1. The Office of the Provost publishes guidelines for the recruitment and selection of new faculty. The guidelines are a digest of prevailing practices by the academic units of Pacific Lutheran University, and they include certain mandatory provisions. They are intended to provide guidance for unit heads (both the chairs of departments and the deans of divisions and schools) and faculty search committees in carrying out successful and orderly faculty recruitment and selection. The guidelines are reviewed annually, and are available online (see the websites for the Office of the Provost and Human Resources).
  2. The deans are responsible for implementing these policies and for overseeing effective and timely hiring processes. The university is dedicated to having a diverse, representative, and committed faculty. Special attention will be given to identifying and attracting qualified underrepresented candidates and individuals whose goals, objectives, and academic philosophy are compatible with those of the university. Compliance with federal regulations and PLU policy is obligatory throughout.


  1. Purpose. The rules and procedures set forth herein are intended to achieve the following ends:
    1. To establish and maintain orderly procedures for the reduction or reallocation of tenured faculty positions among various academic units or sub-units if or when the university is faced with financial exigencies or extraordinary circumstances.
    2. To provide members of the university faculty with an opportunity to participate in decisions relating to reduction and reallocation in force
    3. To provide maximum feasible notice in advance to faculty members who must be terminated from employment at Pacific Lutheran University in connection with a reduction and reallocation in force.
    4. To seek further to minimize the distress caused faculty members who may be terminated in connection with a reduction or reallocation by providing assistance in securing re-employment.
  2. Definitions. As used herein, the following terms shall have the indicated meaning.
    1. “Financial exigency” is a demonstrably bona fide situation in which the university faces an imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and which cannot reasonably be alleviated by less drastic means than those covered in these policies and procedures.
    2. “Extraordinary circumstances” shall refer to long-term budgetary issues whose resolution may require the termination of tenured faculty positions
    3. “Reductions in force” shall refer to the termination of tenured faculty positions, or a reduction in the number of tenure-line positions, in an academic unit or sub-unit.
    4. “Reallocations in force” shall refer to the reallocation of tenured faculty to other academic units or sub-units.
    5. “Academic unit” shall refer to a college, school/division, or department, or interdisciplinary program.
    6. “Academic sub-unit” shall refer to a recognized program of study within an academic unit, which is considered distinct for the purpose of program review.
  3. Procedure for the Reduction of Faculty Positions.
    1. Initiation of Reduction of Faculty Positions: In the event of demonstrable financial exigency or extraordinary circumstances, either of which may require the reduction or reallocation of  tenured faculty positions, the university president, in consultation with the Board of Regents, the Provost, and the faculty, shall initiate the reduction and reallocation procedures. Such an initiative shall be accompanied by a written statement of reasons why such action is necessary or appropriate, as well as the appropriate cost savings that need to be achieved across the university within a specified time frame.  Copies shall be given to all members of the Board of Regents, the provost, and the faculty. The normal right of faculty members to petition the president, or the Board of Regents, shall apply to the initiation of these procedures.
    2. The faculty should be informed as early as possible of significant impending financial difficulties. It should participate at all levels of the process in advising and recommending with regard to key decisions as to the future of the institution and of specific academic programs within the university. Faculty action should be effected as outlined elsewhere in this document, and particularly through the establishment and utilization of a Faculty Joint Committee on Reduction and Reallocation in Force. This Faculty Joint Committee shall be composed of the members of the Faculty Affairs Committee, Educational Policies Committee, and Rank and Tenure Committee, acting in concert and electing their own special officers for this joint committee operation.
      1. Given that the members of the Faculty Joint Committee undertake these responsibilities in addition to the work of the individual committees, committee members may be eligible for appropriate compensation. This may take the form of a course release or a stipend, at a level to be determined in consultation with the provost. If summer committee work is necessary, committee members may be eligible for additional appropriate compensation.
    3. The Faculty Joint Committee shall work in ongoing consultation with the provost and the president. The Faculty Joint Committee may also work in consultation with other sectors of the university.
      1. During their first meeting following the initiation of these procedures, the president, provost, and the Faculty Joint Committee shall determine the precise nature of the challenge and establish guidelines delineating the appropriate processes and responsibilities for the president, provost, and the Faculty Joint Committee. These guidelines shall be recorded in the Faculty Joint Committee’s minutes.
    4. The provost and Faculty Joint Committee, will request the development of proposals concerning the reduction of faculty positions from each of the university’s academic units and sub-units.
    5. Each academic unit and sub-unit shall submit a written proposal to the appropriate higher level academic unit(s) of which it is a part for review and for subsequent submission to the Faculty Joint Committee, the provost, and the president. These proposals should address (1) the unit or sub-unit’s role in and contributions to the university’s educational mission (as defined in the Academic Identity Statement); (2) its current costs and revenue; and (3) recommendations for decreasing the unit or sub-unit’s current costs and/or increasing its revenue. Recommendations concerning reductions to faculty positions shall first consider contingent faculty, then regular faculty without tenure, then regular faculty with tenure. Recommendations may also include other avenues by which the unit or sub-unit could decrease its net costs.
    6. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall independently review the proposals and prepare separate drafts of written preliminary recommendations. These written preliminary recommendations, including any discontinuance of an academic unit or sub-unit, should take into account, among other things, the unit or sub-unit’s role and contributions to the university’s educational mission, its current costs and revenue, and any recommendations for decreasing the unit or sub-unit’s current costs and/or increasing its revenue. These preliminary recommendations concerning reductions to faculty positions in a given unit or sub-unit shall first consider contingent faculty, then regular faculty without tenure, then regular faculty with tenure. Preliminary recommendations may also include other avenues by which the unit or sub-unit could decrease its net costs.
    7. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall review the other’s written draft of preliminary recommendations, followed by a discussion of those preliminary recommendations. On the basis of this discussion, the Faculty Joint Committee and/or the provost may revise their preliminary recommendations.
    8. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall each report their preliminary recommendations to the president and the faculty.
    9. The provost and the Faculty Joint Committee will request a second written proposal from academic units and sub-units identified in the preliminary recommendations for potential elimination or reduction. These second written proposals shall be submitted to the appropriate higher level academic unit(s) of which it is a part for review and for subsequent submission to the Faculty Joint Committee, the provost, and the president.
    10. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall independently review the second set of requested proposals and prepare separate drafts of written final recommendations. These recommendations, including any discontinuance of an academic unit or sub-unit, should take into account, among other things, the unit or sub-unit’s role and contributions to the university’s educational mission, its current costs and revenue, and any recommendations for decreasing the unit or sub-unit’s current costs and/or increasing its revenue. Recommendations concerning reductions to faculty positions shall first consider contingent faculty, then regular faculty without tenure, then regular faculty with tenure. Recommendations may also include other avenues by which the unit or sub-unit could decrease its net costs.
    11. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall review the other’s written draft of final recommendations, followed by a discussion of those recommendations. On the basis of this discussion, the Faculty Joint Committee and/or the provost may decide to revise their recommendations.
    12. The Faculty Joint Committee and the provost shall each report their final recommendations to the president and the faculty.
    13. After considering all proposals, recommendations, and any other available information, the president or the president’s designate shall prepare a written recommendation for presentation to the Board of Regents. In any case in which the president’s recommendation differs from those of an academic unit or sub-unit, the provost, or the Faculty Joint Committee the related written materials and information shall be attached to the president’s recommendations for consideration by the Board of Regents. Copies of the president’s recommendations to the  Board of Regents shall be given to the provost and all faculty members.
    14. The Board of Regents, exercising legally designated authority, will review the recommendations of the president and all accompanying materials. At the conclusion of its review, the Board of Regents will determine an appropriate course of action.
  4. Reallocation/Termination of Faculty Members from Employment.
    1. When conditions of financial exigency, or other extraordinary circumstances, or the potential elimination or reduction of an academic unit or sub-unit make it reasonably apparent that retrenchment affecting pre-tenure faculty is appropriate, the president, through the Office of the Provost, shall promptly inform the faculty, through their respective academic units and sub-units, of the nature and extent of the situation and shall cause a plan for orderly action to be prepared. The plan shall be developed after consultation with the Faculty Joint Committee and with faculty and administration of all affected academic units and sub-units.
    2. In those instances in which it is necessary to reduce tenured faculty positions, the following procedures shall apply:
      1. If in a given academic unit where a reduction in faculty is to be made it is determined that individual faculty members are not qualified to perform the duties, functions, and responsibilities of any other academic units or sub-units of the university, those individuals with the least retention priority as determined in D.2.d-e will be terminated from the faculty.
      2. However, in the event a faculty member whose position in a given academic unit or sub-unit is to be eliminated is qualified to teach in another unit or sub-unit of the university, their right to such a position shall be determined in accordance with the criteria in D.2.d-e and with their tenure rights preserved. The qualification of faculty members who have been terminated from positions in their original academic units to teach in other academic units of the university shall be determined by the provost in consultation with the administration and faculty of those academic units to which the faculty member might be transferred; any reallocation must preserve the net reduction approved by the Board of Regents for that academic unit or sub-unit. Normal procedures for determining faculty qualifications will be respected. Typically, these qualifications will refer to, but are not limited to, the expertise represented in the faculty member’s terminal degree, teaching, and scholarship, as well as the curricular needs of the academic unit. A faculty member whose position has been terminated and who wishes to remain on the faculty has the responsibility to suggest appropriate areas in which that faculty member might serve.
      3. In each instance in which it is necessary to distinguish among faculty members who have been determined to be qualified only in academic units or sub-units where the number of qualified faculty members exceeds the remaining positions available, the relative retention priority shall be determined on the basis of criteria in D.2.d-e.
      4. The following criteria shall be used in determining the relative retention priority of faculty members in those academic units or sub-units in which they are qualified to serve. (Certain exceptions are set forth in D.2.e.)
        1. Tenured faculty members shall have priority over all untenured faculty members.
        2. Among faculty members with tenure, the member with the most points accrued according to the following formula relating seniority and rank shall have the highest retention priority. For service on the faculty of Pacific Lutheran University, a member shall accrue 3 points for each year at the rank of instructor, 4 points for each year at the rank of assistant professor, 5 points for each year at the rank of associate professor, and 6 points for each year at the rank of professor. Service at other institutions shall not be used in this formula. (Years of service for the purposes of this subsection shall be computed in the following manner: years of service shall be measured from the first day of contractual employment as a faculty member holding one of the above ranks at Pacific Lutheran University. It shall include all sabbatical and special leaves granted prior to the adoption of these procedures. After their adoption, it shall be determined at the granting of special leaves of absence whether the leave is to be counted toward years of service.) For faculty members with full-time tenure, a year at rank shall be a contractual year; for faculty members with part-time tenure, a year at rank shall be a full-time-teaching-equivalent year.
        3. Among tenured faculty members with equal points according to the formula in D.2.d.ii above, the member who has obtained the highest academic degree appropriate to his or her their academic duties at Pacific Lutheran University shall have the greatest retention priority.
        4. Among tenured faculty members of equal rank/seniority points and equal degree, that faculty member recommended to the Board of Regents by the president of the university, in consultation with the faculty of the appropriate areas, as most essential to the educational mission of the university shall have the greatest retention priority.
    3. In an extraordinary situation in which, as an exception to the above procedures, it is contemplated that a pre-tenure faculty member might be retained in preference to a tenured faculty member of the same academic unit, the president may take such action via a recommendation to the Board of Regents. Before presenting such a recommendation to the Board of Regents, the president will examine the mandatory reviews of the pre-tenure faculty member. Further, they will consult with and request a recommendation from the provost and from the relevant academic administrative unit(s) and their faculty members. Finally, it shall be necessary to secure the approval of the Faculty Joint Committee.
  5. Notice of Termination.
    1. Notice of termination from employment at Pacific Lutheran University in connection with a reduction in force shall be given to affected faculty members by the president in accordance with the guidelines established by the Faculty Bylaws, Article V, Section 1.A.8.
    2. A faculty member who files an appeal from a notice of termination shall be deemed to have received formal written notice of termination as of the date of receipt of the original notice, and not as of the date of the final decision on the appeal.
  6. Hearing and Appeal Procedures.
    1. Faculty Committee.
      1. Any tenured faculty member who feels aggrieved by a notice of termination under these procedures shall be entitled to a hearing before the Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee. The request for a hearing must be made within 30 days after receipt of notice of termination. The hearing shall take place within 30 days of the request. The hearing need not conform in all respects with a proceeding conducted pursuant to Article VI, Faculty Constitution and Bylaws, but the essentials of an on-the-record informal adjudicative hearing will be observed. The issues in this hearing may include:
        1. The existence and extent of the condition of financial exigency. The findings of a faculty committee in a previous proceeding involving the same issue may be introduced.
        2. The validity of the educational judgments and the criteria for identification for termination. The recommendations of appropriate faculty bodies on these matters and the plans for retrenchment/reallocation generated according to the procedures of Section C of this document shall be considered presumptively valid.
      2. The Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee shall report its finding and make a recommendation to the president within 15 days after the completion of the hearing.
    2. President.
      1. The president shall review the findings of the faculty committee, and after discussing the matter with the aggrieved faculty member, shall recommend action to the board.
      2. Should the faculty member prefer, they may appeal directly to the president without using recourse to the faculty committee process.
    3. The Board of Regents.After receiving the president’s recommendation, the Board of Regents will discuss the termination with the aggrieved faculty member should the faculty member request it. The Board of Regents will then review the president’s recommendation with the president and will either uphold the previous decision or approve a recession.
    4. Pre-Tenure Regular Faculty. Should pre-tenure regular faculty feel aggrieved in termination because of retrenchment, they may seek a review by the president or a hearing before a the Formal Dismissal Hearing Committee.  The pre-tenure faculty member may, through the Office of the President, appeal the decision to the Board of Regents.
  7. Rehiring of Faculty Members.
    1. If, subsequent to the issuance of notices of termination to faculty members, but before the effective date of those terminations, it should be determined that it is no longer necessary to carry out some of or all of the terminations, the Board of Regents, upon recommendation of the faculty and the administration, will determine which previously reduced academic units or sub-units should be reallocated faculty positions; individual faculty members who received a notice of termination from those academic units or sub-units and are completing their PLU employment will then be offered re-employment, with those individuals having the highest retention priority under the criteria set forth in D.2.d-e being the first to be offered re-employment.
    2. Should conditions permit the filling of positions vacated because of financial exigencies or extraordinary circumstances within three years following termination, formerly tenured faculty shall be offered re-employment, with those faculty having greatest retention priority being the first to be offered re-employment. For a period of two years attention also shall be given to the possibility of offering re-employment to pre-tenure faculty who have been terminated in connection with a reduction/reallocation of the type covered in this document.

If the university because of financial exigency terminates tenured appointments in certain areas it will not at the same time or within three years make new appointments in those or other substantially related areas without having offered the positions to those formerly tenured Pacific Lutheran University faculty who have been terminated according to these procedures.


  1. Reductions in Load
    1. Recognizing that reduction in load can significantly facilitate professional growth or otherwise enhance the ability of individual faculty to perform their remaining obligations at an optimal level, and considering that both of the above are in the long-term interest of the university, the faculty has adopted the following policies and procedures.
      1. A faculty member’s teaching load may be reduced to no fewer than two courses (8 semester hours) for full-time faculty, and one course (4 semester hours) for part-time tenure-eligible faculty, distributed over the academic year. The provisions for a regular leave of absence govern release from all teaching responsibilities for one or more semesters.
      2. A faculty member proposing to teach a reduced load for the following academic year or seeking to renew a current reduced load contract shall submit a request in writing to the appropriate unit chair(s) and to the provost. The provost, after consultation with the unit chair(s), has the authority for granting such requests and shall notify the faculty member of their decision in writing, detailing the following:
        1. the conditions of approval, including:
          (a.) the reduction in load approved,
          (b.) the commensurate salary,
          (c.) the effect on accumulation of time toward tenure, sabbatical leaves, and points for reduction in force,
          (d.) any adjustments in provision of office space or other accommodations, and
          (e.) any alterations in tuition remission, or
        2. the reasons for denial.
      1. All other benefits for the faculty member shall remain in full except those for which contributions paid by the university are a part of actual salary (social security and retirement).
      2. To facilitate staffing adjustments and enhance their prospects for approval, faculty members are advised to submit their requests in writing by December 15 of the previous year.
  1. Phased Retirement
    1. Purpose
      PLU has adopted this Phased Retirement Policy for the purpose of providing a voluntary early retirement incentive plan that offers eligible faculty and administrators an opportunity to begin a transition from regular employment while remaining an employee of the university. During this transition period, eligible employees electing this option would have a substantially reduced workload, and would receive compensation and benefits as described below. No employee is required to take a phased retirement; this plan is offered as an option to eligible employees as an additional benefit in recognition of extended service on behalf of the university. PLU encourages all personnel to make such personal planning as would best suit each person’s individual and/or family needs and has provided this phased retirement option to expand the range of choices available to eligible employees.
    2. Eligibility for phased retirement is limited by the following criteria, all of which must be satisfied:
      1. The employee must be either (1) a tenured faculty member or (2) an administrative employee who has either (a) a written employment contract in the year preceding the commencement of phased retirement or (b) who has been otherwise informed in writing that they are eligible for phased retirement.
      2. The employee must reach a minimum age of 60 in the academic year in which phased retirement begins.
      3. An otherwise eligible administrative employee must have also completed a minimum of 15 years of service with Pacific Lutheran University at the conclusion of the academic year preceding the year in which phased retirement begins AND must have held an administrator position (exempt status) prior to December 31, 2002.
      4. The employee’s employment with PLU must have begun on or before December 31, 1996.
    3. Benefits
      1. Eligible employees selecting phased retirement before the “Normal Retirement Age” as defined in the Pacific Lutheran University 403(b) Retirement Plan (“the PLU retirement plan”) (age 65 as of 1997) may receive income payments equal to one-fifth of the employee’s base salary in the academic year immediately preceding the phased retirement for up to five succeeding years. Eligible employees may request that the income payment period be reduced from five years and, in such circumstances, PLU may, in its discretion, leave the income payment at one-fifth of the last base year salary or may agree to adjust the income payment to reflect the number of years of the income payment period.
      2. Eligible employees who are at or past the “Normal Retirement Age” defined in the PLU retirement plan may also elect a phased retirement, provided, however, that the time period over which income payments may be spread shall not in any circumstances extend beyond the last date on which an income payment would have been received had such employee selected phased retirement before the “Normal Retirement Age” defined in the PLU retirement plan and, provided further, that there must be at least two years over which the transition to retirement will occur and the income payments will be spread as a part of phased retirement. Note: Eligible employees who are over the “Normal Retirement Age” at the time this policy is enacted or exempt from the latter of these two restrictions.
      3. During the years of phased retirement in which an eligible employee is receiving an income payment, most benefits available to regular employees of the university will continue to be available at whatever costs are applicable during any given year. Those benefits include medical insurance, dental program, life insurance, and tuition remission. The university reserves the right to alter or adjust benefits based on the requirements of state and/or local federal laws or budgetary considerations.
      4. In the event that a person participating in this program becomes eligible for group medical, dental, and life insurance benefits from another source, whether through employment or otherwise, PLU reserves the right to discontinue any such benefit. Any person who becomes eligible for health and/or dental insurance benefits pursuant to Medicare, shall utilize such benefits and benefits pursuant to Medicare shall be primary and benefits provided by PLU shall be secondary.
      5. During the period in which a person is receiving income payments in connection with Phased Retirement, that person agrees to be reasonably available to PLU to respond to such questions or address issues which may arise out of the services provided to or courses taught at PLU, to provide specific project by project services to PLU, and to perform special short-term duties such as academic advising, policy or program research, and/or fundraising. Such duties shall not exceed one-fifth of the normal faculty workload and shall be determined after consultation with the applicable department. They could, but would not normally, be understood to include regular teaching or committee assignments.
      6. In the event of the death of a faculty member participating in phased retirement and receiving income continuation payments, the income continuation will be paid through the date of death and an additional amount equal to one-twelfth of such eligible employee’s base salary in the year immediately preceding phased retirement will also be paid.
      7. The employment status, tenure status, and all other rights of employment will automatically end for all eligible employees selecting phased retirement as of the date the last income payment is made to such eligible employee. Thereafter, such eligible employee shall hold the status of a retiree.
    4. Procedure
      1. Eligible employees electing a phased retirement must submit a written request no later than December 15 of the academic year before which phased retirement is commenced. Faculty should submit such request to the provost and administrators shall submit such request to the applicable university official. Copies of all requests shall be submitted to PLU’s Human Resources Department and, for eligible faculty members, to the appropriate unit chair.
      2. Any eligible employee seeking an income continuation period of less than five years shall include the duration of such period in the request for phased retirement submitted pursuant to subparagraph a.
      3. Faculty requesting to work a reduced load during the phased retirement period shall include the proposed reduced load specifying courses to be taught for the duration of the reduced load period with the request submitted pursuant to subparagraph a.


Sabbatical leaves and regular and special leaves of absence from the university are considered to be highly desirable, both for the faculty and for the university, and, in fact, are absolutely essential if the university is to maintain the highest quality of instruction. Such leaves encourage and nurture faculty improvement through study, research, writing, contact with faculty outside our university community, and other forms of productive scholarly activity. Utilization of leaves and other means available for growth should be the professional responsibility of all faculty. Because of the importance of utilizing these opportunities, the university may at times request a faculty member to accept a sabbatical leave (or special leave of absence at regular salary).

  1. Sabbatical Leaves
    1. Tenured full-time members of the faculty are eligible for sabbatical leave after each completion of a minimum period of six years of full-time faculty service (excluding years of leave). Tenured part-time faculty are eligible after completion of a minimum period of six years of faculty service. The eligibility period begins with the year of one’s most recent appointment to the faculty or with the year following one’s last sabbatical. Excess years of service preceding last sabbatical cannot be applied toward eligibility for a later sabbatical when it is the faculty member who elects to defer sabbatical. However, in cases in which the provost, in consultation with the dean, chair, and concerned faculty member, determines that it is in the best interest of the university for the sabbatical to be deferred, the faculty member’s original schedule of eligibility for subsequent sabbaticals should be maintained whenever possible. Tenure-track faculty members who come to the university with no credit toward tenure are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave in their sixth year of employment even though they have not yet received notification of approval of their application for tenure.
    2. Sabbatical recipients will receive 75% of their base salary for the duration of their leaves, either half-year or full-year. For full-time faculty, the base salary is the full regular salary one would have received had one not gone on sabbatical; for part-time faculty, the base salary is to be determined by averaging the fractional levels of appointment for the six most recent years. By scheduling half of a regular year’s teaching responsibilities for one semester, an applicant can ask to be relieved of January term teaching as well as either the spring or fall semester teaching.
    3. Recipients of either half-year or full-year sabbaticals will receive all fringe benefits for which they would ordinarily be eligible. University contributions will be at the same level as if the recipient had remained in their regular faculty role. Retirement and social security contributions are based on salary actually received and, therefore, would be reduced in proportion to any salary reduction. Other fringe benefits will be paid in full.
    4. Salary and fringe benefits provided a faculty member on sabbatical will not have to be repaid should the faculty member not return to the university on completion of the sabbatical.
    5. Faculty members who are eligible for sabbatical and wish to request the opportunity must ordinarily file initial application, which includes a description of the intended activities, with the provost no later than December 15th of the second year preceding the school year during which the sabbatical is desired. Copies of the application should be submitted to one’s departmental chair and divisional or school dean. The provost, in light of the criteria listed in Section D, and of recommendations of the other academic administrators involved and of the Faculty Committee on Rank and Tenure, will issue provisional approval or will defer or deny the request. In the case of a denial, appeal may be made to the president.
    6. By October 15th of the year preceding the requested sabbatical, those faculty members who received provisional approval should provide the above administrators with as nearly finalized plans for the requested sabbatical as possible. Recommendations for or against final approval will then be made by the provost to the president. Those sabbatical requests approved by the president will then be reported to the Board of Regents for final action. If sabbatical plans are changed significantly from those reported to the board, reapproval by the provost and president must be obtained.
  2. Regular Leave of Absence
    1. Any full-time or tenure-eligible members of the faculty may request from their academic administrators the opportunity of a leave of absence at any time. The selection criteria are given in Section D.
    2. Faculty members receiving a leave of absence will not receive a salary but will ordinarily receive the fringe benefits to which they would otherwise be eligible as specified in Section A.3. This means that ordinarily neither retirement program nor social security contributions will be paid, but where a case for such contributions, in part or in full, can be made such provision is open to negotiation. Any fringe benefits awarded to an untenured faculty member on leave will have to be repaid should the faculty member not return to active service at the university upon completion of the leave.
    3. Ordinarily a leave of absence will not be awarded for more than one consecutive calendar year.
  3. Special Leave of Absence
    1. Special leaves of absence are like sabbatical leaves except that there is no set minimum period of service to the university required to establish eligibility. Ordinarily this type of leave will be reserved for faculty members whom the university wishes to help toward completion of an advanced degree or acquisition of an alternative educational background of special value to the university. The selection criteria are given in Section D.
    2. The salary and fringe benefits awarded the recipient of a special leave will have to be repaid to the university unless the recipient returns to full-time service following the leave and maintains this status for a minimum of two years (or less, at the discretion of the university).
    3. Faculty members may combine their request for provisional and final approval for a special leave of absence by filing it by October 15th of the year preceding the requested leave year.
    4. Less than full salary for a one-semester special leave or less than half salary for a full-year special leave may be granted in circumstances in which the special leave is warranted but funds are inadequate.
  4. Criteria for Selection of Faculty for Leaves
    1. The academic administration, in considering requests for leaves, should be guided by the following criteria:
      1. In the case of sabbaticals, completion of additional years of service completed beyond the required minimum (specified in Section A.1) will give one priority over applicants who have completed fewer years of eligibility-earning service.
      2. Rate and nature of change of the applicant’s discipline and/or teaching area.
      3. Appropriateness of timing for the university.
      4. Appropriateness of timing for the individual (specific reason why leave should be taken during a certain year should be presented if this consideration is to apply).
      5. Likelihood of leave leading to an advanced degree or area of expertise of particular benefit to the university.
      6. Adequacy of applicant’s use of past opportunities for conducting scholarly activity.
  5. Reporting
    1. Faculty members on leaves of any kind shall submit an activity report to their chair and dean, as well as the president and provost on completion of the leave. The activities report is due within one month of return from leave. A template for the post-leave activity report will be provided by the Office of the Provost.
    2. Faculty returning from a sabbatical shall submit an abstract of no more than 250 words that summarizes their activities report to the provost within one month of return from leave. These abstracts will be presented to the Board of Regents.
  6. Written Agreement
    For each leave of absence of any type, all variable terms of leaves of that type shall be agreed upon at the time the leave is granted. In particular, the post-leave status of any untenured faculty member in terms of years of tenure probationary period met shall be specified.
  7. Budget Consideration
    1. The amount designated annually by the university for support of its leave program should normally equal at least 2% of the total instructional budget.
    2. In order to encourage development of professional skills and provide opportunities for professional growth, administrators without faculty status may be recommended by the president for special leaves on the basis of individual needs.


  1. Title: Visiting Scholar
  2. Qualifications: appropriate combination of degree and/or experience as determined by those initiating the offer.
  3. Initiating the Offer: there must be:
  4. An individual sponsor — a member of the faculty or administrative staff; a department or program connection — signature of chair required; unit endorsement — signature of dean required.
  5. Offers should be coordinated by the Wang Center (where international visiting scholars’ arrangements currently are coordinated).
  6. Obligations of the Host: The initiating trio is responsible for hosting the visitor (international visitors in particular may need assistance with housing or other living arrangements). The Wang Center often is part of the initiating trio for existing formal exchange programs, but should not be expected to assume the responsibilities of “host” simply because they are the office coordinating/tracking all the visiting scholars on campus.
  7. There should be a letter of “affiliation” from the provost. The letter should identify benefits and expectations, should specify the term of the affiliation, should note whether the term can be extended, and that either party can terminate the affiliation, specifically addressing that in the event that PLU wishes to terminate the affiliation, PLU is not responsible for the visiting scholar’s travel expenses.
  8. Obligations of the Visiting Scholar: negotiated on an individual basis and identified in the letter of appointment. In general, there is an expectation of involvement in the campus community to the benefit of students and faculty (guest lectures, appearances in classes, special events with student groups, act as resource contact person for faculty and students, etc.). Further, visiting scholars are expected to uphold the same policies and standards of conduct as other faculty on campus.
  9. Perquisites of the position: The visiting scholar will receive a PLU identification card (and access to the library, campus events, and a PLU email account), office space if available and endorsed by the sponsoring trio, and institutional affiliation (use of letterhead, etc.).
  10. Other Benefits: If the individual is part of a formal exchange program, these depend on the specific program (see Wang Center for Global Education). If the individual is not part of a formal program, then the initiating trio must support any other appropriate benefits. If university resources beyond the budgets of the initiating trio are to be committed to a visiting scholar, then the provost must agree in writing.


  1. Background and Purpose
    1. Endowed faculty positions are created to advance the mission of the university, to attract and retain faculty of distinction, to honor donors, and to enrich programs. These positions provide enhanced support for distinguished faculty, enabling greater contributions to the university, the community, and human knowledge through teaching, scholarship, and service.
    2. This policy offers guidelines for the establishment, appointment, and review of endowed positions at Pacific Lutheran University. It does not replace any other policies and procedures governing employment at PLU. In particular, all existing policies concerning hiring, tenure, promotion, and faculty review must be followed and take precedence if there is any perceived conflict.
  2. Funding requirements
    1. An endowed position is a faculty appointment supported by income from an endowment created for such a purpose. These are dedicated faculty positions focused on a particular area of scholarship and/or teaching. Such appointments may be made at two levels:
      1. Endowed Chair: Endowment income must be sufficient to completely cover the base salary and benefits of a full-time, continuing associate professor or professor, as well as an appropriate level of additional support, consistent with the terms of this policy.
      2. Endowed Professor: Endowment income must be sufficient to cover half the base salary and benefits of a full-time, continuing associate professor or professor, as well as an appropriate level of additional support, consistent with the terms of this policy.
    2. Prior to establishing any endowed position, at least 50% of the required funds will generally be “in hand,” along with legally binding commitments for the remainder.
    3. In the event there are insufficient gifts to fund the position fully at the time of its establishment, the Endowed Position Agreement (see Section 3, below) should contain:
      1. provisions for alternative uses for the funds raised; or
      2. commitment by the president to fund any deficiency from the general fund.
    4. No final commitment establishing an endowed position shall be made to a prospective donor prior to approval by the president, the provost, and the relevant academic leader(s).
    5. The primary criterion governing the establishment of an endowed position is that it advances the mission and strategic agenda of the university.
  3. Endowed Position Agreement
    Each endowed position shall be governed by an Endowed Position Agreement developed and agreed upon by the president, provost, academic leader(s), and donor(s). The Endowed Position Agreement shall specify:

    1. The name of the endowed position;
    2. The purposes and objectives of the endowed position and the ways it will advance the mission and strategic agenda of the university;
    3. The field(s), discipline(s), or specialization(s) in which the appointment may be made;
    4. The academic unit (department, program, school, or division) within which the endowed position will be housed;
    5. The academic leader(s) who will oversee the position. Generally, this will be the dean in the case of a professional school and the chair and dean in the case of a department or program within the College of Arts and Sciences. In the event of a position endowed in multiple academic units, the Endowed Position Agreement should specify how oversight responsibilities will be shared by multiple chairs and deans as applicable.
    6. The budgetary guidelines and relevant signatory authority for funds included in the endowment;
    7. Minimum qualifications for faculty appointed to the position;
    8. The expectations for appointed faculty, including conditions for reappointment if appropriate;
    9. Guidelines for review of faculty holding the position, including standards to which they will be held and guidelines for the provost and the department, program, division, and/or school that will conduct reviews;
    10. Provisions to fund contingent faculty or new hires to fill courses if the endowed position removes teaching responsibilities from existing faculty lines;
    11. Other terms unique to the appointment, to be developed jointly by the donor(s), president, provost, and academic leader(s);
    12. Provision for alternative distribution of the income from the endowment should the subject area of the endowed chair cease to be consistent with the university’s mission or its academic plan. This alternative distribution shall be as closely related to the donor’s original intent as is feasible.
  4. Definitions & Appointment Processes
    1. Endowed positions can exist in three distinct categories, which are defined based on their appointment process and term as follows:
      1. Endowed Distinguished Positions: Chairs or professorships that are appointed after a national search—to which PLU faculty are entitled to apply—run by the academic unit named in the Academic Position Agreement. Endowed Distinguished Chairs and Professors are appointed to indefinitely renewable terms in their endowed position, subject to review at least every five years.
      2. Endowed Honorary Positions: Chairs or professorships that are appointed from within PLU’s faculty after an internal search run by the academic unit named in the Endowed Position Agreement. Endowed Honorary Chairs and Professors are appointed to one or two terms of up to five years each.
      3. Endowed Visiting Positions: Chairs or professorships that bring a continuing stream of scholars, creative artists, and practicing professionals to the university for a short period of time, usually no longer than two years. Endowed Visiting Chairs and Professors are appointed from outside of PLU’s faculty in consultation with the academic unit named in the Endowed Position Agreement.
    2. The term of appointment to an endowed distinguished or endowed honorary position is entirely distinct from a faculty member’s rank and tenure. Appointment to these non-visiting endowed positions is only possible if the appointee has been or will be hired as a faculty member, and appointed persons must go through the same tenure process as all other faculty. Termination or dismissal from a regular faculty position automatically removes an appointed faculty member from the endowed position. Removal and/or conclusion of an endowed position do not change a faculty member’s rank or tenure status.
    3. The category in which an endowed position will be placed is determined by academic unit in which the position is housed, in consultation with the provost.
    4. The category of an endowed position may be changed at the conclusion of a position-holder’s term if the provost accepts the recommendation for such a change from the relevant academic leader(s).
    5. All searches for endowed chairs and professorships should follow the regular and published faculty search procedures of the university and the relevant division or school, except as detailed below:
      1. The selection criteria shall be consistent with the stated purposes, objectives, and restrictions established in the Endowed Position Agreement;
      2. Commensurate with the honor accorded such positions, the minimum rank shall be at the Associate Professor rank or its equivalent for visiting professors unless otherwise specified in the Endowed Position Agreement.
    6. Donors do not participate in the hiring process.
  5. Terms of Appointment
    1. Occupants of endowed positions shall be given an appointment letter specifying the conditions of their appointment consistent with the Endowed Position Agreement. The appointment letter shall include:
      1. The term and renewability of the appointment;
      2. Base salary and benefits, which will normally be commensurate with existing faculty compensation levels;
      3. Supplemental salary, which should be awarded in accordance with the honor and the expectations of the endowed position;
      4. Expectations for service to the university, the community, and/or for scholarship. Such expectations, which are normally above and beyond those placed on other faculty, should be matched by support from the endowment income for travel, student or staff administrative support, library acquisitions, or other expenses necessary to support the position.
      5. Teaching load, which is normally one half to two thirds of the regular faculty load in recognition of enhanced expectations for service and/or scholarship.
      6. Any other conditions as specified in the Endowed Position Agreement.
    2. The occupant of the endowed position shall be entitled to the normal support funds and services generally available to all other members of the faculty, including adequate space for teaching and research. Such support funds will not generally be charged to the endowment income associated with the position.
    3. Appointment to an endowed position is separate from appointment to the faculty. A decision to award tenure to either a current or prospective appointee follows the regular policies for such decisions. Tenure applies only to the regular faculty appointment; it does not imply continuation in the endowed position.
    4. Appointment to an endowed position ends at the conclusion of a non-renewed term, upon the entrance of the appointee into retirement or phased retirement, or upon the termination or death of the appointee.
    5. An appointee to an endowed chair or endowed professor position may elect to discontinue appointment prior to the end of the current term, returning to regular faculty status, provided notice is given to academic leader(s) and the provost no less than one year prior.
  6. Review Process
    1. Endowed chairs and professors will be reviewed as regular faculty for their teaching, scholarship, and service. In addition, they will be regularly reviewed by their academic leader(s) and the provost regarding their fulfillment of the terms of their appointment letter. Academic leader(s) may request that these reviews be combined or separated as long as both occur regularly.
    2. At the end of each academic year, the appointee shall prepare an addendum to their Faculty Activity Report and Self-Assessment detailing accomplishments and challenges specific to the endowed position. The academic leader(s), consulting as appropriate with other members of the appointee’s academic unit, shall review and respond to the annual report.
    3. Unless otherwise stated in the Endowed Position Agreement or agreed upon by the appointee and their dean, every occupant of an endowed chair or professorship will undergo review by their academic unit and by the provost every five years. Procedures for such reviews will normally be as follows:
      1. By November 15th of the last year of an appointee’s term, the appointee will submit to their academic leader(s) a review covering the years since the previous appointment. This review will include a comprehensive self-assessment with respect to the expectations of the Endowed Position Agreement and appointment letter;
      2. By December 1st, the academic leader(s) will write a performance review based on the report, consulting as appropriate with other members of the appointee’s academic unit. This review will include a recommendation for or against renewal, and will be shared and discussed with the faculty member prior to its release to the Office of the Provost. The faculty member will have the right to include an addendum if they desire;
      3. The faculty report, the performance review, and the faculty addendum to that review (if desired) will be submitted to the provost by December 15th;
      4. By February 1st, the provost will notify the faculty member by letter whether their appointment has been renewed. Final authority for removal of the appointee rests with the provost. Copies of the letter shall be sent to the chair and/or dean.
    4. All appointments should be subject to renewal at least every five years.
    5. Donors do not participate in the review process.