Faculty Handbook

Virginia Tech's Faculty Handbook contains information on employment policies and procedures for all categories of faculty.

Board of Visitors approved August 26, 2019

This document is subject to change. Please refer to the provost’s website for the most recent Faculty Handbook information.

University policies are available online, as are many important procedures maintained by the Procurement Department, Human Resources, and the Controller’s Office websites. These websites will be updated as policies and procedures change. Please refer to them for issues not addressed in the Faculty Handbook.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.

Faculty have the responsibility to be fully acquainted with and to comply with this handbook and the relevant policies of Virginia Tech.

2.0 Employment Policies and Resources for All Faculty

2.1 General Faculty and Faculty Categories

2.2 College Faculty (tenure track and non-tenure-track instructional)

2.2.1 Tenure Track: (T&R) faculty, terminal degree usually required, regular appointment

2.2.2 Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty tracks and ranks, regular or restricted appointment

2.3 University Libraries Faculty including those on the Continued Appointment-Track

2.4 Extension faculty including those on the Continued Appointment Track

2.5 Administrative and Professional Faculty

2.5.1 Administrative faculty

2.5.2 Professional faculty

2.6 Research Faculty

2.6.1 Affiliated Research Faculty

2.7 The Faculty of Health Sciences

2.7.1 Leadership of the Faculty of Health Sciences

2.7.2 Types of Appointments to the Faculty of Health Sciences

2.8 The Faculty of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM)

2.8.1 Faculty Buyout Agreements with Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

2.8.2 Faculty Overload Payment Agreements with Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

2.9  Faculty Search Processes

2.9.1 Equitable Searches

2.9.2 Terms of Faculty Offer (TOFO) and Final Approval

2.10 Search and Appointment of Academic Leaders

2.10.1 Search and Appointment of Department Heads or Chairs

2.10.2 Search and Appointment of Deans

2.10.3 Search and Appointment of Associate and Assistant Deans

2.10.4 Search and Appointment of Executive Vice President and Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer, and Vice Presidents

2.10.5 Search and Appointment of the President

2.11 Appointment Types

2.11.1 Academic Year

2.11.1.1 Research Extended Appointments for Faculty on Academic Year Appointments

2.11.2 Calendar Year Appointments

2.11.3 Restricted Appointments

2.11.4 Summer and Winter Session Appointments

             2.11.4.1 Summer Session Appointments

             2.11.4.2 Winter Session Appointments

2.12 Conviction and Driving Record Investigation for Employment

2.13 University-Sponsored Applications for Permanent Residency

2.14 Dual Career Program

2.15 Faculty Credentialing Guidelines

2.16 Advanced Study at Virginia Tech

2.17 Types of Leave and Leave Reporting

2.17.1 Leave Reporting

2.17.2 Educational Leave

2.17.3 Military Leave

2.17.4 Administrative Leave

2.17.5 Annual Leave and Holidays

2.17.6 Sick Leave

2.17.7 Family Leave

2.17.8 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

2.17.9 Additional Leave Benefits for Faculty on Regular, Salaried Appointments

2.17.10 Leave Without Pay

2.17.11 Disaster Relief Leave

2.17.12 Change of Duty Station or Special Leave

2.17.13 Geographical Transfer Policy

2.18 Continuing and Professional Education Activities

2.18.1 Required Use of and Participation in Continuing and Professional Education Program Services and Facilities

2.18.2 Non-Credit Continuing and Professional Education Activities Overload Payment and Compensation

2.18.3 For-Credit Continuing and Professional Education Activities Overload Payment and Compensation

2.19  Retirement, Resignation, and Non-Reappointment

2.19.1 Retirement

2.19.1.1 Voluntary Transitional Retirement Program for Faculty with Tenure or Continued Appointment

2.19.2 Resignation

2.19.3 Non-Reappointment

2.19.3.1 Non-Reappointment for Faculty on Tenure-Track or Continued Appointment-Track

2.19.3.2 Non-Reappointment for Non-Tenure-Track Instructional Faculty on Regular Appointments

2.19.3.3 Non-Reappointment for Research Faculty on Regular Appointments

2.19.3.4 Non-Reappointment for Administrative and Professional Faculty on Regular Appointments

2.20 Unclaimed Personal Property

2.21 Reduction in Force

2.21.1 Reduction in Force Under Conditions of Financial Exigency

2.21.2 Reduction in Force for Academic Program Restructuring or Discontinuance

2.22 Severance Benefits

2.22.1 Alternative Severance Option

2.23 Professional Responsibilities and Conduct

2.23.1 Statement of Principles of Ethical Behavior

2.23.2 Allegations of Unprofessional or Unethical Conduct

2.23.3 Virginia Tech Principles of Community

2.23.4 Statement of Business Conduct Standards

2.23.5 Safe Academic and Work Environment

2.23.6 Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention

2.23.7 Health and Safety

2.23.8 Non-Discrimination, Sexual Assault, and Harassment Prevention

2.24 Conflicts of Interest

2.24.1 Conflict of Interest Disclosure Requirement

2.24.2 Conflict of Interest Training Requirement

2.24.3 Related Conflict of Interest Policies

2.25 Policy on Misconduct in Research

2.26 Political Activities

2.27 Stewardship of Resources and Internal Controls

2.27.1 Use of University Facilities

2.27.2 University Space Management

2.27.3 Operation of Unmanned Aircraft

2.27.4 Standards for Acceptable Use of Information Systems

2.28 Privacy of Electronic Communications

2.29 Social Media

2.30 Crowdfunding

2.31 Domestic and International Travel

2.32 Use of University Letterhead

2.33 Indemnity

3.0 Employment Policies and Procedures for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

3.1 Faculty Ranks

3.1.1 Assistant Professor

3.1.2 Associate Professor

3.1.3 Professor

3.2 Honored Faculty Appointments

3.2.1 Endowed Chairs, Professorships, and Fellowships

3.2.1.1 Eminent Scholar Program

3.2.2 Alumni Distinguished Professor

3.2.3 University Distinguished Professor

3.2.4 Emeritus or Emerita Designation

3.3 Procedures for Faculty Appointments with Tenure

3.3.1 Part-Time Tenure-Track and Tenured Appointments

3.3.1.1 Part-Time Term Tenure-Track and Tenured Appointments

3.3.1.2 Permanent Part-Time Tenured Appointments

3.4 Promotion and Tenure

3.4.1 Tenure Eligibility

3.4.2 Pre-Tenure Probationary Period and Progress Reviews

3.4.2.1 Extending the Tenure Clock

3.4.3 Guidelines for the Calculation of Prior Service

3.4.4 Evaluation Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

3.4.4.1 Departmental Evaluation for Promotion and Tenure

3.4.4.2 College Evaluation for Promotion and Tenure

3.4.4.3 University Evaluation for Promotion and Tenure

3.4.4.4 Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

3.4.5 Appeals of Decisions on Reappointment, Tenure, or Promotion

3.4.5.1 Probationary Reappointment

3.4.5.2 Tenure Decision

3.4.5.3 Review of Progress Toward Promotion to Professor

3.4.5.4 Promotion Consideration and Decision

3.5 Annual Evaluation, Post-Tenure Review, and Periodic Review of College and Departmental Administrators

3.5.1 Annual Evaluation and Salary Adjustments

3.5.2 Unsatisfactory Performance

3.5.3 Departmental Minimal Standards

3.5.4 Post-Tenure Review

3.5.5 Periodic Review of Academic Deans, Dean of University Libraries, Dean of the Honors College, Department Heads, Senior Administrators, and Academic Vice Presidents

3.6 Imposition of a Severe Sanction or Dismissal for Cause

3.6.1 Adequate Cause

3.6.2 Imposition of a Severe Sanction

3.6.3 Dismissal for Cause

3.7 Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedures

3.7.1 Ombuds, Mediation Services, and Faculty Reconciliation

3.7.2 The Formal Grievance Procedure

3.7.3 Timeliness of Grievance and Procedural Compliance

3.7.4 Valid Issues for Grievance

3.7.5 Particular Concerns and Definitions

3.7.6 Overview of the Formal Grievance Process for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

3.8 Study-Research Leave

3.9 Research Assignment

3.10 Modified Duties

4.0 Employment Policies and Procedures for University Libraries with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment-Track

4.1 University Libraries Faculty with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment Track

4.2 University Libraries Faculty Ranks

4.2.1 Instructor

4.2.2 Assistant Professor

4.2.3 Associate Professor

4.2.4 Professor

4.2.5 Emeritus or Emerita Designation

4.3 Procedures for Appointments with Continued Appointment

4.3.1 Part-Time Continued Appointment and Continued Appointment-Track Appointments

4.3.1.1 Part-Time Term Continued Appointment and Continued Appointment-Track Appointments

4.3.1.2 Permanent Part-Time Continued Appointments

4.4 Continued Appointment and Promotion

4.4.1 Continued Appointment Eligibility

4.4.2 Pre-Continued Appointment Probationary Period and Progress Reviews

4.4.2.1 Extending the Continued Appointment Clock

4.4.3 Guidelines for the Calculation of Prior Service

4.4.4 Evaluation Procedures for Promotion and Continued Appointment

4.4.4.1 Libraries Evaluation for Promotion and Continued Appointment

4.4.4.2 Composition of Library Promotion and Continued Appointment Committee (Review Committee)

4.4.4.3 Procedures and Recommendations of University Promotion and Continued Appointment

4.4.4.4 Review and Recommendations by the Dean of University Libraries

4.4.4.5 The University-level Committee Evaluation for Promotion and Continued Appointment

4.4.5 Appeals of Decisions on Reappointment, Continued Appointment, or Promotion

4.4.5.1 Probationary Reappointment

4.4.5.2 Continued Appointment Decision

4.4.5.3 Review of Progress Toward Promotion to Professor

4.4.5.4 Promotion Consideration and Decision

4.5 Annual Evaluation and Post-Continued Appointment Review

4.5.1 Annual Evaluation and Salary Adjustments

4.5.2 Unsatisfactory Performance

4.5.3 University Libraries Minimal Standards

4.5.4 Post-Continued Appointment Review

4.5.5 Periodic Review of Dean of University Libraries, Department Heads, Senior Administrators

4.6 Imposition of a Severe Sanction or Dismissal for Cause

4.6.1 Adequate Cause

4.6.2 Imposition of a Severe Sanction

4.6.3 Dismissal for Cause

4.7 Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedures

4.7.1 Ombuds, Mediation Services, and Faculty Reconciliation

4.7.2 The Formal Grievance Procedure

4.7.3 Timeliness of Grievance and Procedural Compliance

4.7.4 Valid Issues for Grievance

4.7.5 Particular Concerns and Definitions

4.7.6 Overview of the Formal Grievance Process for Faculty with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment-Track

4.8 Study-Research Leave

4.9 Research Assignment

4.10 Modified Duties

6.0 Employment Policies and Procedures for Research Faculty

6.1 Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

6.2 Research Faculty Appointments

6.2.1 Research Faculty Promotions: Non-Professorial Ranks

6.2.2 Research Faculty Promotions: Professorial Ranks

6.3 Research Associate Ranks

6.3.1 Research Associate

6.3.2 Senior Research Associate

6.3.3 Research Scientist

6.3.4 Senior Research Scientist

6.3.5 Postdoctoral Associate

6.4 Project Associate Ranks

6.4.1 Project Associate

6.4.2 Senior Project Associate

6.4.3 Project Director

6.5 Research Professor Ranks

6.5.1 Research Assistant Professor

6.5.2 Research Associate Professor

6.5.3 Research Professor

6.6 Matrix of Research Ranks

6.7 Affiliated Research Faculty

6.8 Searches for Research Faculty

6.9 Terms of Faculty Offer and Documentation of Credentials

6.9.1 Restricted Appointments

6.9.2 Multi-Year Restricted Appointments

6.9.3 Regular Appointments

6.9.4 Calendar Year versus Academic Year Appointments

6.10 Position Descriptions

6.11 Annual Evaluations

6.12 Merit and Special Adjustments

6.13 Reappointment

6.14 Termination Procedures for Research Faculty

6.14.1 Dismissal for Cause

6.14.2 Non-Reappointment of Research Faculty

6.14.3 Termination of Position Because of Insufficient Funds or No Further Need for Services

6.15 Effort Certification Compliance Issues for Research Faculty Members

6.16 Instructional Responsibilities for Research Faculty Members

6.17 Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedures

6.17.1 Ombuds, Mediation Services, and Faculty Reconciliation

6.17.2 The Formal Grievance Procedure

6.17.3 Timeliness of Grievance and Procedural Compliance

6.17.4 Valid Issues for Grievance

6.17.5 Particular Concerns and Definitions

6.17.6 Overview of the Formal Grievance Process for Research Faculty

7.0 Employment Policies and Procedures for Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.1 Categories and Definition of Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.1.1 Faculty Rank and Title

7.1.2 Faculty Rank

7.2 Policies Related to Administrative and Professional Faculty Appointments

7.2.1 Protection of Academic Freedom

7.2.2 Initial Appointment and Reappointment

7.2.3 Degree Verification

7.2.4 Academic Year Appointments for Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.3 Annual Evaluations

7.3.1 Periodic Evaluation of Deans, Vice Presidents, and Directors of Major Organizational Units

7.3.1.1 Reviews for Senior Academic Administrators

7.3.1.2 Reviews for the Provost, Vice Presidents, Senior Staff Reporting to the President, and Other Non-Academic Administrators

7.4 Salary Adjustments

7.5 Teaching Credit Classes and Overload Compensation for Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.6 Non-Reappointment, Reassignment, Removal, and Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Dismissal

7.6.1 Non-Reappointment of Administrative and Professional Faculty on Regular Appointments

7.6.2 Non-Reappointment of Administrative and Professional Faculty on Restricted Appointments

7.6.3 Reassignment

7.6.4 Dismissal for Cause

7.6.5 Imposition of Sanctions Other Than Dismissal

7.6.6 Abolition of Position

7.7 Grievance Policy and Procedures for Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.7.1 Ombuds, Mediation Services, and Faculty Reconciliation

7.7.2 The Formal Grievance Procedure

7.7.3 Timeliness of Grievance and Procedural Compliance

7.7.4 Valid Issues for Grievance

7.7.5 Particular Concerns and Definitions

7.7.6 Overview of the Formal Grievance Process for Administrative and Professional Faculty

7.8 Leave

7.9 Consulting Activities for Virginia Cooperative Extension Faculty

9.0 Instruction-Related Policies

9.1 Assignment of Academic Responsibilities

9.1.1 Summer and Winter Sessions

9.1.2 Independent Study and Undergraduate Research

9.1.3 Graduate Program Standards and Policies

9.2 Scheduling of Classes

9.3 Registration for Classes

9.3.1 Drop-Add Period

9.3.2 Force-Add Requests

9.3.3 Class Rolls

9.4 Textbooks and Other Instructional Materials

9.4.1 Faculty-Authored Course Materials

9.5 Grading Systems

9.6 Course Grading

9.6.1 Syllabus and Performance Expectation

9.6.2 Class Attendance

9.6.2.1 Religious Holidays

9.6.3 Final Examinations

9.6.4 Undergraduate Student Grade Appeals

9.6.5 Graduate Student Grade Appeals

9.6.6 Student Academic Complaints

9.6.7 Change of Grade

9.6.8 Final Grade Reports

9.7 Instruction-Related Responsibilities

9.7.1 Office Hours

9.7.2 Tutoring

9.7.3 Students with Disabilities

9.8 The Virginia Tech Honor Code Pledge

9.8.1 The Undergraduate Honor System

9.8.1.1 Faculty Participation in the Undergraduate Honor System

9.8.1.2 Undergraduate Honor Code in Statement Course Syllabi

9.8.1.3 Undergraduate Honor Code Definitions of Academic Misconduct

9.8.1.4 Undergraduate Honor Code Sanctions

9.8.1.4.1 Grade Adjustments for Suspected Academic Misconduct

9.8.2 Graduate and Professional Student Honor Systems

9.8.2.1 Graduate School Honor System

9.8.2.2 Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

9.8.2.3 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

9.9 Classroom Conduct

9.10 Teaching Evaluation

9.10.1 Student Evaluation of Courses and Instructors

9.10.2 Other Evaluation of Courses and Instructors

9.11 Student Record Policy

9.11.1 Academic Records

9.12 Undergraduate Student Advising

9.13 Identifying and Referring the Distressed Student

14.0 Policies and Procedures for Extension Faculty with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment-Track

14.1 Employment Policies and Procedures for Virginia Cooperative Extension Faculty with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment-Track

14.2 Extension Faculty Ranks

14.2.1 Instructor on the Continued Appointment Track

14.2.2 Assistant Professor

14.2.3 Associate Professor

14.2.4 Professor

14.2.5 Emeritus or Emerita Designation

14.3 Procedures for Appointments with Continued Appointment

14.3.1 Part-Time Continued Appointment and Continued Appointment-Track Appointments

14.3.1.1 Part-Time Term Continued Appointment and Continued Appointment-Track Appointments

14.3.1.2 Permanent Part-Time Continued Appointments

14.4 Continued Appointment and Promotion

14.4.1 Continued Appointment Eligibility

14.4.2 Pre-Continued Appointment Probationary Period and Progress Reviews

14.4.2.1 Extending the Continued Appointment Clock

14.4.3 Guidelines for the Calculation of Prior Service

14.4.4 Evaluation Procedures for Promotion and Continued Appointment

14.4.4.1 Division Level Evaluation for Promotion and Continued Appointment

14.4.4.2 Composition of Extension Division-Level Promotion and Continued Appointment Committees

14.4.4.3 Procedures and Recommendations of Extension Divisional Promotion and Continued Appointment Committees

14.4.4.4 Review and Recommendations by the Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension

14.4.4.5 University Evaluation for Promotion and Continued Appointment

14.4.5 Appeals of Decisions on Reappointment, Continued Appointment, or Promotion

14.4.5.1 Probationary Reappointment

14.4.5.2 Continued Appointment Decision

14.4.5.3 Review of Progress Toward Promotion to Professor

14.4.5.4 Promotion Consideration and Decision

14.5 Annual Evaluation and Post-Continued Appointment Review

14.5.1 Annual Evaluation and Salary Adjustments

14.5.2 Unsatisfactory Performance

14.5.3 Extension Divisional Minimal Standards

14.5.4 Post-Continued Appointment Review

14.6 Imposition of a Severe Sanction or Dismissal for Cause

14.6.1 Adequate Cause

14.6.2 Imposition of a Severe Sanction

14.6.3 Dismissal for Cause

14.7 Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedures

14.7.1 Ombuds, Mediation Services, and Faculty Reconciliation

14.7.2 The Formal Grievance Procedure

14.7.3 Timeliness of Grievance and Procedural Compliance

14.7.4 Valid Issues for Grievance

14.7.5 Particular Concerns and Definitions

14.7.6 Overview of the Formal Grievance Process for Faculty with Continued Appointment or on the Continued Appointment-Track

14.8 Study-Research Leave

14.9 Research Assignment

14.10 Modified Duties

14.11 Consulting Activities for Virginia Cooperative Extension Faculty