Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 8/15/1990
Revised: 11/1/2019
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ACD 002: Definitions

Terms used in this manual are defined as follows:

Academic/Administrative Unit
Any component of the university that is involved in the hiring of faculty, academic professionals, and/or graduate assistants/associates (e.g., colleges, departments, centers, and programs).
Academic Freedom
See “Professional and Intellectual Freedom.”
Academic Professional
A nonclassified employee involved with research or teaching programs who requires professional and intellectual freedom and who reports to a person below the level of provost or vice president, including librarians and researchers.
Access Privileges
Authorization to access and use computers and related resources.
Academic Year
The period commencing and ending with the university’s academic calendar. The university’s academic year calendar is set by the Provost of the University.
User identification and related access to computers and resources.
Arizona Civil Rights Division, a state agency authorized to accept, investigate, resolve, or make findings related to charges of employment discrimination.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Administrator or Administrative Staff
An officer who reports directly to the president or to a vice president and who is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and evaluating the activities of a major segment of a university; promulgating and implementing university rules and regulations; preparing and administering the organizational budget; maintaining relationships with administrative officials and members of business, government, and civic communities. These positions shall include vice presidents, deans, academic department heads, and other positions as determined by the university.
Alternate Administrator
An administrator from another department or unit or at a higher rank than a supervising administrator, who will assume the responsibilities of the supervising administrator for key decisions involving a relative of the supervising administrator.
American Indian or Alaskan Native
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition. This category includes Native Americans, Alaskan Aleuts, and Eskimos.
Anonymous Communications
Communication that does not include or masks the identity of the sender.
A person who has applied for a position at ASU and has submitted all required application materials, such as a completed application form, résumé or curriculum vitae, and names/letters of references, by the application deadline.
Employment for a period as specified in a notice of appointment. The term refers to both the initial appointment and all subsequent appointments, reappointments, or renewals of appointments.
Appointment Renewal
The process by which an appointment is extended for an additional period. See also “Appointment” and “Notice of Appointment.”
Arizona Public Records Law
Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 39–121 to –128.
Asian or Pacific Islander
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, Samoa, the subcontinent of India, and the Indo-China Peninsula and nearby islands, as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Sikkim, and Bhutan.
Resources such as money, negotiable securities, and property owned by or under custodial control of the university.
ASU Web or Home Pages
Any pages hosted on the domain.
Authorized ASU Official
Dean or director of a university unit or other so designated person by the president or designee.
Auxiliary Aids and Services
Reasonable accommodations that may be provided for sight and hearing impairments: e.g., qualified interpreter, qualified reader, note-taker, taped text, transcription service, modification of equipment, relay service, TTYs, large print, Braille or alternative print format, telephone amplifier, listening system, open and closed captioning, audio recording, computer terminal, speech synthesizer, communication board, etc.
Note: The type of service needed will vary from case to case.
A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa who is not also of Hispanic origin.
The Arizona Board of Regents.
See “Applicant.”
A natural child, adoptive child, foster child, or stepchild.
Classified Research
Research sponsored by a federal government entity that involves restrictions imposed by agreement or otherwise on the distribution or publication of the research findings or results following completion, for a specified period or for indefinite duration.
Classified Staff
Positions that are not considered faculty, administrators, or university staff and have certain protections as public employees and whose primary roles are clerical, administrative support, paraprofessional, or maintenance.
Click Trade
Services that pay a fee based on the traffic generated by a Web site.
The academic organizational unit comprised of one or more academic units, supervised by a dean. Some colleges may be referred to as a “School” or as an “Institute.” For policy purposes, University Libraries is included when the term “college” is used.
College Web Sites
Sites developed and maintained by colleges in the domain.
Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure
A committee selected by the faculty under procedures determined by the university. One of the responsibilities of this committee is to carry out hearings in accordance with ACD 509–02, “Grievance Policy for Faculty.”
Conflict of Commitment
A conflict that occurs occurs when the time or effort that an employee devotes to external activities interferes with the employee’s fulfillment of university responsibilities, or when an employee makes unauthorized use of university resources in the course of an external activity.
Continuing Status
The employment status awarded by a president to an academic professional who has demonstrated excellence in job performance, service, and professional development in accordance with criteria established by ASU. Continuing status for academic professionals creates an expectation of continued employment unless the academic professional is terminated or released in accordance with appropriate policies.
Courtesy Affiliate
A person who is neither a student nor an employee, but is affiliated with ASU in order to receive and provide one or more services.
Calendar day. If the last day of a specific time period is a Saturday, Sunday, university holiday, or during a university break period, the time period is extended to 5:00 p.m. of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, university holiday, or break day. In cases of faculty and other employees appointed on an academic year basis (nine-month basis), day does not include summer, mid-semester, semester, and other similar break periods.
Day-to-Day Assignments
Actions involving assignments on course work, office space, travel, and other benefits.
Denial of Service Attacks
Bombarding a computer or site with mock or excessive traffic.
The term most commonly used to refer to an academic unit, i.e., a sub-unit of a college under the supervision of a chair who reports to a dean. Because of new organizational patterns in the university, such units are also sometimes called schools or divisions. The term “department” may also refer to divisions or schools.
Department Chair
The individual directing a sub-unit of a college and reporting to a dean. References to “department chairs” may also apply to directors of schools or divisions.
Dependent Children
Children who are considered dependents for federal income tax purposes, and who have not reached age 30 as of the first day of the semester for which the special registration fee is granted.
Department Web Sites
Sites developed and maintained by departments in the domain.
Direct Threat
A condition or disability that poses a threat to the health and safety of self or others and prevents an individual from performing the essential functions of the position or participating in a program, service, or activity at a safe level even with reasonable accommodation. ASU must show both high probability of substantial harm and inability to reasonably accommodate.
Directory Information
General information as defined in ACD 121, “Privacy Rights of Students,” that may be released to anyone without the consent of the student, unless the student has indicated otherwise. See also “Educational Records” and “Legitimate Educational Interest.”
Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. (Major life activities include, but are not limited to, are defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.)
Permitting access, release, transfer, or other communication of student educational records, or the personally identifiable information contained in them, orally, in writing, by electronic means, or by any other means to any party. See also “Educational Records.”
Discriminatory Action
An educational or employment action constituting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, Vietnam-era veteran status or special disabled veteran status, or genetic information.
Display Advertisement
A job vacancy announcement that is two or more columns wide. These are usually placed in newspapers or professional journals for faculty and executive-level positions.
Educational Records
Any information or data directly related to a student, recorded in any medium, and maintained by the university or someone acting for the university, excluding some records specified in the Student Services Manual Manual—SSM 107–01, “Release of Student Information.” See also “Directory Information” and “Legitimate Educational Interest.”
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency authorized to accept, investigate, resolve, or make findings related to charges of employment discrimination.
All persons employed by the university on a full-time, part-time, or contract basis, including faculty and academic professionals (also referred to as staff or staff member[s]).
EO/AA Office
The ASU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Human Resources.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The assurance that all employment-related actions are based on objective, nondiscriminatory criteria. State and federal laws and regulations prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, Vietnam-era veteran status or special disabled veteran status, and genetic information. ASU policy also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Essential Function
Fundamental or material job duty, distinguished from marginal duty.
Building or site owned, leased, used, or controlled by ASU.
Faculty Member
An employee of the board in teaching, research, or service whose notice of appointment is as lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, Regents Professor, professor of practice, research professor, or clinical professor, or whose notice of appointment otherwise expressly designates a faculty position. Graduate students who serve as assistants, associates, or otherwise are academic appointees as well as graduate students but are not faculty members.
Immediate family, established household, or situations that place primary responsibility for care on the employee.
Immediate Family
Parent, parent-in-law, brother, sister, spouse, child, grandparent,and any other relative who is a permanent member of the employee’s household.
Note: For purposes of family medical leave under ACD 702–03, “Family Leave,” the definition of family member is limited to child, parent, spouse, and domestic partner only.
Submission of written whistle-blower complaint.
Fixed-term Appointment
An appointment to a faculty position as a lecturer or senior lecturer for a period of time greater than one academic or fiscal year but not more than three fiscal years.
Former Employee
A university employee whose employment is severed through resignation, retirement, or dismissal.
Gender Identity
An individual’s personal sense of masculinity or femininity including external characteristics and behaviors such as dress, mannerisms, speech patterns, and social interactions.
Graduate Assistant or Associate
A graduate student who assumes employment with the university either as a graduate assistant/associate, research assistant/associate, or teaching assistant/associate. See also “Graduate Teaching Assistant or Associate.”
Graduate Teaching Assistant or Associate
A graduate student who assumes any teaching responsibility, including lecturing, leading discussion groups, serving as an assistant to laboratory classes, grading tests, or reading papers.
A current ASU student or employee who files a complaint with a university grievance committee.
A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or some other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Institutional Base Salary (IBS)
The base annual compensation set by ASU for an individual’s appointment, whether that individual’s professional effort for ASU is spent on instruction, research, public service, administration, or other activities, and whether that employee is appointed full-time or part-time. IBS excludes income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of duties to ASU.

In all submissions for funding for sponsored work, IBS is used as the employee’s salary. IBS may not be increased as a result of replacing ASU salary funds with grant or contract funds. IBS and FTE (as shown in the payroll system) of an employee will not be increased or decreased during a fiscal year as a result of receipt or loss of salary support from grants, contracts, and other revenues.

IBS may be changed at the beginning of any fiscal year, and may be increased or decreased at that time. During a fiscal year, IBS of an employee generally will not be changed. However, it may be changed in the following limited circumstances:

  1. the employee’s formal appointment, and required professional effort, is changed from full-time to part-time, from part-time to full-time, or from one required level of part-time effort to another required level of part-time effort
  2. the employee receives an increase or decrease in salary as a result of assuming, or relinquishing, specific academic or administrative duties, e.g., serving as a department chair
  3. the employee receives a cost of living or merit salary adjustment as part of a university-wide adjustment of salaries that occurs during a fiscal year


  4. the employee receives a salary increase as a result of a retention or equity adjustment, promotion in rank or position, or change in employment responsibilities.
Intellectual Property
Intangible property rights, including trademark, trade secret, copyright, and patent rights.
Key Decisions
Employment actions involving initial appointment, hire, renewal of appointment, retention, probationary review, annual and other performance evaluations, evaluation for promotion, salary determination, and merit or other salary adjustment.

Educational actions involving instruction include making decisions determining admission, enrollment, assignments, grades, or having a relative as a student in a specific course.

A nontenured faculty member whose primary responsibility is teaching undergraduate courses or clinical courses (see ACD 505–02, “Faculty Membership, Appointment Categories, Ranks, and Titles”).
Legitimate Educational Interest
An interest in an educational record that is justified as part of an ASU employee’s responsibility and is consistent with the purpose for which the records, information, or data are maintained. (See ACD 121, “Privacy Rights of Students.”)
Major Life Activity
Walking, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for one’s self, and other similar activities.
Manual Warrant
A manually prepared warrant not produced by the payroll system.
A person classified as Hispanic, Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, or American Indian or Alaskan Native regardless of the person’s citizenship.
Wrongful uses of assets (e.g., fraud, embezzlement, and conflict of interest decisions that result in financial losses).
Networked Device
Any device connected to the ASU network, e.g., computers, routers, printers, cell phones, copiers, and PDAs such as Blackberries, Android devices, iPhones, etc.
Notice of Appointment
The document that administrators, administrative staff, faculty members, and academic professionals receive each year verifying an appointment for the fiscal year beginning July 1 or for the academic year beginning on or about August 15.
Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education, the federal office authorized to accept, investigate, resolve, or make findings related to complaints of unlawful discrimination in programs receiving federal financial assistance.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the federal office authorized to accept, investigate, resolve, or make findings related to charges of employment discrimination based on disability, Vietnam-era veteran status, other protected veteran status, newly separated veteran status, or special disabled veteran status.
Office of University Rights and Responsibilities
This office investigates claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; reports to the Office of General Counsel.
Functions as a mediator between a grievant and respondent; a member or appointee of the Ombudspersons Committee.
Other Protected Veteran
A person who served in the military during a war or who served in a campaign or on an expedition for which a campaign badge, a service medal, or an expeditionary medal was awarded.
A natural parent, adoptive parent, surrogate parent, or stepparent.
Personnel Policies and Procedures for Academic Professionals
Arizona State University Personnel Policies and Procedures for Academic Professionals was published in 1986. Most aspects of this document have now been incorporated in the ACD manual; consequently, the document now consists of photocopies of relevant pages from the ACD manual.
Personnel Policies and Procedures for Faculty
Arizona State University Personnel Policies and Procedures for Faculty was first published in 1982 and revised several times since inception. All aspects of this document have now been incorporated in the ACD manual; consequently, the document now consists of photocopies of the relevant pages from the ACD manual.
Postdoctoral Scholar
An individual who has recently completed his/her doctoral studies and who holds short-term university appointments working under the guidance and direction of a faculty mentor as the individual prepares for a career as an independent scientist and researcher.
The president of the appropriate university or the president’s designated representative, and the executive director of the central staff.
Probationary Appointments
Faculty and academic professional appointments that will either become appointments with tenure or continuing status within a specified period of time or be terminated.
Professional and Intellectual Freedom
The right and responsibility to exercise judgment within the standards of the employee’s profession. Professional and intellectual freedom is defined as “academic freedom” for those employees involved in teaching and/or research.
Proprietary Research
Research sponsored by a nongovernmental entity or an individual that involves restrictions on the distribution or publication of the research findings or results following completion, for a specified period or for indefinite duration.
Pseudonymous Communications
Communication that uses or implies the identity of an individual other than the sender.
Qualified Individual
Individual with a disability who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential job functions of a position at ASU; a student admitted to the university who is eligible to receive services or benefits from ASU; or a member of the public who is eligible to utilize facilities or receive services or benefits from ASU.
Reasonable Accommodation
Change or modification that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal opportunity and/or access. Examples: job restructure; flexible work schedule; reassignment to vacant position; reassignment to accessible facility; delivery of service to accessible site; provision or modification of equipment or devices; adjustment or modification of qualifications, criteria, tests, training materials or policies, provided fundamental alteration will not result from the modification; provision of qualified readers or interpreters; reallocation of nonessential (marginal) job functions; unpaid leave.
Note: Reasonable accommodation is required for persons with known disabilities; ASU is not required to provide “best” or “most desired” accommodation but rather accommodation sufficient to meet either employment or accessibility needs. Unit heads or higher-level administrative officers must prepare a written explanation and consult with the ADA coordinator before denying a request for accommodation.
Record of Impairment
A prior physical or mental disorder that no longer exists or qualifies as a disability, but is still classified as a disability. Examples: mistaken classification as “mentally retarded” or “learning disabled.”
Regarded As Having Impairment
An individual who has physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity but who is treated as though it does. Examples: individuals with controlled high blood pressure, prior heart ailments, presumptive HIV risk, or disfigurement.
Relative (in ACD 515)
Spouse, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, niece, nephew, child, step-child, grandchild, great-grandchild, and close relative by marriage.
Note: The definition of relative in this policy is based on the Arizona Hiring of relative law, Arizona Revised Statutes § 38–481, and may differ from the definition of “relative” in other university policies that are based on other laws or regulations.
Relatives (in ACD 204–08)
Includes spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters (including half brothers and half sisters), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, daughters-in-law, and sons-in-law of an employee. (A substantial interest of a relative is considered to be that of an employee.)
The individual who is alleged to have violated policy.
Retired Faculty Member or Academic Professional
A faculty member or academic professional who has completed at least five years of continuous, full-time employment in the Arizona university system immediately preceding retirement, who is receiving a distribution under an Arizona university-sponsored retirement program, who is at least 50 years old, and whose employment has not been terminated for cause by the university.
A statement of general applicability that implements, interprets, or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure to be utilized in implementing law or policy.
Second-Generation Courses
Follow-up courses or workshops modeled after an ASU course and taught by a participant in the ASU course rather than an ASU faculty member (see ACD 120, “Second-Generation’ Credit”).
The carrying or using of lighted pipes, cigars, cigarettes, or tobacco in any form.
Special Disabled Veteran
A person entitled to disability compensation under laws administered by the Veteran’s Administration for disability rated at 30 percent or more, or a person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
Special Pay
A manually prepared paycheck not produced by the payroll system.
Any individual who is or has been formally admitted to and enrolled at ASU (see ACD 121, “Privacy Rights of Students”).
Substantially Limits
Prevents an individual from performing a major life activity.
Supervising Administrator
The administrator who is involved in the day-to-day assignments of staff in the department or unit in which the supervising administrator is employed, e.g., department chair, academic unit coordinator, department director, center head or director. A dean, director, or vice president may be a supervising administrator if one of his or her relatives is employed in the same department or unit in which he or she is employed. A supervising administrator may participate in the day-to-day assignments of a relative in his or her department or unit but may not participate in the key decisions involving his or her relative in the unit.
Supervisory Employee
Any ASU supervisor, director, chair, dean, department head, or other employee who has authority to make or materially influence significant personnel decisions.
Teaching or Graduate Assistant
A graduate student who assumes any teaching responsibility, including lecturing, leading discussion groups, serving as assistant to laboratory classes, reading tests or papers, etc. (Research assistants are not included in this definition.)
The employment status awarded by the president to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service in accordance with criteria established by ASU. The status of tenure creates an expectation of continued employment unless the faculty member is terminated or released in accordance with appropriate policies.
Being on a tenure-eligible line, i.e., having an opportunity to be reviewed for tenure. See “Probationary Appointments.”
Taking and removing personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it (e.g., removal of university property by a university employee that was not entrusted to that employee as part of his or her official responsibilities).
The condition of having fewer women and/or minorities in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected given their availability within the labor force.
Undue Hardship
Accommodation that would be unduly costly, substantial, or disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of a university department, program, service, or activity.
Note: Consultation with university legal counsel and the ADA coordinator on a determination is required.
University Officer
ASU president, provost, vice provost, vice president.
University Officials
Administrators, department heads, chairs, deans, project directors, managers, assistant managers, and supervisors.
University Staff
University staff is an employment category comprised of non-academic staff and administrators. University staff are employed at will. As an at-will employee, university staff and ASU are entitled to terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason except an unlawful one.
Vice President
An ASU vice president or provost.
Vietnam-Era Veteran
A person who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released therefrom with other than a dishonorable discharge, or who was discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, and who was so discharged or released within 48 months preceding an alleged violation of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.
A person having origins in any of the peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East who is not of Hispanic origin.
All property owned, used, leased, or controlled by ASU where university work is performed.

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