Courtesy Status

0200 Faculty Appointments and Service
Policy Number

Human Resources Manual

Statutory Authority


Status provided to individuals to facilitate collaboration between the individual and OSU. Courtesy status is not an employment relationship between OSU and the individual.

Courtesy status is appropriate if the individual will contribute to the university’s teaching, research or service mission in one or more of the following ways:

  • Regular guest teaching or guest lecturing for a course, in individual’s field of expertise, for the duration of the courtesy status.
  • Contributing to graduate student advising and mentoring, including co-advising a graduate student with an OSU academic faculty member.
  • Serving as a principal investigator on research grants administered by Oregon State University with prior written permission from the OSU unit in which they are appointed and with the concurrence of the OSU Research Office.
  • Contributing to the mentorship of a university employee. They may not serve as supervisor of record or take actions regularly assigned to a university supervisor. Exceptions must be approved by University Human Resources, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel, and be pursuant to a written agreement.
  • Scholar on leave from their employing institution to collaborate with OSU academic faculty.
  • Participating in joint programs with OSU academic faculty.
  • Co-advising a student organization with an OSU academic faculty member.


Any OSU campus program, department, school, college, center, institute, or other appropriate entity (for ease, the term “unit” is used hereafter) may initiate a courtesy status request. Courtesy status is subject to approval by the dean, vice president or vice provost who leads the OSU unit that initiates the request. These university administrators may delegate this authority as they deem appropriate in the context of their unit(s). Courtesy status can be revoked at any time, for any purpose, by the collaborating OSU unit, by the dean, vice president or vice provost who leads that OSU unit, by the President or Provost, or by their designees.

Courtesy status is typically appropriate for collaboration of any period up to three years. The status duration will be specified in a courtesy status memorandum generated by the collaborating OSU unit and given to the individual being extended courtesy status.

Courtesy status will automatically terminate after the period specified in the courtesy status memorandum. Generally, deans, vice presidents and vice provosts, or those leaders’ designees, may renew the timeframe for up to three years per renewal. A new courtesy status memorandum must be issued to reflect the extension. Deans, vice provosts and vice presidents, or their designees, are authorized to grant exceptions for courtesy status up to five years. If an exception is granted, the OSU unit accepts responsibility to monitor the courtesy appointment and request that HR Support Services end the appointment when appropriate.

Determination of Rank:

Individuals holding courtesy status do not hold academic rank. OSU units may assign working titles that include informal rank, consistent with an individual’s scholarly achievements. Individuals extended courtesy status typically must have credentials appropriate for their collaboration activities.


Individuals holding courtesy status are not OSU employees and may not receive remuneration or benefits afforded to employees of OSU.

Concurrent Courtesy Statuses:

An individual may not hold courtesy status while holding another OSU position in which they receive compensation from the University.

An individual with courtesy status may hold multiple concurrent courtesy statuses with different OSU units.

Graduate Faculty Status:

An individual with courtesy status may be nominated for Graduate Faculty Membership, when appropriately qualified, for the purpose of teaching a graduate level course, directing theses, or serving on a graduate student’s committee.

Personal Reimbursement:

An individual with courtesy status, who incurs expenses authorized by the collaborating unit and in connection with their collaboration with OSU, may receive reimbursement from the University for such expenditures in accordance with University policies and procedures.

Periodic Review: The OSU unit that sponsors the courtesy appointment will review the appropriateness of continued courtesy status no less than once every three years for courtesy statuses of duration greater than 1 year (including extensions). The dean, vice president or vice provost, or their designee, retains responsibility for approving potential extensions. That leader or designee is expected to be aware of and hold individuals with courtesy status accountable for collaborative activities associated with their OSU affiliation. Documentation of such a review will be maintained in the OSU unit that initiated the courtesy appointment.

Privileges: An individual with courtesy status is eligible for a University ID card and associated privileges, such as joining recreational facilities, purchasing parking permits and using library services. An individual with courtesy status is not eligible for staff fee privileges or employee benefits, such as paid or unpaid leave or medical, dental, or other employee insurance programs.

Promotion and Tenure: An individual with courtesy status is not eligible for academic promotion or tenure processes.

Procedure to Initiate Courtesy Status:

  1. OSU unit submits courtesy status request to that unit’s dean, vice president or vice provost, or their designee, for approval. The request includes:
    1. Letter of justification
    2. Completed Courtesy Status Memorandum that includes duration of requested courtesy appointment
  2. Following approval, the OSU unit sends the Courtesy Status Memorandum to the individual and includes the Courtesy Personal Demographic Information form. Prior to printing the form, be sure to select the Non-Federal Employee or Federal Employee option.
  3. OSU unit sends signed Courtesy Status Memorandum, letter of justification, and completed Courtesy Personal Demographic Information form to HR Support Services in University Human Resources for processing.
  4. University Human Resources creates a courtesy appointment for the individual. The appointment will include an end date unless the dean, vice president or vice provost, or their designee, granted an exception for a courtesy appointment of greater than three years.

The HR Support Services team will review courtesy status requests for consistency with policy and will maintain courtesy appointment records in the university database and archives.