Section VI. Policies Governing Faculty Appointments

More detailed information on many items covered under this section can be found on the Provost Policies and Procedures website.

A.    Academic Freedom and Faculty Responsibility

The responsibilities of full-time members of the academic staff to the university are fulfilled by the performance—appropriate to rank and terms of appointment—of teaching, scholarly research, continuing education and public service, and committee work and special assignments.

Universities exist to serve the common good and not primarily to further the interests of either individuals or institutions. The basic functions of the University of Illinois are teaching, research, and public service. By accepting a faculty appointment at this university, an individual assumes a responsibility to pursue scholarly activities which necessitate free inquiry, free expression, intellectual honesty, respect for the dignity and rights of others, and openness to change. The rights and responsibilities exercised within the academic community must be compatible with these characteristics.

Academic freedom is essential to the functioning of a university. It applies to its teaching, research, and public service and involves both the faculty and students. Faculty members are responsible for providing students with the same kind of freedom that they claim for themselves, namely, the freedom to consider conflicting views and to make their own evaluations of data, evidence, and doctrines. Furthermore, faculty members have a responsibility to maintain an atmosphere conducive to intellectual inquiry and rationale.

Faculty members are expected to teach their assigned courses in a manner consistent with the scheduled time, course content, and course credit as approved by the faculty. Within these constraints, they are entitled to freedom in the classroom in developing and discussing—according to their areas of competence—the subjects that they are assigned. Faculty members who are unable to meet their classes have the obligation to offer alternate instruction to meet the course requirements. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, their department or college must assume this responsibility. Since university policy calls for the comparison of a student’s performance with those of other students in the university for the several purposes that grades serve, faculty members have the responsibility to provide the university with an evaluation of the work of each student in their classes.

Faculty members are citizens as well as members of a learned profession and an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. As citizens, faculty members have the rights common to all citizens to organize and join political or other associations, convene and conduct public meetings, peacefully demonstrate, picket, and publicize their opinions on political or social issues. In exercising these rights, they should not use the services of the university, and any indication of university affiliation should be accompanied by a statement that it is for identification purposes only.

Each faculty member has the right to criticize and seek alteration of regulations and policies by appropriate means. Among means deemed inappropriate are committing or inciting acts of physical violence against or coercion of individuals; acts that interfere with academic freedom, freedom of speech, or freedom of movement; and acts of destruction of property.

Alleged abuse of the proper role of the faculty with regard to academic freedom and faculty responsibility should be identified and adjudicated by appropriate faculty bodies already in existence in the university community in accordance with established principles and procedures of due process. In accordance with University of Illinois Statutes, these evaluations are initially made by departmental administrators with the counsel of faculty bodies; subsequent evaluation is made by academic deans, campus- and university-level administrators, and the board of trustees with adequate counsel of faculty bodies. At the campus level, the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure are charged to advise the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, which is charged to advise the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, in both the judicial and review processes.

B.     Annual Evaluation of Faculty

The performance of all faculty at UIC with at least fifty percent (50%) appointments shall be evaluated annually through a formal procedure that is open and equitable. The purpose of the annual evaluation is to recognize and record the accomplishments of each member and to make judgments regarding the significance of these accomplishments, which judgments shall form part of the basis for assigning salary increases, recommending promotion and the award of tenure. These evaluation procedures should conform to the current policy on the Annual Evaluation of Faculty at UIC.

C.    English Proficiency: Employment of Non-Native English Speaking Faculty Members

In compliance with the University of Illinois Act (110 ILCS 307/7c), academic unit heads, chairs, or directors must certify that non-native English speaking faculty are orally proficient in English prior to being given instructional responsibilities.  For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

D.    Faculty Awards

In addition to a number of departmental and college awards for excellence in teaching, research and service, the campus and University have several award programs.

1.      UIC Distinguished Professor

The UIC Distinguished Professorship is created to recruit and recognize persons who have made a significant impact upon their field through scholarship, creativity, and leadership. Professors selected for this award will receive a non-salaried, non-service appointment as UIC Distinguished Professor. The appointment will become effective at the beginning of the next academic year following the Board of Trustees approval. The appointment is for the duration of their full-time tenure at UIC. In addition, a one-time monetary award will be given to faculty appointed as UIC Distinguished Professors. Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Dinner each fall.

2.      Award for Excellence in Teaching

Candidates for this award must be tenured or tenure-track faculty with a full-time appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They must have taught at UIC for a minimum of ten (10) years and will be identified through College nominations only.

A maximum of five awards will be given in any one year. The awards consist of a salary increase of $5,000 independent of any annual increase accorded to the faculty. Awards are effective with the next contractual year. All college nominees who are not selected as award recipients will receive a one-time cash award of $500 paid from campus resources. Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Dinner each fall.

3.      University Scholars Program

Faculty excellence is the cornerstone of any university of high quality. There is no more important task at the University of Illinois than attracting and retaining the very best teachers and scholars. The University Scholars Program, established by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, is designed to identify outstanding members of the faculty and to provide each with a modest amount of funds annually for a defined period of years.

The importance of these awards lies in the flexibility with which the funds may be spent. Recipients may use the funds at their discretion to enhance their scholarly work, except for salary rate increases, which are not permitted. The awards are not made for a specific project or proposal; rather, they are a symbol of the recipient’s excellence and the University’s commitment to foster outstanding people and their work. Therefore, the awards are made through nominations and not by self-nomination.

Awards of $10,000 per year will be made on a three-year basis to members of the faculty whose work is clearly superior. University Scholars may be individuals already on the University of Illinois faculty, or the awards may be used to attract faculty from other institutions to the University. Nominees for these awards will be carefully screened to assure that those selected are among the very best in their fields. Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Dinner each fall.

4.      Teaching Recognition Program (TRP)

The Teaching Recognition Program (TRP), administered by the Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, recognizes the documented excellence of University of Illinois at Chicago faculty in their teaching activities. The program offers a $1,500 permanent increment to base salary (or a percentage thereof for part-time appointments) to faculty who document outstanding performance in their teaching activities over a three year period. Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Dinner each fall.

All tenured and tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, and others with a demonstrated long-term commitment to teaching at UIC (such as lecturers and instructors) are eligible to apply. All applicants must hold a teaching appointment that is greater than 49 percent (>49%). A demonstrated long-term commitment is defined as continuous involvement in teaching at UIC during the Fall and Spring semesters of the previous three years. Tenured and tenure-track faculty who have not taught in the Fall and Spring semester in the past three years due to a sabbatical leave or other reasons are eligible to apply.

5.      Silver Circle Awards for Teaching Excellence

The Silver Circle Awards have been given each year since 1966 to honor UIC faculty members chosen by the Senior class for their excellence in teaching undergraduate courses. Each year, eleven faculty members are presented with this prestigious award. Recipients of the award in the previous two years are not eligible. At the May commencement ceremonies the winners receive an engraved Silver Circle plaque mounted on granite. In addition, each award winner receives a check in the amount of $500. Award recipients will be recognized at the Faculty Awards Dinner each fall.

6.      Woman of the Year Award

The “Woman of the Year” Award is sponsored by The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women (CCSW). Established in 1992, this annual award honors a UIC woman who has consistently worked on women’s issues beyond the call of duty and who is an exemplary role model. Winners are honored with a reception and a cash award of $1,000.

The award criteria include providing service to women at UIC while on the job, responding to issues affecting women, and offering service to women through volunteerism and public support of women’s programs. All UIC women employed by the University (including faculty, academic professionals or civil service with at least a 50% appointment) are eligible for the award.

7.      Mentor of the Year Award

Since 2000, the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women (CCSW) has been recognizing and honoring outstanding women and men who encompass the definition of a mentor. They are individuals who have been nominated because they have touched, shaped, and provided positive changes to others with regards to their careers or professional/personal development. The winner(s) of the UIC Mentor of the Year Award is presented with a plaque by the chancellor during a reception honoring them. The CCSW believes that one way to retain its employees is to seek out and recognize exceptional individuals on campus for their unparalleled mentoring examples to others, be they faculty, administrators or staff.

8.      University of Illinois Alumni Association Awards

The University of Illinois Alumni Association awards honor alumni, faculty, staff, or friends of the University through the Alumni Achievement Award, the Alumni Humanitarian Award, the Constituent Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Lou Liay Spirit Award.  Visit the UIC Alumni Association for further information on each of these awards.

E.     Faculty Mentoring

The mentoring of faculty on the tenure-track by tenured faculty is paramount for retaining and advancing the culture of academic excellence at UIC. To this effect, all Colleges and Departments are expected to adhere to the campus Faculty Mentoring Policy.

F.     Minority Impact Statement

In 1991, UIC introduced a policy requiring that all proposals for new programs and policies (both academic and general) be accompanied by a minority impact statement (MIS). UIC’s increasing commitment to a multicultural environment and increased educational opportunities for minorities has promoted continuance of an MIS that (1) identifies any disproportionate or unique impact of proposed policies or programs on UIC’s minority students, staff, or faculty; (2) provides a rationale for the existence of programs or policies having an impact on minorities; and (3) cites evidence of consultation with minority groups in cases where a policy or program had identifiable impact. The term “minority” refers to females; persons with disabilities; individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual (if known); Latinos; African Americans and Native Americans. Detailed information regarding this policy can be reviewed by accessing the link above.

G.    Partner Accommodation Program

The Provost’s Office recognizes that successful recruitment or retention of a faculty member is often dependent on the availability of a suitable job for the faculty member’s spouse/partner. Given this recognition, the Provost’s Office will provide financial assistance to units hiring a faculty member’s spouse/partner. The program’s primary intention is to assists partners in obtaining a faculty position at UIC. Detailed information regarding this policy can be reviewed by accessing the link above.

H.    Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct

University personnel assure quality and integrity in their research and publications primarily by self- regulation, by adherence to individual ethical codes and professional standards, and by reference to the traditions and collegiality that characterize research institutions. This section summarizes university policy on academic integrity in research, publication, and procedures for impartial fact-finding and fair adjudication of allegations of academic misconduct. Although it focuses on deterring and penalizing unacceptable conduct, its purpose is to promote compliance with the highest scholarly standards.

A variety of informal practices exist within the University for addressing questions and controversies that may arise concerning the conduct of scholarly activities. Most problems are and should be handled by reasoned discussion or informal mediation at the level of university organization closest to the persons involved.

The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) has primary responsibility for fostering academic integrity and for disseminating information about good research practices. The VCR appoints a Research Integrity Officer (RIO) who is primarily responsible for the correct observance of the procedures set forth in this document.

All members of the university community are expected to observe high standards of academic integrity and ethical behavior in research and publication. Any practice or conduct by a member of the university community that seriously deviates from those commonly accepted ethical standards for proposing, conducting, and publishing research constitutes academic misconduct in violation of university policy.  For additional information, please refer to the VCR’s Research Integrity page and the University of Illinois Policy and Procedures on Integrity in Research and Publication. Any member of the university community who becomes aware of academic misconduct in research or publication (the initiator) is obligated to report the incident or practice, and provide all relevant information or evidence, to the executive officer of the unit in which the person alleged to have committed the misconduct (the respondent) holds principal appointment, or to the RIO, each of whom will notify the other promptly.

The Research Integrity Officer, the unit executive officers, the deans, and all other persons involved in administering these procedures make diligent efforts to protect the academic reputations and positions of persons who, in good faith, report suspected academic misconduct and of persons against whom allegations are made that are later determined to be unfounded. All of the procedures and the identity of those involved are kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, confidentiality need not be maintained if the complaint is maliciously motivated and found to be false. Protection of confidentiality does not preclude disclosures that are necessary in the process of handling allegations of misconduct, in the public interest, or components of sanctions and/or corrective action in the resolution of academic misconduct allegations.

It is a prime concern of all persons who implement these procedures to protect the policies of academic freedom and tenure that are fundamental to the academic enterprise. Academic freedom affords no license for academic misconduct.

I.       Promotion and Tenure Policy and Guidelines

Decisions to promote faculty members and to award tenure are the most important made by the University, for they determine the quality of the faculty for decades to come. Departments and colleges are urged to be very selective in their recommendations, particularly for appointments to indefinite tenure. For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

1.      Counting/Not Counting Initial Partial Year and Previous Service

An assistant professor providing more than fifty percent (50%) of full-time service to the University enters a probationary period of up to seven academic years of service. An initial appointment that begins after the eighth week of the academic year ordinarily does not count toward the probationary period of a faculty member on definite tenure nor does it ordinarily count as service in establishing eligibility for a sabbatical leave with pay, unless recommended and agreed upon in advance. Such requests must be made in writing to the department head or chair, endorsed by the dean, and approved by the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The appointee’s choice, if approved, cannot be reversed thereafter. For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

2.      Mid-Probationary Review

Campus policy requires that a formal, internal review of faculty on probationary contracts take place no later than the mid-point (generally the third year) of a faculty member’s probationary period on the tenure track, unless a decision not to retain is reached. For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

3.      Interruptions to the Probationary Period (Tenure Hold/Rollback)

  1. Automatic Tenure Hold: The tenure probationary period for tenure-track assistant professors may be interrupted to enable the faculty member to fulfill his/her family responsibilities following the birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a This type of interruption shall be “automatic” under each event for an assistant professor in the tenure-track probationary period who becomes the parent of a child by birth or adoption. For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.
  1. Tenure Rollback: An interruption of the probationary period (non-automatic hold or rollback in the tenure year code) may be granted at any time prior to the T6 year, for any event during the T1-T6 years, for one year, upon request, when an event or compelling circumstances cause substantial impairment of a candidate’s ability to pursue his/her teaching, scholarly activities, and/or This includes caring for a spouse, child, or parent in the case of a serious health condition or for a faculty member’s serious health condition in situations where Modified Teaching Duties (See Section VII.D. below) have not been requested.  The interruption is considered a “hold” when the event occurs within the academic year of the request and is considered a “rollback” when the event has occurred in a preceding academic year. No more than two such interruptions will be granted. For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

4.      Track Switching

During an annual review or the mid-probationary review, a tenure-track faculty member or the faculty member and his/her department head may decide that a change in tenure track is desirable. A “track switch” may occur if it is determined that the tenure-track probationary faculty member’s commitment to the University has changed substantially or their career direction changed. If a switch is desirable, it should occur no later than upon completion of year four of the probationary period.  For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.

5.      Non-Retention in Year Six (6) of the Probationary Period/Final “Q” Contract

If it is determined that a faculty member in year six (6) of the probationary period should not be recommended for indefinite tenure and promotion, the University of Illinois Statutes require that a notice of non-reappointment be given at least one year in advance of the date of termination. That notice must be accompanied by an offer of a terminal contract for the following academic year. Notices must be issued by the Board of Trustees by August 16th of the year preceding the termination date, so units must notify faculty members no later than May 15th that notice of non-reappointment is being recommended and that a terminal contract will be offered.

For associate professors and professors employed on a “Q” contract where indefinite tenure is not being recommended, the employing unit should notify the staff member in writing that he/she will not be recommended for tenure and that the current/final year of their “Q” contract will end and they will not be reappointed. The University of Illinois Statutes, for associate professors and professors on “Q” contracts, do not require that the faculty member receive a one-year notice of non-reappointment if they are not being recommended for indefinite tenure.

J.      Under-Represented Faculty Recruitment Program (UFRP)

The Under-Represented Faculty Recruitment Program (UFRP) at UIC began operation in 1989 as the Minority Faculty Recruitment Program (MFRP) to increase the hiring of African-American, Latino and Native American candidates to tenured or tenure-track positions. UFRP is designed to encourage and assists colleges and departments at UIC in the recruitment of under-represented faculty. The aim is to develop a more diverse faculty, which matches the diversity of the UIC student population.

Faculty are defined as under-represented and eligible for UFRP if their race and gender is such that meets either of two criteria: 1) African-American, Latino, or Native American, or 2) Asians/Pacific Islanders, women or men being recruited into disciplines in which their racial or gender group is underrepresented. For criterion 2, under-representation is based on a formula that compares current and available percentages of faculty members with the same racial or gender status in the discipline and the desired target percentage (defined at UIC as one half of the percentage of the student population with the same race or gender). For detailed information on the requirements and process access the link above.