Governing Policies

Section 4.5.2.C, Faculty Handbook – General Outline of Faculty Recruitment and Selection Process


Please complete the information on the appropriate form on the Academic Affairs page (under "Commonly Used Forms") when requesting new Affiliate Faculty, Research Faculty and External Joint Appointments.


Ranked Research Faculty: Ranked Research Faculty (RF) refers to faculty members whose primary responsibilities are obtaining research funding, performing research, and advising or co-advising thesis-based graduate students. The Ranked positions include Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Assistant Professor.

Other Research-Related Titles: Research Support (RS) positions support the research enterprise at Mines by performing research within a specific lab, mentoring students, managing highly specialized equipment or performing administrative support functions. These positions include Post-Doctoral Fellows, Research Associates, Research Technical Professionals and Research Administrative Professionals.

Non-remunerated Research Positions: Non-remunerated research (NMR) positions are appointments granted to individuals that do not include a salary. Typical examples are External Joint Appointees, Affiliate Faculty and Ranked Research Faculty who are transitioning into or out of a tenure-track role.

Hiring Ranked Research Faculty

The hiring of research faculty should follow the processes outlined in Handbook Section 4.5 and the “Process for Appointing Affiliate Faculty, Research Faculty and Joint Appointments” form linked on the Academic Affairs page above, and includes giving a seminar for faculty and students, meetings with faculty and students, and a vote of the tenure-line and teaching faculty. Any position with a term of longer than 6 months must be posted for a minimum of 5 days.

Questions about a potential hire that must be answered prior to initiating a search include:

  • How will they enhance Mines’ science and technology strategy?
  • How will they help create new science, and enhance the reputation of both institutions?
  • How will they build specific collaborations in an area of strategic importance to Mines?
  • How will they grow new programs because of access to specific sponsors through the laboratory?
  • How will they help retain key faculty by providing new opportunities?
  • How will they develop a student pipeline for the future workforce in a specific area?

Hiring Other Research-Related Titles

The Principal Investigator requests creating the position. Positions require approval of the Department Head and Dean. The search process is outlined in Handbook Section 4.5.  Any position with a term of longer than 6 months must be posted for a minimum of 5 days.

Appointing External Joint Faculty

Conferral of this status requires the approval of two-thirds of departmental or program tenured and tenure-track faculty, approval of the Department Head or Program Director, Dean, and Provost, and appropriate approvals from the laboratory/employer supporting the Joint Faculty member. External Joint Appointments can only be made with external institutions with which we have a Memorandum of Understanding.

Setting Up Internal Joint Appointments

When hiring new faculty who will be jointly appointed between two or more departments, a memorandum of understanding between department heads for that faculty should be complete and submitted to the appropriate academic Dean(s).  An example letter is provided below that can be adapted as needed. The details of each letter are up to the Department Heads, to be approved by the appropriate Dean(s).

Example Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Appointment Between [Department 1] and [Department 2] for Dr. [insert faculty name]

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is between the Colorado School of Mines Departments of [Department 1] and [Department 2]. The purpose of this MOU is to describe the terms and process by which Dr. [insert faculty name] will be assigned teaching, research and service responsibilities as well as how these responsibilities will be evaluated relative to tenure and/or promotion.

Dr. [insert faculty name] will have a %-% breakdown between Departments [Department 1] and [Department 2]. While Dr. [insert faculty name]’s primary faculty position at Mines will consequently be in [Department 1], the appointment is made with the understanding that their training, experience, and research will benefit students in both Departments.

Annual Reviews, Preliminary Tenure Reviews, and Tenure and Promotion

[Department 1] will have primary responsibility for preparation of any tenure and/or promotion dossier.  Dr. [insert faculty name] will be considered for promotion and tenure in [Department 1] and will follow [Department 1]’s standards for tenure and/or promotion. (Note that another option would be that both departments evaluate the files, according to their bylaws, on tenure. If [Department 2] decides against awarding tenure, for example, but [Department 1] decides positively, the faculty member would simply have tenure in [Department 1] and no longer be part of [Department 2].) Appointed by the two Department Heads, a review committee consisting of senior faculty from both departments, as well as other senior faculty with expertise on [faculty member's disciplinary area], will be responsible for providing the Department Head of [Department 1] with input for a third-year review as well as a review for any tenure and/or promotion dossier.  Moreover, the Department Heads of both departments will work together to seek external reviewers that will write letters for promotion and tenure and can specifically address the contributions and impact of the scholarly work evaluated for tenure and/or promotion.  The Department Head of [Department 1] will take the lead in writing drafts of reviews. After feedback from the Department Head of [Department 2], the Department Head of [Department 1] will write the final draft. Both Department Heads will approve the faculty member’s annual review.


Dr. [insert faculty name]’s normal teaching load will be flexible and include opportunities for courses in both [Department 1] and [Department 2]. The teaching load will be appropriate to rank and research activity as established by the Mines Faculty Handbook. Courses will be assigned in accordance with the faculty member’s disciplinary training and research interests. The teaching load will be split..put details here.  Both departments may conduct peer observations of teaching of the faculty member.  Any courses taught by Dr. [insert faculty name], regardless of the Department in which the course is assigned, will be included in any course evaluations and promotion and tenure considerations, as part of the regular teaching load.


Both departments will recognize that a significant portion of the faculty member’s service responsibilities will be with the [External Interdisciplinary Program, if appropriate], which benefits both departments and should be included in evaluation of faculty member’s service in annual reviews and merit raise decisions. Otherwise, the faculty member:

  • Is expected to attend department meetings in both departments when possible.
  • May be asked to advise undergraduates after the first year, but will only be assigned 50 percent of advisees regularly advised by faculty in each department.
  • May serve on major committees (i. e. search committees, executive or advisory committees, etc.) of either department, but not concurrently.
  • May be asked to attend recruiting events for both departments.


Dr. [insert faculty name] will have a permanent office in [Department 1] and will have office space for office hours and other needs in [Department 2].

Merit Raises

As the faculty position resides primarily in the [Department 1], the budget line and salary will reside completely within the [Department 1].  The Department Head of [Department 1] will be responsible for meeting at least annually with the Department Head of [Department 2] to determine teaching responsibilities, evaluate annual reviews as noted above, and make merit increase recommendations. 

________________                                                _____________

Dr. X, Department Head of [Department 1]              Date

________________                                                _____________

Dr. Y, Department Head of [Department 2]               Date

________________                                                _____________

Dr.Z, Dean of [Portfolio]                                            Date

________________                                                _____________

Dr. [insert faculty name]                                           Date

Faculty in Interdisciplinary Programs (IDPs)

A letter of agreement should also be developed between Department Heads and Directors of IDPs for faculty whose participation is required for an IDP to be a viable program. The formal agreement should, at a minimum, include the following:

  1. The percentage of faculty appointment that is in the IDP as it relates to teaching and service.
  2. Expectations as to which centers/departments program-related research will be run through.
  3. How the faculty appointment will be handled in the case that the IDP ceases to exist.

The following items could also be considered when establishing the formal agreements for IDP faculty, but may not apply in all cases:

  1. Is the home department or the IDP responsible for providing administrative support, office space, laboratory space and/or laboratory access for the IDP faculty member?
  2. Is the home department or the IDP responsible for providing administrative support and/or office space for students enrolled in the IDP and advised by the IDP faculty member?
  3. Will there be expectations (publication requirements, seminar attendance, thesis procedures, service requirements, etc.) imposed by the home department on students enrolled in the IDP and advised by the IDP faculty member?
  4. Will departmental resources (funding, travel grants, recruiting fellowships, etc.) be available to support students enrolled in the IDP and advised by the IDP faculty member?

A copy of this letter should be signed and kept by the DH, IDP Director, and IDP faculty member.

Last Revision:

July 6, 2023