Pro Tempore Positions

Pro tem positions are intended to allow a department or unit to fill short-term needs including, but not limited to, enrollment fluctuations, replacement staffing needs, staffing for short-term research projects, or to accommodate partner or opportunity hires. For this reason, you must consider whether your unit is anticipating an ongoing need for this position beyond the current year of hire before selecting a pro tem position in place of a career position.  

Extension and ongoing long-term positions are managed by the Office of the Provost, Human Resources, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Documents for requesting an extension or an ongoing long-term pro tem position can be found on the Human Resources website in the forms and templates section of the supervisor toolkit

Ongoing Long-term Pro Tem Positions

If the pedagogical or programmatic needs of your unit are best served by a professional in the field, a Memorandum of Understanding signed June 2017 makes allowances for this. The provost or their designee may designate an “Ongoing Long-term Pro Tem” position. Reasons for ongoing pro tem positions include, when a department or unit:

  • Believes the student experience is enhanced by having new instructors cycle into the program to meet specific course needs,
  • Identifies a position that is best taught by a working or retired professional in the industry and the position includes not more than three courses per year,
  • Offers recent PhD graduates a short-term position and there is an expectation that a new person will fill this position every one- to three-years,
  • When traditionally large fluctuations in enrollment can be best accommodated by having a reasonable number of ongoing pro tem positions.

Please note that your department or unit having inadequate or limited financial resources are not legitimate pedagogical or programmatic reasons for designating a position to be an ongoing long-term pro tem position. Proposal forms can be found on the HR website at forms and templates section of the supervisor toolkit

Exception for one additional year as Pro Tem (rare)

If your department or unit foresees a need for continuing a position in the pro tem category, not designated as ongoing pro tem, it is permissible in rare cases for the department or unit to petition the provost or designee to continue the position in the pro tem category for up to one year beyond the three-year limit for unusual or extenuating circumstances. Petition forms can be found on the HR website in the forms and templates section of the supervisor toolkit