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C.18. Special Provisions of Appointment (associate status, release from contract)

a. Associate Appointment

i. Purpose
Appointment with associate status is designed to allow particular individuals to reduce their teaching responsibilities at the College for limited periods without interrupting their normal employment. The reasons for requesting associate status may include, for example, the need to fulfill familial obligations, the wish to engage more fully in scholarly or artistic projects (or other forms of professional development), or the wish to reduce one's teaching obligations for a few years before retirement.

ii. Conditions
With the exception of colleagues nearing retirement (that is, those colleagues who have passed their 60th birthday), faculty on associate status are normally expected to be in residence at the College for the entire academic year and to fulfill normal advising and service responsibilities. Colleagues on associate status who have passed their 60th birthday by September 1 of the academic year in question are required to be in residence during either the fall or spring term. Other faculty members who wish to be excused from normal advising and service responsibilities must apply for a regular leave of absence through the Educational Affairs Committee.

(a) Requests for associate status for purposes of professional development will, if granted, be treated as leaves of absence. Handbook guidelines will govern the eligibility of colleagues granted associate status for future leaves of absence. Tenure-track faculty normally will not be eligible to request associate status for the purpose of professional development until they have undergone a review for tenure. They may request associate status before the tenure review for personal reasons (e.g., familial obligations), however. In the event that a tenure-track faculty's request is approved, the tenure review schedule may be extended one semester for each year on associate status.

(b) Associate status may be requested for a maximum of three consecutive years and, normally, for no more than a total of six years during the period prior to the faculty member's 60th birthday. After the 60th birthday, faculty may remain on associate status for up to five years preceding retirement.

(c) Colleagues on associate status are expected to teach three courses per academic year, maintaining contact hours and enrollments consonant with a 0.6 FTE appointment. Those courses normally will be spread out over the entire academic year, but the administration also will consider requests for associate status that call for teaching two courses in either the fall or spring term and one course taught in Winter Term. If it is beneficial to the department or program curriculum, colleagues may be permitted to teach three courses solely in either the fall or spring term. Normally, a colleague who is on associate status will receive 60% of their full-time salary.

(d) Colleagues on associate status will be eligible for travel and research support from the FPDF.

(e) Requests for associate status of whatever sort will be governed by a goal of maintaining from year to year, and over the years, a student/faculty ratio of 9:1. It should be understood that commitment to a multi-year associate status arrangement may affect the leave patterns of other full-time faculty, both within and beyond the department directly affected by the request.

iii. Appointment Procedures
A faculty member on regular appointment at any rank may request associate appointment for limited periods of time ranging from a year to a maximum of three years before resuming regular teaching responsibilities. Such requests will be made to the vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty (VPAA/DoF). The deadline for requesting associate appointment in any given academic year is September 1 of the year prior.

(a) Those requests that seek time off for purposes of professional development will be considered by the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) as requests for leave without pay. A letter from the department chair and the chairs of any affected programs must accompany each request. This letter should comment upon the proposal and present a strategy for replacing the colleague making the request. Time off or reduced teaching in order to complete a terminal degree will not be considered professional development.

(b) Those requests that seek time off for purposes other than professional development will be considered by the VPAA/DoF or designee, in consultation with the Promotions Committee, and a recommendation will be advanced by them to the president. The EAC will be consulted where staffing implications are involved. A letter from the department chair and the chair of any affected program must accompany each request. This letter should comment upon the proposal and present a strategy for replacing the colleague making the request.

(c) The president, after appropriate consultation with the faculty member's department, the Promotions Committee, and the EAC, will decide on the request. If associate appointment is agreed to, a formal letter of understanding setting forth the conditions of the appointment will be sent by the president (or designate) to the individual faculty member and the department chair. Instructors and assistant professors who move to associate appointment retain the term of appointment current at the time that change is granted. A faculty member who moves to associate appointment after the fourth year of appointment but prior to the review for tenure, and who subsequently fails to be given a tenured appointment, is normally not eligible for continuation as an assistant professor beyond the one-year terminal appointment stated in General Provisions 1.e.iv. Tenured faculty who move to associate appointment retain tenure and are reviewed on the normal schedule.

b. Release from Contractual Obligations

i. The contract of appointment of a member of the faculty of Middlebury College may not be terminated by the College prior to the expiration of the period of appointment except for adequate cause as specified in section c. below or under extraordinary circumstances because of serious financial emergency.

ii. The contract of a member of the faculty may be terminated if the faculty member himself or herself requests release. In order to receive consideration, the request must be presented in writing to the VPAA/DoF, and it should call for an effective date coinciding with the concluding date of the academic year so as to avoid disruption of the work of the College. The request should be dispatched early enough to be in the VPAA/DoF's hand no later than the July 1 preceding the effective date if the faculty member concerned is a professor or associate professor; no later than August 1 if they are an assistant professor or instructor or lecturer. Waiver of these dates may be granted by the VPAA/DoF upon specific request in writing if, in their judgment, compliance with them would impose hardship upon the faculty member.