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Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty (UNTF) - Non-Renewal Letter FAQs

These questions and answers pertain to the Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty (UNTF) non-renewal letter provision described in Article 15 in the UNTF collective bargaining unit agreement between Michigan State University and the Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty.  

Additional questions regarding appointment non-renewal requirements can be directed to:

Amy Holda, Employee Relations Manager, amyholda@hr.msu.edu , 517-884-0116
Bernadette Russell, HR Professional, brussell@hr.msu.edu , 517-884-0214
Melanie Trowbridge, AHR Assistant Director, mjt@msu.edu , 517-353-4851
Kara Yermak, AHR Assistant Director, burtkara@provost.msu.edu , 517-884-0185

The non-renewal letter needs to state the basis for the decision not to reappoint the faculty/academic staff member.
No. This reason doesn’t provide sufficient rationale for why the faculty/academic staff member won’t be reappointed for an additional semester/year. Examples of appropriate reasons for non-renewal include:
  • The department doesn’t have sufficient enrollment numbers to determine if a teaching assignment will be available for the next semester
  • The appointment was for a limited-time period of time to cover for a faculty member who was on a sabbatical or another leave
Yes, the collective bargaining agreement requires that notice of non-renewal also be provided to the UNTF. The letter can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the UNTF. Academic Human Resources recommends emailing the letter to the UNTF. The UNTF contact information can be found on their website.
Written notice of non-renewal shall be provided at least one month prior to the expiration of the appointment. However, there are different notice periods for “fall only” and “spring only” appointments. See the next question below.
A “fall only” appointment means that the faculty/academic staff member teaches in the fall only, on a recurring basis, but does not have any other appointments throughout the year in the spring or summer. In order to qualify as “fall only”, a faculty/academic staff member must have worked at least two fall semesters, with no other intervening or adjacent appointments.

A “spring only” appointment means that the faculty/academic staff member teaches in the spring only, on a recurring basis, but does not have any other appointments throughout the year in the summer or fall. In order to qualify as “spring only”, a faculty/academic staff member must have worked at least two spring semesters, with no other intervening or adjacent appointments.
For faculty/academic staff who are on “fall only” appointments, if they are not to be reappointed for the next fall semester, a notice of non-renewal must be sent by April 22.

For faculty/academic staff who are on “spring only” appointments, if they are not to be reappointed for the next spring semester, a notice of non-renewal must be sent by December 1.
The collective bargaining agreement states that the notice of non-renewal provision does not apply in the spring appointment period for the summer appointment period. In other words, if an appointment ends in the spring, any notice of non-renewal that is to be provided to a faculty/academic staff member need only address the non-renewal for the fall semester.
Yes. A non-renewal letter is required.

The terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement apply to all fixed term faculty and academic staff who: (1) are currently teaching regularly scheduled credit courses, or (2) are currently teaching non-credit courses that are required for degree completion, degree program admittance, or teacher certification.

Since this faculty member has retired from his/her appointment in the tenure system, the exclusion in the contract for faculty who are appointed in the tenure system does not apply.
No, a non-renewal letter is not required. However, please obtain written resignation from the faculty/academic staff member to keep on file.
The collective bargaining agreement states that if non-renewal letters are not issued within the specified time limits, and the UNTF notifies the department of failure to comply with such timelines, the department must issue, within three (3) business days after such notice is received, either a non-renewal letter or an appointment letter. When a letter is issued to the employee, it must also be sent to the UNTF. Academic Human Resources recommends emailing the letter to the UNTF. Failure to comply with the three day time limit will result in a financial penalty for the department (i.e., two weeks’ pay).
Employees who are not issued a letter within the three business day notice period are entitled to two weeks’ pay from the employing unit at the pay rate they received during their most recent appointment period. The two weeks’ pay is calculated using the daily rate and only on the UNTF teaching portion of the assignment. Acceptance of such payment will satisfy any grievance or claim pertaining to the matter. Please contact HR Employee Relations or Academic Human Resources to discuss how payment is to be made.
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