Faculty Handbook

Salary, Appointment, and Faculty Status of Faculty Members Who Assume Administrative Responsibilities

Last updated: 11/11/2015


This policy was issued by the Office of the Provost, after consultation with the Council of Deans, the University Committee on Faculty Affairs and the University Committee on Faculty Tenure, with an effective date of January 1, 1982, and revised on November 11, 2015.

The faculty member who accepts assignment as an administrator must be informed of his/her status as a member of the faculty as distinct from his/her status in the administrative position. There are five aspects of faculty status which must be specified:

This policy applies to faculty members who are recruited to accept appointment both as a faculty member and an administrator and to faculty members already at Michigan State University who accept an administrative assignment.

All concerned must recognize that assignment as an administrator is subject to change at any time and that at any time the faculty member may return to regular faculty duties in his/her primary academic unit, e.g., department(s), school(s), and/or residential or college(s) not organized by  department.

Appointment Basis

An academic year appointment basis is the basic employment commitment to individuals appointed in academic personnel system positions at Michigan State University, and this is not changed by reason of an administrative assignment. Rather, a change related to the administrative assignment, i.e., AY to AN appointment basis, is for the period of service in the administrative assignment only. (It is recognized that with Provost approval, because of unit mission and needs and individual responsibilities, some faculty members will be appointed to faculty duties on an annual basis. For further information see policy entitled "Academic Personnel System Appointments: Basic Employment Commitment on an Academic Year, Basis," Faculty Handbook).

Salary Rate

An individual's salary rate as a faculty member is not changed by reason of an administrative assignment. Rather, the change related to the administrative assignment is for the period of the service in the administrative assignment only. The salary rate as a faculty member should be reviewed and specified explicitly each year even while the faculty member holds an administrative assignment. The salary rate related to an administrative assignment will reflect a change from AY to AN basis, if this is relevant. Also, an administrative increment may be added.

Administrative Increment

There is no fixed amount designated for the administrative increment.  However, the administrative increment amount is typically no more than $20,000.  Administrative increments greater than $20,000 require prior approval by the Office of the Provost.  The amount of the administrative increment is determined by the responsibility of the position and the size, complexity and scope of the department, unit or program.  Given the varying responsibilities across units, there may be considerable variation between units.  The amount of the increment shall also be based on the availability of funds.  When such administrative responsibilities cease, the administrative increment will be removed.

Status in Academic Unit

Prior to appointment or assignment to administrative duties, the applicable primary academic unit(s) must (initially or continue to) accept the faculty member as a regular faculty member. Following reassignment from administrative duties, the designated primary academic unit(s) will honor this commitment by accepting the faculty member in its "normal" FTE count except as may be necessary during a transition period. Transition periods will be extended only as necessary by agreement with the Office of the Provost after an assessment of the resources available.

Performance of Faculty Duties

Faculty duties may be performed by the faculty member while serving in an administrative capacity. These duties may include teaching, research and public service in the relevant primary academic unit(s), i.e., department(s), school(s), and/or residential or non-departmentally organized college(s). In addition, committee assignments, supervision of graduate students, participation in academic governance, as consistent with University, college, and unit bylaws, in or on behalf of the academic unit may be involved. Subject to an explicit agreement between the relevant University, college, and unit level administrators, performance in such activities is to be evaluated in accordance with normal unit procedures and should be an ingredient in the evaluation for salary increases of the faculty member holding an administrative assignment. In accordance with this explicit agreement, the University, college and unit administrators shall resolve any differences concerning the annual salary increase to be recommended for the individual in question.

Criteria and Procedures for Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion

Performance in assigned faculty duties should be an ingredient in the evaluation for reappointment, tenure and promotion of the faculty member holding an administrative assignment.1

Evaluation of a faculty member assigned to both faculty and administrative duties and responsibilities should take into account the relative assignment of effort to these duties and responsibilities. Evaluation of faculty and other primary academic unit duties in consideration for the above-referenced academic personnel recommendations must be conducted in accordance with normal unit procedures and criteria.

Normally the primary academic unit will initiate the recommendation for reappointment, tenure, and/or promotion (as appropriate) in accordance with regular procedures. However, the appropriate administrator may also initiate the recommendation. In such cases, the recommendation must be reviewed and endorsed by the primary academic unit(s) in which the individual holds academic rank. Such an endorsement indicates the willingness of the unit to accept the individual as a faculty member in the unit with the recommended tenure status and rank.

Implementation of Policy

All of these aspects of faculty status must be communicated by the relevant unit administrator to the faculty member, in writing, before initial appointment as a faculty member and administrator or prior to the assignment of administrative duties to a faculty member already employed at Michigan State University. A copy of the letter specifying these aspects of faculty status, including how they will be affected, if at all, by the cessation of administrative duties, must be attached to the appointment or change of status form used to initiate the personnel action.

As relevant, appointment or a change in status to an annual (AN) appointment basis and the addition of an administrative increment by reason of administrative assignment should be specified in the "comments" section of the appointment or change of status forms as follows:

"The annual (AN) appointment basis is for the period of service in the position of___________________________only. In addition, an administrative increment is provided in the amount of_____________________________for the period of appointment in this administrative role."

This language may be modified in the event that one or the other of these changes is inappropriate in any particular case. 
A change to an administrative assignment requiring a change from an academic year (AY) appointment to an annual (AN) appointment basis will result in a salary that is 11/9 of the faculty member's academic year (AY) salary. If an administrative increment is appropriate, it should be added after the determination of the AN salary. If reassignment from administrative duties results in a shift from an annual (AN) appointment basis to an academic year (AY) appointment basis, the AY salary will be an amount equivalent to 9/11 of the current AN salary except that if an administrative increment exists, it should be deducted before the AN salary is changed to an AY basis. In every case, a shift from an administrative assignment to faculty duties shall result in withdrawal of any administrative increment.

The salary rate as a faculty member should be specified explicitly each year. The following statement should be communicated by the appropriate administrator to each faculty member with an administrative assignment on the occasion of annual salary increases:

"Your salary effective October 1,_____________ will be___________________. This includes an administrative increment of________________________. Your salary rate on an academic year basis, excluding this administrative increment, is_________________________, effective October 1, _________________."

This language may be modified if an annual year (AN) appointment basis or the addition of an administrative increment is not required by reason of administrative responsibilities.



1As a general matter, a non-tenured faculty member should not be assigned to administrative duties except in instances when this is in the best interest of the individual and the University. In such cases, a written statement on how the unit's regular standards and criteria for reappointment and tenure will be applied to the individual during the period of administrative assignment must be prepared by the applicable unit administrator, after consultation with the designated unit advisory committee, and be sent to the affected faculty member before the administrative assignment is approved. The annual review of performance must include assessment of progress as a faculty member performing regular faculty duties, i.e., instruction, research and public service.