1.09 Appointment Procedures

Faculty hiring, or appointment, requires the collection of supporting documents and the submission of these materials, with additional data on the candidate and the search procedures to Human Resources, the Equal Opportunity Office, and the Office of Faculty Affairs. Specific requirements are outlined in the following sub-policies. 

Faculty may not begin work before their appointment is fully approved; in particular, they may not begin teaching or have other student contact (e.g., office hours) prior to final approval from the Provost’s Office.

Policy 1.09 was revised and approved August 2019.

1.09-1 Letter of Offer

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The letter of offer should follow the UGA Faculty Letter of Offer Template available online at provost.uga.edu/faculty-affairs/faculty-offer-letter-template. All tenure-track and tenure-on-appointment offer letters must be sent, before the final offer is extended, to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs for preliminary review, and for approval by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. 

Requests for credit towards promotion or tenure, or tenure on appointment must be approved by the Provost prior to hire and should be submitted to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs as part of the offer letter review process. A copy of the candidate’s CV and a brief justification for the request must be submitted with the draft offer letter.

1.09-2 Degree Exception Requests

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If the selected candidate does not hold a graduate or terminal degree as required by policy for the advertised faculty rank, a written degree exception request must be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs, prior to extending the offer letter. The request must include a brief justification consistent with the appointment guidelines for the advertised rank, the name and level of any courses to be taught by the candidate, and a copy of the candidate’s CV. As applicable, the justification may reference appropriately related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications related to the teaching assignment, honors and awards, continuing professional development, relevant peer-reviewed publications, creative work, and/or continuous documented excellence in teaching. If the candidate lacks teaching experience, the request must also explain how the hiring unit will support the candidate’s instructional effectiveness. All degree exception requests will be evaluated by the Provost’s Office. If the request is approved, it should be included in the hiring proposal as a supplemental document. Degree exception requests apply only to the requested appointment rank; additional approvals may be required to serve as an Instructor of Record, depending on the candidate’s appointment rank and courses to be taught (see Academic Affairs Policy 4.07-13).

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1.09-3 Complete Hiring Proposals

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The designated Faculty Affairs (FA) Unit Liaison for each senior administrative unit must review each hiring proposal to ensure that only complete and accurate hiring proposals are submitted to OFA. Lists of the required supporting documents for faculty hiring proposals are maintained on the Office of Faculty Affairs website. After initial review of the hiring proposal, OFA will notify the hiring unit FA Unit Liaison of any missing items and/or return the hiring proposal to be submitted when complete. 

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1.09-4 Routing of Faculty Hiring Proposals

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Complete faculty hiring proposals should be submitted through UGAJobs. Faculty candidates (new hires or current faculty recommended for internal “positions of trust”) must successfully complete a background investigation prior to their employment start date. The background investigation will be completed by Human Resources (HR) and will be triggered by submission of the hiring proposal to HR in UGAJobs. The hiring proposal will be forwarded to the Office of Faculty Affairs after the background investigation is completed successfully. 

Complete faculty hiring proposals must reach the Office of Faculty Affairs at least 30 days prior to the employment effective date.  

Signature authority for faculty appointments is only issued to administrators in the unit who hold appropriate faculty rank/status. The dean’s or vice president’s approval of the hiring proposal within the UGAJobs workflow may be accepted in place of a signature on the cover letter (see 1.09-5). Below are additional requirements for routing and approval of Public Service, Research Scientistaculty appointments:

  • Public Service Faculty Appointments: All public service faculty appointments, regardless of home unit, must be submitted via UGAJobs to the Office of the Vice President for Public Service & Outreach (OVPPSO) for approval prior to submission to OFA. Note that OVPPSO may have additional documentation requirements for hire of public service faculty. See Appointment Procedures for Public Service and Outreach Faculty or contact OVPPSO for more information.
  • Research Scientist Faculty Appointments: All research scientist faculty appointments, regardless of home unit, must be submitted via UGAJobs to the Office of Research for approval prior to submission to OFA. Note that OVPR may have additional documentation requirements for hire of research scientists. See Guidelines for the Appointment and Promotion of Research Scientists or contact the Office of Research for more information.
  • Lecturer Ranks: All lecturer rank appointments, regardless of home unit, must be submitted via UGAJobs to the Office of Instruction for approval prior to submission to OFA.

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1.09-5 Cover Letter from Dean/VP or Department Head to Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

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The cover letter from the hiring unit’s dean/vice president or department head should document the candidate’s qualifications for appointment as clearly as possible. As applicable, the cover letter should include the candidate’s background, achievements, assessment of stature, search procedures, and faculty vote. It should explain why this hire is strategic for the hiring unit and describe any special circumstances related to the hire. The cover letter should not duplicate the contents of the offer letter. The dean’s or vice president’s approval of the associated hiring proposal within the UGAJobs workflow may be accepted in place of a signature on the cover letter.

1.09-6 Exception to the Search Requirement

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If a search was not conducted, a letter from the Equal Opportunity Office approving the appointment without a search is required.

See Section 1.08, Recruitment of Faculty, for additional information on the faculty search process or contact the Equal Opportunity Office.

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1.09-7 Official Transcript

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The final, official transcript for the highest degree earned is required as an original document from the degree granting institution. If the official transcript is received by the hiring unit, and not sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) electronically by the awarding institution, then the hiring unit must forward the original, official transcript to OFA in hard-copy. For medical faculty who will not serve as instructor of record, a copy of the candidate’s American Medical Association Physician Profile is acceptable in place of the official medical degree transcript. For faculty who are employed by another University System of Georgia (USG) institution, and who will serve as a dual appointees at UGA, a copy of the official transcript may be submitted, as long as the USG home institution certifies in writing on the transcript that it was copied from an official transcript (for example, “I certify that this is a true copy of the original transcript. [Signature, date]). Below are additional requirements if the highest degree has not yet been awarded, if it is available in electronic form via download, if the highest degree awarded is from a foreign institution:

  • Transcript for High Degree Not Yet Available: If the official transcript listing the degree, discipline, and award date is not available at the time of appointment (e.g., candidate recently received degree or completed degree requirements but degree has not yet been awarded or transcript for completion not yet available), the following documents are required:
    1. Original 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.
    2. Official transcript for the prior highest degree earned. 
  • Electronic Transcript for High Degree: If the official transcript is an electronic copy, OFA must be given access to download and print the document directly from the awarding institution’s website to verify authenticity. Candidate should request electronic transcript be sent to ofatranscripts@uga.edu. The hiring department may email the name of candidate and hiring department to ofatranscripts@uga.edu to receive confirmation that electronic transcript has been received.
  • Transcript for High Degree from Foreign Institution: For candidates earning their highest degree from a foreign institution, the transcript must be accompanied by the following documents:
    1. Notarized translation if transcript is not in English.
    2. Certification of U.S. Degree Equivalency, preferably from a recognized credentialing agency (see /documents/fef11605.pdf). U.S. degree equivalency will also be accepted from a UGA faculty member, preferably an academic dean or department head, who is an expert in the candidate’s academic discipline using the below letter template:

I certify that the degree documentation submitted to the UGA Office of Faculty Affairs for faculty candidate’s name from foreign institution name, city, country awarding the degree/level in discipline/major on date granted is reliable and that the institution has standards similar to those of an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. I have reviewed this degree documentation and certify that the degree is equivalent to a degree/level in discipline/major in the U.S.

Signed,
UGA Faculty Member/Discipline Expert Name, List of Academic Credentials
List other credentials/positions held appropriate for this expert review

1.09-8 External Letters of Recommendation

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Obtain at least three letters of recommendation from external authorities who can provide a critical, detailed evaluation of the candidate’s work as related to the faculty appointment. These letters should be signed and sent by the author to the hiring unit. If submitted electronically without an original signature, the hiring unit must verify that the originating email address belongs to the author of the letter. Internal letters of recommendation will be allowed for appointment of part-time and limited term instructors when their primary teaching experience has been at the University of Georgia. Up to two internal letters of recommendation will also be allowed for adjunct faculty. Any request for exception to this policy must be noted in the Dean/VP cover letter, along with justification for the exception request, and requires Provost’s approval.

1.09-9 Part-Time Faculty

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Part-time faculty are non-tenured faculty employed less than full-time at a single University System of Georgia (USG) institution, or at more than one USG institution. Part-time faculty:

      1. Are not accruing time toward tenure.
      2. Are required to sign a letter of agreement for each appointment period and are not issued contracts. A template letter of agreement is posted at the Office of Faculty Affairs website.
      3. Are not the same as adjunct faculty appointments, which are unpaid.
      4. May be USG benefits eligible, depending on the duration of their employment and percent time employment. If the part-time appointment is continuous for more than one consecutive semester (excluding summer) and 50% time or greater, benefits will be offered based on percent time in accordance with the Employee Categories policy in the USG Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual.
      5. Are required to account for hours worked/week over the academic year. If teaching is an assigned duty, then the faculty member’s instructional work time is based on contact hours/week.  See the UGA contact hour conversion chart (below) to convert instructional contact hours to standard hours worked and percent time employed. If teaching is not the only assignment, then part-time faculty must track their non-instructional hours worked/week.
      6. Who work or teach at more than one UGA unit and/or USG institution must notify each unit/institution of the appointments, disclose the number of contact hours being taught or hours worked at each unit/institution, and may have his/her employment limited by the unit/institutions. A USG Dual Appointment Agreement (https://hr.uga.edu/supervisors/employment-administration/dual-appointment-information/) between institutions must also be initiated. In most cases, the dual appointment agreement must be fully-executed by the Presidents of both institutions prior to the employment effective date. Note that initiation of this agreement is an on-going obligation prior to any new term of joint employment among USG units.

For additional information about part-time faculty, see the following sections of the Board of Regents Policy Manual:

Sources for UGA Policy:

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1.09-10 Employment Beyond Retirement

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An individual who has retired from the USG and is receiving benefits from the Teachers Retirement System, the Employees Retirement System, or the Regent’s Retirement Plan, may be eligible for reemployment on a part-time basis by the USG. Reemployment of USG retirees by the USG must fall under the following conditions:

  • The reemployment of a USG retiree must be approved by the hiring institution’s president.
  • A rehired retiree must have a minimum break of at least one (1) month between the effective date of his/her retirement and the effective date of his/her reemployment.
  • The work commitment of a rehired retiree must be less than half-time; i.e., less than 49%.
  • The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be either:
    • No more than 49% of the annual benefit-base compensation amount that he/she was earning at the time of his/her retirement, with consideration for the average merit increase percentages that have been applied since the employee retired; or,
    • No more than 49% of the average compensation for the position into which the retiree is being hired based on the institution’s existing compensation plan, or, if not applicable, the average compensation of existing or previous incumbents; or,
    • No more than 49% of a reasonable market competitive rate for the position into which the retiree is being rehired as determined by the institutional chief human resources officer.
  • The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be consistent with his/her work commitment.

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1.09-11 Documenting Credentials of Faculty Teaching UGA Courses in UGA Study Abroad Programs

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Objective

  • Ensure that all faculty teaching in UGA study abroad programs provide evidence of credentials meeting the standards of both UGA and the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC);
  • Respect the procedures and policies of higher education in the host country.

Policy
Faculty teaching in a University of Georgia (UGA) study abroad program shall meet the same standards concerning educational credentials as all UGA instructors of record, and unless item 2.a.iii below applies, shall undergo credential review prior to teaching UGA courses abroad.

  1. Preferred Form of Credentials. UGA prefers that study abroad faculty provide documentation of highest degree earned as follows:
    1. If the highest degree is from a foreign institution: Official transcript plus a U.S. equivalency certification. An equivalency certification is a written statement by a person or entity approved by the UGA Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) stating that the degree earned is equivalent to a U.S. degree in a particular academic area; or
    2. If the highest degree is from a U.S. institution: Official transcript.
  2. Alternative Forms of Credentials. Alternatively, study abroad faculty credentials may be authenticated by either of the following methods:
    1. Institutional Agreement Between UGA and a Foreign Institution (an institution in the host country that provides instructors for a UGA study abroad program)
      1. The institutional agreement between UGA and the partner institution [to be created as addendum to standard ICA and facilitated by the UGA Office of Global Engagement] must explain UGA’s instructor of record credentialing requirements and stipulate that the partner institution will review and select instructors for UGA following these requirements. If the host country’s graduate educational system differs significantly from the U.S. system, the UGA study abroad program director may seek an exception to UGA’s credentialing requirements by documenting how the host country’s educational system provides appropriate training for the individuals who will instruct UGA students. Such exception requests must be approved by the Provost prior to execution of the institutional agreement.
      2. Written attestation by the faculty director of the UGA study abroad program, or the head of UGA department offering courses in that program, that the faculty member’s credentials are valid and meet UGA’s instructor of record credentialing requirements.
      3. If the foreign institution assigns UGA students to specific faculty only after the students’ skills have been assessed in person (e.g., for language instruction), then the written attestation regarding the credentials of the faculty teaching UGA’s students must be submitted to OFA within two weeks of student placement.
    2. Contractual Relationship Between UGA and In-country Expert (an individual faculty member, person, or entity in the host-country having knowledge and experience relevant to the hiring of faculty members for higher educational instruction)
      1. The contract between the particular UGA study abroad program and the in-country expert must explain UGA’s instructor of record credentialing requirements and stipulate that all instructors for the study abroad program must meet these requirements; and
      2. Written attestation by the faculty director of the UGA study abroad program or head of the UGA department offering courses in that program that the faculty member’s credentials are valid and meet UGA’s standards.
  1. Review and Maintenance of Credential Documentation.

The OFA is responsible for reviewing and maintaining credential documentation for compliance with this policy, accreditation review and other institutional needs. Credentials of study abroad faculty should be reviewed by OFA prior to their teaching UGA students in study abroad courses.

If one of the two alternate methods listed in paragraph 2 above is utilized, the faculty director of the UGA study abroad program shall have the obligation to provide the original institutional agreement and attestation (alternative 2a) or the original contract and attestation (alternative 2b) to the UGA OFA. In addition, the faculty director shall maintain in the records of the study abroad program a current vitae or other comparable evidence of each foreign faculty member’s credentials.

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1.09-12 Limited-term Faculty Appointment Pending Award of Terminal Degree

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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 nine months of hire.      

Policy
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. In rare cases, the hiring unit may petition the Provost for an extension to this timeline if circumstances outside the faculty-member’s control have delayed completion of their degree.

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. 

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1.09-13 Public Announcement of New Faculty Appointments and Titles

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Appointment of faculty as new employees or administrative leaders may be publicly announced prior to the employment start date, but may not be publicized before the individual’s background investigation for the new position, or title, is completed and cleared by Human Resources and the hiring authority. Submission of the individual’s hiring proposal in UGAJobs will initiate the background investigation.

Appointment of faculty to endowed titles may not be publicly announced before UGA has received written confirmation of approval from the USG Board of Regents.