Academic Specialist Manual

1.2 General Definition

The Academic Specialist Appointment System consists of individuals appointed to one of two ranked levels: senior academic specialist or academic specialist. Appointments are made in units reporting directly or indirectly to the Provost or the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Academic specialists may be appointed on a fixed-term or continuing basis, full-time or part-time, with either an academic year (nine-month) or an annual (twelve-month) duty assignment. The fixed-term academic specialist is appointed with an end date on an academic year or annual basis or for shorter periods. Generally, repeated fixed-term appointments should not be used as a mechanism to by-pass the continuing appointment system. However, positions funded with grant or other non-general funds normally are fixed term in nature. The continuing system academic specialist is initially appointed to a probationary appointment. In unusual cases, a senior academic specialist may be granted continuing appointment status from the date of appointment see Section 4.8. Excellent performance during the probationary appointments may lead to the award of continuing appointment status for the individual. Continuing academic specialists are appointed at 50% time or greater.

Continuing appointment status assures that the academic specialist will not be dismissed due to capricious action by the University nor will dismissal be used as a restraint of academic freedom or other civil rights. As in the tenure system and librarian continuing appointment system, continuing appointment status does not guarantee employment if positions are not funded, if gross misconduct occurs, if the academic specialist refuses to perform reasonable assigned duties, or fails to fulfill contractual obligations, or if the academic specialist is no longer able to perform satisfactorily in his or her professional capacity at the University.

Assignments for all academic specialists involve applicable assigned duties (academic advising/teaching/curriculum development, research, and service/outreach responsibilities) and related professional development activities. For academic specialists appointed on an annual (AN) year basis, salaries are paid in twelve monthly installments on the last working day of each month except for individuals appointed on an annual basis for less than 12 months who receive salaries on a monthly basis during the stipulated period. The academic specialist appointed on an academic year (AY) basis is normally assigned duties during the period August 16 to May 15; salaries are paid in ten installments on the last working day of the month over the duty period, August 16 through May 15.  There is no vacation entitlement apart from official University holidays for academic specialists with an academic year appointment.  The academic specialist appointed on an annual basis is assigned duties for a full calendar year or the specified period of appointment and is eligible for stipulated vacation periods and official University holidays.

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