Staff HR Policy D-735.01
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Faculty Career Plan Procedure

    The career plan covers all teaching and non teaching faculty of Northwestern Michigan College who are annually contracted to work at least two semesters per year for 50 percent or more of a full time work load.
    The career plan has 20 steps.   Each step has an incremental value of 0.037155 and represents one year of satisfactory performance.
    New faculty will be placed on the career plan at a step appropriate to their education, experience, and professional achievement.  Minimum qualifications for faculty teaching in the liberal arts shall be a master's degree in the appropriate academic area.  Minimum qualifications for faculty teaching in the occupational programs shall be a bachelor's degree plus two years professional experience in the appropriate academic area; however, a master's degree is preferred.  In exceptional cases, faculty teaching in occupational programs may be hired without a bachelor's degree if they hold professional credentials determined by the college to be equivalent to a bachelor's degree. In these cases they will be placed on the career plan as holders of a bachelor's degree. Additional qualifications may be established for specialty positions with approval of the Vice President for Educational Services and Director of Human Resources.  During the selection process, the availability of funds and a department's needs may affect the importance placed on a candidate's previous years of experience.
    The Vice President for Educational Services and the Director of Human Resources will evaluate the individual's credentials and make a placement recommendation.  The placement recommendation is subject to approval by the President.  Initial placement beyond step 1 may be made according to the following factors:
    1. Education
      New faculty may be placed by educational credentials as follows:

      Bachelor's degree plus two years experience 

      Step 1

      Master's degree

      Step 4

      Master's plus 30 graduate credits 

      Step 5 

      Master's plus 60 graduate credits or earned doctorate 

      Step 6 

    2. Teaching Experience
      Each year of full-time equated teaching experience at an accredited institution of higher education may advance the initial placement on the plan by one step, to a maximum of three steps.  Relevant high school teaching experience will be given credit for step placement at a two years high school to one year NMC ratio, compared to higher education.  Teaching as a graduate assistant will not be credited.
    3. Other Relevant Professional Experience
      Each additional two years of relevant professional work experience beyond the minimum experience required for the position may advance the placement on the plan by one step, to a maximum of three additional steps.  (Teaching experience and other relevant professional experience combined may not exceed three additional steps.)
    4. Job Market
      In rare circumstances, a recommendation may be made for higher placement on the basis of demonstrated market factors in the particular academic area that result in a documented inability to attract qualified faculty. 
    The provisional period will be the three-year period starting from the date of being placed on the career plan.  Time spent as a temporary full-time faculty member may be counted toward the provisional period at the discretion of the executive officer upon recommendation by the academic area chair.
    Provisional faculty members will receive regular evaluations by their academic chairs or their designees during each semester of their provisional status. For more information on the faculty evaluation process, see the current Faculty Evaluation Plan.  These evaluations will be used to form the documentation to support the chair's recommendation to continue employment after each of the provisional status semesters, the recommendation to move the provisional faculty member into regular status at the conclusion of the third year, or to terminate employment at the conclusion of any one of the provisional status semesters. 
    In the event that a first-year provisional faculty member is dismissed during the annual contract period, the College will not be obligated for payment of the remainder of the contract.  In the event that a second-year or third-year provisional faculty member is dismissed during the annual contract period, the faculty contract shall be terminated and the provisional faculty member will be given two or four weeks compensation respectively, provided the faculty member executes a separation agreement offered by the College.
    Approvals of dismissal or non-renewal of a contract must follow the then current Board of Trustees and Staff Policies and Procedures.
    Movement from provisional to regular status must be recommended by the appropriate academic chair and executive staff officer and approved by the President.
    After a faculty member has achieved regular status, dismissal or non-renewal of the annual contract must follow the provisions of the dismissal for cause policy, the retrenchment policy and procedures, or any other then current relevant separation policies and procedures in effect at the time of the dismissal.
    In addition to the annual step, faculty members may be advanced on the career plan for achievement of additional graduate degrees in their teaching fields, or in teaching fields for which the College has determined a need after being hired by NMC. 
    1. Approval  Process
      Faculty members must apply to their respective academic chair, division director, or superintendent prior to undertaking graduate work. A proposal for graduate work must be approved in advance. The chair will review the relevance and merit of the proposal.  If the proposal includes teaching fields outside the chair's academic area, the chair will bring the proposal to the Educational Services Instructional Management Team for approval.
      Upon completion of the degree, the faculty member shall provide an official transcript to the chair, who will submit it to the Office of Human Resources in order to process the career plan advancement.
      Faculty members achieving a master's degree, a second master's degree, or doctorate prior to June 30, will be recognized with advancement in the next year's contract.
    2. Advancement
      Attainment of Master's Degree.   Faculty members hired under this plan with a bachelor's degree will, upon completion of a master's degree, be advanced the number of steps required to place them on the step they would have achieved had they been hired with a master's degree and the same prior experience.  This will not exceed four steps.
      Attainment of a Second Master's Degree.  Faculty members will be advanced one step on the plan.
      Attainment of a Doctorate.   Faculty members attaining a Doctorate will be advanced two steps on the plan.
    The faculty evaluation plan identifies performance and achievement in teaching, professional development, and support of the College mission.  Faculty members with satisfactory overall evaluations or better shall advance one step on the career plan annually.
    1. Basic Principle
      To determine annual faculty salary increases that will achieve and maintain equity with peer institutions, the following principles have been used in creating the new career plan structure and will be adhered to in the future:
      1. Because of the unique structure and philosophy of NMC's original career plan and the fundamental goals in its new plan, salary equity is best determined by comparing a projection of total career earnings.  A 30-year career is assumed for this purpose.
      2. NMC's comparison institutions will be all Michigan community colleges.
      3. When a comparison institution has not reached a salary agreement, it will be removed from the comparisons.  The remaining schools will serve as the comparison institutions.  The deadline to be included in the comparison data will be December 1 each year.
      4. When comparison institutions make changes to longevity payments or other add on salary percentages, these will be included in making the career earning comparisons.
      5. The average salary scale increase given for the current contract year at the comparison schools (excluding one community college with the highest percent increase and one community college with the lowest percent increase) will be the base career plan increase recommended for NMC for the next year.
    2. Review and Adjustment of the Career Plan
      1. The entire plan will be reviewed annually to determine equity status and to recommend any adjustments to its policy and procedures deemed necessary at that time (excluding the schools outside two standard deviations of the mean career earnings).
      2. If equity adjustments are necessary to maintain average career earnings it will be made according to the following schedule.
        1. Up to a 1% adjustment may be made in any year. For the times NMC's career earnings are off more than 1%, we propose to make an additional 50% adjustment of anything over the 1% amount up to a maximum 1.5%.
        2. NMC career earnings that are less than the Michigan Community College average will be added to the annual scale increase according to the same schedule (listed in a. above).


If any provisions(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provisions(s).

Initially adopted December 30, 2004
Revised June 13, 2006
Revised February 20, 2009
Revised March 19, 2009

Revised April 19, 2013

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