UNC Charlotte Academic Policy and Procedure: Reassignment of Duties

I. Introduction

The purpose of the Faculty Development Reassignment of Duties Program (RD) is to provide institutional encouragement and tangible support to the faculty to maintain, broaden and enhance instructional, scholarly research, and service capabilities that are valued by the Colleges and Departments. In particular, the program provides resources on a competitive and accountable basis to make reassignments of duties for selected faculty to pursue professional interests surrounding their institutional responsibilities.

II. Policy and Procedure Statement

Eligibility
Faculty members must be tenured at the rank of associate professor or above. Applications for a RD from tenure-track faculty members in their last probationary year may be considered; if the proposal is approved, the RD will be contingent upon the applicant receiving tenure. 

Conditions 

  1. When applying for a RD, the faculty member must submit a proposal and the appropriate materials in accordance with the Application Process described below.
     
  2. A RD is neither deferred compensation nor an entitlement based upon length of service but is granted on the merits of the individual proposal upon the recommendation of the appropriate administrators.
     
  3. Faculty on a RD are eligible for consideration for merit salary increases, promotion, and one-time payments or any other salary adjustments approved by the General Assembly, the Board of Governors, or UNC Charlotte.
     
  4. For faculty who are on a RD, this period will be considered as an approved leave of absence for educational purposes, but not all educational leaves are considered RDs.
     
  5. Faculty members on RD are expected to devote full-time to the approved project.
     
  6. If circumstances require that a substantial change be made in the project after it has been approved, the faculty member should obtain approval of the changes in accordance with campus procedures.

Duration and Compensation
In general, faculty will be awarded the RD for either one semester at full salary or for two semesters (one academic year) at one-half salary.  Salary funds released by the RD appointments should be aggregated at the college level to be used for replacement faculty as necessary. With appropriate justification the Provost will provide replacement funds for full semester RD’s that are approved for CoAA, CoB, CoED, CCI and CHHS.  (CLAS and CoEN manage and fund their own RD appointments.) 

Supplemental Pay
In some cases, faculty may be receiving partial salary from an external source.  In these cases, the faculty member’s total salary should not exceed the approved annual salary for the period of the RD, not including funds awarded to cover living expenses and travel for the RD spent away from campus as well as administrative assistance, research, publication, and other expenses related to the approved project.

Compensation for salary and expenses from all sources should be addressed in the proposal and approved before the leave is granted.  If the amount or source of compensation changes, this change should be approved by the appropriate administrators through University Policy 102.1, External Professional Activities of Faculty and Other Professional Staff Exempt from the State Human Resources Act

University Obligations and Return to Service

  1. Faculty on a RD should agree to take leave or resign from campus obligations such as department, college, and campus committees during the time of the RD.  However, faculty may be expected to maintain contact with graduate advisees or to make other arrangements to ensure that students’ progress will not be disrupted. Faculty may also participate in the department faculty evaluation process (for annual reviews or hiring) if the department bylaws provide this opportunity. Faculty members who are P.I.’s are expected to provide a Management Plan for how the funded research will be handled during the time on leave.
     
  2. Faculty who receive the RD are required to return to service at the university for a minimum of one year of full time service at UNC Charlotte or to repay the salary received during the period of leave. 
     
  3. The N.C. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System requires that employees on approved leave of absence for educational purposes return to service as a contributing member for at least three years; otherwise, service credit earned during leave of absence will be cancelled. 
     
  4. A faculty member on the RD who accepts a position at another postsecondary institution or any other paid employment that was not included in the proposal or approved through the External Professional Activities for Pay policy will be considered to have abandoned his or her contract and would be terminated.

Report
Awardees of a RD must present a report of results and accomplishments to department/college colleagues and must file a written report with the department chairperson prior to the end of the semester of return to full time duty.  An information copy should also be forwarded to the Provost, along with the dean’s assessment of accomplishments during the period.  If a faculty member fails to submit the required report, he or she will not be considered for a subsequent RD.

Further Service and Subsequent Reassigned Time
Generally, faculty members are eligible to apply for an additional RD after six years of further service. 

Application Process

  1. The application process must include the following information, depending on the project:
    1. Curriculum vitae
    2. Description of the project
    3. Expectations for supplemental funding for expenses and/or salary
    4. Invitations to other institutions, award letters for fellowships, or other supporting documentation 
    5. Potential enhancement of the faculty member’s effectiveness in teaching, scholarship, or service
    6. Potential value to the teaching, scholarship, or service program of the department
    7. Contribution to knowledge in the field of study
    8. Value to public or professional service at the institutional, state, or national level.
    9. Expected outcomes, e.g., book, article, creative expression, new academic or outreach program.
       
  2.  For proposals to be funded by Academic Affairs, the proposal should be forwarded through the department chair and dean to be received in the Office of Academic Affairs by early November (please see the current Academic Calendar for the exact deadline date).  Academic Affairs will accept proposals later in the year if it does not place a burden on the department to find replacement faculty.  For proposals to be funded with college funds those deadlines will be set by the appropriate dean in CLAS and CoEN. 
     
  3. Proposals should be evaluated in the departments and colleges according to procedures in those units.
     
  4. Award decisions will be made by the Provost in consultation with respective deans in the case of those proposals funded by Academic Affairs. In cases where a college is funding the RD (CLAS & CoEN), the decision to award will be made by the dean in consultation with the chair. 
     
  5. Decisions about granting the RD must be made with a clear understanding of the source of funds to maintain the instructional expectations in the department and to maintain  advising in the department during the faculty member’s absence.
     
  6. If a proposal is denied, the faculty is allowed to appeal that decision in writing to the Provost.
     
  7. Deans are responsible for providing the Provost with a list of applications and results of the process annually.

Benefits Continuation
Faculty on a RD will continue to receive university contributions for the State Health Plan.  They will also continue to receive the University’s contributions for the N.C. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System or the UNC Optional Retirement Program as explained below. 

N.C. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS):
During the RD Time with full pay, the University will continue making the employer contribution to TSERS and the faculty member will continue making his or her pre-tax contribution to TSERS through payroll deduction.

During the RD Time with partial pay, if the faculty member wishes to continue making his or her retirement contribution, the University will continue making the employer contribution. The employer and employee contributions are based on the faculty member’s base rate of pay in effect immediately preceding the reassignment.  The faculty member’s contribution shall be on an after-tax basis and monthly payment must be made timely by the faculty member, by personal payment, to the campus Human Resources/Benefits Office, for transmission to the State Retirement System.

In accordance with State law, if a faculty member is on an approved leave of absence for educational purposes with partial pay, service credit may be purchased if retirement contributions are paid by the 15th of the month following the month for which service credit is allowed.  If contributions are not made by the 15th of the month, a penalty of 1% of the combined employer and employee contributions per month shall be assessed by the Retirement System.  In addition, unless the faculty member returns to service as a contributing member within 12 months after completion of his or her educational program and contributes to the Retirement System for at least three more years (except in the event of death or disability), contributions will be refunded and the service credits cancelled.  Regardless of when the educational program was completed, the maximum allowable credit for educational leave or interrupted service for education purposes is six years over the course of one’s career.

NOTE: Coverage under the State’s Disability Income Plan and the Death Benefit will continue for eligible members of TSERS during the Reassigned Time period.

UNC System Optional Retirement Program:
If a faculty member participates in the UNC System Optional Retirement Program (ORP), the same procedures as outlined above for TSERS members apply, including the six year maximum allowable credit limit. (See TSERS discussion above).  However, employer and employee contributions are payable to the appropriate ORP carrier instead of to the Retirement System.  NOTE: Coverage under the State’s Disability Income Plan will continue for eligible participants of the ORP during the Reassigned Time period.

III. Definitions

  • College – An academic unit of the University.  Each of the seven discipline-based colleges at UNC Charlotte represents an organization of related departments. 
  • Dean – The highest authority within an academic division of study.  An Academic Dean heads each College.  In addition to the academic deans, there is also a Dean of Students within the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Department – A unit within a college representing a discipline.  For example, the Department of English is in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. 
  • Faculty – The members of the teaching and research body staff of UNC Charlotte.  Faculty may hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, research associate, research assistant, or the equivalent of any of these academic ranks.
  • Provost – Reporting to the Chancellor, the Provost is the chief academic officer who oversees all academic affairs activities, including research and faculty.  The Deans of each College report to the Provost.

IV. Policy and Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Revised: March 1, 2010

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

There are no Frequently Asked Questions for this policy and procedure.