Office of the Provost

Faculty Affairs

The Office of Faculty Affairs is responsible for overseeing the following: faculty personnel actions, faculty medical and family leave, guidelines and policies, including appointments, promotions, and conferral of tenure, as well as appeals and grievances; monitoring the faculty annual review process; and coordinating activities to enhance the professional development of faculty and administrators.

For further information, please contact:

Office of Faculty Affairs 826 Cathedral of Learning Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Laurie J. Kirsch, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Development, and Diversity

Amy Tuttle, Senior Assistant to the Provost

Links to Relevant Policies, Documents, and Guidelines

Other Faculty-Related Links


1. How much vacation time does the University grant to faculty members?

Deans, directors, department chairs, faculty, faculty librarians, and research associates on 12-month appointments are entitled to one month vacation (20 days) each year. Faculty members holding a less-than-12-month appointment or who work part-time do not earn vacation benefits. (For further information, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Employment, Vacations.)

2. Does the University provide sick leave for faculty members?

Under the University’s Faculty Medical and Family Leave Policy, an eligible faculty member can receive paid leave for a period of up to 26 workweeks, during any 12-month period in the event of his or her own serious medical condition or illness, contingent upon certification by a health care provider.

Faculty members who have been employed at the University for 24 calendar months or more are eligible for up to a maximum of four weeks of paid leave during any consecutive 24-month period in the event of a serious medical condition or illness of a spouse, biological or adopted child, or parent for whom the faculty member has a major responsibility. (Please refer to University Policy 02-11-01, Faculty Medical and Family Leave, for eligibility requirements and specific details.)

3. Does the University provide maternity and parental leave for faculty?

While there is nothing at the University that is officially titled “Maternity leave,” faculty who need leave time for pregnancy and childbirth are covered through the University’s Faculty Medical and Family Leave policy.

The medical leave portion of the University policy covers leave requests due to pregnancy and childbirth. The eligible faculty member submits a completed Certificate of Physician or Practitioner, indicating the amount of leave time medically necessary (this is generally six weeks for a normal pregnancy or childbirth). Eligible faculty members on medical leave continue to receive full salary and medical insurance benefits.

The family leave portion of the policy provides four workweeks of paid leave for eligible faculty members within one calendar year after the birth or adoption of a child. This time can be taken as two straight weeks or pro-rated (one day a week for ten weeks, for instance); the faculty member and his or her department work together to decide this (see University Procedures 02-11-01, Faculty Medical and Family Leave). Unpaid leave of up to one calendar year to care for a child is also provided under this policy.

4. Does the University have a policy on faculty/student relationships?

The University’s educational mission is promoted by professional relationships between faculty members and students. Relationships of an intimate nature compromise the integrity of the faculty-student relationship whenever the faculty member has responsibility for the student.

The University (through University Policy 02-04-03, Faculty-Student Relationships) prohibits intimate (meaning sexual and/or romantic) relationships between a faculty member (anyone appointed by the University as a teacher, researcher or academic administrator, including graduate and undergraduate students so appointed) and a student whose academic work, teaching, or research is being supervised or evaluated by the faculty member. If an intimate relationship should exist or develop between a faculty member and a student, the University requires the faculty member to remove himself/herself from all supervisory, evaluative, and/or formal advisory roles with respect to the student. Failure to do so may subject the faculty member to disciplinary action and may result in the forfeiture of the legal and monetary protections of the University’s indemnification policy (see University Policy 07-06-06, Faculty and Staff Indemnification).

5. What are the required notification dates for non-renewal of faculty contracts?

For tenure-stream faculty: A faculty member on a one-year appointment shall be notified in writing no later than March 15; on a second or subsequent consecutive one-year appointment by December 15; by December 15 of the second year of a two-year appointment; and 12 months prior to the end of a three-year appointment. (See: Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Article IV, 4.6,b.)

For non-tenure stream faculty: For a faculty member who has completed less than five full years of continuous service, he/she shall be notified in writing no later than three and a half months prior to the end of the appointment; for faculty who have completed at least five full years of continuous service, he/she shall be notified in writing no later than five and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. (See: Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Article VI, 6.3.)

6. What mechanisms are available to a faculty member if there is an unresolved difference between a faculty member and his/her supervisor, department chair, or dean?

University Policy 02-02-10, Faculty Reviews and Appeals, establishes the right of faculty members to appeal appointment decisions affecting renewal and tenure. Any eligible member of the faculty may appeal appointment decisions of nonrenewal or promotion related to allegations of inadequate consideration, academic freedom violations, or discrimination.

University Policy 02-03-01, Faculty Grievances, applies to actions or decisions that have adversely affected an eligible member of the faculty in his or her professional capacity that has occurred or been reached unfairly, improperly, or in violation of University policy.

Faculty members are encouraged to contact the University Senate Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee for assistance or to initiate an information investigation and dispute resolution process.

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