University of Pittsburgh

Policy On Joint Appointments

Joint appointment of faculty members plays an important role in the development and accomplishment of interdepartmental and interschool activities.  A faculty member shall be eligible for a joint appointment in another department or school when a benefit to the department and institution is clearly demonstrated.  Such appointments are in recognition of collaborative efforts and should be fostered and encouraged.

Criteria shall be the same for joint appointments in departments within the School of Medicine and for joint appointments in the School of Medicine given to faculty from other schools of the University.

  1. When a joint appointment is recommended, it should be clear that there is a genuine and meaningful commitment on the part of the faculty member to the programs and activities of the department offering the joint appointment.
  2. Whenever feasible, the salary of the faculty member should be shared by the two departments.  This practice provides tangible evidence of participation of the joint appointee in the activities of the departments concerned and should represent the division of time and effort between them. 
  3. In general, qualified candidates shall be eligible for only one joint appointment.  However, exceptions can be requested.  In cases where more than one joint appointment is recommended, documentation of the reasons for more than one joint appointment should be provided.
  4. The rank of the appointment in the secondary department shall be at an equivalent or lesser rank as the faculty member’s rank in his/her primary department.
  5. All joint appointments should be reviewed to provide a meaningful evaluation of the competence and qualifications of the faculty member in relation to his/her activities in the departments concerned.  When the primary department proposes a faculty member for appointment or promotion, the department in which the secondary appointment resides should review the candidate’s qualifications and notify the primary department of their decision to appoint or promote, not to appoint or promote, or to terminate an existing joint appointment.
  6. Joint appointments and promotions at the rank of associate professor or professor recommended after the time of the initial primary appointment shall be reviewed by the Joint Appointments Committee.
  7. Tenure may be held only in the department of the primary appointment.
  8. There should be a periodic review of all joint appointments by the department committee to insure that these appointments remain appropriate.  The term of a joint appointment can be for one, two, or three years but cannot exceed the end date of the faculty member’s contract in the primary department.  In no case shall the term of the joint appointment extend beyond the end date of the existing appointment in the primary department.

Approved by the Executive Committee 6/11/2002