Bylaws Section 5. Terms Of Employment and Evaluation Procedures

5.   TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT AND EVALUATION PROCEDURES FOR FACULTY AND ACADEMIC SPECIALISTS

5.1.   The Department Chairperson will consult with the faculty through the Department Advisory Committee and with other individual faculty members regarding initial appointments to the faculty.

5.2.   The terms and conditions of employment and tenure shall be those of the College according to the most recent College bylaws. In accordance with University policy, as presented in the MSU Faculty Handbook, every new faculty member will receive written information from the Department Chairperson about duties and responsibilities, general performance expectations given the appointment distribution of the Faculty member, evaluation procedures and schedules, documentation and other factors which might eventually bear on reappointment, tenure, or promotion decisions.

5.3.   Fair & Equitable Faculty Workload Policy

5.3.1.   Variable Work Assignment Policy for Tenure-System and Fixed-term Faculty. This policy addresses the fact that concentrated effort in one of the three areas may require the faculty member to redistribute the normal percentages of effort.

5.3.1.1.     Distribution of workload. The Department of Horticulture has not established standard distribution of workload for tenure-system faculty due to the nature of scholarship/scholarly activities carried out by various disciplines in the department. The department determines the workload for each tenure-system and fixed-term faculty and academic specialist appointed for an academic or annual year at the time of hiring. Examples of the ranges of appointments (funding lines) and assignments (responsibilities):

ABR                80% to 20%

Research          100% to 20%

(includes submitting proposals, receiving and administering competitive grants and other funds, peer-reviewed publications, professional conference papers, formal presentations, mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral research associates, creative projects, etc.)

GF                   100% to 0%

Teaching          100% to 0%

(includes new course development, existing course revisions, formal student contact hours, student advising, grading/evaluation, recruitment and curriculum committees, etc.)

MSUE              75% to 0%

Extension         75% to 0%

(includes outreach to the university, to the profession, to the industry, and within the community)

Each faculty member is expected to make demonstrable contributions in the areas of their appointment/assignment each year. Untenured faculty are required to use the same workload format used by the department in the hiring of tenure-system faculty.

5.3.1.2.     Guiding principles. The variable Work Assignment Policy is guided by the following principles and values:

*All three areas- teaching, research, and extension/outreach -are part of the regular responsibility of tenure-system faculty.

*At different times or in response to different opportunities, assignment emphasis can temporarily shift. Under normal circumstances, no assigned category may be reduced to zero effort.

*Tenure carries with it both the right and the responsibility of the faculty member to determine, in concert with the department chairperson, priorities for carrying out one’s work in light of the missions of the department, college, and university.

5.3.1.3      Position Description/Memorandum of Understanding

Each case of redistribution of effort must be accompanied by an altered position description/ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), prepared and agreed to by both the Dean of the college, Chairperson of the department and the faculty member before the redistribution may take effect.

*The MOU should detail the length of time for which the redistribution agreement is to be in effect.

*The MOU should detail how the assignment will affect the evaluation of the faculty member’s work for merit pay.

*Faculty are obliged to negotiate these arrangements in a timely manner, especially in order to facilitate programmatic scheduling.

*In most cases, the MOU should be agreed upon two weeks before the semester in which the redistribution would take effect.

5.3.1.4      Redistribution of effort

Request for redistribution of effort may be initiated by either the faculty member or the chairperson. The percent of redistribution of workload shall be determined by the chairperson in consultation with the faculty member, not limited to percentages in teaching, research and outreach/engagement. The final redistributed workload must total 100%. Redistribution of effort may be triggered by one of the following:

1) A contractual administrative responsibility

2) A sabbatical agreement

3) Receipt of grant, fellowship, or award that buys out some portion of a teaching assignment

4) Leaves of absence (paid or unpaid)

5) In addition to the above four conditions, an agreement for the redistribution of effort may be reached between the Dean, chairperson and the faculty member as a long-term plan to respond to changing circumstances in the faculty member’s professional work.

5.3.1.5      Faculty members who have arranged for retirement and/or consulting period leading to retirement are excluded from this policy.

5.4    Effective Annual Activity Reporting Method.

All faculty members will submit annual program productivity/scholarship and goals materials for review to the department chairperson. The chairperson will specify the format and due date for these materials. The faculty member must submit this material at least one (1) week in advance of a meeting with the chairperson for a discussion on the content of the materials, her/his program’s accomplishments and impacts for the preceding year, and goals for the upcoming year. Based on the submitted material and discussion, the department chairperson will write a progress and assessment report in a format specified by the college. The faculty member will have a copy of the report will be given to the faculty member for the opportunity to include response and comments. The report will be returned to the chairperson for signature by both parties. The chairperson will then submit the signed report to the college. In addition, the chairperson will use this report to guide RTP assessments and merit-based salary increase requests, as well as to show sustained productivity and merit as needed.

5.5    Output in Relation to Peers.

The Department Chairperson will provide the faculty with information about the Department's scholarly productivity in relation to the missions of the Department.

5.6.   Recommendation for reappointment, tenure and promotion shall be made by the Department Chairperson after consultation with the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee.

The Chairperson of the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee, who must be tenured and hold the rank of Professor, will be the Department’s elected representative to the college’s RTP Committee. The term of service will be three years, coinciding with their elected term on the CANR-RTP Committee. The criteria to be used are principally those listed in section 5.6.13 of this article. Each faculty member being considered for reappointment or tenure will be given an opportunity to appear before the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee before a final decision is reached in each case. In the event a decision is made not to recommend the individual, then the faculty member will be informed in writing before the final recommendation of the Department Chairperson is forwarded to the Dean. The affected faculty member may request, by letter, to meet with the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee and learn of the reason(s) for this decision.

5.6.1. A mentor committee for Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Advisory Committee (hereafter “Mentor Committee”) will be appointed by the Department Chairperson for each regular and fixed-term faculty with the rank of Assistant and Associate Professor, and Academic Specialists (hereafter “Mentee”), whose appointment is greater than 50% in Horticulture, in consultation with the Mentee. Those who are appointed for less than 50% may request a Mentor Committee.  The Mentor Committee (consisting of a chairperson, identified at the first meeting, and at least two additional members, but not including the Department Chairperson) shall be appointed within the first year of Mentee’s employment. The suitability of the Mentor Committee to meet the Mentee's needs will be evaluated annually by the Mentee in consultation with the Department Chair, and changes in the committee will be made by the Chair, if necessary. Selection of mentors is not limited to the faculty from the Department of Horticulture. The Department Chairperson will ask the selected mentors to serve on the Mentor Committee.  While it is expected that Associate Professors and Senior Academic Specialists maintain a mentor committee, they may choose in writing not to have formally appointed mentors. However, a Mentor Committee can be appointed at a later time by informing the Department Chairperson in writing.

5.6.2. The Mentee will meet at least once a year with her/his Mentor Committee by mid-October to allow time for preparation of the report for the annual departmental RTP meeting. It is the responsibility of the Mentee to schedule the meeting. However, it is expected that the Mentor Committee chair maintain frequent contact with the Mentee. Following each Mentor Committee meeting, the committee chair will prepare a written meeting report that will be shared with the Mentee for additional input prior to the annual RTP meeting. A final written copy of the mentor committee report will be provided to the Mentee and the Department Chairperson before it is reported to the Department RTP committee.

5.6.3. The discussion during the Mentor Committee meeting is confidential.  However, a report based upon the said discussion and subsequent review by the mentee will be shared with the Department Chair and the Department RTP committee.

5.6.4. Following the Departmental RTP committee meeting, the chair of the Mentor Committee and the Departmental Chair will provide feedback to the mentee on her/his progress together with any general concerns that were raised during the Department RTP discussion.

5.6.4.1.     The Mentor Committee will serve to increase communication between the faculty member and the unit as a whole by:

a)   Assisting the Mentee in understanding the university, college, and unit performance expectations.

b)   Facilitating understanding of the university and unit mission, policies and procedures in order to be effective and productive.

c)   Monitoring the professional performance of the Mentee and working with the individual to excel professionally.

d)   Assisting the Faculty and Academic Specialists at large to become familiar with the Mentee’s program and progress.

e)   Preparing and submitting the signed annual advisory report to the Department Chairperson, Departmental Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee, and the Mentee. The Department                Chairperson will maintain these reports in a file, with other  relevant information, to support decisions on reappointment, tenure and promotion.

5.6.5.   The Department Chairperson will perform an annual performance review of each faculty member and academic specialist, followed by a written summary of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improved performance. The Department Chairperson will annually solicit written comments from all faculty on the performance of all tenure-stream non-tenured faculty.

5.6.6.   The CANR Time Line for Preparation-Submission, Reappointment and T&P Packages will be followed. The Department Chairperson will initiate a faculty review, including an in-depth summary by the candidate of their teaching, research, extension, and/or public service programs, in the fall before each nomination for reappointment, tenure and/or promotion is due.  The discussions that follow will be closed meetings for all tenure-system faculty.

5.6.7.   Department Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion. Subsequent to faculty review described in 5.6.6, for consideration of reappointment, tenure and promotion, a departmental Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee (RTPC; composition defined in 5.6.8) will evaluate each candidate, using the procedures and criteria in the unit bylaws to determine if performance warrants recommendation for promotion, granting of tenure, or reappointment. The RTPC and Department Chairpersons will schedule the meeting with sufficient lead time to assure at least a quorum (70% of the Regular Faculty of higher rank than that of the candidate being reviewed) in attendance. Mentor committee chairs are expected to provide a verbal summary of the candidate’s program during the RTPC meeting or delegated appropriately. To encourage open and candid discussion, confidentiality shall be maintained after the meeting. Every RTPC member of higher rank must vote for or against reappointment/ promotion/ tenure by anonymous ballot (no abstentions permitted), and any member not in attendance must submit their vote to the RTPC Chairperson prior to the scheduled meeting. Absent faculty members may submit a written statement about the progress and performance of the faculty member being evaluated, which will be shared at the RTPC meeting. The ballots will be counted by the RTPC Chair, who will also summarize, in writing, the substance of the discussion to relate a sense of the candidate’s perceived strong and weak points. The written summary of the discussion and the ballots will be maintained on file along with the materials submitted by the individual’s Mentor Committee. All votes are anonymous, and considered recommendations to the Department Chairperson.

5.6.8.   The Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee for Associate Professors shall consist of all tenured Professors, and for Assistant Professors all tenured Associate Professors and tenured Professors. The person acting as chair of these committees will be elected for a 3-year period by the entire faculty from among tenured Professors in the department. The Department Advisory Committee will conduct this election. The Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee will meet annually, no later than early December, to review performance of Assistant and Associate Professors and to consider reappointment, tenure and promotion decisions.

5.6.9.   The results of the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee discussions will be reviewed with the candidate by the Department Chairperson and the final recommendation, as prescribed by University policy, will be made by the Department Chairperson and transmitted in writing to the Dean, along with appropriate and relevant documentation.

5.6.10. The CANR Dean, and the relevant Associate Deans and Directors, will meet with the Department Chairperson to discuss the recommendation. After the meeting, the Dean and Directors may request additional information.

5.6.11. All these activities will be conducted in accordance with applicable University anti-discrimination laws and policies.

5.6.12. Specific deadlines for submission of tenure and/or promotion materials are set annually by the Dean and Provost. Consequently, as general practice, the Department will use the following time lines.

5.6.12.1.   Assistant Professors

First year -  The Mentor Committee is appointed by Chairperson.

Annually - Meeting of the Assistant Professor with the Mentor Committee in mid-October. Reports are due prior to the annual Department Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting.

Third year - The Assistant Professor will meet with the Mentor Committee, provide a packet to the faculty and present a review of activities and accomplishments to the Departmental faculty in the Fall prior to the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting. The promotion packet should be provided to the Departmental Chairperson two weeks following the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting.

Sixth year - Same schedule as third year reappointment.

5.6.12.2.   Associate Professors

First year -  The Mentor Committee is appointed by Chairperson.

Annually - Meeting of the Associate Professor with the Mentor Committee by mid-October. Reports are due prior to the annual Department Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting.

Year of Advancement to Professor - The Associate Professor will meet with the T & P Advisory Committee, provide a packet to the faculty and present a review of activities and accomplishments to the Departmental faculty in the Fall prior to the Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting. The promotion packet should be provided to the Departmental Chairperson two weeks following the Tenure and Promotion Committee meeting.

5.6.13.   Performance evaluation criteria for faculty, and quality standards for evaluating scholarly activities and scholarship (see “CANR-Faculty Statement on Scholarly Activities, Scholarship and Impact” for overview).

The following are criteria for program evaluation during annual review, reappointment, tenure and/or promotion for faculty of the Horticulture Department and are examples of evidence of scholarly contributions to the missions of the Department, College, and University.  Scholarship in teaching, research and extension in the Department of Horticulture will be determined based on a platform of metrics including the quality and quantity of outputs, their relevance to a faculty member’s assignment, and the impact they have on the discipline and/or the target industry.  Faculty will be evaluated in relation to their assignment based on one or more of the following:

a)       Participation and leadership in the discovery and advancement of new knowledge. Creation, dissemination and documentation of scholarly contributions in line with the mission of the Department of Horticulture, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Michigan State University.

b)      Demonstration of in-depth understanding and mastery of subject matter, including a commitment to inquiry, scholarship, and expansion of the capacity to synthesize, develop, interpret and effectively communicate new understanding and insights.

c)       Professional interactions with other faculty members and stakeholders, both within and outside the university environment, in a productive and collegial manner.

d)      Striving to achieve a national and international reputation in their area(s) of expertise.

e)       Service in activities that enhance the mission of the Department, College, University and professional organizations.

The criteria for scholarly activities and scholarship output expected of faculty in the Department of Horticulture for annual program evaluation, as well as Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion decisions, are outlined under sections 5.6.13.1 for teaching, 5.6.13.2 for research, and 5.6.13.3 for extension.

5.6.13.1  Expected scholarly activities and output for teaching assignments include:

a)       Course Development and Delivery: Knowledge and mastery of subject matter; organization and development of effective teaching materials including syllabi; development of new course(s) or revision of existing course content and/or curriculum; use of teaching methods that demonstrate innovation and have the potential to improve student learning; collaborate with other instructors when revising/developing and delivering courses; use of appropriate evaluation methods; effective and timely feedback to students; development of courses to be taught off-campus and/or on-line; compatibility of course(s) with overall Department, College, and University programs.

b)      Creation and Communication of New Knowledge: teaching-related presentations at professional workshops and conferences (especially invited); articles in peer-reviewed journals, books, book chapters or other archived publications (especially invited); the faculty member is responsible for generating an impact statement for all publications, refereed and non-refereed, which may include article citation rate and journal impact factor.

c)       Teaching Effectiveness: Use of student evaluations and performance to assess course impact and student learning (e.g., SIRS forms, student comments from Department Chairperson’s exit interviews with graduating seniors, evidence that students are meeting learning expectations, alumni and employer surveys, evaluation of teaching methods/materials by peers), contributing to the development, assessment and/or revision of departmental learning outcomes.

d)      Advising and Mentoring: Assisting students in course selection, helping students meet degree requirements in a timely manner, advising students on internships, assisting students with career development and employment, helping students with professional development, leadership in co-curricular activities (e.g., student clubs and organizations, professional competitions), availability and accessibility to students.

e)       Program Support – attract internal and external funding to support programming activities; grant proposal submissions and awards (N.B., competitive nature, leadership/intellectual contribution and workload distribution are important).

a)       Professional Development: professional society membership and active participation; engagement in activities related to understanding and adopting new teaching and learning methods or approaches (e.g., workshops offered at MSU, by professional societies or by peer institutions).

b)      Peer Recognition: nominations for, and receipt of, teaching awards and honors; elected/appointed leadership in professional societies (leadership duration, success and impact are important).

5.6.13.2 Expected scholarly activities and output for research assignments include:

a)       Scientific Inquiry and Development of New Knowledge: knowledge and mastery of research subject matter; organization and development of functional laboratory and field research resources; development of new ideas, techniques, and knowledge (fundamental or applied); develop and maintain effective collaborations with other scientists; compatibility of research activities with overall Department, College and University programs.

b)      Communication of New Knowledge: scientific presentations at professional conferences; articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, books, or book chapters appropriate for the research assignment and intended audience; germplasm releases; patents

c)       Research Effectiveness: use of refereed publication number, citation rate and journal impact factor to assess scientific program impact; use of released cultivar, new methods, or technology adoption rate to assess impact on scientific discipline or constituent industry appropriate to the faculty’s assignment.

d)      Advising and Mentoring: active participation in the research education and training of undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows; activities and success in recruiting a diverse cohort; supporting professional development of mentees; placement and career success of former students/mentees in the discipline/industry.

e)       Program Support: attract funding to support research activities; grant proposal submissions and awards (N.B., competitive nature, leadership/intellectual contribution and workload distribution are important components).

f)       Professional Development: active participation in professional societies; engagement in activities related to understanding and adopting new skills in support of research, leadership, and mentoring.

g)      Peer Recognition: membership on grant proposal review panels and journal editorial boards; grant proposal and manuscript reviews; other invited review activities; invited presentations and publications, nominations for, and receipt of, research awards and honors; elected/appointed leadership in professional societies (leadership duration, success and impact are important).

5.6.13.3 Expected scholarly activities and output for extension assignments include:

a)    Extension Program Development and Delivery: knowledge and mastery of subject matter; organization and development of extension activities and materials including workshops, courses, publications and internet resources for stakeholders; cooperation with campus specialists and field educators to identify stakeholder needs and develop appropriate knowledge networks and outreach programs; use of appropriate evaluation methods; development of internet-based communication capacities with stakeholders; compatibility of extension activities with overall Department, College and University programs.

b)                  Creation and Communication of Knowledge: outreach presentations to professional clientele, peers, and stakeholders at industry meetings, workshops, and webinars; public media interviews (TV, radio, newspapers, popular magazines, websites); and articles in peer-reviewed publications, Extension bulletins, conference proceedings, trade journals, books or book chapters (especially as primary author).

c)       Extension Effectiveness: Adoption and implementation of program outputs by industry leaders and stakeholders; use of assessment methods to document outreach impact; active participation in MSUE Institute extension programming groups appropriate to the faculty’s assignment.

d)      Advising and Mentoring: participation in the extension education and training of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or extension educators; placement and career success of former students/mentees in the profession/industry.

e)       Program Support: attract internal and external funding to support programming activities; proposal submissions and grants or contracts awarded (N.B., competitive nature, leadership/ intellectual contribution and workload distribution are important components).

f)       Professional Development: professional society membership and active participation; engagement in activities related to understanding and adopting new extension and outreach methods or approaches (e.g., workshops offered at MSU, by professional societies or by peer institutions).

g)      Peer Recognition: nominations for, and receipt of, extension awards and honors; elected/appointed leadership in professional societies, public or industry trade organizations (leadership duration, success and impact are important); requested professional expertise for stakeholder presentations, court testimony, depositions, legislative committees, judging of competitions, or resolution of public or private industry problems.

5.7.   In the event a recommendation is made not to reappoint or offer tenure and the affected faculty member believes that review procedures have been violated, he or she may petition in writing the Department Advisory Committee, and they shall make a determination as soon as practicable as to whether or not the designated procedures have been violated.

5.8.   If the non-tenured faculty member, after review by the Department Advisory Committee, still believes that the decision not to reappoint has been made in a manner inconsistent with designated procedures, the faculty member may submit a written petition to the University Tenure Committee for a review of his or her case.

5.9.   Decisions of merit salary increases will be made by the Department Chairperson using the criteria outlined in 5.6.13.

5.10. The Department shall follow the standard faculty hiring procedure when filling an Academic Specialist Position (fixed-term, probationary, or continuous appointments).

5.10.1  Academic Specialists consist of individuals appointed to one of two ranked levels: Senior Academic Specialist or Academic Specialist. Appointments are made in units reporting directly or indirectly to the Provost or the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Academic Specialist may be appointed on a fixed term (with an end date) or continuing basis, full-time or part-time, with either an academic year nine-month) or an annual (twelve-month) duty assignment. Repeated fixed-term appointments should not be used as a mechanism to by-pass the continuing appointment system. However, positions funded with grant or other non-general funds normally are fixed term in nature. The University will not dismiss the continuing status academic specialist due to capricious action nor will dismissal be used as a restraint of academic freedom or other civil rights.

5.10.2  Academic specialist positions should be established only if this is the best way for the academic unit to function at the highest possible level of effectiveness and efficiency. Assignments for academic specialists involve applicable assigned duties (academic advising/teaching/curriculum development, research, and service/outreach.

5.10.3  Academic specialist positions are established on the recommendation of the appropriate administrator of the academic unit, the concurrence of the appropriate dean/separately reporting director, and require approval by the Office of the Provost.

5.11 Evaluation of Academic Specialists

The evaluation of an academic specialist's performance shall be based on the duties and responsibilities specified in the job description for the specific position, general merit guidelines and the provisions of the Academic Specialist Appointment System (Academic Specialist Handbook, Section 5.0).

5.11.1  The academic specialist with a probationary appointment shall be evaluated annually by the Department Chair, who will seek input from other appropriate faculty to determine progress toward goals and/or the identification of goals. Units may also use the annual evaluation to assist in the assignment of merit and other salary adjustments. The academic specialist with a continuing appointment should also be evaluated. Units may schedule such evaluations to meet the needs and concerns of the individual unit; however, the unit must follow the established procedures.

5.11.2  The academic specialist shall be notified when the evaluation is to take place, what procedures are to be followed, and what criteria are to be used for the evaluation. This notification should be at the time of appointment and, subsequently, two months prior to the evaluation. A written summary of this evaluation shall be placed in the academic specialist's personnel file in the unit and given to the academic specialist within 30 calendar days of the evaluation. Unit administrators must review such evaluations personally with the academic specialist. An academic specialist with a fixed term appointment should be reviewed regardless of the probability of reappointment in order to assess progress toward goals and/or the identification of goals. The academic specialist appointed on a fixed term basis for six months or more shall be evaluated by the unit administrator no later than two months prior to the appointment ending date. A summary of this evaluation shall be placed in the personnel file in the unit and be given to the academic specialist.

5.11.3  Evaluations are based on the specifics of the individual's assignment and on the effectiveness in the appropriate functional area(s): advising/teaching/curriculum development, research, or service/outreach. The kinds of evidence to be considered must be established at the time of appointment. The academic specialist should have the opportunity to submit evidence supporting the proposed reappointment, promotion or award of continuing appointment status. Reappointment, award of continuing appointment status, or promotion must promote the objectives of improving academic strength and quality (see Appendix A: Functional Description of Specialist Duties, Advancement in the System and Administrative Responsibilities). A unit review committee will be established to advise the unit administrator about the reappointment, award of continuing appointment status, or promotion of the academic specialist. Every attempt should be made to ensure that the review committee is composed of individuals knowledgeable about the position under review and the Academic Specialist Appointment System and should include at least one academic specialist.

5.11.4  In the Department of Horticulture: A (mentor) review committee will be appointed by the Department Chair, consisting of two faculty members and one academic specialist with knowledge of the area in which the reviewed academic specialist is assigned. The committee may also include members of other academic personnel systems, or University support staff members. The academic specialist under review must be provided an opportunity to confer with the review committee at least once each year before it provides advice to the unit administrator regarding reappointment, promotion or award of continuing appointment status. Any changes in assignment or in responsibilities will be written into to a revised job description, according to established university policy, at the time the review committee meets with the academic specialist and before the changes are implemented. The review committee will present its report at the beginning of the annual departmental Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion meeting that will have Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors in attendance.

5.11.5 In addition to the review committee's advice, the Department Chair may also consult with administrative staff, faculty, students, and/or other qualified individuals inside or outside the unit regarding the reappointment or promotion review. The academic specialist should be informed of those individuals from whom the unit administrator is requesting advice; the academic specialist is not informed of those individuals who provide letters of evaluation, unless stipulated by unit policy. Reappointment and promotion recommendations must be submitted to the Office of the Provost for review and final action no later than November 15 of the calendar year prior to the end of the probationary appointment. The individual must be notified in writing by December 15 of the same year. Probationary appointment periods are calculated from August 16 of the calendar year in which the appointment is effective, irrespective of the actual date of appointment. In accordance with the Board of Trustees' delegation of academic personnel actions, the Office of the Provost approves all Academic Specialist Appointment System personnel actions; these actions are reported to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees as information items.

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