances related to the health of the faculty member. Such acceptable reasons include the qualifying circumstances covered by Family Medical Leave including personal medical leave and military leave. Faculty members should consult with Human Resources about eligibility and policies regarding Family Medical Leave and Personal Medical Leave before requesting part time appointments. In addition, they may request a term part-time appointment only, allowing the issue to be revisited on a defined cycle. While such term appointments can be renewed throughout the tenure-earning (probationary) period, an indefinite part-time appointment will not be granted until tenure is awarded.

Tenured faculty members may request either term or indefinite part-time appointment for reasons stated above, or to balance work at UAB with professional practice or significant community or public service, for example, a faculty member who wishes to serve as a consultant in addition to an appointment at UAB, or a faculty member who wishes to engage in entrepreneurial activity outside of university responsibilities. Other reasonable justifications may be considered if approved by the departmental chair, dean and provost. University policies pertaining to internal and external activities, conflicts of interest and intellectual property must be addressed and applied in arranging part-time appointments.

Requests for conversion from full-time to part-time appointments may only be initiated by the faculty member. The reasons for the request for a change in the percentage of appointment should be clearly stated. The department chair should make a careful assessment of the needs of the department, and work with the faculty member requesting the part-time appointment to facilitate the request if possible. The period for which the part-time appointment is granted shall be clearly stated. The period can be for one semester, or can be an equivalent period for those faculty members whose responsibilities are not directly tied to teaching on the semester academic calendar (up to two years) or indefinite.

The written agreement should include a detailed statement of work expectations for the part-time appointment. Generally, faculty members should continue to contribute to all areas of responsibility, but with reduced expectations for accomplishment, proportional to the percentage of a full-time appointment. Service responsibilities for faculty members on part-time appointments are generally seen as proportional to their appointments. Faculty members on part-time appointments are not excused from usual departmental, school, or university service because of part-time appointments.

The written agreement for either an initial appointment or a conversion of a full-time appointment to part-time status, and any subsequent renewal, must be approved by the faculty member, department chair, dean and provost.

Part-time appointments will be either for a stated term or indefinite. Term part-time appointments may be made in increments from one semester or equivalent (see above), up to two years. During the duration of a part-time term appointment, terms of the appointment will only be changed by the agreement of the parties. A term agreement must specify the date on which the faculty member is expected to return to full-time status. Renewal of a term appointment should be negotiated no less than three months before the end of the current term so that the department can plan accordingly.

For indefinite part-time appointments, a return to full-time appointment is not guaranteed. If tenured, the faculty member remains entitled to the tenured appointment on the part-time basis only. However, an increase in the percent appointment up to full-time may be renegotiated between the faculty member and department chair if mutually agreeable and funds are available. Final approval will be provided by the dean.

Faculty members on part-time appointments, whether term or indefinite, retain all the rights and responsibilities attendant to their appointment as a tenure-earning or tenured faculty member.

Part-time appointments can be made for any fraction from 50% up to a full appointment (100%); faculty members will receive proportional salary. Faculty members considering such appointments are responsible for meeting with representatives in Human Resources so that they will clearly understand the consequences of the change to their benefits. Office and laboratory space may be adjusted for longer term or permanent part-time appointments.