Continuous Employment for Professional Faculty

Policy Updates


  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee commissioned Professional Faculty Ad Hoc Review Committee in Spring 2020
  • Goal to explore new ways to support professional faculty, including “continuous employment status” as a first priority
  • Feedback obtained through a survey and listening sessions with over 1,000 professional faculty and supervisors of professional faculty
  • Feedback supports a transition away from annual contracts and toward continuous employment
  • Faculty Senate President Dwaine Plaza sent proposal to Provost Feser on behalf of Faculty Senate Executive Committee requesting transition to professional faculty to continuous employment
  • The President and Provost approved transition to continuous employment model
  • Work has commenced within Faculty Affairs and University Human Resources on a transition plan

Below are FAQs, policy updates, and informational forums regarding this initiative.


Term Meaning

Fixed-term contract

Employment contract with specific start and end dates

Continuous appointment

Employment appointment with a specific start date and no end date

Advance Notice

Prior notice of termination of employment or changes to terms and conditions of employment


  • Nearly all professional faculty will transition, with the exception of law enforcement and athletic coaches.
  • To verify your appointment type, log in to your MyOregonState Employee Dashboard. Click on "Online Services Employee Dashbaord." Scroll down to Employee Summary and expand the tab. Look for the term Employee Class. Most Professional Faculty Employee classes will transition at this time, with the exception of law enforcement and athletic coaches.
    • UE - Uncl Non-Teach 9-11mo .5+ FTE
    • UF - Uncl Non-Teach 12mo .5+ FTE
    • UG - Uncl Non-Teach 9-11mo < .5 FTE
    • UH - Uncl Non-Teach 12mo < .5 FTE
    • UT - Uncl Hourly, All Appts
    • UY – OSU Fed Non-Fac 12mo .5+FTE
  • At this time, no other employee classes will transition to continuous employment. Learn more about employee classes here.

The professional faculty appointment will transition. Any other appointments will remain unchanged.

  • No. At-will employment means an employer can release an employee at any time for any reason not prohibited by law.
  • OSU’s continuous appointment model ensures advance notice if employment is ended due to reorganization, redeployment of funds, or lack of funding. In some cases, professional faculty will be entitled to more advance notice than under the current fixed-term appointment model.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) tasked a workgroup to consider additional ways in which to support professional faculty. The committee performed an analysis Spring 2020 through Fall 2020. The analysis showed broad support for the transition from fixed-term contracts to continuous employment. The FSEC then recommended transition to President Alexander and Provost Feser, who accepted the recommendation and tasked Faculty Affairs and University Human Resources with further defining the process to implement the new appointment model.

Eligible professional faculty will receive a Notice of Transition to Continuous Appointment in April or May of 2021. Notices will be issued via DocuSign. You will need to log in to DocuSign with your OSU credentials to access the letter. Once logged in, you can download or save a copy for the notice for your records.

Existing professional faculty appointments that will continue in fiscal year ’22 will transition on July 1, 2021. New and updated OSU policies will apply to these existing appointments on July 1 as well. OSU will begin offering new professional faculty appointments with continuous employment on April 1, 2021. New and updated OSU policies will apply to these appointments on the same date.


Yes. Transition to continuous employment does not change that important relationship.

  • The unit’s Human Resources Strategic Partner (HRSP) will work with unit leadership to confirm appointments that will transition.
  • Existing professional faculty should assume that their appointments will transition.

  • Beginning July 1, the university will no longer offer fixed-term contracts for professional faculty, except in the case of some law enforcement and athletics contracts.
  • Only the small number of professional faculty who are notified before July 1 that their appointments will not be renewed will remain fixed-term until their appointments end later in the year.

Professional faculty response to the Faculty Senate workgroup and survey indicated that the annual renewal process causes unnecessary anxiety, hinders recruitment and impacts retention. The transition to continuous employment is timed to address those concerns, not to respond to the pandemic.

The University of Oregon made similar changes a few years ago. The continuous employment model is common to many public universities.

  • The term “non-renewal” will be retired for professional faculty. Instead “separation” and “termination” will be used. While the wide majority of professional faculty separate from the university through voluntary resignation or retirement, a small number are separated involuntarily due to non-renewal or unacceptable performance or conduct.
  • Both now and in the future, involuntarily terminations require a proposal that undergoes multiple reviews before a decision is made.
  • Professional faculty impacted by involuntary terminations due to reorganization, reutilization of funds or lack of funds are eligible for advance notice.

  • Both now and in future, any proposal to involuntarily terminate a professional faculty position undergoes robust review before a final decision is made. The process includes steps to ensure the department is acting in good faith and honoring employee’s due process or alignment with policy in matters related to involuntary termination.
  • Employees will continue to have advance notice rights if the involuntary termination is due to reorganization, reutilization of funds or lack of funds. Additionally, Faculty Affairs and University Human Resources collaborated last year to build a toolkit for employees impacted by involuntary job loss.

  • Faculty Affairs and University Human Resources are co-facilitating information forums throughout March and April 2021. Visit the transition webpage for a schedule and to register. Pre-recorded sessions will also be available for you to view shortly.
  • This page will be regularly updated with new information as well.


March 2021

Begin communication to leaders and campus


High-Level Timeline

April 2021

Start new hire professional faculty on continuous employment appointments



July 2021

Transition all existing professional faculty to continuous employment appointments


Information Forums

The Office of Faculty Affairs and University Human Resources are jointly facilitating information forums about the upcoming professional faculty transition to continuous employment.  All professional faculty and supervisors are welcome to attend.  Please pre-register for the session that best meets your availability.  Note that all sessions will be recorded.

Upcoming sessions

  • No sessions are currently scheduled.

Completed Sessions

  • Monday, March 15 - Click here to access the recording (this information was effective March 15, 2021. New information is now available).
  • Wednesday, March 17 - this information was effective March 15, 2021. New information is now available.

Communication Plan

March 2021

  • Inform university leadership and Faculty Senate of transition to continuous employment model
  • Post FAQs & additional information regarding the new appointment type and policies
  • Send communication to campus community regarding efforts toward the transition to the continuous employment model
  • Create tools for senior administrative and academic leaders, gather input on proposed communication, change management plans, and timeline.
  • Hold employee and supervisor information forums


April 2021

  • Starting April 2021 all new hire professional faculty will receive continuous employment appointments
  • Send follow-up communication to campus community providing more resources
  • Host forum for unit level administrative personnel – HR/Payroll forum


May 2021

  • Send follow-up communication to campus community providing more resources
  • Distribute new professional faculty employment letters, effective July 2021

Policy Updates

Termination Not-for-Cause
Termination for-Cause