Making senior joint appointments between programs in the Division of University Studies and departments.


DAC approved March 3, 2004, with revisions February 2007, March 2010, and April 2012

Senior joint appointments recognize the interdisciplinary scholarly and teaching activities of Colgate faculty, increase the visibility of interdisciplinary programs to both students and faculty, and provide continuity in supporting the curricular and co-curricular needs of interdisciplinary programs.

Formal joint appointments in interdisciplinary programs within the Division of University Studies are made for an initial three-year term. Renewals may be made for a term of three, five, or seven years. Faculty members appointed to the position of program director who do not already hold joint appointments will receive them for the period of their terms. 

When appropriate, the Dean, in consultation with the DAC, department chair, and program director, may make longer term appointments. Faculty members receiving these appointments hold the title of either Associate Professor or Professor of 'Home Department/Interdisciplinary Program' or 'Secondary Department/Interdisciplinary Program.' 

Senior faculty members holding joint appointments should be actively engaged in the interdisciplinary program. Their commitment should include:

  • Regular and sustained teaching in the program. Faculty holding joint appointments are expected to devote an agreed-upon portion of their teaching load (normally one-third) to courses in the program during the term of their appointment. This teaching commitment will normally involve five courses, including program-only courses, cross-listed courses, and courses that count toward program requirements when appropriate.
  • Participation in the programmatic and other service aspects of the interdisciplinary program, including student advising and/or participation on the program advisory committee.
  • A scholarly commitment to the field of the interdisciplinary program.

Either an interdisciplinary program director or an interested faculty member may initiate the discussion of a possible joint appointment. The success of joint appointments depends, however, on good communication between programs and departments. Therefore, the proposal for a joint appointment should be generated from discussions among the interested faculty member, his or her department chair, and the program director. Any proposal that would result in changes to Core teaching should also be discussed with the relevant University Professor(s). If an agreement is reached by this group, the proposal, which should include a c.v. and a description of the scholarly, teaching, and service commitment to the program, should be submitted to the Division Directors of University Studies and the home division(s). The University Studies DD will collect the final proposal for distribution to the DAC, which will make a recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty. Since these are senior appointments, only tenured faculty are eligible.

In the final semester of a faculty member’s joint appointment, the University Studies Division Director and the interdisciplinary program director will review the faculty member’s participation in the program during the term of appointment. (It is the responsibility of the University Studies Division Director to assess the effect of the joint appointment on the faculty member’s Core teaching.) On the basis of this examination, they will make a recommendation that the appointment be renewed, reconsidered, or terminated. They will communicate this recommendation in the first instance to the faculty member, who will choose whether or not to request renewal. If renewal is sought, the recommendation from University Studies will be passed on to the home department chair and Division Director. If all parties agree that renewal is appropriate, then a recommendation to that effect will be passed on to the Dean of Faculty for final approval. If there is any question as to renewal, further conversations among the relevant parties may be appropriate. If such conversation does not lead to consensus, then a formal application for renewal may be presented to the DAC, using the format of applications for initial appointments.

Because joint appointments may require that faculty members make additional efforts to become familiar with other disciplinary approaches, pedagogies, etc., the Director of the Division of University Studies will have a small pool of funds available to provide appropriate support to those holding joint appointments.

Approval Form

Faculty holding joint appointments are expected to devote an agreed-upon portion of their teaching load (normally one-third) to courses that count toward program requirements. This commitment is to be agreed upon before the appointment begins and should be indicated below with appropriate signatures. The completed form will be collected by the Director of the Division of University Studies for submission to the DAC (for first-time appointments) or the Dean of the Faculty (for appointment renewals). 

Associate professors holding joint appointments who contemplate standing for promotion to full professor should consider, at least a year ahead of time, who might serve as members of the program evaluation committee for the purposes of this review.

Download the approval form