Faculty Handbook

Basic Employment Commitment on an Academic Year Basis

Last updated: 1/1/1982


The following policy was issued by the Office of the Provost on December 8, 1981; it applies exclusively to individuals appointed or changed to AN basis on or after January 1, 1982.

All appointments, including those on an annual year (AN) basis, in the tenure system, the academic specialist continuing appointment system, and the librarian continuous appointment system, at Michigan State University involve the University making a continuing basic employment commitment to academic year (AY) appointments only. This policy is to ensure that any individual employment commitment to an annual appointment (AN) basis is justified by current unit missions, programmatic needs, and the related responsibilities of individual faculty and academic staff members. If unit missions and programmatic needs change, the annual appointment basis may no longer be appropriate and, consequently, the individual would then change to academic year basis, which is the basic employment commitment for the academic personnel systems designated above.

Subject to prior agreement between the Provost and relevant dean(s) or separately reporting director(s), there may be exceptions to this policy for specific colleges, departments, other units, and individuals. These exceptions will be approved by the Provost prior to appointment via the regular procedure authorizing academic positions. Justification for such exceptions will be reviewed periodically based on the missions and programmatic requirements of colleges, departments, other units, and the specific responsibilities of individuals.

In some cases, because of unit requirements, a faculty or academic staff member may serve his/her entire career at Michigan State University on an annual appointment basis. In other cases, an individual may be shifted from an AY to AN or an AN to AY appointment basis recurrently in recognition of periodic changes in unit missions and programmatic requirements. Some units may staff year-round mission and programmatic responsibilities (either part-time or full-time) by appointing individuals to summer session teaching, research, and service appointments on a repetitive basis rather than appointing a faculty or academic staff member on an AN basis. The provision of these assignment options requires Office of the Provost approval and are to be subjected to periodic reviews.

Individuals who are recruited into administrative positions at Michigan State University, and who are appointed also in the tenure system, academic specialist continuing appointment system, librarian continuous appointment system, e.g., deans, chairpersons, directors and coordinators, will be appointed with a continuing employment commitment to an academic year appointment only. However, annual appointment basis may be provided in recognition of administrative responsibilities and, in addition, there may be an administrative salary increment related to the administrative role. When such administrative responsibilities cease, these faculty and academic staff members will revert to the basic academic year appointment basis unless an AN appointment is specified by unit missions and programmatic requirements (see paragraph two, above) and any administrative increment in salary will cease. (For more information relating to faculty members with administrative duties, see policy entitled "Salary, Appointment, and Faculty Status of Faculty Members Who Assume Administrative Responsibilities.")

Commitment to an AN appointment basis, if approved by the Provost, may be without a specific ending date, for a specified period, subject to renewal or on a "rolling" basis, e.g., initially for a 3- or 4- or 5-year period, with automatic annual renewal for additional 3- or 4- or 5-year periods unless notice is provided otherwise. Such commitments must be approved by the appropriate chairperson(s), director(s), and dean(s) and the Provost and must be communicated in writing to the faculty or academic staff member prior to initial appointment on an AN basis. In accordance with normal procedures, shifts from an AN to AY appointment will normally occur only on August 16.

In view of the fact that changes in unit missions, programmatic needs and individual responsibilities may, on occasion, result in shifts from an annual to an academic year appointment basis, all individuals appointed on an annual basis will be informed on the occasion of annual salary increases of the applicable salary for both an annual and academic year appointment basis. The AY salary is determined by deducting the administrative increment, if any, from the annual salary and computing an amount equal to 9/11 of the residual annual salary. Deans and separately reporting directors have the responsibility to ensure that unit administrators communicate this information to faculty and academic staff members. Such an arrangement will provide affected individuals a clear understanding of their salary status in the event of a shift from AN to AY appointments and/or a shift from an administrative assignment.

All letters of offer should indicate the University's basic employment commitment to appointments in the tenure system, academic specialist continuing appointment system, and librarian continuous appointment system is on an academic year basis only. If prior agreement is reached with the Provost and an annual appointment basis is appropriate, each individual should be informed (1) that his/her initial appointment basis is justified by specific unit missions and programmatic responsibilities and the faculty or academic staff member's related duties, and (2) that if unit mission and programmatic needs and the faculty or academic staff member's responsibilities change, then the annual appointment would change to an academic year basis which is the basic employment commitment to individuals appointed in the designated academic personnel system.

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