To: Deans and Regional Campus Presidents
From: James V. Maher
Date: May 8, 2006
Faculty Recruitment and Resignation Deadlines
We have been reviewing the issue (raised by members of the Council of Deans) of the University’s deadline for extending offers to faculty who are employed at other universities, as well as the related, but distinct, issue of the deadline for one’s own faculty members accepting offers to join the faculty of other universities. At present, we have an explicit policy governing the deadline for accepting offers from others, but not for extending offers. University Policy 02-04-02, Academic Responsibilities and Professional Conduct, states: “If accepting other employment as of the end of an academic year, notice of resignation should be received no later than May 15 of that year.” The Faculty Handbook incorporates this language and cites this Policy as a reference. I am reaffirming, effective immediately, this May 15 resignation deadline, as set forth in the existing policy. With respect to extending offers, going forward we shall adopt, also effective immediately, a deadline date of May 1. If implementation of this deadline for the 2005-2006 recruiting year would present special problems for some, we can address these on a case by case basis. The rationale for these resignation and offer dates is set forth below.
The AAUP, in association with the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, adopted a statement in 1992/1993 (The Ethics of Recruitment and Faculty Appointments) that succinctly addresses both the deadline date of offer as well as the deadline date of a resignation stemming from the tendering of an offer by another institution:
An offer of appointment to a faculty member serving at another institution should be made no later than May 1, consistent with the faculty member’s obligation to resign, in order to accept other employment, no later than May 15. It is recognized that, in special cases, it might be appropriate to make an offer after May 1, but in such cases there should be an agreement by all parties concerned.
This statement, as well as our own, is somewhat at variance with the position that has long been espoused by the Association of American Universities. In 1964 (reaffirmed in 1997), its Committee on Policy Statement for Faculty Recruitment adopted the following:
We believe that a responsible approach for both institutions and the faculty members would be to consider offers made or pending on May 1, or thereafter, to be effective normally only after the intervention of an academic year.
A search of various university websites reveals that actual practices vary. Many are explicit with regard to resignation dates but the dates for extending offers are less visible. One example that includes deadlines for both is Northwestern, which essentially has adopted the AAU standard. Another is Syracuse that, using language drawn from still another AAUP statement on Recruitment and Resignation of Faculty Members, 1990, has adopted a position on both deadlines similar to those which we are now adopting (Policies/Faculty Manual, Appendix 2).
A faculty member should not resign in order to accept other employment as of the end of the academic year later than May 15 or 30 days after receiving notification of the terms of his continued employment the following year, whichever date occurs later. It is recognized, however, that this obligation will be in effect only if institutions generally observe the time factor set forth … for new offers. It is recognized that emergencies will occur. In such an emergency the faculty member may ask the appropriate officials of his institution to waive this requirement; but he should conform to their decision. To permit a faculty member to give due consideration and timely notice to his institution … an offer of appointment for the following fall at another institution should not be made after May 1.
In reviewing these various sources, we concluded that it is desirable to make explicit an offer deadline of no later than May 1 for an appointment effective at the beginning of the ensuing academic year, unless there is agreement with the other institution that such an offer would be permissible. While subscribing to what appears to be a generally national standard with respect to offers, we also concluded that it makes little sense to have the same deadline for resignations to accept offers from other institutions. We thus believe that the approach of using May 15 for resignations is more appropriate. This policy will thus not affect the May 15 resignation deadline date already appearing in the above noted University Policy 02-04-02. However, we will insert a reference to the May 1 deadline for extending offers to faculty members employed at other institutions in a relevant place in the forthcoming updated version of the Faculty Handbook, and we will also place a copy of this memorandum on the Provost’s office website.
cc: Provost’s Senior Staff