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Faculty/Staff Positions FAQ

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    Q1: What is the difference between off-campus academic and off-campus faculty appointments?

    A: Both are academic appointments within the Division of MU Extension.

    • Academic Appointment: Extension Instructor/Educator
      • Unranked positions
      • Not promotable work
      • Independently delivers research-based programs/teaching
      • Bachelor’s degree required
      • Roles included: Youth Educators, Agriculture Educators
    • Faculty Appointment: Extension Professional
      • Ranked NTT positions (Asst/Assoc/Full)
      • Promotable work
      • Research-based educational delivery
      • Applied research
      • Master’s degree required
      • Roles included: Field Specialists, Extension Engagement Specialists, Regional Directors
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    Q2: What is the current fill & grow process in MU Extension?

    A: Under our current fill & grow process, a qualified candidate that does not have a master’s degree is hired as an Extension Instructor (bachelor’s level, academic, non-NTT position) with the expectation of attaining a content appropriate master’s degree within a prescribed amount of time. Once a master’s degree is attained, we will process an abridged hire to move the individual into an NTT Assistant Extension Professional position. Salary will be determined based on experience coming into the position, similar to new external hires. We employ this method after a failed search for an NTT Extension Professional position.

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    Q3: What is the amount of increase for receiving a terminal degree and why this amount?

    A: MU Extension has a long-standing policy to increase base salary by $5,000 upon obtaining a terminal degree. This, along with the benefit of the 75% tuition remission for university employees, encourages additional educational attainment. This is unique to those faculty in the Extension home department and requires approval from the Provost’s Office. Because obtaining a terminal degree comes with reduced tuition, leads to possible increased promotion opportunities, and is not a requirement for Extension Professional positions, there is no current plan to increase the amount.

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    Q4: What are the amounts for promotion increases?

    A: The current base salary increases for promotion from Assistant to Associate Extension Professional is $7,500 and from Associate to Extension Professional is $10,000. MU Extension follows the same standard promotion amounts as other colleges and disciplines.

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    Q5: How is MU Extension addressing compression issues?

    A: We certainly recognize this is a concern for all faculty and staff, not just within Extension or the University as a whole. Several factors contribute to compression:

    • Hiring ranges have increased over time
    • Merit increases ranged from 0-2% over several years
    • Promotion increases have increased over time
    • Core funding has remained relatively flat or decreased while salary and benefit costs have increased
    • New employees may come with valuable and related experience and/or expertise that warrants a higher starting salary

    We analyze and address compression on a limited basis each merit cycle where funding allows. In addition, we continue to evaluate our off-campus staffing model to ensure that we are deploying our resources for priority education activity and statewide presence. The Senior Program Directors and Regional Directors, along with leadership, will continue to refine staffing plans to meet the needs of the individual program areas. Below are some considerations that may precipitate the need for program differentiation for off-campus staffing:

    • Content area expertise
    • Geographic location
    • Educational level required
    • Promotable work
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    Q6: Are there evaluation metrics to inform salary increases?

    A: Off-campus academic/faculty are accountable to the Plan of Work and reported impacts. Senior Program Directors do have some metrics of expectations but, due to the unique nature of the work, there is not one standard among programs or disciplines. Senior Program Directors measure productivity as it relates to contacts (indirect and direct), inclusivity, external dollars, publications, media/social media outreach.

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    Q7a Modernized Leave Plan: Why are Extension academic/faculty included in the staff leave plan?

    A: We requested this benefit for approval for several reasons.

    • Extension academic/faculty are 12-month appointments and do not follow academic semesters. Campus teaching faculty are generally on 9-month appointments with a more limited leave allowance.
    • Because off-campus academic/faculty are not near supervisors and do not have standard schedules for teaching as opposed to those on campus, it was determined that having a standard and more generous staff leave plan and policies statewide eliminated some of the administrative burden.
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    Q7b Modernized Leave Plan: What are the improvements and benefits in the new plan?

    A: The current leave program separates leave into three buckets (vacation, sick and personal) which can be limiting. The new leave program combines the three into one paid time off (PTO) bucket. Employees will no longer have to choose from a specific bucket of time, which provides employees more flexibility to use the time off as they choose. Additionally, for the first time, the university will offer paid parental and caregiver leave, as well as short-term disability. Use of these benefits will not impact an employee’s accrued time off. This is different from our current process in that employees on FMLA or on approved leave must use their accrued time off to remain in a paid status.

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    Q7c Modernized Leave Plan: How will accrued sick leave and vacation be handled?

    A: Sick leave balances will be frozen until the employee uses them under certain circumstances (e.g., all leave options are exhausted or used to supplement short-term disability, etc.) or they separate from the University. If an employee retires, any unused/frozen balances will be used toward service credit if the employee contributes to the Defined Benefit (pension) or hybrid retirement plans.

    Employees may choose to be paid out for their vacation balances or they can elect to transfer vacation accruals to the new PTO bank. Employees may transfer up to two times the amount of their annual accrual. For example, if an employee accrues 18 days of leave per year but has accrued a total of 40 days of leave by the time of plan implementation, the employee could elect to transfer up to 36 days (twice their annual accrual amount) and would receive a payout of the remaining balance (4 days).

Last updated: 12/12/22