Columbia University recognizes the growing importance of interdisciplinary research and its potential to drive high-impact scholarship at the intersection of multiple disciplines, schools, departments, institutes, and centers. To facilitate and support joint and interdisciplinary appointments, this guide outlines best practices for potential appointments, whether they involve external candidates or internal transfers. The goal is to foster collaborative efforts without adding unnecessary regulatory burdens, ensuring mutual benefits for all parties involved.
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⚞ Guiding Principles ⚟
The aim is not to introduce additional regulations but to outline best practices that encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary hires within schools, departments, institutes, and centers.
- All potential joint hires and appointments should involve prior consultation with deans of schools with relevant disciplinary expertise.
- Ensure responsiveness and adherence to due process during the hiring process.
- Consult with relevant deans to ensure coordination and appropriateness of a joint hiring process.
- For internal transfers, consult with the dean of the faculty member's home school/department.
- Once appointments are finalized, recognize joint and interdisciplinary appointments on the web pages and in publicity materials of both units involved.
- Recognize the investment made by the home school/department/institute in recruiting and developing the faculty member or area of research.
- Clearly describe the shared contribution to salary, space, and revenue in MOA and MOU.
- Delineate the individual's contribution to leadership, programming, fundraising, executive education, and industry collaboration.
- Typically, agreements remain in force with unanimous agreement but consider provisions for future revisions.
Three different types of joint and interdisciplinary appointments:
➀ External Hires
➁ Internal Transfers/New Joint Appointments of Current Faculty
➂ Interdisciplinary Appointments
Joint or Interdisciplinary Appointment
To facilitate joint or interdisciplinary appointments, a template for an MOA is provided. Although a list of issues and guidelines is provided, not all issues may apply to each appointment, and the terms are flexible and may be customized for each faculty member. An MOA:
- is signed by the faculty member and Chairs, in addition to Deans/Directors of Institute or Center/EVP
- is submitted to Office of the Provost
To facilitate joint or interdisciplinary appointments, a template for an MOU is provided. Although a list of issues and guidelines is provided, not all issues may apply to each appointment, and the terms are flexible and may be customized for each faculty member. An MOU:
- is signed by the Deans/Directors of Institute or Center/EVP (and sometimes Chairs)
- is NOT submitted to Office of the Provost
- contains additional financial details, such as sources and uses of funds for costs, and calculations for sharing of income such as ICR
- is NOT required when there are no additional financial terms or details beyond what is outlined in an MOA