College of Creative Arts Criteria for Award of: Assigned Research Appointments and Faculty Improvement Leaves

Updated: February 12, 2014

  1. Award of ARA’s and FIL’s shall be in accordance with all guidelines as defined in MUPIM, and shall be based primarily on the merits of the proposal as well as the number of available awards.
  2. As defined by MUPIM, ARA’s exist to promote faculty research efforts, typically in support of tenure and promotion. Per Miami’s 2008 Faculty Workload Norms document, “It is the University’s intent to award all probationary faculty a research leave or the equivalent in course reduction spread out over multiple semesters during their probationary period.” Thus the award of an ARA to a probationary faculty member is high priority.
  3. Similarly, proposals from faculty at the Associate Professor rank who are actively seeking promotion to Full Professor should be prioritized.
  4. Per #1 above, proposals that hold exceptionally strong promise to contribute to the body of research or otherwise advance the reputation of the College and University, should be given strong consideration. As such, ARA’s do not exist solely in support of promotion and tenure, and proposals from faculty at Full Professor rank should be given equitable consideration.
  5. Faculty Improvement Leaves, as defined by MUPIM, provide “extended periods for professional growth and development.” As such, these leaves may prioritize improvement of teaching or curriculum, support the return of administrators to full-time teaching, or otherwise “help to maintain the vitality of individual faculty members and programs.” Per MUPIM, a faculty member may be awarded an FIL no more frequently than every seven years.
  6. In an effort to achieve equitable distribution of awards across the full CCA faculty, the year in which an ARA or FIL was last awarded will be a criteria in determination of current awards. Although not regulated by MUPIM, the expectation is that a leave of any type will not be granted more frequently than every seven years. This is a guideline only, and exceptions may be granted where warranted by a specific proposal. The College will maintain records of all leaves so that this information is readily available for committee review.
  7. All else being equal, an effort will be made to grant awards equitably across all constituent departments.

    NOTE:
    Often there is confusion amongst faculty about the ARA and the FIL, and often it is difficult to know what kind of leave should be identified on the application form. Here are some points to help clarify the difference between the two:
    • Assigned Research Appointments are focused on research, whereas Faculty Improvement Leaves can be for professional growth and development and relate to the mission of the University. So, FILs do not need to necessarily focus on research.
    • Only tenured, fulltime faculty members are eligible for FILs, and one can only apply after serving for at leave 7 years in tenured rank. 

MUPIM Guidelines

6.7 Assigned Research Appointments

6.7.A On-Campus

An Assigned Research Appointment provides for disciplinary and pedagogical research by releasing a faculty member from teaching for one semester. It assumes that the appointee will continue University assignments other than classroom teaching and, therefore, requires the appointee’s presence on campus.

The terms of this program provide for release from teaching, full salary, the continuation of benefits based on full salary, and eligibility for salary increment and promotion.

The program is crucially important for extending the frontiers of knowledge. Specifics of the program are outlined below.

  1. Application for Assigned Research is initiated through the department chair to the dean, Provost, and the President. When appropriate, the Dean of the Regional Campuses should be involved. Final approval must be given by the President. The number of such appointments that can be approved in any given semester will depend in part upon the ability of the department in question and the University to meet all their obligations.
  2. A reduced load for Assigned Research shall not normally be deemed to affect the eligibility of an individual member under the University’s Faculty Improvement Program.
  3. The appointment of a faculty member to Assigned Research ordinarily does not involve additional funding for a department. The application must indicate how the department will cover the load of the faculty member.
  4. Members of the instructional staff in a tenured or tenure-eligible position are eligible for Assigned Research. Criteria for successful Assigned Research proposals may include but are not restricted to (a) the significance, originality, and feasibility of the project; (b) the soundness of the methodology proposed; (c) evidence that the proposer has taken into account the relevant existing work; and (d) the record of the proposer’s scholarly or creative accomplishment.
  5. Faculty members receiving an appointment for Assigned Research are obligated to remain at Miami during the ensuing academic year and to make a full report of the results of the assignment to the chair, dean, Dean of the Regional Campuses if applicable, and Provost within ninety (90) days of the completion of the assignment. If a person chooses not to return to Miami University during the ensuing academic year, he or she is expected to refund compensation equal to that received for Assigned Research.
  6. Anyone on Assigned Research Appointment will devote full time to the specific project and, therefore, will not be engaged in other activities for which remuneration is awarded (except as permitted when teaching full time and with appropriate approval).
  7. Applications for appointment to Assigned Research should be received in the Academic Personnel Services Office by December 1 of the academic year preceding the leave period if one is to receive most favorable consideration.
  8. Questions regarding the program policy and guidelines should be addressed to the Academic Personnel Services Office.

6.7.B Off-Campus

An Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus permits a member of the instructional staff to spend a semester conducting research in an off-campus location when the nature of the research project makes absence from campus necessary. Normally, faculty not eligible for a Faculty Improvement Leave will be awarded an Assigned Research Appointment; but in unusual circumstances, when research away from campus is essential, an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus will be granted.

The terms of the program provide (from grant and University sources combined) full salary, the continuation of benefits based on full salary, and eligibility for salary increment and promotion.

  1. Application for an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus is initiated through the department chair to the dean, Provost, and President. When appropriate, the Dean of the Regional Campuses also is involved.
  2. Receipt of an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus normally will not affect the eligibility of a person for a Faculty Improvement Leave.
  3. The application for an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus must indicate how the department will cover the usual duties of the applicant during the semester of appointment, with the understanding that no additional funding for the department will be provided.58 Section 6 Employment of the Instructional Staff MUPIM 2011-2012
  4. Members of the instructional staff in a tenured or tenure-eligible position are eligible for an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus. Criteria for evaluating applications include, but are not restricted to, the merit of the research project and the record of the proposer’s scholarly or creative accomplishment.
  5. Persons receiving an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus are obligated to remain at Miami during the ensuing academic year and to make a full report of the results of the assignment to the chair, dean, Dean of the Regional Campuses if applicable, and Provost within ninety (90) days of the completion of the assignment. If a person chooses not to return to Miami during the ensuing year, he or she is expected to refund compensation equal to that received from the University for the Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus.
  6. Anyone on an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus will devote full time to the research project and, therefore, will not be engaged in other activities for which remuneration is awarded.
  7. Applications for an Assigned Research Appointment – Off-Campus should be received in the Academic Personnel Services Office by December 1 of the academic year preceding the leave period if one is to receive most favorable consideration.
  8. Questions regarding the program and its guidelines should be addressed to the Academic Personnel Services Office.

6.8 Faculty Improvement Leave

The Faculty Improvement Program, established in conformity with Section 3345.28 of the Ohio Revised Code, provides extended periods for professional growth and development. It enables faculty development away from campus and requires seven years of full-time service for eligibility.

This program is crucially important for enabling the improvement of teaching techniques, extending the frontiers of knowledge, and maintaining the vitality of individual faculty members and programs.

The program provides release from teaching duties and other University assignments, either full compensation during one semester or two-thirds compensation during two semesters, continuation of University-provided insurance benefits and fee waivers, and eligibility for salary increment and promotion. For participants in the State Teachers Retirement System, contributions will be made as allowed by law. For participants in the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), contributions will be made as permitted by the plan.

Specifics of the program are outlined below.

A. Application for a Faculty Improvement Leave is initiated through the department chair to the dean, Provost, and President. When appropriate, the Dean of the Regional Campuses is also involved.

B. In any single year, because of commitments to teaching and service as well as to faculty development, the University customarily will not authorize more than thirty (30) Faculty Improvement Leaves.

C. Professional leave taken as a Faculty Improvement Leave shall not normally be deemed to be in lieu of Assigned Research (assigned duty in connection with a specific research, scholarly, or creative program).

D. A Faculty Improvement Leave ordinarily does not involve additional funding for a department. A request for Faculty Improvement Leave must indicate how the department will cover the load of the staff member applying for the leave. In rare instances when extreme hardship would result in a department if a Faculty Improvement Leave were granted, funds may be authorized by the Provost or dean to hire replacement staff.

E. All full-time, tenured members of the instructional staff with teaching loads who have served at least seven (7) years in any rank in full-time service are eligible for a Faculty Improvement Leave. Faculty Improvement Leaves are granted on the basis of the contribution that the appointee will make to the University upon returning to normal assignment. Years of service are crucial for determining eligibility, but are not a major factor in discriminating among aspiring candidates.

F. A person may not receive a second (or "the next") Faculty Improvement Leave until seven (7) years have elapsed from the end of the previous Leave.

G. A request for a Faculty Improvement Leave should detail the activities proposed for the year or the term and indicate their significance for the mission of the University. They may relate to professional Section 6 Employment of the Instructional Staff 59 Section 6 Employment of the Instructional Staff 59 MUPIM 2011-2012 growth, disciplinary research, a research project dealing with the effectiveness of various instructional methods, or teaching development.

H. Persons receiving a Faculty Improvement Leave are obligated to remain at Miami during the ensuing academic year and to make a full report of the results of the assignment to the chair, dean, Dean of the Regional Campuses if applicable, and Provost within ninety (90) days of the completion of the Leave. If a person chooses not to return to Miami during the ensuing academic year, he or she is expected to refund compensation equal to that received during the Faculty Improvement Leave.

I. Recipients of Faculty Improvement Leaves may receive money for approved study or research or other activities expressly related to the purpose of the leave without prejudice to their receipt of income from Miami, provided that the total remuneration from all sources (including Miami) does not exceed the recipient's annual Miami University salary.

J. In addition to salary, special arrangements may be made for grants to defray travel and similar coincidental expenses. These arrangements must, however, be approved in advance of the leave.

K. Applications for a Faculty Improvement Leave should be received in the Academic Personnel Services Office by December 1 of the academic year preceding the leave period if one is to receive most favorable consideration.

L. Questions regarding the program and its guidelines should be addressed to the Academic Personnel Services Office.

Note: See Section 4 of this manual for other leaves of absence available to members of the instructional staff.