Faculty Changes in Status
Whenever there is a change in a faculty member's appointment, this is called a "change in status." These changes include leave, salary increases/decreases, additional duties, tenure status changes, etc. When these changes occur, the HR professional/associate is responsible for ensuring that any approval process has been completed and a new contract and Personnel Action Form (PAF) are issued. The types of changes in status that require approvals before a new contract can be issued include salary/bonus increases, tenure status changes, track transfers, extension of tenure review year, etc. If a change in status occurs during a faculty member's current contract, the HR professional/associate should use "superseding" language at top of contract which references the date of their last contract as shown in the example below. If a change in status occurs concurrent with the faculty member's contract renewal (e.g. at the beginning of the academic year) the applicable contract template should be used and "superseding" language is not required. If a faculty member is already tenured, any change in status would require "superseding" language and the date of their last contract should be referenced.
Below are links to some of the most common types of "change in status" with sample contracts, PAFs, corresponding policies, procedures and/or guidelines:
- Sample “Superseding” Contract for Off Cycle Faculty Salary Increase (base pay increase) [DOC]
- Sample "Superseding" Contract Off-Cycle Faculty Salary Increase (temporary/interim pay) [DOC]
**This resource is available as a template in DocuSign. DocuSign is a cloud-based application that provides an audit trail of signatures. Visit https://app.docusign.com and login with your VCU email address and password. Once authenticated, click "Templates" in the main navigational bar, then search for the resource listed above. Please note: two versions are available; pick the version that is applicable to your VCU campus.
- Guidelines for Faculty Track Transfers (Term to Tenure Track and Tenure Track to Term) (Once track transfer has been approved, use applicable faculty template to issue new contract)
** This resource is available as a template in DocuSign. DocuSign is a cloud-based application that provides an audit trail of signatures. Visit https://app.docusign.com and login with your VCU email address and password. Once authenticated, click "Templates" in the main navigational bar, then search for the resource listed above. Please note: two versions are available; pick the version that is applicable to your VCU campus.
In accordance with VCU's Faculty Handbook, the title emeritus/emerita is awarded for distinguished or exceptional service and outstanding dedication to the university. Normally, eligibility is limited to full-time faculty members who have retired at the rank of professor or associate professor and who have served the university for a period of not less than ten consecutive years prior to retirement. To be eligible for an emeriti appointment, a faculty member shall be nominated by the department chair or applicable unit head. The nomination then requires approval by the respective dean, vice president, president, and/or Board of Visitors, as applicable. Emeriti appointments carry the benefits of retired faculty, plus the following lifetime privileges: listing in university publications; participation in university processions; and ability to serve on dissertation committees. Additional information about parking and discounts for retired faculty can be found on the Office of the Provost website.
Instructions for Submitting Requests for Emeriti status in Docusign
1. Department Chair notifies HR staff that they want to submit an emeriti request. The Chair should have the following supporting information ready:
- A detailed justification for the emeriti status
- Faculty member’s current CV in PDF or Word Document format
- Note: At this time, only Dept. Chairs can nominate faculty members for emeriti status; faculty members cannot nominate
2. Department HR Staff initiates appropriate Emeriti Status Request form in DocuSign using either OFRR or VPHS templates. (*Note that a special template will need to be used for School of Dentistry requests):
- Ensures that the correct names and email addresses are set up in the routing queue for HRA/HRP (will typically be the same person initiating the form), Department Chair, and Dean/Unit Head; clicks “Send”
- Form will be routed to HRA/HRP first. HRA/HRP fills in the faculty nominee’s name, rank, department, years of service, tenure status, proposed effective date of emeriti status, and V#; provides initials to confirm eligibility for Emeriti status and accuracy of all information; request is then routed to Department Chair
3. Department Chair (or equivalent)
- Uploads faculty member’s current CV under the required attachment field
- Provides a detailed justification for the nomination in the appropriate field, attaching additional pages as necessary under the optional attachment field. The recommendation should include a summary of the faculty member’s outstanding achievements and contributions to the discipline (nationally and/or internationally), department, school/college, and/or university, at large. In some colleges/schools/units, a faculty committee may be convened to review a recommendation for emeriti status. If so, their recommendation should be attached or a summary of their recommendation included
- Signs in the appropriate field under Required Approvals and the request is routed to the Dean
4. Dean/VP/Unit Head
- Checks appropriate box, either recommending or not recommending the faculty member for emeriti status
- Provides comments supporting their decision
- Signs in the appropriate field under Required Approvals and the request is routed to OFRR or VPHS HR for an eligibility check before being routed to the VP/Designee
- Checks to ensure that eligibility has been confirmed (there will be initials in the lower left corner of the first page of the request if faculty member has met eligibility requirements)
- Reviews justification and supporting documentation provided by Chair and Dean
- If approved, VP/designee signs in the appropriate field under Required Approvals and the request is routed to the President’s Office for final review and approval
6. President’s Office
- Reviews for substance and to ensure all approvals are complete
- Signs in the appropriate field under Required Approvals
7. HR Staff, OFRR/VPHS, Department Chair, Dean, VP/Designee, and President/Designee will be notified via email when all approvals are obtained and will receive a PDF copy of the completed form
8. OFRR and VPHS will prepare notification letters for the President’s signature, and then send the signed letter to the faculty member, with a cc: to the HR staff
NOTE: DocuSign has a record retention period of 18 months. Therefore, it should not be used as the system of record for emeriti requests. Copies of completed forms and official notification letters should be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file in their home department.