Faculty Handbook

Librarian Continuous Appointment System

Last updated: 4/13/2012

IV. ACADEMIC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES

The following policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 25, 1977 and revised on June 12, 1987, September 3, 2003 and April 13, 2012.

Appointments in the continuous appointment system are only at the ranks of Librarian III, Librarian II, and Librarian I.

The Provost of Michigan State University, in recognition of the essential contributions of librarians to academic programs, appoints, upon recommendation of the Director of Libraries, librarians at those professional levels (Librarian I-II) which do not involve an immediate award of continuous appointment status. The President approves, upon recommendation of the Director of Libraries and the Provost, appointments of librarians at the professional level (Librarian III) which confer immediate continuous appointment status to those librarians who exhibit strong evidence of the capacity for sustained professional growth.

Continuous appointment, as used in this statement, assures a librarian that she/he will not be dismissed due to capricious action by the Library administration nor will dismissal be used as a restraint on a librarian's exercise of academic freedom. Continuous appointment does not guarantee employment if positions are not funded, if there are gross violations of University or Library policies, if the librarian refuses to perform reasonable assigned duties or fails to fulfill contractual obligations, or if the librarian no longer renders satisfactory performance in his or her professional capacity at the University.

Dismissal of librarians in the continuous appointment system shall use procedures consistent with the policy on Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for Cause.

Probationary appointment periods are calculated from August 16 of the calendar year in which the appointment is effective.

When continuous appointment is granted, it is effective upon the first day of the month after the date of approval.

A librarian with the rank of Librarian III in the continuous appointment system is granted continuous appointment (appointment for an indefinite period without a terminal date) from the date of appointment at that rank.

Librarian II who has not served previously at Michigan State University usually is appointed in the continuous appointment system for a probationary period that expires on the fourth August 15 after the appointment year. In some cases, upon the recommendation of the Director of Libraries, and with the prior approval of the Provost, the probationary period may vary in length from two to five years. If aLibrarian II is reappointed, continuous appointment is granted. Individuals appointed at the rank of Librarian II without continuous appointment have the option of requesting reappointment at any point1  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 time specified upon appointment.

In unusual cases, on recommendation of the Director of Libraries and with the prior approval of the Provost and the President, a librarian initially appointed at the rank of Librarian II may be granted continuous appointment from the date of appointment.

Librarian I who has not served previously at Michigan State University is appointed initially in the continuous appointment system for a probationary period that expires on the fourth August 15 after the appointment year and may be reappointed for an additional probationary period of three years. If at any time during these two probationary periods a Librarian I is promoted to the rank of Librarian II, continuous appointment is granted. If not promoted to the rank of Librarian II at the conclusion of the second probationary period of three years, the individual is ineligible for an additional reappointment unless a special extension is approved (see below).  Individuals appointed at the rank of Librarian I without continuous appointment have the option of requesting promotion to Librarian II with continuous appointment at any point1 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.

Extensions in the probationary appointment periods for all librarians appointed in the continuous appointment system require approval of the Director of Libraries and the Provost (or designee).

Procedures for the implementation of this policy are available in the Office of the Library.

Evaluation

All librarians are evaluated annually for the purposes of improving performance and service to the Library and the University, for continuing appointment status, and for compensation. The evaluation is made by the immediate supervisor, including consultation with the evaluated librarian.

The Library department administrators, in consultation with the supervisors and peer review committees, make personnel recommendations to the Director on such matters as salaries, hiring procedures, and continuous appointment.

The Director, based upon advice received and considering the total personnel needs of the Library, will make a final recommendation to the Provost on personnel matters.

The evaluative and consultative processes are detailed in the Librarian Personnel Handbook. 

Operating Principles

The operating principles for continuous appointment of librarians are included in the Library Bylaws.

Footnote

1 Such early reviews would occur on the normal review cycle as established by university and Library procedures.

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