Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 2/21/1990

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 507–06: Continuing Appointment for Academic Professionals

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To describe continuing appointments

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–301
Office of the Provost of the University

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Academic professionals with probationary appointments

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Continuing appointment is a right authorized by the Board of Regents and, through the board delegation of authority, granted by the president to probationary academic professionals. An individual’s continuing appointment at ASU is located in a library or an academic unit and is not transferable except as provided through university policy and procedure. Continuing appointments are those with annual reappointment until retirement, resignation, dismissal for cause, release for budgetary reasons, or release for reasons of educational policy change in accord with ACD 503, “Conditions of Professional Service.” Attainment of continuing appointment occurs only through specific notification from the president and may not result from inaction or inadvertence. If an academic professional applies for early continuing appointment and the decision is negative, the individual remains in a probationary appointment until the mandatory continuing appointment decision is made.

A person is granted continuing appointment on the basis of excellent performance and the promise of continued excellence measured not only by individual achievement but also by contributions to a library’s or academic unit’s mission and objectives, and the academic professional’s place within the library or the academic unit.

Evaluation for Continuing Appointment

The continuing appointment review is designed to ensure a fair and impartial process that is clear, unambiguous, comprehensive, and applied consistently and uniformly. The process is conducted in the following order: library or academic unit personnel review committee, library or academic unit administrator, college peer review committee, college dean/university librarian, University Promotion and Continuing Appointment Committee, provost of the university, and president. Each of these units or individuals makes independent recommendations that are informed by previous recommendations. The president ultimately makes the decision for the award of continuing appointment. The review process is confidential with specific notification requirements and restrictions at each stage of the process. No person should participate in more than one level of review.

The review includes assessment of the individual’s position effectiveness, professional contributions, and institutional, professional, and community service (see ACD 202–02, “Academic Professional Responsibilities”). Candidates must be reviewed for continuing appointment no later than the date indicated in the original offer letter or the date indicated in an amended offer letter, e.g. due to an authorized probationary period extension. Requirements for academic unit by-laws related to continuing appointment reviews may be found in P8, “University Academic Professional Probationary, Continuing Appointment, and Promotion Requirements for Academic Unit Bylaws.”

Specific information is required of candidates being reviewed for continuing appointment. The material reviewed includes information provided by candidates, a sufficient number of internal and external review letters to provide a professional assessment of the impact and quality of the candidate’s work in his/her field, and any additional information required by an individual or committee to clarify or explain information provided at an earlier stage. The library or the academic unit administrator, in consultation with the college dean/university librarian, has primary responsibility to procure review letters from experts who are qualified to evaluate the candidate’s accomplishments. Procuring review letters must be done in compliance with procedures outlined by the provost of the university. Candidates will be asked to suggest reviewers, but the administrator of the library or the academic unit has the ultimate responsibility for identifying a selection of well-qualified reviewers. In consultation with the library or the academic unit administrator, the candidate’s college dean/university librarian approves the choice of reviewers. For information about continuing appointment file content requirements, see P9, “Probationary or Conditional Review for Academic Professionals Process Guide.”

Notification of Recommendations and Final Decision

Library or Academic unit level: the library or the academic unit administrator may provide an oral statement of the strengths and weaknesses of the case to the candidate based on the reviews at the library or the academic unit level; the candidate may choose to withdraw from further consideration at this point.

College level: the supervising dean/university librarian may provide an oral statement of the strengths and weaknesses of the case to the candidate based on the reviews at the college level; the candidate may choose to withdraw from further consideration at this point.

University level: no notification is made by the university committee.

Final decision: the final decision regarding the award of continuing appointment is made through written notification to the candidate by the president.

Review/personnel committee members at every level shall not discuss deliberations with candidates. Review letters shall not be shared with candidates.

If an academic professional withdraws the application for continuing appointment review, the materials submitted by the candidate for the review shall be returned to the academic professional. Academic professionals who are not granted continuing appointment upon application in their final probationary year will receive a terminal contract for the following academic or fiscal year. A person who is not reappointed shall not be employed subsequently under a year-to-year appointment except on a part-time (less than 50 percent FTE) basis.

Denial of Continuing Appointment

Considerations such as the need for a different area of specialization or for a new emphasis within the unit, the lack of a continuing position, or the need to shift a position or resources to another department may dictate that the individual not be retained or awarded continuing appointment, despite performance worthy of retention.

Expedited Review for Continuing Appointment

The university reserves the right to conduct an expedited review for continuing appointment in extraordinary circumstances when such action will serve the best interests of the university. An expedited review is an exception to the regular continuing appointment review described above and will be approved only in extraordinary circumstances, which could include, but are not limited to:

  1. the decision of the university to respond to an offer of other employment to a current academic professional whom the university desires to retain
  2. the receipt of an extraordinary award or honor by an academic professional that is likely to generate offers of employment or brings distinction to the individual and the institution


  3. other circumstances that the provost of the university determine warrant expedited continuing appointment review.

The university has no obligation to consider or approve an expedited review at the request of the academic professional or for any other circumstances, including the circumstances listed above. For information about the expedited process see P10, “Expedited Review for Probationary and Continuing Appointment Academic Professionals Process Guide.” Every effort will be made to conclude an expedited review within 21 calendar days following the initiation of the review or as soon as possible thereafter.


If the president denies the award of expedited continuing appointment, the academic professional may receive or remain in a regular probationary appointment for the following year and will be reviewed under ACD 507–05, “Academic Professional Probationary Appointments.” during probation and the regular continuing appointment policy described above.


Decisions of the president on the granting or denying of continuing appointment are final unless an academic professional alleges that the review or decision was not made in accordance with regular university procedures or that the results were based on discriminatory or other unconstitutional grounds, as outlined in ACD 509–03, “Grievance Policy for Academic Professionals.”

The schedule of personnel actions is available on the Web site of the Office of the Provost of the University.

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  1. ACD 202–02, “Academic Professional Responsibilities.”
  2. ACD 507–05, “Academic Professional Probationary Appointments.”
  3. ACD 507–07, “Academic Professional Promotion.”
  4. ACD 509–03, “Grievance Policy for Academic Professionals.”


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