Appointment, Promotion & Tenure Procedures (APT) For Faculty Members Holding Appointments in More than One Academic Unit

Ad Hoc Committee on APT Procedures for Joint Appointments
C. Binkley (Chair)
J. Cairns
S. Neuman

January 19, 1998 (revised October 4, 2002)

Joint appointments (situations where a faculty member holds an academic appointment in more than one department) further the University’s academic objectives in many ways, including advancing interdisciplinary scholarly linkages, improving instructional efficiency and fostering collegiality. Such appointments also create special difficulties for individual faculty members as they respond to the demands of more than a single Administrative Head. As a result, the University needs clearly defined procedures for appointment, promotion and tenure decisions associated with joint appointments.

The objective of this document is to lay out the principles for these procedures and some alternative means for meeting them. It is intended as suggested “best practices” and not to supersede well thought out procedures that may currently be in place (the appendix includes statements from various Faculties on specific procedures used).


1. The individual faculty member should have one Department (or Faculty, in the case of non-departmentalized Faculties) designated as primarily responsible for all aspects of the individual’s appointment, promotion, tenure and faculty development (called the Home Department below). Ordinarily this will be the Department that holds the majority of the budget supporting the individual’s appointment.

2. The faculty member and the collaborating administrative units involved in the joint appointment should have a clear understanding of the APT process that will be used to evaluate the faculty member’s performance. Ordinarily this will be accompanied by the Home Department’s providing a written account of these procedures to the faculty member at the time of his/her appointment.

3. Each collaborating unit should have an independent opportunity to evaluate the faculty member for the purpose of faculty development and decisions concerning promotion or tenure.

4. Any decisions concerning promotion or tenure should be based on the same record of information.


The APT process typically consists of five steps:

(i) development of the dossier
(ii) consideration by the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee
(iii) consideration by the Department Head
(iv) consideration by the Dean who may be advised by a Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee
(v) consideration by the President with the advice of the Senior Appointments Committee

Each step raises some specific issues for joint appointments.

Development of the Dossier

The guiding principle in this step is that all the units where the faculty member holds an appointment should have an opportunity to participate in the development of the candidate’s dossier, especially in gathering information on teaching performance and in the selection of external referees.

Two methods are commonly used. In the first, the Home Department takes responsibility for developing the dossier. The Head (or delegate) confers with the Head of the collaborating department (s) to identify appropriate external referees and to assemble the full record on teaching performance and service.

In the second, the Home Department charges a joint advisory committee with the task of developing the dossier. Ordinarily the composition of the committee reflects the budgetary split of the appointment, but other compositions are possible. For example, each collaborating Department might have one member, and the candidate might select one Department to have a second member to be appointed by either the Head or the Dean. It is desirable to keep the membership of the committee as small as possible while adequately reflecting the joint nature of the appointment.

The Head of the Home Department obtains from the candidate an up-to-date CV. Otherwise the Committee has the responsibility of developing the case for the APT action, including requesting letters from external referees in accordance with University policies, analyzing the scholarly contributions of the candidate and assessing the teaching contributions of the candidate, in all collaborating Departments. With this evidence in hand, the Committee prepares a written report and recommendation. A minority report may be developed in instances where the Committee is not of one mind about any aspect of the case.

Consideration by the Department

The appointment committee of each collaborating Department considers the case independently, but based on the same dossier. Each Department votes in its usual way.

Consideration by the Department Head

The Head of each collaborating Department considers the case independently and writes a separate recommendation. The recommendation should be based on the same dossier considered by the Department, and should consider the vote and discussion in the Department.

Consideration by the Dean and Faculty Committee

The guiding principle here is that all of the collaborating units should have reasonable opportunity to influence the APT decision. Similarly, the candidate should feel that her/his case is appropriately represented.

Two procedures may be used. (1) The Home Department uses the recommendations from the collaborating Departments and Department Heads along with the candidate’s dossier to make a recommendation to the President. (2) Each relevant Dean uses the recommendation of the Department and Department Head in his/her Faculty along with the dossier to make a recommendation. The Home Dean forwards these recommendations along with his/her own to the President.

Consideration by the President

The Senior Appointment Committee considers the case in its usual way. If the case is ranked “B”, the Home Dean argues the case but both Deans will attend SAC for the discussions.

Note: The cover page of the SAC documents from the Home Dean must list both Faculties and Department(s).

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