Faculty Transfer

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Faculty Transfer

Policy No.: 9000
Effective Date: DRAFT
Revised Date:
Reviewed Date:

Faculty Transfer Policy

Basis for Policy

Faculty members at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) are hired into a designated academic unit as defined by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents Policies to include college, program, department, center, institute or school (see RP 2.6.1A). This organizational “home” serves as the unit of record for the primary faculty appointment, and provides the resources, opportunities, and infrastructure for career development and advancement. Administratively, it serves to initiate and manage all employment related activities (e.g., personnel actions, leave and sabbatical requests, promotion and tenure requests/reviews, salary recommendations, etc.).

This document describes central principles associated with and provides guidance for the transfer of a faculty member between academic units. Faculty transfer refers to the relocation of a faculty member from one academic unit to a different academic unit, upon the voluntary request of the faculty member. A formal transfer process can allow for uninterrupted employment, and the maintenance of employment rights, privileges and responsibilities. Faculty transfers resulting from the closure of an academic unit, whether for financial exigency or organizational restructuring, are addressed in University of Nebraska Board of Regents Bylaws 4.7.1, 4.11, and 4.12.

Policy

Any UNMC faculty member in good standing is eligible for transfer. A request for transfer does not guarantee the reallocation of salary support from one academic unit to another and does not guarantee the transfer of rank or continuous appointment. A faculty member undergoing formal corrective action or adjudication of a formal grievance is not eligible to request a transfer until the personnel action or grievance has been concluded unless transfer is recommended as resolution to that personnel action or grievance.

Responsible parties in the planning and logistics of a proposed transfer include the faculty member requesting transfer, the two department chairs/academic unit heads representing the home and receiving departments/academic units, and the dean(s)/director(s) of the college(s)/institute(s) involved in the transfer. The parties may choose to consult other stakeholders relevant to the transfer (e.g., faculty member mentors, research administrators, sponsored program administration, etc.). Only a faculty member can initiate a voluntary request for transfer.

Transfer requires approval from the senior administrator(s) of the college(s)/institute(s). If the transfer is between two departments/academic units within the same college/institute, the dean/director must approve; if the transfer is between two departments/academic units in different colleges/institutes, both deans/directors must approve the transfer.

Each faculty transfer request will be judged independently and uniquely, with consideration given to the career needs of the faculty member, the academic mission and needs of the departments/college(s)/institute(s) involved, the resource implications of any change, etc. Retaliation, defined as any adverse action or threat made against a faculty member in response to a request for transfer, is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Procedures

1. The initiation of a faculty transfer process begins with a formal written request from a faculty member to their home department chair/academic unit head. The formal request must include information about the faculty member (rank, hire date, current role(s) and apportionment of duties), specific reason(s) for the transfer request, any relevant information about resource availability or need, and the timing of the proposed transfer. If the faculty member holds a continuous appointment (tenure), the letter should include information that would support the transfer of tenure to the receiving department.

2. The home department chair/academic unit head will forward the faculty letter of request for transfer to the department chair/academic unit head of the proposed receiving department/academic unit, and initiate a good faith negotiation pertaining to the conditions of the transfer, in consultation with the respective dean(s)/director(s). Other campus personnel (e.g., vice chancellor for research, sponsored programs administration, etc.) may be engaged in the negotiation process as necessary.

2.1. Upon initiation of the negotiation process, the dean/director of the home college/institute may choose to establish an alternative, interim reporting structure for the faculty member requesting transfer.

3. The results of the negotiation process will be documented in a Faculty Transfer Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the faculty member requesting transfer, both department chairs/academic unit heads, and the dean(s)/institute director(s). The MOU may address, but not be limited to the following:

3.1. Plan to address teaching, research, clinical or other workload implications for the home department/academic unit.
3.2. Management of grants (including indirect cost returns, subcontracts and equipment purchased with grant funds – see UNMC Policy 5000), and a plan to minimize disruption to research.
3.3. Management of office, clinical, laboratory and/or other assigned space, use/location/maintenance of equipment, discretionary accounts, start-up funds (if applicable), and other material resources impacted by the transfer.
3.4. Management of human resources including students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff.
3.4.1. Where a faculty member is serving in a formal role in a graduate training program, it is expected the faculty member will retain/complete all associated responsibilities, or that equitable and approved arrangements are made to transfer the responsibilities to another faculty member.
3.5. Plan to compensate the home department/academic unit for loss of department/academic unit investment in resources (monetary, equipment or infrastructure), and/or plan to transfer resources to the receiving department/academic unit.
3.6. Plan for the receiving department/academic unit to provide support (monetary, equipment or infrastructure as identified above) to ensure the success of the faculty member upon transfer, including identified source(s) of salary support (new hire, open position, transfer of FTE).
3.7. Management of administrative duties if the faculty member holds an administrative position in the home department/academic unit.
3.8. Assurance the faculty member meets the new department/academic unit requirements for rank and tenure (if faculty member is already tenured), and plan for retention of courtesy appointments (as applicable).
3.8.1. Plan for the transfer of the tenure home as applicable, including receipt of any necessary approvals.
3.8.2. Where transfer is between departments/academic units within a single college/institute, the faculty member shall retain tenure and the receiving department/academic unit may not remove tenure.
3.8.3. Where transfer is between colleges/institutes, the receiving college/institute may initiate review by the college/institute Promotion and Tenure committee. If continuous appointment is denied, and all other conditions of transfer have been agreed upon, the faculty member may choose to remain in the home department/academic unit, or voluntarily relinquish tenure to complete the transfer.
3.9. The MOU should be completed as soon as is reasonably possible, ordinarily no later than 120 days following the receipt of the formal letter requesting transfer by the home department chair/academic unit head.

4. The dean/director of the receiving college/institute will forward the fully executed MOU to the UNMC Office of Academic Services, with a copy to the dean/director of the home college/institute and the department chairs/academic unit heads of the home and receiving department/academic units.

4.1. Upon receipt of the fully executed MOU, the receiving department chair/academic unit head will provide the faculty member with an updated employment contract indicating the type of appointment, salary and accompanying Appendix A outlining the apportionment of duties associated with the appointment in the new department. Approval of the contract will proceed according to standard operating procedures.
4.2. The faculty member will subsequently be recommended to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for the new appointment and its terms, per standard operating procedure.

5. If the department chairs/unit heads are unable to reach mutual agreement within the specified time, they will refer the faculty transfer request to the dean(s)/director(s) for a final determination. The decision by the dean(s)/director(s) is final and not subject to review or appeal.

6. If for any reason the dean(s)/director(s) are not able to render the decision, they may refer the matter to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for a decision.

6.1. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will impanel a working group of no fewer than three UNMC academic leaders not directly involved in the negotiation, not appointed in either of the departments or academic units under consideration, of which at least two will be deans/directors, to review the request for transfer and the accompanying materials, investigate the impact of the requested faculty transfer, and make a recommendation to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In certain instances, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs may find it necessary to engage expert faculty, academic leaders, and/or an ombudsperson from outside of UNMC for additional consultation and mediation. Where this is the case, the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will inform the faculty member of this decision, identify the individual(s) under consideration, and the reason(s) for seeking outside consultation/mediation, and obtain the written consent to of the faculty member to provide outside the consultant(s) with pertinent information pertaining to the negotiation.
6.1.1. This review should ordinarily occur within 60 days of the initial referral to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the decision of the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will be final.
6.1.2. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will forward the final decision and related considerations/conditions to the dean(s)/director(s) of the home and receiving college(s)/institute(s) for distribution to the corresponding department chairs/academic unit heads.
6.1.3. If the recommendation is approval of the transfer, the dean(s)/director(s) will create the MOU incorporating the recommended conditions of transfer and forward the MOU to the UNMC Office of Academic Services, with a copy to the department chairs/academic unit heads of the home and receiving department/academic units, at which time the department chair/academic unit lead of the receiving department/academic unit will initiate procedure 4.1.

7. The policy is subject to periodic review and revision, without further notice, per standard operating procedure. This policy is not a contract and does not create a right to a faculty transfer.

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