Creating & Renewing “Visiting” Academic Appointments

(Approved, 7-11-00)

Guidelines for Creating & Renewing “Visiting” Academic Appointments
Within the University Library

  • Related Documents: The use of the “Visiting” modifier in titles of academic appointees is governed by the University Statutes and Section II K of Provost Communication # 3 ( Appointments of Faculty and Academic Professionals ). This policy is intended to be consistent with these documents and with other applicable Campus and University guidelines. In the event of conflict with any of these documents, the Campus or University guideline is assumed to supercede this policy.

A separate University Library guideline exists for dealing with Acting and Interim academic appointments — i.e., the assigning of temporary duties to current members of staff in order to cover vacancies. A Visiting title implies the appointment of someone not currently a member of the University Library faculty or academic staff.

Separate University Library guidelines exist for dealing with the search process for filling permanent academic positions, the process for reviewing and approving grant proposals, and the process for creating new permanent academic positions. These guidelines should be consulted when applicable in regard to a Visiting appointment.

  • Applicability: The prefix of “Visiting” on an academic title implies a temporary appointment. Per campus policy Visiting appointments must be renewed annually and should not be used for a period of longer than 3 years (see exception for circumstance 4 given below). In the University Library, Visiting appointments may be made to handle any of 4 circumstances:


  1. Need arises to cover ongoing tasks on a temporary basis using someone not already a member of the University Library faculty or staff. This situation often arises when a permanent vacancy occurs but a search for a permanent replacement is not immediately undertaken (e.g., due to budget contingencies or because consideration is being given to restructuring the work). As advised by campus guidelines, care must be taken that Visiting appointments are not made as a means of simply avoiding the making of a tenure-track or tenured appointment.
  2. Need arises to perform new tasks when it is not yet clear whether or how these tasks will be performed on a long-term basis. For example, an individual may be brought in on a temporary basis to develop a new program or position. At the end of the “visiting” period, an assessment is made whether to continue this position on a permanent basis. If decided to make the position permanent, appointment of a permanent appointee proceeds in the usual fashion.
  3. Need arises to perform a specific task or project to be accomplished in a given period of time less than 3 years. Such appointments may be funded in part or in whole using temporary monies (but see below regarding appointments that are tied to a single grant). Faculty from other institutions may also “visit” on a temporary basis for the purposes of collaborating on a limited-duration project or program.
  4. Need arises to hire an outside individual to support a single grant of fixed duration. The Visiting appointment may last for the duration of the grant, even should the grant last more than 3 years; however, it is not permissible to then extend an individual’s Visiting appointment further by appointing him or her to work on another grant.
  • Creating & Filling a Visiting Position: The University Librarian approves Visiting academic position announcements and confirms Visiting academic appointments after consultation with the Library Executive Committee. At the time the initial appointment is made, the anticipated duration of the appointment should be clearly stated and made known to all involved. The anticipated duration of Visiting appointments made to cover ongoing work (category B.1 above) should not be greater than 12 months. In the case of appointments associated with a single grant, the Visiting position is requested and justified in the grant submittal, which is reviewed in accord with the University Library policy for review and approval of grants. As noted above, it may be assumed that such appointments will extend for the life of the grant

Permanent University Library faculty and administrators may petition the University Librarian for creation of a Visiting position. Such a petition should include the following information:

  • Proposed position title (and rank if a Visiting faculty position is proposed).
  • Description of the circumstances necessitating the creation of the Visiting position.
  • Identification of funding source for salary and any other resources (e.g., computers, staff support, etc.) to be associated with the position.
  • The anticipated duration of the position.
  • Identity of the permanent faculty member or administrator responsible for oversight of the work performed.
  • A statement of anticipated outcomes by the time the position is ended.

If Visiting appointee will be performing ongoing tasks or new tasks that may become part of routine & regular Library business, the petitioner should provide the additional information required by Library’s Guidelines for Request to Fill New or Vacant Academic Positions.

Though not required by Campus policy, the University Librarian, acting with the advice of the Library Executive Committee, has the option of requiring that a formal search be done to fill the Visiting academic position created. This should be done when there is likelihood that the Visiting position will be converted to a tenure-track or tenured position in the future.

  • Renewal of Visiting Appointments: Visiting appointments may be renewed (to the maximum period allowed, as described above). The University Librarian renews Visiting appointments after consultation with the Library Executive Committee.

The responsible faculty member or administrator must request appointment renewal in a timely fashion. If the renewal was anticipated in the original appointment, this request is pro forma, unless the University Librarian or the Library Executive Committee explicitly requests additional information.

Requests for renewal of appointments beyond the originally anticipated appointment duration must include the same information (updated) as required for the original petition to create the Visiting position.

If the original appointee resigns, the University Librarian in consultation with the Library Executive Committee must review the rationale for the Visiting position before a new appointment can be made.

Best effort should be made by the University Librarian to inform incumbent as early each spring as possible of intent to renew or not renew a Visiting appointment.

Appointees visiting for more than 1 year will be evaluated and considered for salary increases at the same time and in the same manner as permanent academic appointees of similar type and rank. Appropriate exceptions to this procedure will be made for Visiting appointments tied to a single grant. Visiting faculty appointees will be evaluated on librarianship only.