1.09-14 Limited-Term Faculty Appointment Pending Award of Terminal Degree

If a terminal degree is required for a faculty position, it is expected that the candidate will have completed all degree requirements and submitted the degree certification to the Office of Faculty Affairs prior to the date of initial appointment.  Therefore, this policy is for limited use only when a candidate has not yet met the terminal degree requirements but provides adequate documentation to the hiring unit that the terminal degree will be completed within the first semester of hire.      


If a faculty appointment is requested for a regular contract faculty position which requires completion of a terminal degree and documentation of degree completion or award is not provided to the Office of Faculty Affairs at the time of appointment processing, the faculty member will be placed in a limited-term, non-contract position at the corresponding rank pending award of the terminal degree and upon approval of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost.  Evidence of degree completion or award should be forwarded to the Office of Faculty Affairs as soon as available.  This evidence of degree completion or award is required no later than nine months following the employment effective date. 

The official transcript for the terminal degree is required, but the following certification will be accepted pending availability of the official transcript, along with the official transcript for the next highest degree awarded:

Letter or degree certification form from the candidate’s major professor, department head or registrar certifying that all requirements for the degree have been met and date the degree was or will be awarded.  This letter of certification should be on the institution’s letterhead and include the specific degree (e.g., PhD, MA, MS) and major area of concentration. 

When documentation of terminal degree completion or award is received in the Office of Faculty Affairs, the appointment to a regular, contract faculty position will be made retroactively within the fiscal year the degree is received.  If the degree is not completed or awarded within the required timeline, the faculty member’s appointment will be terminated at the end of the semester.

This policy does not apply to the following situations: 

  • If a Master’s degree is the high degree required for a faculty position, certification of completion or award of the degree must be provided to the Office of Faculty Affairs prior to appointment processing.

  • In the case of an international hire and for the purpose of a U.S. permanent residency sponsorship on behalf of the international hire, the international hire must possess the minimum degree required (as advertised) at the time of appointment.  If the position was advertised with the minimum degree requirement being a terminal degree in the field, and the international person hired did not possess that required degree at the time of appointment, the recruitment will be invalid for the purposes of a U.S. permanent residency sponsorship, and the hiring department will need to re-advertise and re-recruit in order to proceed with a permanent residency sponsorship.