Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(3)    Faculty Governance Policy








For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. Establishing or Filling a Vacant Position

  2. Spouse/Partner Appointment Procedures

  3. Faculty Records

  4. Disposition of Faculty Evaluation Materials

  5. Guidelines in the Appointment of Adjunct Faculty

  6. Early Retirement Policy


It is not to be assumed that any position is to be filled automatically or a search initiated prior to a review of the position and approval by the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. When the Vice President approves the filling of the vacancy or the creation of a new position, dollars to fund the position must be budgeted. If funds are not in the budget for the position, it cannot be filled until the Vice President has secured approval from the President to transfer funds from some other area of the budget.

After the Vice President has approved the filling of the position, or the creation of the position, and funds are budgeted, he/she authorizes the search for candidates. The description of the position to be filled must include the rank, salary range and any special requirements or conditions. The Vice President will advise the search committee of special areas where recruitment should be undertaken which will reach the best pool of qualified applicants. Advertisement should be placed in the appropriate professional journals and in The Chronicle of Higher Education, if appropriate.

After the search has been conducted the search committee will bring to the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs a summary of the recruitment process and a review of the applicants. It is the Vice President’s responsibility to assure that the advertising and recruitment process has been in compliance with Affirmative Action policies and that women and minorities have been given opportunities to apply.

The Vice President will authorize the search committee to invite several of the top candidates to visit the campus.

Following the interviews of the candidates, a recommendation will be made from the departmental Chair to the Vice President recommending appointment of the selected candidate. The Vice President, if he/she concurs in the recommendation, then recommends the candidate to the President for appointment. A contract will be prepared in the Vice President’s office and sent to the President with the Vice President’s recommendation for employment. The contract should include the length of the contract, rank, fringe benefits, moving expenses if allowed, tenure credit if any, and any other special conditions of employment. Under no circumstances should the search committee, the departmental Chair, or the Vice President make any commitment to the candidate. Only the President can commit the institution.

On one-year-only appointments, the visit of three candidates would be excessive and expensive. A visit by a single candidate probably would be sufficient to fill a position for one year.


There may be circumstances when the appointment of a spouse/partner can enhance and support recruitment, hiring, and retention of qualified faculty and executive administrators. As an exception to the procedures described above, such appointments are to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis depending upon the qualifications of the spouse/partner, the availability of a suitable position, the approval of the relevant department or program, and consistency with the policy on Employment of Family Members, Section 3A, Article IV.M.

When a potential faculty candidate for the spouse/partner hiring is identified, the candidate shall provide information to the department consistent with normal search procedures and shall at a minimum include a full curriculum vitae, samples of scholarship, letters of reference, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and an interview, either by telephone or in person, with the chair or a designated departmental search committee.

A potential faculty candidate will not be hired into a department against the wishes of the department. However, when making decisions to hire, the departmental search committee should consider not only what might be best for the department but also what might be best for the University as a whole. In circumstances when a department finds a candidate unsuitable for a typical faculty appointment, unique appointment alternatives may be pursued by both the department and administration.

Assistance for spouses/partners seeking employment outside the University is available through the office of Career Services.                                             


Faculty records, curriculum vitae, annual evaluations, promotion and tenure records and salary information will be maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. Salary increases based on merit should be justified in writing for each faculty member and copies maintained in his/her file. Any copies of personnel records maintained in the department should be filed in a prudent and secure manner. See also Chapter 3F: Faculty Records.


A.    Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment Materials

1.    The Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs (VPFSA) keeps

  1. Self-evaluation

  2. Departmental Chair’s and colleagues’ letters

  3. Other evaluation letters

  4. Promotion and tenure summary evaluation and recommendation

  5. Inventory of materials returned to faculty

2.    VPFSA returns to faculty member through departmental Chair

  1. All supporting materials—books, articles, student evaluations submitted by faculty member

  2. Copy of self-evaluation (if requested)

B.    Annual Merit Evaluation

1.    VPFSA keeps

  1. Summary of Activity form

  2. Chair’s evaluation

  3. Unique supporting documentation—other letters, supplementary information submitted by faculty, Chair or others

2.    VPFSA returns to faculty member

  1. Copy of Summary of Activity form (if requested)

  2. Non-unique supporting documentation—books, articles, student evaluations—submitted by faculty member

  3. Copy of unique supporting documentation submitted by faculty member


A.    Eligibility

Individuals who, because of their experience, background and expertise can contribute directly to the educational program at Trinity University, are eligible for appointment to an adjunct rank. Persons already employed full time by Trinity University are not eligible for such an appointment.

B.    Qualifications

Individuals recommended for adjunct appointments must be professionally competent in their field and recognized as such by their peers. This competency and recognition must be established by such evidence as the credentials, background, and experience of the individual. Persons recommended must be capable of adding expertise to the academic program which would otherwise be unavailable from full-time or part-time faculty members. The recommendation for appointment must specify how the individual would support the instructional and/or research program of Trinity University.

C.    Ranks

An individual may be appointed to the rank of Adjunct Instructor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor or Adjunct Professor. The distinction in these ranks should be based on the person’s qualifications and experience. While it is not possible to make an exact correlation between adjunct ranks and regular faculty ranks, recommendations to appoint to the adjunct rank should address the quality of the individual’s experience and/or background and the significance of his/her work as it contributes to the support of the instructional or research programs of the University.

D.    Appointment

Adjunct appointments are made by the President of the University on the recommendation of the Department and the Vice President for Faculty and Student Affairs. Appointments to an adjunct position are for specified periods and will not exceed one year. These appointments may be renewed, but only when the recommendation and appointment process has been followed for each renewal. The appointment to an adjunct rank does not carry with it the rights and privileges of a regular, full-time faculty member. Specifically, an adjunct appointee is not eligible for tenure at Trinity University, and time spent in an adjunct position is not regarded as probationary time toward tenure.

E.    Compensation

Adjunct faculty will participate in the academic program of Trinity University without pay. At the discretion of the President of the University, these individuals may be entitled to the enjoyment of certain of the benefits and use of certain of the facilities of Trinity University without charge. If need should arise, adjunct faculty members may, from time to time, teach as a part-time faculty member and may be issued a part-time faculty contract for that teaching concurrent with the adjunct appointment.


The Early Retirement Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 1, 1987 and amended on May 4, 1990 and was to expire on May 31, 1992. Because of amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Trinity University was advised that the early retirement program was not consistent with new ADEA requirements. Therefore, the University terminated the early retirement program, effective April 13, 1991.

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This page was last modified on 09/28/11

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