Faculty and Clinical Affairs

Policy 4: Matrixed and Joint Appointments

Last Revision: November 2000

University policy encourages interdepartmental and intercollegiate faculty appointments. Some faculty members may be granted academic rank in more than one college or department. An appointment in a department that is matrixed between the Boonshoft School of Medicine (School) and another WSU school or college is considered a single faculty appointment and can either be primary or secondary.

Matrixed appointments in the School, as single appointments, are contingent on continued appointment in the other WSU college or school. Termination of a matrixed appointment in the other WSU college or school also terminates the School appointment.

In usual cases of joint faculty appointment, one department will be designated as the primary department for administrative purposes including promotion and for committee representation. The primary department will be determined by mutual agreement among the faculty member, the departmental chair, and the dean(s) of the college/school. The awarding of promotion shall be initiated only through the designated primary department, but the secondary department must be consulted and given an opportunity to supply information concerning performance as it relates to promotion and merit salary recommendations.

The rank of appointment or promotion in the primary department does not automatically confer that rank in the secondary department. Because different departments or schools may have different criteria for assignment of faculty rank, it is possible for secondary appointments to be either equal to or of lesser rank than those of the primary department. However, the secondary rank can never be higher than the primary rank.

Awarding of joint appointments should be based upon the academic needs of the faculty member and the department. The faculty member and the secondary departmental chair should clearly define the expectations and obligations of the secondary appointment.

In specific cases where faculty members are formally trained in two specialties, jointly supported, and have equal rank and responsibilities in two departments, a JOINT PRIMARY APPOINTMENT can be given. For specific administrative matters such as joint continuance of appointment and/or joint promotion, one primary chair shall be selected by the member to act as advocate. This administrative selection shall be in consultation with and having the concurrence of both chairs and the dean.

Since significant contribution to the secondary department is expected, it is unlikely that joint appointments in more than one secondary department would be justifiable. Therefore, it would require extraordinary circumstances with review and approval by the Office of Faculty and Clinical Affairs and the Executive Committee to justify and approve more than one secondary appointment in the School.

Contracts and agreements regarding matrixed appointments and/or joint appointments should be made in writing among deans, departmental chairs, and the faculty member under consideration. Agreement related to "release time" for the matrixed or joint appointee rests with the dean(s) and the departmental chairs.

The funding of a matrixed and/or joint appointment is an administrative decision of the deans and/or the departmental chair. It is understood that

  1. the transfer of funds is contingent upon the availability of these funds, and
  2. as a matter of policy the monies will be an interdepartmental or college transfer. No payment will be given directly to the individual joint appointee.

Faculty actions relating to joint appointments (new appointment, continuance, or promotion) must have the written approval of the chairs of both departments. If a faculty member has or proposes faculty rank in another college or at another institution, written approvals from that external departmental chair and dean are required.

Updated June 4, 2008 (sho)

Last edited on 01/28/2015.