Faculty Appointments in More than One Unit Guidelines

5.0 Guidelines for Faculty Appointments in More than One Unit


Appointments of faculty to more than one unit are increasingly common in the academy and at NYU in particular. This trend reflects the movement of many fields of study and teaching towards multi-disciplinarity. New areas of scholarship and education often emerge from work at the boundary of traditional departments. Since universities and their disciplinary organizations and structures change far more slowly than the development of these research agendas and teaching strategies, often for good reason, faculty engaged in these novel, interdisciplinary areas of work are usually accommodated through one or more forms of cross-disciplinary appointments. Such appointments must be made thoughtfully, but without hesitation, when appropriate to foster the research and teaching agendas of FAS.

To acknowledge this trend and to help ease the many uncertainties and difficulties that can and do arise from such appointments, the following guidelines have been established for the Faculty of Arts and Science.

The operative principle in promulgating these guidelines is the assurance that individuals appointed to these positions are evaluated and rewarded fairly and in relationship to their overall contributions to the University and their profession, which may be broader than is apparent from the perspective of an individual department or program. This is especially true for tenure-track appointees.


  1. Recruitment of faculty to appointments involving more than one unit of the University (hereinafter termed cross-appointments) must conform to regular FAS procedures (see Section 1.0). Particular attention should be paid to provisions of those procedures applicable to cross-appointments. (see Section 5.3), Agreement for Cross Appointed Faculty.
  2. Cross-appointments may be made in one of three University approved categories: Joint, Associated and Affiliated (see chart below).
  3. Candidates for cross-appointments should be provided with explicit descriptions of their rights in and responsibilities to each unit of appointment, in conformity with the title applied (Joint, Associated or Affiliated). We have provided an Agreement for Cross Appointed Faculty that codifies the terms under which a faculty member is hired and serves as a mechanism to implement an adjustment in those terms if the need should arise.
  4. Joint and Associated appointments carry the right (subject to usual departmental and FAS reviews, approvals and annual considerations of curricular needs) to teach courses and supervise students, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in each department or program to which they are appointed. In the case of Joint or Associated, but not Affiliated appointments, the arrangements for distribution of teaching and advising responsibilities are to be formalized and provided to the candidate in writing. Affiliated appointments may be made based on informal agreement.
  5. Salaries for Joint appointees, but not Associated or Affiliated faculty, are allocated to the departments and programs involved in proportion to the distribution of effort between the units (cross appointments between programs and departments are treated as joint appointments). Annual merit reviews and allocation of department salary pools for Joint appointees are made in each unit, separately, and forwarded to the Dean in the normal fashion. It is expected that, even though the units act independently in this regard, they keep each other informed of the general tenor of the evaluation and level of salary increase recommended. In cases where there is marked disagreement, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Divisional Dean or Dean of the Faculty.
  6. Annual evaluations and merit salary increase recommendations for all individuals in Associated or Affiliated appointments are made in the department of their primary appointment using accepted procedures. It is required that in cases of Associated appointments, and recommended for cases of Affiliated appointments, that the head (or salary committee) of the secondary unit of appointment provide to the primary department a written merit evaluation of the appointee. In cases in which there is marked disagreement, the heads of the units should discuss the matter and report the outcome to the Divisional Dean or Dean of the Faculty.
  7. Annual evaluations of cross-appointed tenure-track faculty, particularly during Third Year Review, must be made with particular attention to the guidelines above.
  8. Third Year Review of Affiliated appointees must be carried out by the primary department, and must include and give consideration to written evaluation from the secondary unit.
  9. Third Year Review for Associated appointees must also be carried out by the primary department using its standard procedures and must include representation of the secondary unit on the review committee (typically one-third of its membership).
  10. Evaluation of Joint appointees in their third year of a tenure-track position must be made by an ad hoc committee consisting of eligible faculty from each unit in proportion to the commitment of the appointee to each unit. Results of this evaluation must be reported back to each unit for further evaluation and final recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty, in accord with standard procedures.
  11. Reviews for Promotion and Tenure of faculty in cross-appointments must conform to the FAS "Promotion and Tenure Guidelines and Procedures" see Section 2.3.1.
  12. All evaluations of individuals appointed to more than one unit, whether part of an annual review of all faculty or preparatory to a recommendation for reappointment, promotion or tenure, must include an explicit discussion of the special circumstances of the appointment, expectations for the candidate's multi-disciplinary activities, perspective and position, and the judgment of how well the appointee has met these expectations. Where such matters extend beyond the scope of the participating units, the Deans may request additional input from faculty or administration of other schools, or may themselves directly add such considerations to the process.
  13. Special sensitivity must be shown to cross-appointments in two units that have differing rights and privileges within the University. A typical example is a joint appointment between a program and a department, with the latter having more authority to make recommendations concerning promotion and awarding of tenure. Such situations can pose particular difficulties for junior faculty. In such cases, decisions regarding the process of recruitment, annual review and evaluation for promotion and tenure, including composition of committees, responsibilities, and the authorities of each unit, should be made prior to authorization for recruitment, in close consultation with the Divisional Deans and the Dean of the Faculty.
  14. In the case of cross appointments between departments and programs, faculty will be listed on the staffing and salary sheets of both units. A full evaluation of the cross appointed faculty member for annual merit rankings, third year review, and promotion and tenure will be expected from both the program and the department. Moreover, the department is obligated to take into account work done by the faculty member in programs when evaluating performance in accordance with the original authorization for recruitment.
  15. For cross appointed faculty, the Agreement for Cross Appointed Faculty must be completed and submitted to the Divisional Dean's Office.



Cross appointments are an essential mechanism for departments and programs to recruit faculty with interdisciplinary interests. Because such appointments are shared between two or more units, they have special implications for faculty merit, third year, and tenure reviews.

Please refer to Office of the Associate Dean: Policies and Procedures, "Guidelines for Faculty Appointments in More Than One Unit" which outlines the procedures departments and programs must follow in making these appointments.

This agreement is designed to formalize the terms under which departments make cross appointments. Since it is usually the case that one department takes the lead in recruiting cross appointed faculty, it is essential that the terms of such appointments are documented and endorsed by the participating units for future reference.

Terms of Cross Appointment

The information on the Request for Faculty Cross Appointment (Between Schools, Departments or Programs) Form is agreed to by departments and/or programs participating in making cross appointments, that is, Associated or Joint Appointments. A description of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of each type of cross appointment can be found below.

Once the departments have agreed to the terms of the Cross Appointment and the Divisional Dean has approved, the terms cannot be changed without a revised "Agreement" being completed, endorsed by the participating units, and again approved by the Divisional Dean.

An important implication of this agreement is that faculty who are cross appointed and teach in more than one department or program will have their salary proportionately charged to each unit in which they teach. This means that both units will need to conduct independent merit reviews of these individuals each year. Departmental participation in third year and tenure reviews is outlined in Office of the Associate Dean: Policies and Procedures.

It is the responsibility of the lead department (usually defined as the department which leads the recruitment process) to initiate the "Agreement" and obtain the requisite endorsement of the other participating departments.

Cross Appointments - Tenure Track Appointments in More Than One Unit Within NYU

           Joint        Associated        Affiliated
1. Additional Title   Yes   Yes   No
2. Probationary time table per primary unit only.   Yes   Yes   Yes
3. Voting rights for senatorial representation in primary unit   Yes   Yes   Yes
4. Participation in governance of both units   Yes   No   No
5. Listing in both units' catalogs   Yes   Yes   Yes
6. Formalized arrangement regarding service   Yes   Yes   No
7. Formalized agreement on funding of salary   Yes   No   No
8. Shared promotion and tenure review of appointee   Yes   No   No
9. Shared salary decisions   Yes   No   No
10. Shared decisions on leave   Yes   No   No


Source - NYU Office of Academic Appointments

Example - If the primary appointment is in the Department of Biology in FAS and the secondary appointment is in the department of Pathology in the School of Medicine, the title for a joint appointment or an associated appointment would be "Professor of Biology and Pathology".