Chapter 9

Academic Staff Job Security




An increase in job security is intended for the employee who has shown evidence of consistent quality of performance and professional growth, and who has demonstrated current and continuing value to the area from which the employee is nominated, thereby warranting a long-term commitment from the UW-Madison.


Academic staff employees are eligible for increased long-term appointments if they meet the following conditions:


Multiple-year Appointments

Definition—A multiple-year appointment is a form of fixed-term renewable appointment made for more than one year.  This type of extended appointment may be especially appropriate for individuals on multiple-year grants.  In this situation, while an individual may meet the other two eligibility requirements, the funding source does not warrant either a rolling-horizon or indefinite appointment.  A multiple-year appointment does not exclude an individual from a rolling-horizon or indefinite appointment at a later date.

Review and Approval—Multiple-year appointments are reviewed and approved by the appropriate dean or director.

Employee Notification—The length of term of multiple-year fixed term appointments, once approved by the appropriate dean or director.

Renewing Appointments—If a reappointment letter or nonrenewal notice is not issued before the end of the original term, then the appointment becomes a one-year fixed-term renewable appointment (see Academic Staff Policies and Procedures [ASPP] 2.01.1.a. )

Rolling-horizon Appointments

Definition—A rolling-horizon appointment is a form of fixed-term renewable appointment that is extended daily for the term specified in the letter of appointment or re-appointment.  The term may be for one or more years.  A rolling-horizon appointment should not be granted without reasonable assurance that funding for the length of the appointment will be available, either within the employing unit or elsewhere in the school or college.

Review, Recommendation and Approval

Employee Notification

Renewing Appointments—Unless the employee is notified of a change in status, rolling-horizon appointments automatically renew daily. (ASPP 2.01.1.b.)

Indefinite Appointments

Definition—An indefinite appointment is an academic staff appointment having permanent status for an unlimited term. Such an appointment may be granted to a member of the academic staff who holds a half-time appointment or more. Indefinite appointments are neither limited to nor specific to any academic staff position or title series. The rights conferred by an indefinite appointment are limited to the operational area in which the appointment is made. If a dean or director authorizes an indefinite appointment on non-state funding, they must make an ongoing commitment of funds or management of fiscal resources such that the appointment is supported for at least two years beyond the date of any loss of non-state funding for the position. 

Recommendation, Review and Approval—Indefinite appointments are recommended for academic staff members who have shown evidence of consistent excellence in performance and professional growth, who are of significant current and continuing value to the mission of their department or program, and for whom fiscal resources are available to make the commitment.  Recommendations for indefinite appointments may be submitted by a dean, director or a department and may be recommended at any time throughout the year.  The department prepares, on behalf of the employee, the necessary supporting documentation for evaluation by the dean or director.  Refer to ASPP Chapters 2.08 and 2.09 for a complete discussion of the eligibility requirements for indefinite appointments and the review, recommendation, and approval procedures.  Area Review Committee guidelines are available at

Unlimited Term—Such a commitment can be abrogated only where a state of fiscal emergency, as defined in UWS 5.02, is declared.


Deans and Directors are responsible for ensuring that the employees who have been granted increased job security are notified in writing once it is approved.  (A copy of the letter [see samples, Appendices 9-A and 9-B] need not be sent to the Academic Personnel Office.)


Fixed-term rolling-horizon appointments may only be reduced/stopped for one of the following reasons:

Reducing Rolling-horizon Appointments

Any change made to the rolling-horizon (i.e. reduction) requires written notification and must include the reasons for the change (see sample letter, Appendix 9-C).  The shorter term takes effect when the time elapsed from the date of notification equals the difference between the old and new terms of appointment.

A decrease in the term of a rolling-horizon appointment may be grieved in accordance with ASPP Chapter 7 when the employee believes the action may be arbitrary, capricious, for reasons prohibited by law, or in violation of ASPP when alleged violation influences the decision under review.

Stopping Rolling-horizon Appointments

A rolling horizon may be changed to a fixed-term renewable appointment upon written notice to the employee with copies to the dean or director and the Academic Personnel Office (see sample letter, Appendix 9-D).  The notice must include the reason for the change.  The initial length of the new fixed-term renewable appointment must equal the term of the former rolling-horizon appointment.

A change to fixed-term renewable appointment may be grieved in accordance with ASPP Chapter 7 when the employee believes the action may be arbitrary, capricious, for reasons prohibited by law, or in violation of ASPP when alleged violation influences the decision under review.


For more detailed and specific information, consult ASPP Chapter 2.