The rule defines expectations for expending start-up funds that are designated in the letter of offer to newly hired tenured or tenure track faculty. Start-up funds are designed to provide tenured or tenure track faculty with the necessary resources to establish an environment and supported platform for research and scholarly productivity with the expectation that doing so leads to future success for the faculty member in obtaining extramural funding. The use of start-up funds is based upon the development of an expenditure budget which is mutually agreed upon by the new hire and his/her department chair.
The rule applies to Northeast Ohio medical university (NEOMED) tenured or tenure track faculty appointed after March 31, 2019 who are eligible to receive start-up funds specified in the letter of offer.
(1) "College" is a term used within the rule that refers to the college of medicine or college of pharmacy, which are the two colleges of the university in which a faculty member may be granted tenure.
(2) "Faculty start-up funds" refer to funds allocated by the university/colleges/departments to newly hired tenured or tenure track faculty which are designed to provide the faculty member with the financial resources necessary to build successful research and scholarly activity at NEOMED and which use contributes to positioning that faculty member for the generation of extramural funding.
(3) "Letter of offer" is a document initiated by a given college dean that sets forth certain terms and conditions of employment but does not constitute a contract. The letter of offer should include a clear description of the start-up funds and the start-up fund period (see definitions the following). Any modifications to the letter must be in writing and signed by the dean of the respective college that initiated the appointment, the faculty member's department chair and the affected faculty member.
(4) "Qualifying expenses" may be costs incurred for laboratory supplies and equipment, salaries for technical, laboratory or support staff, research-related travel, publication fees, technical software, and other similar items and resources.
(5) "Start-up funds" or "start-up funds expenditure budget" refers to an approved plan for the distribution and allocation of start-up dollars over time developed by the new faculty member and his/her department chair to ensure the sensible and timely use of available funds.
(6) "Start-up fund period" refers to the timeframe by which start-up funds must be expended.
(7) "Tenure" is the commitment of a college to a faculty member for continuous and ongoing faculty appointment that provides protection against involuntary suspension, discharge or termination except for financial exigency or just cause. Tenure is a privilege and not a right.
(8) "Tenure track faculty" are full-time salaried faculty with appointments that include the eligibility to apply for tenure. The faculty appointment to the tenure track is set forth in the letter of offer.
(D) Rule statement
(1) The rule applies to the expenditure of start-up funds specified in the letter of offer upon the hiring of the new faculty member.
(a) In accordance with the provisions of the letter of offer, the faculty member and the chair will develop a startup fund expenditure budget for the use of the allocated start-up funds.
(b) The negotiation of the amount of start-up funds available is between the prospective faculty member, his/her department chair, and the college dean and is outside the scope of the rule.
(c) While non-tenure track salaried faculty may be awarded professional development funds at the time of hire, the expectations for use of those funds, including associated timeframes, is beyond the scope of the rule. A newly hired non-tenure track faculty member should seek guidance from his/her department chair with respect to the use of such funds.
(2) Planned expenditures from the start-up fund expenditure budget must be qualifying expenses. The use of start-up funds must be made using established university accounting and purchasing practices and procedures.
(3) The start-up fund expenditure budget will be approved by the department chair of the faculty member and may be reviewed in consultation with the dean. Following approval of the start-up fund expenditure budget, the use of start-up funds may commence.
(4) It is understood that there may be alterations in budgetary expenditures from the original start-up fund expenditure budget given the dynamic nature of research and scholarship. It is the expectation that review of start-up fund expenditures will occur annually at the faculty member's annual performance review and will align with the career advancement strategy for that faculty member.
(5) Items purchased with start-up funds are property of NEOMED and are intended for professional use by the faculty member and/or his/her department. Items purchased with start-up funds will remain with the department upon the departure of the faculty member from NEOMED unless the department chair approves an exception.
(6) It is expected that the start-up funds allocated to newly hired senior-level faculty (i.e., associate professors or professors) will be fully expended within three years from the date of hire. The senior-level faculty member can request a two-year extension for the use of such funds, which would require the approval of the department chair. All start-up funds for senior-level faculty must be expended no later than five years from the original date of hire.
(7) It is expected that the start-up funds allocated to junior faculty (i.e., assistant professors) will be fully expended according to a timeline that is incorporated into the start-up fund expenditure budget as approved by the department chair but not to exceed five years from the date of hire. In extenuating circumstances, a junior faculty member may request a two-year extension for the use of such funds, which would require the approval of the department chair.
(8) At the end of the start-up fund period, any funds remaining in the start-up budget index will be returned proportionally to all original funding sources.