Joint Faculty appointments typically involve participation in two or more departments or research units within the University or under the terms of a Joint Faculty Agreement between the University and another entity, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Joint appointments with the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT Extension, and UT AgResearch are common in the Institute of Agriculture. The primary department with which the faculty member is affiliated, through which all matters of promotion, salary raise, and tenure are processed, is the “home” department. On all matters, the home department should consult with the department head and faculty of the other unit. Where joint appointments involve equal time in two or more units or service primarily within an interdisciplinary program, it is the shared responsibility of the heads, deans, or other administrative officers to make appropriate recommendations; and in such cases, one of the two units should be designated as the home department. The original appointment letter must specify the faculty member’s home department, administrative reporting relationships, and the peer group(s) to be consulted in tenure and promotion recommendations. The university recognizes that as the shape of knowledge changes, new disciplinary and interdisciplinary needs may emerge which do not precisely correspond to existing administrative or departmental lines.
Transfers from one University of Tennessee system campus to another follow procedures outlined above for all other appointments. Advice from the faculty, recommendation of the head, and approval of the dean and chief academic officer are all necessary. All aspects of the new appointment—title, rank, term of appointment, and tenure—are freshly determined. This renegotiation does not jeopardize the faculty member’s participation in group insurance, retirement plans, and other standard employment benefits of the statewide university.
Joint Faculty appointments may also be authorized when a faculty member in one department has expertise that qualifies him or her for participation in the work of another department on the same or another campus, and when the other department has need of his or her services. The nature and extent of such intercampus joint faculty appointments are determined by mutual agreement between the faculty member and the heads, directors, or chairpersons in consultation with appropriate faculty of the academic units involved, and the respective deans, vice chancellors, or other campus officers. In these cases, the following guidelines are observed:
- The appointment may be with or without salary or tenure in the cooperating or second department (i.e. the unit awarding the interdepartmental or intercampus Joint Faculty appointment); tenure continues to be linked with the base or home department
- The head of the base department recommends the interdepartmental or intercampus Joint Faculty appointment to the head of the cooperating department, following informal discussion or negotiation
- The Joint Faculty appointment is made by the cooperating department with approvals by the dean, chief academic officer, and chancellor
- The specific Joint Faculty title of the faculty member in the cooperating department is determined by mutual agreement between the head and the faculty member, subject to approval by the dean and chief academic officer. Joint Faculty appointments may carry the title Joint Faculty Assistant Professor, Joint Faculty Associate Professor, or Joint Faculty Professor.