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.
    • For more information about the new plan, visit the UM System Leave Program Changes webpage.
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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. For more information, visit the UM System Leave Program Changes webpage.

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

    A: The most up-to-date information about the new leave plan and existing leave balances can be found on the UM System Leave Program Changes webpage.

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    Q8a: Remote and Flexible Work: Are there policies for remote/flexible work for off-campus positions?


    • Work locations are established at university owned/leased property or a county Extension council office. Changes to headquarter office or county assignments must be approved by Human Resources and the Regional Director.
    • Faculty must be engaged and seen by their constituents in county extension centers. Faculty have a responsibility to their assigned counties and offices, to provide substantiative face to face programming and “meet constituents and stakeholders where they are.”
    • Virtual activity should not be utilized exclusively. Programming and activities should utilize a combination of face to face and virtual options as appropriate. Faculty are expected to use good judgement when determining appropriate delivery methods.
    • When it makes sense (e.g., no face-to-face meetings in a particular day), working from home is allowable, but schedules should not be “structured” so that all weeks look the same. (e.g., faculty cannot exclusively work from home every Monday and Friday). When necessary, remote work is acceptable.
    • Faculty are expected to maintain acceptable levels of productivity and use good judgement regarding scheduling, attendance, visibility, and programming. If expectations are not being met, performance improvement measures will be taken.
    • In cases of inclement weather, faculty are expected to work remotely or must take paid or unpaid time off — either personal or vacation days.
    • There are few instances where off campus faculty and academic positions can be 100% remote. These cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require HR approval. Telework arrangements are not needed for the majority of faculty and academic positions given the nature of the positions
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    Q8b: Remote and Flexible Work: Are there policies for remote/flexible work for hour/non-exempt staff positions? Some off-campus faculty/academic positions supervise non-exempt hourly staff like YPAs. Guidance, and parameters differ for these positions and supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance.


    • Non-exempt, hourly staff are expected to work a regular schedule that is approved by their supervisor and aligned with their specific job duties and performance expectations.
    • Some flexibility in scheduling is permitted given evening and/or weekend responsibilities but generally their work schedule would be within normal office hours.
    • If the supervisor can ensure hours worked and productivity (and if shared position, the council is agreeable), hourly staff can be approved to work a “hybrid” schedule, meaning some days in the office and some days working remotely. A telework agreement must be approved and on file and some method utilized to communicate work schedule and location to supervisor and others in the office.
    • In cases of inclement weather, hourly staff are expected to work remotely, take paid or unpaid time off or possibly a flexible schedule to make up the hours another day of the week with approval.

Last updated: 12/12/22