Shared Faculty Appointments

The purpose of this policy is to address the employment challenges faced by dual career academic couples in a manner that is beneficial both to the university and to the appointed faculty members. The Policy on Shared Faculty Appointments is not a job share policy for university staff and faculty; it is a policy of limited scope designed to address situations in which two persons who are married or in a comparable committed partnership wish to be considered jointly for a single full-time, tenure-line faculty position.

Policy Statement

The University of Puget Sound supports applications for and hiring of persons in shared tenure-line faculty appointments. The university benefits from such appointments by attracting and retaining to the university faculty members who might not otherwise be able to accept or continue in a position at Puget Sound. By having two persons in a shared faculty appointment, the university may also gain curricular flexibility, enriched opportunities for student research mentorship, or enhanced participation in the academic-residential life of the campus community.

Definition

A shared faculty appointment is defined as two individuals, who are married or in a comparable committed partnership (as defined by the university's affidavit of marriage or domestic partnership), who share the duties and responsibilities of a tenure-line position more traditionally held by one individual. Faculty members holding shared appointments must have expertise in the same or a closely allied academic discipline or subdiscipline and will normally be appointed in the same academic department.

Because of the contractual differences between shared positions and single full-time positions, shared-position issues must be carefully considered and outlined to guide hiring, appointment, and successful implementation. When a shared appointment is initiated, the Dean will outline terms of understanding with the appointment letter for each faculty member as a record of the basis for the shared appointment. These terms shall guide the shared appointment unless alterations to the understanding are agreed upon in writing by both the occupants of the position, the department, and the Dean.

Initiation

Persons considering a shared-appointment application for an advertised faculty position must decide prior to on-campus interviews if they wish to apply separately for the full-time position or together for a shared position. The university will honor their choice. For shared-appointment candidates, both candidates must be ranked near the top of the applicant pool, and undergo the interview process, in order for an offer of a shared position to be considered.

In limited circumstances, the university will also consider converting a single full-time tenure-line position to a shared-position appointment. The department should present a proposal to the Dean that indicates how the conversion would benefit the university and that presents evidence for excellence in teaching, professional growth, and potential service on the part of the person proposed to join the shared appointment. The department chair or director should provide written evidence to the Dean that a majority of the tenure-line faculty members in the department, school, or program support the request.

In accord with the Faculty Code, the Dean and the President must approve all tenure-line faculty appointments.

Responsibilities and Expectations

Shared-appointment faculty members have the same roles, rights, and responsibilities as outlined in the Faculty Code for all tenure-line faculty.

Teaching.

Persons holding shared appointments will hold separate contracts, each covering one-half of a full-time tenure-line position in the home department. Insofar as possible, in keeping with the needs of the department and the university, the teaching load for each person in the shared appointment will reflect over time an approximately equivalent mix of lower- and upper-division courses and an equitable distribution of courses over fall and spring terms.

Overload Teaching.

Additional teaching beyond the half-time assignment cannot be required of faculty members sharing a position, nor is it guaranteed. The university may offer additional units of teaching responsibilities to either person in a shared position on an annual basis consistent with the needs of the department and the university curriculum. An individual holding a shared appointment may accept or decline any invitation to teach additional units.

Professional Growth.

Persons holding shared appointments will have the status of tenure-line faculty for the purposes of applying to University Enrichment Committee programs (i.e., each individual may separately request funds for travel to conventions and for research support). They will jointly have the same opportunity for sabbatical grants or other paid leaves as would be appropriate for a single full-time position (i.e., a sabbatical leave might be taken by both in the same semester, or by each one in differing semesters, so long as the value of the total leave taken by both equaled the value of a sabbatical for an individual full-time faculty member.)

Advising and Service.

Expectations for student advising and for service to the department and university by shared-appointment faculty members are, jointly, the same as for a single, regular tenure-line faculty position.

Each person holding a shared appointment is a voting member of the faculty and of the home department or program.

Evaluation

Because persons entering shared appointments may hold different ranks, and bring varied lengths of prior service in the academy, each will be separately scheduled and considered for tenure and promotion, with each file being read on its own merits. The evaluation of teaching for tenure will occur on the basis of the courses actually taught, which will be fewer than for faculty individually holding a full-time appointment. The criteria for tenure and promotion will be those specified in the Faculty Code and applying to all faculty.

Persons holding shared appointments will not participate, directly or indirectly, in one another's evaluations.

Leaving the Shared Appointment

  1. In the event that one of the individuals in a shared appointment leaves the university through choice, through the university declining to renew a contract or grant tenure, or due to the couple separating, the other individual will maintain his or her position at Puget Sound and may, upon recommendation of the department and review by the Dean, be offered the opportunity to expand his or her employment to occupy the full-time position.

  2. The university will not require one member of a shared appointment to teach full-time during an approved family or medical leave granted to the other partner. However, in the event that one of the individuals holding a shared appointment is unable to continue his or her teaching duties for a period of time beyond an approved medical or other leave of absence, or suffers a long-term disability, the other individual in the shared appointment normally will assume the teaching and non-teaching duties up to the equivalent of one full-time position until the end of the academic year. Upon recommendation of the department and review by the Dean, that individual may then be offered the opportunity to occupy the full-time position.

  3. If a full-time, tenure-track position should open for which either or both persons holding a shared appointment are qualified, the university may appoint one of the persons into that appointment. If consultation between the dean and department suggest that a search should be conducted for the open position, either or both professors may apply for the position. The normal national search standards will be employed and neither person holding a shared appointment should expect or receive preferential treatment in the search. Should an individual in a shared position be appointed to a full-time position, the other person in the shared appointment will maintain his or her position at Puget Sound and may, upon recommendation of the department and review by the Dean, be offered the opportunity to expand his or her employment to occupy the full-time position. A tenured faculty member in a shared appointment retains tenure if hired to a full-time faculty position.

Compensation

Salary.

Each individual holding a shared appointment will hold a separate contract, with a salary of one-half of the full-time salary for his or her rank and step in the Faculty Salary Scale. Compensation for the teaching of additional courses for which the person is the primary instructor will be proportionate to the appropriate full-time salary for the year in which the teaching is done. (For example, if asked to teach a fourth unit as the lecturer or primary instructor for the course, that unit will be compensated at one-sixth of a full-time salary.)

Benefits.

Persons sharing a single tenure-line faculty appointment will each receive a Flexible Benefits Allowance equal to that of a full-time faculty member, including eligibility to participate in the university's medical, dental, and optional life insurance plans and/or to establish health and dependent care personal expense accounts). Each individual will be eligible for personal educational benefits equivalent to a full-time faculty member; educational benefits eligibility for dependent children will be joint, as would be appropriate for a single full-time position. Benefits based on a percentage of salary, such as the university's retirement plan, will reflect the annual contracted salary for each person.

Resources

Persons holding shared appointments will be provided with separate computers within the normal faculty computer program. Each will be allocated office space, secretarial support, access to library and information services, and access to departmental resources comparable to a full-time faculty member.


Policy drafted 08/07
Reviewed by: Professional Standards Committee, October 2007, November 2008.
Approved: November 19, 2008 by Exec