Note: The Academic Affairs Realignment has been completed as of July 1, 2021. The information contained in this section of the website will remain available through August 31, 2021. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the transition.
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are designed to provide the AU community with answers to any questions about the Academic Affairs realignment.
If you have a question which is not answered below, please submit a new question to realignFAQ@american.edu and we’ll do our best to update this page with the appropriate information as soon as possible.
- Why is the realignment of Academic Affairs happening now?
- Is this realignment decision the result of COVID-19?
- What will happen to Graduate Professional and Lifelong Learning programs? Will they be moved to a different school?
- What will happen to the Washington Semester Program and Gap Program Internship?
- What will happen to the English Language Training Academy?
- What will happen to the Mentorship program?
- Will any programs be eliminated?
- How is this change compatible with AU's strategic plan?
- How long was this plan under review?
- How will this affect faculty and staff in the SPExS?
- When will faculty and staff be notified of the status of their position?
- What are the expectations of faculty and staff from now until June 30, 2021?
- My school and/or department is gaining a program from SPExS. How will this change the responsibilities of my position?
HR Related Questions for Faculty
- Who should I contact in Human Resources to ask questions?
- Under what circumstances would we be eligible for unemployment?
- How do we apply for Cobra? When should we apply for Cobra? How does AU's Cobra work?
- How long can one stay on Cobra?
- On what date do our benefits end? Will any provisions be made for faculty with 10+ years of experience to extend benefits?
- Is it possible to extend dental, legal, pet insurance, and other benefits not covered by COBRA? If yes, how does this work?
- Are there other benefits that term faculty are eligible for if they have been a full-time AU employee for 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 years?
- Is it possible to submit letters of recommendation as part of an application for the open positions?
- If I do not to apply for a faculty position, does this mean that I would be disqualified from DC Unemployment Compensation?
- If a faculty is notified in mid-May that their contract will not be renewed, there will only be a two-week notice of the termination of healthcare benefits. Will the university extend the healthcare of all faculty who are currently fulltime through August?
- The position description for internship classes says that faculty will have to work for six weeks prior to the start of the semester to help students secure an internship. Will faculty be expected to work for six weeks in the summer while not yet under contract? Or will they be paid a stipend to carry out this work (as has been done in the past)?
- Can faculty see the rubric the Committee will use to evaluate faculty members prior to the interviews?
- Would it be possible to have the internal hiring be a 2-year rather than a 1-semester process?
- A shortened one-year hiring process would disadvantage older instructors most severely. Those who are fifty or older would have great difficulty being hired elsewhere. Inequity in age related hiring is unfortunate and prevalent.
- Are faculty who are not reappointed to a full-time contract bound by noncompete agreements?
- Are faculty who do not get a new full-time contract bound by nondisclosure agreements?
- Are full-time faculty employed through May 31, 2021 or June 30, 2021?
- The first set of contracts will go out around May 14, 2021. Is this notification going to be done by mail?
- How will people not given a contract in the first round, find out?
- In the application materials faculty are asked to "Specify preferred Unit of placement" -- Is the Unit a School or College?
- On which basis are the Dean's placements to the various programs made? (DEI, degree, etc.?)
- Will faculty with a higher rank be prioritized over others?
- In SPExS many faculty taught across programs. For example, two classes in WSP and one in Mentorship. How will those assignments work? Will they be assigned to one of more than one program?
- Will faculty be compensated for new course prep over the summer?
- Will placed faculty have access to school-level professional development funds over the summer?
- When will final teaching assignments be made?
- After nine-month contracts end in May, there is the possibility that faculty may be rehired in the summer. How do we prevent our files and emails from being erased in the interim? Will there be any privileges extended beyond May (such as the Library or CTRL classes)?
- Since the class I teach is moving to a different unit, do I still have the “right of refusal” for that course, as described under the CBA?
- Can you elaborate on how teaching assignments will be made? How can faculty make their areas of expertise/preferences in teaching assignments known?
- I did not receive a new School assignment and contract on May 14. Do you know when I can expect it?
- I received a new School assignment on May 14. I did not receive an assignment in the unit/program for which I will teach. Do you know when this will be provided?
- When will we be advised on our Fall teaching schedules?
- When/who should we liaise with in our new Schools about faculty meetings, service, etc?
- Will we be allowed back into our offices to clean out after June 1, if our contracts have expired and we are not hired back on?
- If there is a chance we will be hired back in July or August, can we leave our stuff in the office until we have a definitive answer?
- If hired back on, when will we be advised on our Fall teaching schedules?
HR Related Questions for Staff
- I serve in a staff role in one of the impacted areas, when will I know if and what my new assignment will be (including reporting lines)
- How will any changes to my job description and possible transfer be determined?
- Will my compensation change because of a transfer?
- Can I refuse a transfer?
- Will my title change because of a transfer?
- Will I be required to serve a new probation period in my transferred role?
- How will my performance be evaluated?
- Will staff have to reapply for their transferred position within the University?
- If my position is transferred to a new department, when will the new role start?
- What happens if I am not offered a transfer?
- Does AU provide counseling or wellness resources?
- Will there be additional staff-only meetings to discuss the transfer of positions?
- Who can I contact if I have benefits or HR-related questions?
- How will this affect students currently enrolled in SPExS programs?
- I am enrolled or planning to enroll in a Washington Semester Program (WSP) or Gap. Who will advise me during my semester at AU?
- Will there be any changes in costs or fees?
- Will the names of degree or certificate programs change? Will this affect my graduation in Spring 2021?
- How will this change the faculty teaching the programs? Will we be aware of faculty changes before Fall 2021 registration?
- Will my academic advisor change?
- I have applied or intend to apply to study abroad for the coming academic year. Do I need to work with a different office?
- If I have already earned a degree from SPExS will my degree transfer to the newly designated college or school?
Partners: Academic Institutions & related partners, Instructional Program Partners
- Our institution partners with AU in support of student exchange and/or the Washington Semester Program. Does this change our contractual or operational relationship?
- Our organization provides educational services through a partner agreement with SPExS for Professional or Graduate Study programs, how does this impact our daily operations and contract?