New Faculty Handbooks Guide

Article excerpt

Can my faculty handbook help me if my job is on the line? Are the processes and procedures it lays out really enforceable? College and university handbooks touch on a broad array of issues, from the composition of an institution's governance structure to how leave requests are granted. A faculty handbook can also be an integral part of a faculty member's employment contract - but its enforceability can differ from state to state, causing confusion and uncertainty for faculty members facing administrative actions that affect the whole school or questions about their individual employment status.

Each year, the AAUP fields numerous inquiries about what legal role a faculty handbook might play in resolving employment questions and larger questions about an administration's actions. In response to these inquiries, the AAUP's legal office has developed a state-by-state guide to the legal treatment of faculty handbooks. This guide is intended to be a quick reference for professors, administrators, and lawyers who are seeking to analyze whether provisions of a faculty handbook are enforceable as a contract. …