General Personnel Policy
The following General Personnel Policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents is hereby adopted to delegate to the presidents of universities, community colleges, and technical institutes the authority and responsibility hereinafter specified concerning personnel, which the Board finds to be necessary and appropriate for the efficient administration of the institutions, and to establish standards, guidelines, and reporting requirements for the exercise of the delegated authority.
The policy also cites specified authority and responsibility concerning personnel assigned to directors of Tennessee technology centers.
A. Scope of Delegation
The appointments and terminations which require the prior approval of the president and the Chancellor include:
a. All Vice Presidents (academic, business, student affairs, etc.) including all interim appointments;
b. Academic deans, academic department and/or division heads, Directors of the Centers of Emphasis and Excellence, (including those officers, who with varying titles, have line responsibility for administration of academic faculty or staff at the academic disciplinary unit level); including interim appointments;
c. Appointments, promotions, and/or transfers to positions with salaries in excess of $75,000 and of non-faculty (the promotion process for faculty is governed by TBR Policies 5:02:02:10, 5:02:02:20, and 5:02:02:30), and/or transfers to positions with salaries in excess of $75,000; and
d. Any other positions which may be designated by the Chancellor.
The appointments, changes of status, compensation, and termination of the TTC assistant directors shall be subject to the prior approval of the Vice Chancellor for Technology Centers.
- The president of a university, community college, or technical institute and the director of a Tennessee technology center are authorized to appoint, determine the compensation and change of status of, and terminate all other employees at the institution or center subject to the provisions of this and other relevant Board policies and procedures and the Board approved Compensation Plan Guideline.
The president may delegate the foregoing authority to a designated person or persons at the institution provided that all appointments and compensation of faculty and administrative personnel shall be subject to the approval of the president. Subsequent references to the president of an institution include the president or his or her appropriate designee.
The director of a Tennessee technology center may not delegate the foregoing authority.
- The president of a university, community college, or technical institute and the director of a Tennessee technology center are authorized to appoint and employ personnel within the scope of delegation provided in Section A for positions at the institution or center which have been approved by the Board in an operating budget (work program) at a level of compensation which does not exceed the amount specified in the operating budget; provided that new appointments to approved positions may be made at a level of compensation in excess of the amount specified where funds are available, subject to confirmation of the transfer of budgeted funds by the Chancellor.
- No employment agreement, or contract, or letter of agreement shall be used in the appointment or employment of personnel unless the form of agreement, contract, or letter has been approved by the Chancellor.
- New administrative positions shall not be established in an institution's or school's administrative organization, and no major change in the administrative organization of an institution or Center shall be made, unless approved by the Chancellor.
- The minimum qualifications for the appointment of faculty at universities, community colleges, and technical institutes shall be the Minimum Rank Criteria for Professional Personnel in Instruction, Public Service, and Research set forth in Board Policy No. 5:02:02:20 and 5:02:02:30, which is incorporated herein by reference.
The minimum criteria for tenure-track or tenure appointments at Tennessee technology centers are specified in Board Policy No. 5:02:02:10. All part-time or temporary faculty must be appointed according to the provisions of Board Policy.
- The minimum qualifications for the appointment of all personnel other than faculty shall be determined by the president or director, based upon the duties and responsibilities of the position, and shall be recorded and maintained by the institution or Center, subject to any minimum qualifications for personnel positions which may be established by the Board.
C. Nature of Appointments
- Faculty at universities, community colleges, and technical institutes shall be employed pursuant to the types of appointments specified in Board Policy No. 5:02:02:20 and 5:02:02:30, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Faculty at Tennessee technology centers shall be employed pursuant to the types of appointment specified in Board Policy No. 5:02:02:10, which is incorporated herein by reference.
- Personnel other than faculty shall be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the president or, at Tennessee technology centers, of the director.
- All full-time personnel including faculty shall be required to devote a minimum of 37.5 hours per week to the institution or Center, and shall maintain appropriate office hours as determined by the president (or his or her designee) or, at Tennessee technology centers, by the director. Calculation of the 37.5-hour week shall follow such guidelines as promulgated by the Chancellor.
- Within the requirement of a minimum of 37.5 hours per week, faculty at universities, community colleges, or technical institutes shall be required to carry a full teaching load, which shall be fifteen (15) credit hours or the equivalent per term for undergraduate courses, twelve (12) credit hours or the equivalent per term for graduate courses, two hundred twenty-five (225) non-credit contact hours or the equivalent per term. All equivalent teaching load activities shall be subject to prior review and approval by the president (or his or her designee).
Within the requirement of a minimum of 37.5 hours per week, faculty at Tennessee technology centers shall normally be required to carry thirty (30) contact hours per week of teaching.
- In addition to the requirement of Section C-3 above, full-time administrative personnel shall be required to devote sufficient time to complete their assigned duties and responsibilities. When administrative personnel are appointed on an academic year basis, such personnel shall be required to devote sufficient time to fully perform the administrative responsibilities for the academic year, including periods preceding or following the academic year.
- Personnel at universities, community colleges, or technical institutes who are appointed on an academic year basis shall be on duty for not less than nine months, which shall commence from the time designated by the president prior to the institution's registration for the fall term of each year through the time designated by the president at the end of the spring term, and shall be subject to call for duty during that period regardless of whether classes are in session.
- The president or director is responsible for compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations, and all Board policies and directives, concerning compensation for employees, and compensation for employees shall be subject to limitations imposed by the Board or the General Assembly.
- All regular full-time salaried personnel, whether on an academic or fiscal year appointment, shall be paid twelve (12) monthly installments each year, provided that exceptions may be made upon termination, or as approved by the Chancellor.
- All full-time and part-time employees are required to participate in the automatic deposit program for the direct deposit of their salaries. Each campus has the option to require student workers to participate in the direct deposit program as long as there is no charge to the student unless exempted by Federal Work Study Guidelines.
- Part-time instructional personnel shall be paid on the basis of the credit or non-credit hours taught, pursuant to such guidelines and/or schedules as may be established by the Board.
- The president or director shall insure that all employees shall be paid equal wages or salaries for equal work in positions the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where pay differentials are based upon: (a) market factors, (b) a merit or evaluation system, (c) length of service, or (d) any other proper, non-discriminatory basis. When any of the foregoing bases are relied upon to justify pay differentials for employees in similar positions as described above, the basis and the attendant circumstances shall be substantiated in writing and maintained by the institution or center.
- Overtime payments and compensatory time are available to employees not exempt from the FLSA. The Chancellor is authorized to issue guidelines relative to the use of compensatory time and payment of overtime and the rates pertinent to each.
- Each institution and technology center shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of the compensation system at the institution or center subject to the approval of the Chancellor, and subject to the Compensation Plan Guidelines promulgated by the Board. This includes reclassifications and degree changes.
- Faculty members may be asked to temporarily assume administrative responsibilities which entail moving from an academic year to a fiscal year contract with the assignment of additional duties. This temporary appointment may be on a long-term or on a short-term basis, but is still considered a temporary appointment subject to this policy. This does not apply when a faculty member is hired into a permanent administrative position such as a deanship which requires a twelve-month contract.
Temporary administrative responsibilities may necessitate the awarding of an administrative stipend in addition to the previously established salary. The stipend amount or any other understanding concerning compensation must be set out in a newly-executed contract. The contract (1) should include a statement that the stipend is awarded as compensation for the additional administrative responsibilities and will be removed at the time the administrative responsibilities end or (2) should otherwise address how compensation would be affected at the end of an administrative appointment.
The awarding of an administrative stipend is an issue separate from that of conversion from an academic year to a fiscal year basis. When the conversion is to take place, the institution should just convert the salary from the academic year contract by adding 25% and then adding any stipend amount determined necessary.
The following illustrates the procedure defined above. A faculty member making $20,000 on an academic contract is converted to a fiscal year contract at a salary of $25,000. In addition, a $1,500 administrative stipend is added and so indicated because of additional duties. The total amount of salary is then $26,500. At the time the faculty member serving as administrator returns to a faculty position on an academic year basis, the administrative stipend will end. Then the base faculty salary is reduced to an academic year contract at a rate no less than 80% of the fiscal year contract. The institution may choose to exceed the 80% number on the basis of comparable faculty salaries, including rank, merit, length of service, experience, degrees and yearly percentage increase in salary.
E. Changes of Status and Terminations
- The president or director is authorized to approve changes of status (i.e., transfers, promotions, demotions, or other changes in duties or responsibilities) of personnel within the scope of the delegation provided for in Section A, provided that when a change of status would cause the employee to be within the scope of positions subject to approval of the Chancellor, the change of status will be subject to the Chancellor's approval. The president/director of each TBR institution/center may establish procedures for accomplishing promotions, demotions, and transfers between institutions/centers within the Tennessee Board of Regents System, in such manner as to ensure fair and equitable treatment to all personnel, and in accordance with established TBR policies. Any such action must be taken within the parameters of the institution's or central office's Affirmative Action Plan and must be reviewed and certified by the institutional Affirmative Action Officer.
Inter-institutional promotions, demotions, and transfers must be discussed and approved by the appointing authorities of the two institutions/centers concerned prior to any discussion with the candidate. Any candidate promoted must meet all established minimum qualifications as determined by the appointing authority.
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
A promotion is defined as an increase in position or rank brought about by means of assuming the duties of a vacant position of higher classification, or assuming duties which warrant a reclassification of present position to one at a higher level.
A reclassification occurs when an employee’s duties and responsibilities evolved to the extent that another classification is more appropriate.
A demotion is defined as a decrease in position or rank brought about by means of assuming the duties of a vacant position of lower classification, the realignment of duties presently performed which warrant a reclassification of present position to one at a lower level, or the assignment of a position at a lower classification subsequent to the disciplinary procedure or disqualification from present duties as a result of mental or physical incapacity to perform the required work.
A lateral transfer is defined as the assumption of duties of another position at the same level.
- The promotion of faculty shall be subject to Board Policy No. 5:02:02:20 and 5:02:02:30 for universities, community colleges, and technical institutes) and Board Policy No. 5:02:02:10 (for Tennessee technology centers).
- Promotion of Non-faculty: Promotions of personnel other than faculty should be made pursuant to established and written criteria developed by the institution or center. Promotions and transfers are an acceptable means of filling vacancies. However, such promotions and transfers must be achieved within the parameters of institutional affirmative action plans. In addition, any vacant position created by that promotion must be filled within the provisions of this Policy and applicable guidelines.
- Terminations and Transfers: The president or director is authorized to terminate and transfer all personnel within the scope of the delegation of authority provided for in Section A, provided that terminations of faculty shall be pursuant to the provisions of Board Policy No. 5:02:03:60 and 5:02:03:;70 (for universities, community colleges and technical institutes) or Board Policy No. 5:02:03:10 (for technology centers).
- Termination for Gross Misconduct: Gross misconduct may include, but is not necessarily limited to: any act or omission which may seriously disrupt or disturb the normal operation of the institution/center/Central Office; any work-related conduct which would subject the employee to criminal conviction; theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; destruction of institution/center/Central Office property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; the illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight; and/or such other similar acts involving intolerable behavior by the employee. In determining eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits, the definition of gross misconduct utilized by the Tennessee Department of Employment Security is not affected by the definition outlined in this paragraph.
In the case of gross misconduct, immediate disciplinary action up to and including termination should be taken. An employee suspected of theft of institutional property may not resign as an alternative to discharge after the investigation has been completed. Any exceptions to this requirement must be made by the institution’s President or Center’s Director after consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. If the employee resigns during the investigation, the employment records must reflect the situation at the date of resignation and the outcome of the investigation.
Refer to Annual Leave Policy 5:01:01:01 and Sick Leave Policy 5:01:01:07 regarding the loss of unused leave if termination of employment is due to gross misconduct.
- Reduction in Force: Each institution or center shall develop a consistent and equitable method of notifying and terminating faculty and non-faculty employees in the event that a reduction in force, reorganization or elimination of any occupational classification within a unit becomes necessary. The method should include a review of the institution’s or center’s operations, identification of the functional area(s) affected, a review of the budgetary implications involved, and development of the specific written criteria to be used in identifying the duties that will be reassigned and/or eliminated in the event of a reduction.
Only after specified functions/duties have been identified by unit heads and approved by the president/director does the review of individual personnel begin. Unit heads in consultation with personnel services staff will assess the specified areas and the employees in those areas in order to make recommendations to the President/Director relative to the specific personnel changes to be made. In making personnel recommendations to the President, the factors used in reaching the recommended decisions may include, but are not limited to:
Length of service in the position and/or length of service at the institution or center, past written performance appraisals, and functional needs of the unit, and qualifications needed to perform remaining duties of the affected units.
Prior to a final decision by the president/director and notification to the employees and in consultation with the staff of General Counsel, the impact of the recommendations shall be considered in light of non-discriminatory requirements listed in Section F of this policy. In the event of one of the above actions, it is permissible to transfer qualified individuals to vacancies at other departments/divisions, institutions or centers within the System. Written notification to the affected employees must be given as far in advance of the effective date as possible. Effective 2004, employees affected by a RIF must receive notification when vacancies occur for like positions at their former campuses within 12 months of the RIF.
- Absence from Duty: An employee who is absent from duty for more than three (3) consecutive business days without giving notice to the appointing authority or appropriate manager concerning the reason for such absence and without securing permission to be on leave or who fails to report for duty or to the immediate supervisor or the appointing authority within two (2) business days after the expiration of any authorized leave of absence, absent unusual circumstances causing the employee’s absence or preventing the employee’s return, is considered as having resigned not in good standing.
F. Non-Discrimination Requirements
The president or director shall insure that all appointments, changes of status, compensation, and terminations are all in compliance with Board Policy No. 5:01:02:00 (EEO Affirmative Action) which is incorporated herein by reference and that no person is discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, color, or national origin in any area of employment. An annual compliance audit will be conducted by the System Affirmative Action Officer.
G. Employment Practice Complaints
- Upon receipt by an institution or center of any charge or claim alleging violations of state or federal laws or regulations in any area of employment by any state or federal agency, a copy of the notice of the charge or claim shall immediately be transmitted to the Office of the General Counsel. The president or director shall forthwith initiate an investigation of the charge, and shall report to the General Counsel the results of the investigation. The Office of the General Counsel will coordinate and approve all responses to the appropriate agency. The president or director shall transmit to the General Counsel copies of all correspondence from or to the state or federal agency involved. All interactions with the state or federal agency shall be coordinated through the Office of the General Counsel.
- Internal complaints, charges, or claims concerning matters of employment shall be handled through the established procedures at the institution or center, subject to approval by the president or director. In any case where the president or director makes a decision which is adverse to the charge or claim of the person, the president or director shall advise the person of any right of appeal provided by Board policy.
H. Academic Credentials to comply with T.C.A. §49-7-133
It is a class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing, that such person:
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees for diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.
I. Records and Reporting Requirements
The president or director shall maintain full and complete records on all personnel, including all appointments, compensation, change of status, and termination as specified by Guideline G-070, Disposal of Records.
J. Moving Expenses and K. Immigration Expense Allowance are not included in this text as they are listed in the following policy http://www.tntech.edu/adminpandp/accounting/acct13.html.
The Chancellor is authorized to approve exceptions to the provisions of this policy, or to suspend the provisions of this policy as to any or all institutions or centers when necessary to ensure proper compliance with Board policies, guidelines, and procedures.
[TBR Meetings: June 25, 1976; March 4, 1977; June 26, 1981; September 18, 1981; September 30, 1983; September 16, 1988; March 17, 1989; September 21, 1990; December 7, 1990; March 19, 1993; September 20, 1996; December 6, 1996; June 20, 1997; June 29, 2001; March 15, 2002; December 5, 2003; September 24, 2004; March 29, 2007; June 29, 2007; September 25, 2008.]
Effect of the Alteration of Work Week
[The earlier portion of this document, which does not deal with faculty, has been omitted.]
In conjunction with the Board's general personnel policy (No. 5:01:00:00), the specifications for the full-time work week hours apply to all employees, including faculty. The definition of "full- time teaching load" has not been altered as a result of the 37.5 hour work week. Faculty office hours will continue to be determined by the president or technology center director or his/her designee. Where professional librarians maintain a standard work week comparable to administrative employees, their work schedule should reflect 37.5 hours per week if they are to be considered full-time. (Section I. of Guideline P-020.)
[August 24, 1981 TBR presidents meeting, September 18, 1981 TBR meeting. Revised July 1, 1984; November 14, 1984; August 16, 1988 TBR presidents meeting. Source: TBR Guidelines Manual, Guideline No. P-020]
Preparation of Part-time and Temporary Faculty
All full-time and part-time faculty teaching at the baccalaureate level in each of the following areas--humanities and the fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, education, and business administration--must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in these teaching fields and hold the master's degree.
Part-time faculty teaching courses for credit must meet the same requirements for professional, experiential and scholarly preparation as their full-time counterparts teaching in the same disciplines.
[SACS Criteria for Faculty Professional and Scholarly Preparation. Source: Memorandum to all TBR University Presidents from Roy S. Nicks, Chancellor, August 12, 1985.]