Affirmative Action

7.4.1 Essential Components for All Letters of Offer - Affirmative Action Searches

I. Essential Components for all Letters of Offer

A. Terms: Base Salary, Academic Rank/Title, Appointment Period. You will be appointed at the rank of assistant professor (instructor) with a base salary of $25,320 for the nine month academic year; you will be paid on the last working day of each month. This appointment is subject to the approval of the Office of the Provost; it is subject to all rules, regulations, and policies of the University.

A starting date must be established in the letter of offer for acceptance by the candidate. When a faculty appointment is on an annual basis, the following statement must appear in the letter of offer: "The University's basic tenure system appointment commitment is to an academic year (9 month) appointment.

Your appointment on an annual (12-month) basis is justified by the mission of the unit and your specific assigned duties and responsibilities. Although changes in your appointment status are not foreseen, in the event that either the unit's mission changes and/or your specific duties and responsibilities are modified so that an annual appointment is not appropriate, your appointment status will revert to an academic year basis."

B. Probationary Period: Example for Assistant Professor: This is a regular tenure system position. According to University rules, an assistant professor who has not served previously at Michigan State University is appointed initially in the tenure system for a probationary period of four years and may be reappointed for an additional probationary period of three years. If at any time during these two probationary periods an assistant professor is promoted to the rank of associate professor, tenure is granted. If an assistant professor is not promoted to the rank of associate professor at the conclusion of the second probationary period of three years, the individual is ineligible for additional reappointment unless a special extension is approved. Individuals appointed at the rank of assistant professor without tenure have the option of requesting promotion to associate professor with tenure at any point prior to the conclusion of the stipulated probationary appointment period. A negative decision on such a request shall not preclude consideration for reappointment at the normal time. In addition to the review before the conclusion of the probationary periods, each assistant professor is reviewed annually and informed of progress. The Faculty Handbook is available on the web.  A copy of administrative unit (department/school/college) criteria for promotion and tenure are enclosed for your information.

OR

Example for Associate Professor: This is a regular tenure system position. University rules provide that an associate professor who has not served previously at Michigan State University is appointed in the tenure system for a probationary period of four years. If an associate professor is reappointed, tenure is granted. Additionally, individuals appointed at the rank of associate professor without tenure have the option of requesting reappointment at any point prior to the conclusion of the stipulated probationary appointment period. A negative decision on such a request does not preclude consideration for reappointment at the time specified upon appointment. (In some cases, the probationary period may vary from two to five years; in unusual cases, a faculty member initially appointed to the rank of associate professor may be granted tenure from the date of appointment.) The Faculty Handbook is available on the web. A copy of the administrative unit (department/ school/college) criteria for promotion and tenure are enclosed for your information.

OR

Example for Professor: Your appointment as professor will carry tenure beginning with the date of appointment.

C. Benefits--A letter of offer should include a summary of benefit programs at Michigan State University prepared by the Benefits Office (140 Nisbet Building, 353-4434). Since benefit programs are subject to change from time to time, it is important to include the most current summary of benefit programs. The Benefits Office is the only definitive source of benefit information. It is advisable not to include the monetary value of the benefit package in the letter of offer because program costs change frequently. 
Example: Enclosed with this letter is a Summary of Benefits. University-provided benefit programs include life insurance, health care and dental care. There is also a sabbatical leave program for tenured faculty and a course fee courtesy program for one's spouse and dependent children. In addition, the academic unit may pay up to $10,000 toward moving expenses.

D. Responsibilities: (example) Each faculty member is expected to perform over the full range of responsibilities of teaching, research and outreach. Teaching assignments in the unit may involve introductory, intermediate or advanced courses as the demands of course registration and scheduling may require, and are made by the unit administrator in consultation with the faculty. We expect that you will embark on an active program of research and that you will regularly seek resources from outside the University to support your research program.

In some instances, it may be desirable to be more specific with respect to the area(s) in which research is to be conducted. Also, in some instances, it may be desirable to provide additional information on teaching responsibilities. A copy of the MSU Code of Teaching Responsibility should be included. If information is provided on number of courses to be taught, language such as the following should be used. "The normal teaching responsibility is two courses per semester; however, the number of courses taught may vary from year to year depending upon the needs of the unit.

E.  Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check is a prerequisite for all paid faculty, academic staff and executive management appointments, including visiting appointments, for which an offer of employment is made on or after February 1, 2010. The offer of appointment is contingent on satisfactory criminal background check results, including degree verification. (Note that the University will rely on the background check conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in lieu of a University background check for individuals coming to the University directly from residence outside the United States).

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