Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA


2.1 Faculty Status and Rank - Definitions

2.1.1 Terminal Degree Policy of the UNC System

It is the policy of the University of North Carolina at Asheville that faculty members must have the appropriate terminal degree for their discipline in order to be eligible for academic tenure. In most fields this is the doctorate degree.

2.1.2 Faculty Ranks (SD10316S)

The faculty at the University of North Carolina at Asheville is composed of all persons having academic rank, including the Chancellor and the Provost and VCAA. The ranks are Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer, Instructor, and Visiting Faculty (see Article I, Constitution of the Faculty Senate, Section 14.1). Individuals in Specialized Faculty Appointments are generally not considered part of the faculty. See Section 14.2 of the UNC Asheville Tenure Policies and Regulations, Faculty Ranks, for details associated with appointments, evaluation and notice. Non Tenurable Ranks (SD2921S)

Instructor: The rank of instructor is appropriate for persons who are appointed to the faculty in the expectation that they will soon progress to a professorial rank but who lack, when appointed, the necessary terminal degree for appointment to a professorial rank. Initial appointment to the rank of instructor shall be for one year, with one additional year of Instructor rank allowable so as to complete the required degree. (However, the candidate can be offered a terminal one-year appointment following the two-year allowance.) Upon completion of the necessary degree, advancement to the rank of assistant professor begins the following fall semester and initiates the four-year probationary term. No person holding a position as an instructor may be appointed to permanent tenure at that rank.

Lecturer: The rank of lecturer is reserved for persons who are appointed to non-tenure track full-time faculty positions of specifically contracted length. Initial appointment to the rank of lecturer shall be for a term of one year. After completion of at least three one-year appointments, terms may be extended to three years.  No person holding the position of lecturer may be appointed to permanent tenure at this rank. The "notice" provisions of Section 14.2 do not apply to lecturer appointments; each lecturer shall be notified of appointment for the following academic year before the end of the preceding spring semester in the final year of the contract.

Types of lecturer postions: There are two types of lecturer positions. A temporary lecturer may be requested to fill immediate instructional needs with no expectation to keep the position beyond the single year or term. Temporary lecturers most often substitute for tenure track faculty when a search is in progress. A continuing lecturer position may be requested when a department/program wishes to add a lecturer to its full-time staff. 

Senior Lecturer: The rank of Senior Lecturer is reserved for members of the faculty who have completed at least seven years as a full-time faculty member (of any rank) as Lecturer and who have demonstrated noteworthy accomplishments in scholarship and/or service, in addition to high-quality teaching, which warrant a promotion to this rank and the issuance of a five-year contract. Senior Lecturers have a 12-hour teaching load. The rank of Senior Lecturer is initially awarded through the promotion process described in 3.5.4, in which the Committee of Tenured Faculty makes a recommendation to the Provost. Senior Lecturers receive five-year contracts following their appointments. Subsequent five-year contracts are requested as follows:

● The Chair or Program Director should write a brief (1-3 page) statement requesting the Senior Lecturer’s reappointment, including both (a) a justification for the position based on departmental enrollment trends, department staffing, and curricular needs, referencing data supplied by the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning, and (b) an evaluation of the Senior Lecturer’s overall contributions during the prior four years, addressing areas listed in the guidelines for evaluation that are relevant for the candidate.

● The Chair’s statement should be submitted to the Office of the Deans along with their evaluation of the candidate’s annual faculty record. (See Section 3.4.2 for Chair evaluation due date.) Academic Affairs will supply Student Feedback on Instruction data and annual faculty records from the prior four years

● The Deans as a group will review all Senior Lecturer reappointment files and make a recommendation to the Provost. Senior Lecturers will be notified of the decision no later than August 1 of the last fiscal year of their contract (i.e. for contracts terminating June 30, notification will be given 11 months prior to the ending date).

No person holding the position of Senior Lecturer may be appointed to permanent tenure at this rank. The "notice" provisions of Section 14.2 do not apply to Senior Lecturer appointments.

Visiting Faculty: The qualification "visiting" applies to faculty hired for fixed-term appointments, normally in roles replacing a regular faculty member taking a leave or awarded a professional development leave. Such an appointment shall be at a specific rank for a term of not more than one year; one subsequent appointment may be made for a term of not more than one year.

Specialized Fixed-term Faculty Appointments (see Section 14.2. for further explanation).

Artist, Poet, Writer in Residence, Clinical, Research: Fixed-term appointments with the title designations of "artist in residence," or "writer in residence," or with any faculty rank designated in Section 2.1.2 above when accompanied by the qualifying prefix "Clinical," or "Research," may be made as provided herein. Such an appointment is appropriate for a person who has unusual qualifications for teaching, research, academic administration, or public service but for whom neither a professorial rank nor the instructor rank is appropriate because of the limited duration of the mission for which he or she is appointed, because of concern for continued availability of special funding for the position, or for other valid institutional reasons. An initial special appointment shall be for fixed terms of one to five years and may be made either in direct succession or at intervals.

The "notice" provisions of Section 14.2 do not apply to special faculty appointments, and a faculty member holding such an appointment is not entitled to any notice concerning offer of any subsequent appointment at any rank or appropriate department.

Adjunct Faculty (one-half time or less): Adjunct faculty are employed semester by semester and paid on a per course contract as specified in their letter of employment from the Provost and VCAA. Normally an adjunct is restricted to teaching no more than six hours per semester. Emeriti Faculty (SD9116S) (SD0202F supersedes SD0495F) (SD2384)

To honor distinguished service, the University grants emeritus status to those faculty members who:

Retire from the University with faculty rank after at least ten years of service at UNC Asheville, upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

The Provost should consult department faculty before recommending emeritus status and may make a determination that a faculty member may not receive emeritus status if in his or her judgment the retired faculty member has engaged in behavior similar to that which would warrant the imposition of serious sanctions on members of the faculty, as specified in the UNC Code and Policy Manual, Section 603 (1) (c). Similarly, the Provost may withdraw emeritus status from a former faculty member for such behavior, after consultation with the Committee of Tenured Faculty. In both cases, the Provost must notify the retired faculty member of his or her decision and the retired faculty member has the right to appeal the decision to the Grievance Committee. That appeal would follow Grievance Committee procedures as described in 3.6.

Special circumstances may dictate that the first of these requirements be waived, in which case the Committee of the Tenured Faculty is empowered to act by two-thirds vote of those present and voting.

Major administrators who also hold professional rank will be considered for profressional emeritus status in accordance iwth the regular procedure for the faculty. Eligibility for emeritus status under these standards is retroactive for all faculty who have retired from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The designation shall be "Emeritus" following whatever highest rank has been earned, e.g., Professor Emeritus.

Faculty members retired and emeriti possess such privileges as continued listing in the university catalog, standing invitations to march in all academic processions and to participate in other academic faculty events on the same basis as currently employed faculty, use of athletic and library facilities and faculty parking areas, and such other privileges as may be extended by the Board of Trustees. Tenurable Ranks

Assistant Professor: Appointment to the rank of Assistant Professor is appropriate for faculty who hold the terminal degree (usually the doctorate) in their discipline and who are otherwise fully qualified to hold a faculty position. Initial appointment to this rank shall be for a probationary term of four years. In the third year of this term following a review, the person may be appointed for a second four-year probationary term. A favorable review followed by reappointment voids the fourth year of first term and initiates the second probationary term in the following academic year. An unfavorable review allows the fourth year of the first term to serve as a grace year of employment with faculty status. (See Section 14.2). Reappointed persons on tenure track will normally be evaluated for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the sixth year of the full probationary period. Candidates awarded tenure will begin a permanent contract in the following year of employment. Candidates not awarded tenure may not be reappointed beyond the seventh year of employment.

Associate Professor: Appointment to the rank of Associate Professor is appropriate for faculty who hold the terminal degree in their discipline and who have a record of excellent teaching, a pattern of professional and scholarly development commensurate with departmental standards, and evidence of commitment to university service within and outside the department. For untenured faculty, the initial appointment to this rank shall be for a probationary term of four years. Appointments will normally be evaluated for tenure in the third year of the term. Candidates awarded tenure will begin a permanent contract in the fourth year of employment. Candidates not awarded tenure may not be reappointed beyond the fourth year of the term. (See Section 14.2).

Professor: Appointment to the rank of Professor is appropriate for faculty who hold the terminal degree (usually the doctorate) in their discipline and who have a strong record of excellent teaching, significant accomplishment in scholarship/creative activity, and evidence of commitment to university service within and outside the department. For untenured faculty, the initial appointment to the rank shall be for a probationary term of four years. Appointments will normally be evaluated for tenure in the third year of the term. Candidates awarded tenure will begin a permanent contract in the fourth year of employment. Candidates not awarded tenure may not be reappointed beyond the fourth year of the term. (See Section 14.2). Part-time, continuing contract (at least one-half time)

Under special circumstances approved by the Provost and VCAA, and for a specified time period, a faculty member may be appointed to a ranked position at less than full-time but more than one-half time teaching equivalency. Persons in this category are on an annual salaried contract; their tenure status is not altered by this appointment. North Carolina law requires a person to be employed at least three-quarters time to qualify for benefits.

    2.2 Budgeted Faculty Positions

The Board of Governors annually determines the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) students to be funded at each constituent institution and then allocates faculty positions, salary and other budget items, based upon the enrollment figures. The adjunct faculty budget is funded by holding some full-time positions vacant which generates money to hire adjunct faculty.

    2.3 Allocation of Faculty Positions

Faculty positions funded to UNC Asheville are allocated by the Provost and VCAA after analysis of requests from Department Chairs and Program Directors, consideration of Institutional needs, and consultation with the Position Allocation Committee and the Chancellor. Positions which become vacant must be justified in the same way as requests for new positions. Once a position has been allocated the Search Procedure described in the following section is activated. 

   2.4  Faculty Searches (SD4682)    (Edited by Provost and VCAA, 2007, 2017) (SD6922S)

This process is controlled by State and Federal laws governing employment by public institutions and including regulations concerning Affirmative Action and non-discrimination. In the employment of faculty members at UNC Asheville, the Provost and VCAA has been delegated responsibility for all matters, from the allocation of vacant positions to the recommendations for hiring to the Chancellor. In the hiring of tenure-track persons, the Board of Trustees acts on the recommendation of the Chancellor. The Board has delegated to the Chancellor the final decision on the hiring of non-tenure-track faculty members.

Purpose of the Search: (SD7103S)

To find the person most qualified in the needed expertise and most suited to the purposes and character of this particular academic community. The achievement of this purpose may be modified by the circumstances of the employment market, rank and salary available, the recruitment and retention of faculty accompanied by an academic spouse/partner, etc.

Function of the Search Committee:

1. To clarify (to the extent that they have not already been determined) the qualifications to be sought in applicants for the position in light of departmental and institutional needs.

2. To screen all applicants in order to determine those most suitable for the position advertised.

3. To recommend to the Provost and Dean applicants to be invited for on-campus interviews.

4. To participate in these on-campus interviews and to provide feedback to the Provost and Dean after campus interviews.

Role of Chair of the Search Committee:

1. To lead the Committee in performing its functions including:
* setting up its procedures, files, and individual assignments,
* maintaining objectivity in assessing applicants' qualifications,
* directing attention to affirmative action consideration, and
* checking applicants' references.

2. To act as liaison with Office of Academic Affairs in:
* developing advertisement, its placement in journals and deadline for applications,
* meeting requirements and reporting needs of Affirmative Action,
* communicating feedback on candidates to the Provost and Dean, and
* being available for consultation with Academic Affairs on any subsequent salary or rank negotiations.

3. To make arrangements for interviews and presentations by candidates in:
* setting up dates and interview schedules,
* arranging travel, lodging and meals, and
* arranging for reimbursement for expenses incurred by candidate.

Composition of Search Committees (SD6922S)

Please refer to the Academic Affairs website for procedures on the composition and training for search committees. Training for search committees is currently in transition. Once the training details are in place, documents will come through FWDC to update the handbook permanently.

Search for Department Chair

Because of the nature of this position, involving more than disciplinary expertise and calling for qualities of leadership, communication and awareness of organizational realities, this Search Committee extends beyond the confines of the department. Depending on the size and composition of the department, in addition to department members, there should be three department chairs or program directors on the committee.

2.4.1    Affirmative Action

UNC Asheville's commitment to a liberal education of highest quality requires the creation of a diverse community of teachers and learners. Consequently, the University is unalterably dedicated to employing a multicultural faculty of diverse age, gender, and race who share the vision of a distinctive public undergraduate liberal arts university. The University Affirmative Action Plan and search procedures to assist in achieving this vision are updated annually to align with hiring goals in accordance with federal and state statutes. The Affirmative Action Plan is available in the Human Resources Office.

2.5  Procedures for Recruitment and Hiring

As specified in SD1099F, all members of the Faculty Senate are empowered to represent the Faculty Senate during the on-campus interview process.

For current recruitment and hiring procedures, see Academic Affairs at

  2.6 Contracts - Full time

2.6.1 General

The normal contract period for faculty members is the academic year, two semesters spanning about nine months, and running from the official opening date of the fall semester through commencement at the end of spring semester.

After a candidate has been recommended for full-time employment by the appropriate department chair or program director, the Provost and VCAA, and approved by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, a written contract is issued.

2.6.2 Joint Faculty Appointments

To receive a joint appointment in two academic departments a faculty member must:

1. Provide documentation of education, training, or experience relevant to the curriculum needs of both departments.
2. Receive a recommendation from the Chairs of each department which includes statements indicating the appropriateness and justification for such appointment.
3. Agree to meet the anticipated teaching assignments in both departments.
4. Agree that one department is the department of primary responsibility. This department's chair will be responsible for all personnel recommendations but must consult with and include in the file an evaluation and recommendation letter from the chair of the second department. Should tenure be granted it would be as a faculty member in the primary department. The decision as to which department is the primary department is negotiated between the faculty member and both department Chairs and approved by the Provost and VCAA at the time of initial appointment. Any change in this appointment requires agreement of all parties plus the Chancellor and may occur only after documenting that program needs call for the adjustment.
5. A visiting scholar who is not filling a tenure track position may receive a joint appointment for the duration of the visit.
6. As with any appointment, joint appointments must receive the favorable recommendation of the Provost and VCAA, the Chancellor, and final appointment by the Board of Trustees.

2.7 Contracts - Adjunct

2.7.1 Decision to Hire

Adjunct faculty are employed on a by-the-course basis for one semester at a time. The department chair or program director is responsible for searching for adjunct faculty. Annually the Provost and VCAA allocates funding for a specified number of adjunct-taught hours to each department/program. The chair/program director is responsible for determining the appropriate qualifications of the candidate, evaluating performance, communicating policy and other relevant information to adjunct faculty.

2.7.2 Responsibilities

Adjunct faculty are expected to attend departmental faculty meetings whenever feasible. Chairs/Directors should provide an orientation for all adjunct faculty and should attempt to schedule department meetings at times when most adjunct faculty may attend.

2.7.3 Application and Contract

Applicants for adjunct faculty positions must submit a completed application form, official transcripts of all post-secondary work, and other documentation of expertise and experience as requested by the Chair/Director to the Office of the Deans. Upon recommendation by the Chair/Director, the Provost and VCAA issues a letter of employment which specifies the terms of employment and rank.

2.7.4 Teaching Responsibilities

Normally adjunct faculty members may teach no more than six hours per semester. Requests to exceed this amount must be approved in advance by the Provost and VCAA.

2.7.5 Salary and Fringe Benefits

Salary for adjunct faculty is normally paid by the semester credit hour at a rate reflecting the individual's rank. A copy of prevailing salary rates may be acquired in the Office of the Deans. Adjunct paychecks are issued four times each semester (last day of the month) and are subject to withholding for Social Security, state and federal income taxes. It is State mandated that all payroll checks be paid electronically by direct deposit.

In special cases a part-time faculty member may be employed at a salary rate independent of the number of semester hours taught. These individuals receive a formal contract issued by the Provost and VCAA and are employed as part-time Lecturers.

The State of North Carolina does not fund fringe benefits for adjunct and part-time faculty (defined as those who teach less than three-quarter time). The state does pay the Social Security matching contribution.

2.7.6 Perquisites

On a space available basis UNC Asheville provides adjunct faculty with offices (sometimes shared with other faculty) for meeting with students, secretarial support for work directly related to course instruction, access to the services of the Library, Information Technology Services, Copy Center, Media Center, and athletic facilities. The services of the Health Center and Counseling Center are not available to adjunct faculty.  During the period of employment adjunct faculty have access to athletic events, films, performances and lectures on the same basis as full-time faculty.

2.7.7 Summer School

Adjunct faculty may be employed during the summer on the same basis as outlined above for the regular semester.

2.8 Faculty Personnel Records

2.8.1 Purpose/Location

Faculty personnel records are maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs with the Provost and VCAA as the custodian of these records.

2.8.2 Content

The following information on each faculty member is kept in the personnel file:

·         Completed Application Form

·         Letter of Appointment or Contract, designating the conditions of employment

·         Salary and promotion letters, indicating new or changing salary or position

·         Evaluative material

·         Significant commendations or disciplinary citations

·         Official transcripts, received directly from the issuing institutions

·         Complete payroll deduction information

·         Items submitted by faculty member, if approved by one's immediate supervisor for inclusion in the official records as "relevant to accomplishing personnel administration purposes."

·         An employee's statements relating to file material which he or she considers to be inaccurate or misleading

·         Name, age, date of original employment, current position title, current salary, date and amount of most recent change of salary, date of most recent promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification, and the agency and location to which the employee is currently assigned.

·         Results of criminal background check.

2.8.3 Access

Faculty personnel files are by law open to the person who is the subject of the file and to "the supervisor of the employee," defined in the statute as any individual in the chain of administration authority above the employee. The employee is entitled to see everything except letters of references solicited prior to employment and any information concerning a medical disability, mental or physical, that a prudent physician would not divulge to a patient.

2.9 Faculty Salary

2.9.1 Salary Budget

The total budget for faculty salaries each year is determined on the basis of the average faculty salary of the previous year (i.e., total salary budget divided by the number of budgeted positions). Additional positions that result from changes in enrollment are then added at the average salary rate of that previous year. Any salary increments are then added to this as appropriated by the General Assembly and allocated by the Board of Governors.

2.9.2 Compensation Practices Payroll Periods (dates)

Salaries for UNC Asheville employees are directly deposited into the bank account designated by each employee. New faculty must provide a Direct Deposit Enrollment Form, along with the necessary documentation of the bank account to the Payroll Office.  Each pay period, Notices of Deposit are sent to employees.   

The contract salary is paid in twelve installments; deposits are made available on the last working day of each month, except in December when deposits are issued about the 20th. Summer school deposits are issued in the regular monthly deposit. 

The pay period for new faculty members extends from July 1st through June 30th.  The first paycheck for new faculty members is issued at the end of August in the amount of two-twelfths of the contract salary. The balance of the contract is paid in one-twelfth installments from September through June. Salary Increases

The General Assembly and the UNC Board of Governors may award salary increases for meritorious service. Additional adjustments may be made to reward promotions and to minimize salary inequities. These increases become part of a faculty member's base salary. The award of merit salary increases is part of the annual faculty evaluation process (see Section 3.4).

2.9.3 Payroll Withholding Mandatory

The following items are required to be withheld from each employee's paycheck:

Federal Income Tax                        Social Security tax (FICA and Medicare)

North Carolina Income Tax              Retirement Contribution Voluntary

The following items are voluntary deductions from an employee's paycheck. See the Office of Human Resources for more information

Deducted on a pre-tax basis

1.   Family and Dependent Health Insurance

2.   Flexible Spending Accounts for expenses such as unreimbursed medical costs and child care costs.

3.    Supplemental dental and/or vision coverage.

4.    Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance which pays a benefit for certain types of injuries incurred either on or off the job.

5.    Supplemental Retirement programs, including NC 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plans. 

6.   Parking permit fees.

Deducted on an after-tax basis

1.  Life insurance

2.  Supplemental disability insurance

3.  State Employees Association of North Carolina

                            4. Roth Supplemental Retirement plans: Roth 401(k) and Roth 403(b)

                            5. NC Combined Campaign

                            6. Charitable Contributions to UNC Asheville Foundation

                            7. National College Savings Program

2.9.4  Supplemental Pay Policy (SD1212S) (SD7717S) (SD5720S) Supplemental Pay from Internal Funds

Compensation of faculty is the purview of the Provost. Below are the recommendations from the Faculty Senate on factors to consider when establishing supplemental pay for faculty in administrative roles.

Faculty may receive compensation beyond their base salary for activities which are not included in their standard teaching load.  Examples of such activities include administrative assignments, significant department service assignments, summer teaching, and course overloads.  In all cases, except for stipends for participation in short-term faculty development workshops, a formal letter of appointment will be issued by the Provost and VCAA which specifies the activities which warrant supplemental pay, the duration of the appointment, and the amount of pay associated with the appointment.  A copy of this letter of appointment will be placed in the personnel file of the faculty member.

1) Chairs:  In addition to receiving reassigned time according to section, department chairs are eligible for a salary supplement.The amount of this supplement should be based on a compensation model that uses the expected duties of the department chair. The baseline component will involve the duties listed under Department Leadership, University Service, and Academic Programs. The additional compensation should be based on the number of full-time faculty and part-time faculty they supervise, the number of majors and minors in the department, as well as other factors that determine complexity and may impact workload for the Department Chair. The formula to calculate chairs’ salary and reassigned time as well as the current amounts for each department should be publicly available to every member on campus.The formula for compensation should be evaluated and updated every three years by the Provost in consultation with FWDC.

2) Program Directors: In addition to receiving reassigned time according to section, program directors may be eligible for a salary supplement. The amount of this supplement should be based on the workload and complexity of the position. Program directors will work with the Provost and VCAA, in consultation with FWDC, to agree on a fair and equitable amount of compensation for the role. The formula to calculate program directors’ salary and reassigned time as well as the current amounts for each position should be publicly available to every member on campus.

3) Other administrative assignments: Members of the faculty who are appointed to serve in other administrative assignments (e.g., Academic Affairs, Program Coordinators) may receive compensation and reassigned time, and if so, compensation and reassigned time should be equitable across these roles and the amounts of each should be publicly available to every member of campus. 

4) Departmental and other service assignments:  Any member of the faculty who is appointed to a significant service assignment, such as lab manager, director of a study abroad program, coordinator for periodic external assessment, or other episodic activities may be eligible for a stipend.  This stipend may be a lump sum or include an extension of the 9 month contract.

5) Endowed Chairs:  Endowed chairs may be eligible for an increase in salary, depending on terms of the position, available funding, and approval by the Provost and VCAA.

6) Course Overloads:  As discussed in section, compensation for overload teaching will be granted by prior approval of the Provost and VCAA when a member of the faculty agrees to teach courses beyond their specified load.  Payment will typically be at the rate paid to adjuncts.  This policy includes courses taught for Distance Education and for Continuing Education.  Likewise, any EPA non-faculty employee who agrees to teach a course will receive supplemental pay for that course, but only when this teaching is in addition to the normal working hours and responsibilities of that employee.

7) Summer School:  See section 3.2.4.

8) Faculty Development and other workshops:  Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and others may offer stipends for leading or participating in faculty development workshops for course development, pedagogy, or other purposes. These stipends are payable only after participation is completed and verified. Supplemental Pay from External Funds

Additional compensation can be earned, ordinarily during the summer term, for externally-funded activities as approved by the Department Chair, Program Area Dean, and the Office of Sponsored Scholarship and Programs. For all members of the faculty, total compensation paid by or through the university, including summer school teaching, but excluding faculty development workshops and supplements for Endowed Professorships, cannot take a faculty member’s compensation beyond the equivalent of a 12-month contract at his/her regular pay rate (i.e., faculty members on a 9-month contract cannot receive additional compensation that is more than 33.33% of their regular pay; department chairs and others on a 10-month contract cannot receive additional compensation that is more than 20% of regular pay). For questions about limits on compensation or procedures for approval and compliance, please contact the Office of Sponsored Scholarship and Programs.

As discussed in 4.3.13, compensation for professional or other activities not paid by or through the university (e.g., consultancy, honoraria) is governed by the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy.

2.10  Fringe Benefits


2.11 Termination Procedures

        See Section 14.2 and The Code, Chapter VI, for discussion relating to issues of termination and non-reappointment.

2.12 Retirement

            2.12.1 Retirement

              Information on retirement can be found at

2.12.2 Phased Retirement Program (SD0809F)

The University of North Carolina Phased Retirement Program (the “Program”) is designed to provide an opportunity for eligible full-time tenured faculty members (“Eligible Faculty Members”) to transition to retirement through half-time (or equivalent) service.  The goals of the Program are to provide additional flexibility and support for individual faculty members who are nearing retirement and to promote renewal of the professoriate in order to ensure institutional vitality.  Enrolling Eligible Faculty Members may elect to begin receiving the benefits they have accrued under either the NC Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (“TSERS”) or the UNC Optional Retirement Program (the “ORP”), but they are not required to do so.  However, so long as an Eligible Faculty Member does not receive a monthly retirement benefit, he or she will not receive University/State paid State Health Plan benefits.[1]  This policy is written in accordance with UNC Policy 300.7.2 and includes the revisions approved on September 7, 2007.

The Phased Retirement Program is entirely voluntary and is available when agreed to and entered into by mutual written agreement between an eligible full time tenured faculty member and the university. 

          Eligibility and Approval

          A.   The Program is available only to full-time tenured faculty members.  Non-tenured and tenure-track faculty are not eligible for the Program.

                    B.   Participating faculty members must:

     Be at least age 62 or older for members of TSERS or 59 ½ for participants in the ORP upon entering the Phased Retirement Program.[2] 
Note:  Age calculations are based on age as of August 1 of the year in which phased retirement begins.

                             2.     Have at least five (5) years of full-time service at his or her current institution, and

                             3.     Be eligible to receive a retirement benefit under TSERS or ORP, as applicable.

C.    Faculty members are individually responsible for providing to their employing institution age and service data needed to determine their Program eligibility.  Faculty who occupy full-time administrative or staff positions are not eligible for the Program until they vacate the administrative or staff position.  Thus, services rendered while in phased retirement will be only those teaching, research and administrative duties under faculty appointment.

D.   Eligible Faculty Members do not have an absolute right to participate in the Program.  Departments, schools or institutions may limit participation in the Program based on three conditions:

         1.    A finding that financial exigencies prohibit enrollment in the Program by the Eligible Faculty Member. 

2.   Further enrollment in the Program will substantially weaken academic quality or disrupt program sequence within the department, school or institution.

3.    A department or school or an institution may each establish a cap or limit on the number of Eligible Faculty Members who may enter the program.     

E.   An application to enter the Program must be made at least six (6) months but no more than eleven (11) months before the effective date of an Eligible Faculty Member’s requested participation in the Phased Retirement Program, to begin at the start of the next academic year.

F.   An application to enter the Program must be submitted to the Eligible Faculty Member’s Department or Division Head.  An application is subject to final approval by the Institution’s Chief Academic Officer following evaluation of the conditions outlined in section D above and the development of a mutual “work plan” with the Eligible Faculty Member.

G.   If an Eligible Faculty Member and the employing institution tentatively agree to the faculty member’s participation and a mutual work plan, the decision to enter or not enter the Program then rests with the Eligible Faculty Member.

                     H.  Once made, a decision to enter the program is binding and cannot be reversed.

 I.   The Program has been made a continuing benefit of the University, subject to reservation by the UNC Board of Governors of the right to modify, suspend, or discontinue the Program.  Eligible Faculty Members may timely seek to enter the Program for the number of years uniformly specified by UNC Asheville for its participating faculty.

          Terms and Conditions

A.    Phased retirement under the Program is subject to the following terms and conditions:

1.   Upon entering the Program, Eligible Faculty Members give up tenure.  They terminate full-time employment and contract for a period of half-time (or equivalent) service to UNC Asheville.  Half-time responsibilities may vary among departments in the university.  Half-time service may consist of full-time work for one-half of a year (e.g. full-time work for one semester of an academic year) or half-time work for a year (e.g. half-time work in each of the two semesters of an academic year).  Under either pattern the Program enrollment period begins with the fall semester.  Teaching, research and service assignments during the period of phased retirement are individually negotiated by the Eligible Faculty Member and the appropriate supervisors and/or personnel committee(s).  The details of the half-time service (“work plan”) must be set forth in a UNC Phased Retirement Application and Reemployment Agreement (the “Agreement").

2.   In conjunction with the Agreement executed under the Program an Eligible Faculty Member must execute a waiver of rights and claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the “ADEA”) and other laws (the “Release”).  The Agreement and Release must fully comply with the requirements for knowing and voluntary waivers as provided in the ADEA and other applicable law.  After the Agreement and Release are drafted and signed by the appropriate administrators, they must be delivered to the Eligible Faculty Member and the Eligible Faculty Member has no fewer than forty-five (45) calendar days within which to consider the Agreement and Release.  The Agreement and Release do not become effective and enforceable until after a period of seven (7) calendar days following their execution by the Eligible Faculty Member, and during such period the Eligible Faculty Member may unilaterally revoke the Agreement and Release.  If the Eligible Faculty Member elects to revoke the Agreement and Release within the seven-day period, the Eligible Faculty Member will continue in his or her same full-time employment status as the faculty member held immediately prior to the execution of the Agreement and Release, and the Agreement and Release become null and void.  Revocations must be in a writing personally signed by the faculty member and received by the official to whom the prior application to participate in the Program had been submitted.   

3.   Participating Faculty Members initially receive a salary equal to fifty percent (50%) of the full-time salary they received immediately prior to phased retirement (e.g. based on the Faculty Member’s prior nine- or twelve-month contractual terms, as applicable).  In addition, compensation paid during phased retirement is paid over twelve (12) months irrespective of the pattern of duties under the Faculty Member’s work plan. Subject to any limitations imposed under the State Retirement System and the legislative appropriations process, Participating Faculty Members are eligible for salary increases and merit pay in subsequent years of Program participation based on annual evaluations.

4.   Participating Faculty Members will remain subject to The Code and policies of The University of North Carolina and UNC Asheville policies.  In addition, without expressly or constructively terminating any Agreement, UNC Asheville may place a Participating Faculty Member on temporary leave with pay and/or reassign a Participating Faculty Member’s duties during or as a result of any investigation or disciplinary action involving the Participating Faculty Member.  Such authority shall be invoked only in exceptional circumstances when the Participating Faculty Member’s Department or Division Head determines that such action is in the best interests of the university.

5.   Phased retirement under the Program may be for a period of at least one but not greater than five years.  Each institution will set the length of phased retirement for its faculty.  All Eligible Faculty Members at each institution will have the same period of phased retirement.  At UNC Asheville, phased retirement is for a period of three years.

B.   UNC Asheville will develop a list of employee benefit plans or programs in which Eligible Faculty Members may participate during the phased retirement period.  In addition, Eligible Faculty Members who elect into the Program will retain their professorial rank and the full range of responsibilities, rights and other general benefits associated with such rank, except for tenured status or as otherwise modified pursuant to an Eligible Faculty Member’s agreed-to work plan.  (UNC Asheville will, however, keep records of participation so as to note those faculty who are in phased retirement.)  General Provisions

          A.    Nothing in the Program precludes a participating Faculty Member from terminating his or her phased retirement at any time if the employing institution provides its consent.

          B.    Eligible Faculty Members participating in the Program do not enjoy the benefits of tenure.  They may not serve on committees that require members to be tenured.  Otherwise, participants have the same academic freedoms and responsibilities as other faculty members and have access to all grievance and appeal procedures available to non-tenured members of the faculty who are not participating in the Program.

          C.    Participating Faculty Members are expected to maintain high levels of professional commitment to UNC Asheville. Procedures

      The following information represents UNC Asheville’s institutional guidelines for phased retirement.

          A.    Institutional Limits on Participation in the Phased Retirement Program

UNC Asheville has not established departmental or institutional caps on the number of participants in the Phased Retirement Program (PRP).  However, an application to participate can be denied if participation in the PRP would substantially weaken academic quality of department or university programs.  This finding, however, must be supported by objective measures of program quality.  A judgment to deny participation on these grounds must be confirmed by the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, if first made by a Department Chair.  A judgment to deny participation must be confirmed by the Chancellor when first made by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

If the initial application is not approved, faculty members may appeal to the Grievance Committee if they feel they have been inappropriately denied access to the Program or if they feel the Program’s guidelines have not been properly followed.

    B.    Limits on Participation Because of Financial Exigencies

Financial exigency shall be determined according to the stipulations of The Code of the University of North Carolina (Section 605, A, B, C) and the UNC Asheville Tenure Policies and Regulations (Section V.A.1-2).  The following conditions must be met in order for there to be any effect upon the application of the PRP.

             1.     Funds in the “101” faculty salary amount must be insufficient to support fully the number of FTE faculty positions of the previous year, and

                   2.     A determination has been made by the Chancellor, under the conditions set by The Code, to terminate a designated program or to reduce the number of faculty members in a designated program.

In the event a financial exigency is declared according to the provisions of The Code, entry into phased retirement for faculty in the programs being eliminated may be suspended until the financial exigency is declared at an end.

C.   Eligibility

Faculty are individually responsible for providing to the Office of Academic Affairs their age and service data needed to determine their program eligibility.

A list of faculty by rank, age, discipline area and administrative title (without names) of those faculty eligible and ineligible to participate in the program will be prepared annually each year and mailed as part of the PRP program materials. (See item V.B.6)

        D.   Procedures Ensuring Eligible Members Are Informed

1.     All full-time tenured faculty will receive a letter announcing the PRP and providing eligibility information from the Office of Academic Affairs.

   2.     All eligible faculty members, and those who appear to be qualified for participation, will receive program materials from the Office of Academic Affairs by September 1 of each year. 
           Program materials will be sent by certified mail in order to document the receipt of it by the eligible faculty member.

        The Phased Retirement materials will consist of the following:

      • A letter announcing the program,
      • The program summary,
      • A copy of the model UNC Phased Retirement Application and Re-employment Agreement,
      • A copy of the model Phased Retirement Release,
      • A chart outlining effects of participation in Phased Retirement Program on employee benefits, and
      • A chart reflecting information regarding persons who are eligible and those who are ineligible for the program.

3.    Annual presentations will be advertised and held to provide further information about the Program to interested faculty, through a cooperative venture between the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Human Resources.

4.    Questions about the program should be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs. 

          E.    Procedure Used To Accept, Review and Approve Applications

 1.     Application to the PRP must be made at least six (6) months but no more than eleven (11) months before the effective date of an Eligible Faculty Member’s requested participation in the Phased Retirement Program, to begin at the start of the next academic year.

2.     Faculty members intending to enter the PRP will develop a half-time work plan with the Department Chair.  This plan will be subject to approval by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. A faculty member who is currently serving as a Department Chair will develop a half-time work plan with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who will consult with senior members of the department about the plan.  The plan will be subject to approval by the Chancellor.

3.   The Office of Academic Affairs will receive the applications, recording the date of their receipt.  The Provost and Vice Chancellor will review the application and render a decision regarding its approval with regard to its effect on the academic quality of the department or university programs.  When an application is received from a current Department Chair, the Chancellor will review the application and render a decision regarding its approval.

4.  If the Application is approved:

A.    A checklist and the Agreement and Release Package will be provided to the faculty member by the Office of Academic Affairs.  The checklist will ensure and document that the eligible faculty member has received all materials in the Agreement and Release Package.  The eligible faculty member will sign the checklist, confirming receipt of these materials as well as the Agreement and Release forms.

    B.     Upon signing this checklist and receiving the completed Agreement and Release forms signed by the institution, the faculty member has 45 days in which to sign and return the forms to the Office of Academic Affairs.  If the Agreement and Release forms are not received within 50 days, there is no active request to participate in the Phased Retirement Program at that time.  A faculty member may apply to the Program at a later date in accordance with the provisions of this policy.

    C.    If the signed forms are received by the Office of Academic Affairs within 50 days, there will be a 7-day waiting period from the date of receipt in which the faculty member has the right to revoke the fully executed Agreement and Release.  If the application is not revoked, the faculty member is officially enrolled in the Program.  If revoked, the faculty member will not be eligible to participate in the program at that time, but may reapply to participate at a later date.  The Office of Academic Affairs will provide to the Office of Human Resources a listing of all faculty members who have enrolled in the Program.

            F.    Guidelines for Half-time Work Plans

1. The faculty member will carry a teaching load which is reduced by one-half of the standard load, currently 24 semester hours (or their equivalent) per academic year.  Thus, the faculty member participating in PRP will carry 12 semester hours per academic year.  Faculty members in the Program will not typically be eligible for additional time released from teaching.

                   2.  The faculty member will carry one-half of faculty responsibilities including service and scholarly activity (advising, departmental work, campus committee assignments, and community service).

                   3.  Only faculty with 12-month contracts (e.g. research professors) may perform services during other than the fall and spring semesters of the regular-term academic year. 
                        No work plan may include duties incident to summer school curricula.

                   4.  Compensation is paid over the 12-month participation year even if services are rendered during only part of the 12 months.

     The faculty member will work together with the Department Chair to define specific service responsibilities under F. 2., recognizing that these may shift from year to year during the Phased Retirement.

[2] To comply with federal law, the increase in minimum age for participation from 50 to 62 for TSERS and 59 ½ for ORP participants becomes effective for faculty who first enter phased retirement beginning in the 2008-2009 academic year.