Secondary Appointments

Revised: 3/9/2021

Faculty who hold a primary appointment in one department, program, or school may hold a secondary (sometimes called “courtesy”) appointment in another. Faculty holding a secondary appointment may be eligible to teach, advise students, and supervise dissertations in the secondary department, program, or school, depending on its customs and policies. Please refer to the Faculty Handbook, section IV.F  for voting rights for secondary appointments.

Terms of Appointment

The secondary appointment term may only be up to the end date of the primary appointment, but no longer than 5 years (including tenured faculty). Under most conditions the secondary appointment may be initiated and renewed by vote of the faculty in the secondary department or school with approval of its dean.

Secondary teaching appointments are only granted to non-ladder faculty when the appointment is necessary to teach a course, generally when (1) the primary appointment is not in the FAS, (2) the candidate only holds a FAS research appointment, such as associate research scientist or a postdoctoral associate, or (3) the candidate holds a different teaching rank than what is required for the course (e.g., lector-track versus lecturer-track).

Note: The FAS Dean’s Office generally does not send separate offer letters for secondary ladder appointments and does so only in rare instances when a secondary appointment is attached to an initial primary appointment.

Secondary Appointment Request Submission

To request a secondary appointment or reappointment, the chair of the secondary department, supported by the chair’s assistant (or equivalent), prepares the following supporting documentation and submits a request to with a copy to the relevant Sr. Associate Dean, with the email subject line:

Secondary Appointment Request, [department], [candidate last name, first name]

Please submit the following attached to the email as one PDF:

  1. Secondary department chair letter of endorsement and rationale for the appointment
  2. Documentation of approval from primary department (chair if the primary appointment is a teaching rank, or faculty PI if the primary appointment is a research rank).
    • In the event that the appointment letter from the primary unit references the secondary appointment (such as those from a professional school or the MacMillan Center), the letter may serve as primary unit’s note of approval.
  3. Candidate CV
  4. For ladder secondary appointments only: Secondary Appointment Form.
    • The form is sufficient for requirement 2 above.
  5. If paid by secondary unit: Faculty Compensation Approval Form
  6. For all ladder appointments (with any term length) and multi-year non-ladder appointments: department faculty vote from secondary department

Secondary Appointment Approval and Appointment Procedures

  • The FAS Dean’s Office will submit an emailed response to the department chair and chair’s assistant (or equivalent).
  • If the secondary appointment or reappointment is approved, for instructional faculty, the FAS Dean’s Office will send a secondary appointment letter for countersignature by the candidate. For ladder faculty, the relevant Sr. Associate Dean will sign the Secondary Appointment Form (and, if applicable, the faculty compensation approval form) and submit back to the secondary department for processing.
  • The secondary department’s chair’s assistant (or equivalent) processes the candidate appointment in Workday (referring to the Workday Training website), and submits the supporting documents to according to the FAS Chart of Required Documents.