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Handbook Outline

Visiting Academics

Procedure and policies for inviting Visiting Academics to the University.

Appointment Categories

Visiting appointments fall into two broad categories.

  • First, there are visitors who are invited here to meet a need that we have, or to explore a possible faculty position here. The University typically either pays the visitor a salary or reimburses the visitor's home institution for its cost of salary and benefits. For such individuals, units should request appointments as, e.g., Visiting Professor.
  • Second, some visitors come to collaborate, learn techniques, use our Libraries or other research facilities, while on leave from their home institution, but not to provide services to the University. Generally such individuals should come as a "Visiting Scholar." A "Visiting Scholar" is asked to indicate acceptance of a letter of agreement form, approved by the chair, dean, and provost, offering a temporary affiliation with the University for a defined purpose, under the sponsorship of a member of the faculty who must be in residence during the visit.
    • Unpaid appointments as Visiting Professor, Visiting Research Associate, etc., are strongly discouraged under these circumstances, because of the implication that by using those titles we are offering a person employment. Justification will be required.

Sometimes we offer tenured faculty positions to individuals who decline to accept because, for whatever reason, they are not willing to resign from the positions they hold. Although our offer with tenure remains open, such a person cannot be a member of our faculty until they have resigned their previous appointment. Such persons may spend part of the year here as a visitor.

Appointment Process

Visiting academic appointments are recommended by academic units (divisions, schools, or the College), and require the approval of the Provost.

A visiting appointment normally may be offered only to an individual who has academic rank from a "home" academic institution: it must be the case that the end of the appointment at the home institution extends beyond the end of the visit to the University. Visiting appointees do not have a University of Chicago Statutory academic rank: they bring their rank with them, and the terms of their appointments here are subject to administrative policies set in the Office of the Provost.

University Policies/Programs and Visiting Academics

  • Most policies applicable to academic personnel apply to visitors, including IP disclosure, IT policies, etc.
  • The University requires that visiting appointees, like ALL appointees who are here for more than thirty days, regardless of title, have medical insurance for themselves and, when the law requires, insurance for their accompanying dependents. "Visiting Scholars" may enroll in medical insurance through Garnett-Powers. For other academic visitors, units must arrange with the Benefits Office to meet this requirement.
  • Visiting appointees are not eligible for leave of absence unless it has been determined that the appointee qualifies for FMLA.
  • Visiting appointees are ineligible for the "Educational Assistance Plan" discount on tuition for the Lab School, even if the Benefits Office has agreed to "override" their benefits status so that they may enroll in a medical insurance plan. Units may cover Lab School tuition from their own funds, by interdepartmental transfer. Even when the Benefits Office allows Visiting appointees to enroll in one of the benefits plans offered by the University, the cost of those plans must be born by the individual and the unit, and may not be subsidized by the benefits pool.

Visiting Academics and Laboratory School Tuition

Visiting appointees are ineligible for the "Educational Assistance Plan" discount on tuition for the Lab School, even if the Benefits Office has agreed to "override" their benefits status so that they may enroll in a medical insurance plan. Units may cover Lab School tuition from their own funds, by interdepartmental transfer. Even when the Benefits Office allows Visiting appointees to enroll in one of the benefits plans offered by the University, the cost of those plans must be born by the individual and the unit, and may not be subsidized by the benefits pool.