Appointments of Academic Staff
Academic appointments are positions in the employment categories of tenure system faculty; specialized faculty; postdoctoral research associates and fellows; academic professionals; and academic hourly employees. Provost’s Communication #3: Appointments of Faculty, Specialized Faculty, and Academic Professionals describes the principles of two-level review, outlines the steps necessary for receiving approval to create or refill academic positions, and the subsequent steps required to secure approval to hire the chosen candidates for the approved positions.
Emeritus/emerita status may be awarded by the Board of Trustees upon retirement from the University of Illinois to faculty and to senior administrators as recognition of honorable service to the University according to the guidelines outlined in Provost’s Communication #12: Policy for Awarding Emeritus/Emerita Status.
Faculty Credential Policy
The Faculty Credential Policy sets a university-wide standard and common expectations for the appointment of all instructors of record teaching courses for academic credit at the Illinois, excluding graduate student appointees, each of whom works under the supervision of a qualified faculty member. It also meets the faculty qualifications guidelines adopted by the Higher Learning Commission in March 2016. Read the full policy.
Leaves of Absence
A leave of absence without pay may be justified in certain situations and is approved only with appropriate justification, establishing that the leave is in the best interests of the university. Multiple approvals are necessary to process a leave request. The campus policy and procedures are outlined in Provost’s Communication #20: Leaves.
Named Faculty Appointments
Named faculty appointments are awarded to the most distinguished scholars for their excellence and prominence in research, teaching, and service. These include faculty scholars, faculty fellows, named professors, and named chairs. Refer to Provost’s Communication #6: Named Faculty Appointments for the campus policy and procedural guidelines.
Offering Academic Positions
Recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty and staff is central to our excellence as an institution. Provost’s Communication #2: Offering Academic Positions provides guidance and institutional requirements for making offers to candidates for faculty, academic staff, and academic professional positions.
Probationary Period/Tenure Track Faculty
When a faculty member reaches tenure code “3” in the probationary period, formal review of the faculty member’s progress (known as the “third-year review”) is conducted. See Provost’s Communication #13: Review of Faculty in Year Three of the Probationary Period for information and guidelines about this process.
Promotion & Tenure
The decision to grant tenure is among the most lasting and important decisions made by the university. Provost’s Communication #9: Promotion and Tenure, covers the policy and multi-stage process. Provost’s Communication #26: Promotion to Associate or Full Teaching Research or Clinical Professor Titles covers promotional paths for specialized faculty.
Under certain circumstances, the University’s Statutes provide that a member of the tenure system faculty who has the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor may be granted a sabbatical leave of absence with pay for the pursuit of study or research. See Provost’s Communication #19: Sabbatical Leaves of Absence for the policy and guidelines.
Specialized faculty members serve an integral part of the university function, through teaching and through research. Provost’s Communication #25: Employment Guidelines for Specialized Faculty Holding Non-tenure System Positions provides best practices regarding a number of employment matters. It is intended to provide guidance to departments, schools, and colleges on employment matters affecting specialized faculty, including titles, promotional tracks, hiring procedures, performance evaluations, grievances, unit involvement, and professional development. Provost’s Communication #26: Promotion to Associate or Full Teaching Research or Clinical Professor Titles covers promotional paths for specialized faculty.
Faculty Hiring Programs
The university is committed to building and maintaining a faculty that is excellent in many dimensions. The Office of the Provost supports three programs in which partial or total central financial support for academic positions may be provided:
Dual Career Academic Couples Program
This program enables search waivers in the case of academic couples, increasing the ability of the campus to recruit and retain faculty members when the appointment or retention of one person is contingent upon employment of another. For more information, see Provost’s Communication #8: Dual Career Academic Couples Program.
Faculty Excellence Program
The purpose of this program is to recruit individuals who will contribute to transformation and positive change, within their units and across the institution. The focus is on experienced faculty with established records of excellence in their area of scholarly or research inquiry. Due to budgetary restraints, the Faculty Excellence Program is being scaled back for the next few years. Units that identify a stellar senior candidate should work through the traditional search process to the extent that it is possible. For more information, see Provost’s Communication #4: Faculty Excellence Program.
Targets of Opportunity Program
This program provides support to unit on campus to recruit outstanding faculty members who will enhance our institution’s strategic goals and build on our reputation as a leading public research university. TOP funding is available to recruit and hire outstanding individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the unit. For more information, see Provost’s Communication #7: Targets of Opportunity Program (TOP).
Faculty Honors & Recognition
Faculty awards and honors are an important part of faculty development as well as recognition for faculty, their units, and the campus. We encourage you to visit the Awards section to learn more about the resources available to faculty and units.
Faculty mentoring influences not just the success of individual faculty, but the intellectual culture and achievement of the entire unit. While each unit may tailor its mentoring program to fit the specifics of its discipline and its own situation, it is vital for the unit to create opportunities for mentoring relationships to form.
Learn more about faculty mentoring, including tips for Unit Executive Officers.
Seminars & Workshops
- The New Academic Leaders Seminar Series is designed for new executive officers who wish to engage in dialogue, share best practices, and discuss issues such as leadership, financial and strategic planning, and faculty development.
- Learn more about additional seminars and workshops internal and external to the Illinois campus.
Trolling Attacks on Scholars
Nationally, unfair attacks on scholars have increased, often in social media, on message boards, and through other online forums. These “trolling attacks” can be professionally disruptive and personally difficult. Unit executive officers are the first point of contact in mobilizing resources to support and assist faculty members targeted by one of these attacks. Learn more about Executive Officer Action and Faculty Action.
- Faculty Experience Survey – Fall 2020 (Survey administered to all tenure stream and specialized faculty from December 2020 to January 2021 as a way to better understand their experiences given the interruption caused by the pandemic.)