Faculty Personnel Files Policy
Policy: FACULTY PERSONNEL FILES
Effective date: July 1, 2017
Review date: July 1, 2021
Responsible Party: Office of the Provost
Faculty personnel files, which may include both paper and electronic records, are maintained by the college or department in which the faculty member is employed and the office of Human Resources. Collectively these documents are referred to in the Policy as “Faculty Personnel Files.” Material in personnel files should be maintained together as a personnel file. Electronic documents should be stored together as a personnel file.
a. DEPARTMENT OR COLLEGE PERSONNEL FILES
The department or college faculty personnel file shall contain the following information:
i. Letters of hire, contracts, and faculty role assignments;
ii. Annual reviews, with performance ratings and any written appeals, by department heads and college deans;
iii. Official letters of warning, reprimand, or disciplinary suspension;
iv. The department or college file may contain the following information at the discretion of the unit maintaining the file:
(1) Complaints, negative comments, or other subjective or evaluative material may be placed in the file only after the faculty member has been provided notice of the material and an opportunity to respond. After consideration of the faculty member’s response, the supervisor will notify the faculty member if the material will be placed in the file. Complaints or criticisms that have not been made known to the faculty member may not be placed in the personnel file or considered in any personnel decision. The faculty member may submit a rebuttal, comment, and/or clarification of any unfavorable item in the file which will be attached to the relevant item in the file.
(2) Laudatory letters, achievements, and other honors or awards may be placed in the file at the discretion of the unit maintaining the file and should be shared with the faculty member.
(3) Any communications which the faculty member originates concerning terms and conditions of employment.
b. HUMAN RESOURCES PERSONNEL FILES
The faculty personnel files maintained by Human Resources [HR] may include employment contracts, payroll and appointment records, sick and annual leave usage records, benefits documents, hiring documents, home address, phone, and other paper and electronic records related to the terms and conditions of employment, but will not include evaluative material such as annual reviews, promotion, tenure and retention reviews, disciplinary records, etc. Human Resources is also responsible for maintaining the Banner HR system which contains information about university employees necessary to perform various HR functions.
The Provost’s Office will maintain a copy of the complete dossier, including letters of peer reviews, recommendations of reviewers, for each faculty member who applies for retention, tenure, or promotion. The dossier will be maintained for the duration of the faculty member’s employment with the university. The department will also maintain a copy of the teaching evaluations for each faculty member for the duration of the faculty member’s employment. These files are not considered part of the “personnel files.” A faculty member may request access to the files with the exception of confidential materials, such as letters of external peer review. See Promotion and Tenure.
The unit maintaining the files is responsible for the confidentiality and security of the records. All personnel records are to be kept in a locked file cabinet or, if maintained electronically, protected by appropriate passwords or other security mechanisms.
Faculty personnel files are maintained as confidential and may be used only by those administrators who are in the line of supervisory authority or employees who must access files to perform their official duties. Public information contained in personnel files may be released upon approval of the Chief Human Resource Officer.
The faculty member may review their personnel files upon request and at such time and place as may be designated by the unit maintaining the files. The faculty member may seek copies of the records, but may not remove the original files. The faculty member may request and/or authorize, in writing, the release of non-public records or the entire personnel file to such persons or entities identified by the faculty member.