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Faculty/Academic Staff Forms Tips

This document provides information on the most common errors that occur on the faculty and academic staff forms and how to resolve the errors.

Common Errors

Required Attachments or Approval Documentation Missing

Common missing attachments include:

  • Form I-9
  • Fixed Term Appointment/Reappointment Memorandum
  • Specialist Position Description
  • Approvals from Office for Inclusion and Academic Human Resources for academic hiring waivers 13-18 

The List of Required Attachments document on the HR web site helps identify which attachments are required. The list is organized by form, and explains under which circumstances an attachment should be included. 

The paperclip icon on the form does not function. Instead, use the Attachments and Help Lookup bar at the top of the form. 

A Form I-9 cover sheet is available on the HR website to accompany the Form I-9 (and background check consent forms) when mailed to HR. This document helps HR more efficiently match the hardcopy documents with the electronic forms, resulting in faster forms processing. 

If an employee is not physically at MSU to complete the Form I-9, which will cause a delay in the processing of the appointment paperwork, the following options are available:

  • Ask the employee to have a notary complete the Form I-9 on behalf of MSU. Information regarding this process can be found on the HR website.
  • If utilizing a notary is not an option (e.g., the employee is a non-resident alien and will not arrive until days before the appointment start date), submit the appointment form and indicate in the “Comments” section that the Form I-9 has not been completed and will be delivered when the employee arrives in the country.  

Fixed Term Appointment/Reappointment Memorandum (FTM) is Incomplete or Inconsistent

  • The FTM is either not complete or the data on the FTM is inconsistent with the data on the Appointment/Reappointment form. When the data is inconsistent, HR cannot be sure which information is correct. For example:
  • The appointment dates and % of employment on the FTM don’t match what is on the appointment/reappointment form.
  • The ranks and titles included on the FTM don’t match what is on the appointment/reappointment form.
  • The appointment basis (AN/AY) is omitted on the FTM.
  • The FTM isn’t signed by the employee or the Unit Administrator.
  • The FTM doesn’t list all of the departments listed on the appointment/reappointment form.
  • The “assigned duties” on the FTM is missing or does not provide descriptive information (e.g., states “performing research for Dr. XXX.”). Provide brief but descriptive information on the duties being performed, for example “data mining on topic X for Dr. XXX.” 

Note that the FTM contains the FTE salary while the form has the actual salary. The calculation to use when calculating the salary is on the form itself and in the following section of this document. 

If the position details change based on the hiring decision, note the changes in the Comments on the hiring form.

Annual Salary in the Pay and Cost Section on the Form is Incorrect

The annual salary in the pay and cost section on the form should represent the annual salary to be actually paid to the employee. 

Two common errors occur:

  • The salary on the form is the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) salary and doesn’t take into account the percent of employment. For example, the employee is employed at 50% but the salary represents what the employee would be paid if they were full-time.
  • The salary on the form is the actual amount to be paid during the length of the appointment instead of the annual salary. For example, the salary shows a straight payment of $3,000 between 9/1/11 – 9/31/11 rather than the annual salary. 

The calculation for the annual salary in the pay and cost section of the form is:

(Full-Time Equivalent Salary + FTE Administrative Increment-if applicable) X % Employment

Highest Degree Earned has not Verified by HireRight and is Required in Order to Hold the Applicable Rank

For example, an employee is being appointed as a Professor, which requires the employee to possess a terminal degree. A bachelor’s degree in psychology was verified by HireRight instead of a terminal degree (i.e., PhD, PsyD). 

The email template sent to employees by HireRight asks the employee to submit their highest degree earned in the HireRight system. Sometimes employees may submit a lower degree instead. To ensure that the applicant provided their highest degree, you can log into HireRight and view the education information submitted for the individual. If the employee submitted the wrong degree to HireRight they can bring the original degree document to HR or request that their degree be verified. 

Academic Hiring Waiver on Appointment Form is Discrepant with Appointment

The academic hiring waiver listed on the appointment form conflicts with the appointment information. For example, academic hiring waiver #1, “Appointment for less than two semesters (9 months), or appointment for a full year at 50% time or less” is listed on the form when the appointment length is 12 months at 100% time. 

The academic hiring waivers listed on the appointment form are not descriptive and are only 10 characters. A complete list of academic hiring waivers can be found on the HR website. 

Other Information about Faculty/Academic Staff Forms

HR Forms Deadlines

Be aware of the applicable HR forms payroll deadlines. Payroll form deadlines have been set for each month. See them at Forms received by the HR Cutoff Date have first precedence in being reviewed for monthly payroll processing. 

Use of Academic Position Change Request Form

This form is only to be used in the following circumstances:

  • To change the posting text of a posted position that has not been filled.
  • To change the attributes (e.g., Employee Group, Employee Sub-Group) of a position that is vacant (i.e., the position does not have a holder). 

The form is not to be used to change the attributes of a position that is currently filled (i.e., has an employee in the position).

Use of Academic Hiring Waiver Reason #4 (Visiting Waiver)

The Academic Hiring Procedures apply to all faculty and academic staff positions, including academic administrators and executive managers. In general, academic vacancies are to be posted. However, in certain cases, the posting and search requirements of the Academic Hiring Procedure may be waived. These certain cases (i.e., academic hiring waivers) can be found in Section 3.1 of the Academic Hiring Procedures Manual. 

Academic hiring waiver reason # 4 is applicable to those being hired as adjunct, visiting, and clinical faculty/academic staff. The visiting designation is intended to be used only for those who are visiting on a short-term basis and who intend to return to the home institution or agency from which they are visiting. This may not be how the waiver reason is being applied in some cases.

In cases where waiver reason # 4 is applicable and meets the requirements described in the Academic Hiring Procedures manual, please remember to list the name of the home institution or agency on the faculty and academic staff appointment form. If waiver reason #4 is not applicable to the hiring scenario, the position is to be posted unless another academic hiring waiver applies. 

For those who have been on a visiting waiver for two years or longer, HR will remove the visiting designation upon reappointment. Review and approval for a waiver from the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources will be required to remove the visiting status for appointments less than two years in length.

Process when Forms Arrive in HR

All forms arrive in the same Inbox. MSU Human Resources sees the same form that you see. MSU Human Resources prints FAS forms and attaches a cover sheet with a checklist. Forms are prioritized by date received, though in some cases emergency situations may rise to the top of the list. 

MSU Human Resources does a first review using the checklist, then conducts a second review for policy oriented items. Once those reviews are complete and HR has all required information pertaining to the hire, the data is entered into the system. 

Because of this detailed review process, the current turnaround time for HR processing of faculty/academic staff forms is 2-3 weeks. So when possible, submit faculty and academic staff forms to HR two weeks before the effective date on the form to ensure timely processing of the form.