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University Policy 25

Assignments in International Activities

Formerly Executive Memorandum 82-59
Initially approved February 1, 1982
Under revision
Administering Office: Human Resources/Vice Chancellor of affected personnel

The scope of involvement of Western Carolina University personnel in international activities requires that we establish certain procedures and policies to be followed by the participants and the institution in developing the arrangement. The procedures that are to be followed in making appointments to international projects are outlined in Part I. Policies which apply to these appointments are outlined in Part II.


Individuals may be recruited or identified for involvement in Western Carolina University international projects from inside or outside the institution. If project directors or administrative officers propose to engage a Western Carolina University faculty or professional staff member in an international project, approval must be requested (a) from the Vice Chancellor under whose responsibility the project is administered and (b) from the Vice Chancellor within whose administrative division the faculty or professional staff member works. Approval from both Vice Chancellors must be received in advance of any commitment to the individual involved. Approval may also be required of other administrative officials (Deans, Department Heads, Directors, etc.), and such additional approval will be specified by the appropriate Vice Chancellor.

It is important that details (including the time periods) of the international assignment be developed as early as possible to allow ample time for various clearances, arrangements for replacement, etc. In developing details for the assignment, appropriate officers must be involved in establishing dates for assumption of new duties and return to regular duties (if applicable) and for any other scheduling that must be considered in order to assure minimal disruption in the on-going operation of the University.


Appointments to international projects may be subject to "Employment Policies for University Employees Exempt from the State Personnel Act," as originally adopted and as they may be revised from time to time. If it is determined that these policies apply to the appointment, the individual will be informed at the time the appointment is being negotiated.

Policies pertaining to annual leave, sick leave, and special leave are established as follows:

1. Annual and Sick Leave Policy: The WCU leave policy currently in effect for the individual involved will be applicable unless special arrangements have been made. Any special arrangements for annual leave or sick leave must be made prior to the individual's acceptance of the international assignment.

2. Special Leave Policy: Any special leave (e.g., "home leave") allowances will be governed by the requirements or provisions of the special project in which the individual is involved. Any such allowances should be fully discussed prior to the acceptance of the international assignment and should be referenced in the letter of appointment.

Additional policies pertaining to personnel accepting assignments in international projects are outlined below.

Section A of these policies concerns Western Carolina University personnel who are expected to return to positions they formerly occupied at WCU. These personnel include individuals who are tenured or non-tenured (either on tenure-track or continuing "at will" appointments) who are basically involved in a shift of assignment and are expected to return to WCU after completion of their international assignment and to resume their former position or a similar position.

Section B of these policies concerns personnel (a) who are recruited from outside the WCU faculty or staff for a specific assignment in an international project, (b) who, at the time of the international assignment, are serving a fixed-term appointment at WCU, or (c) who are in a continuing "at will" appointment at WCU but are not scheduled to return to WCU to resume their position after completion of the international assignment. These individuals are not tenured or on a tenure-track appointment, and their affiliation with WCU extends only through the period of their duties in the international assignment.

Section A

For individuals in this category, the following issues must be addressed in the letter of appointment:

1. Annual Evaluation: Since work during the period of the special assignment will not be evaluated through the established departmental procedure at WCU, an annual evaluation report by the supervisor in the international project will be required. This annual report will be used in addition to any regular academic department or non-academic unit evaluation and will be forwarded to the parent department or unit for use in developing recommendations regarding faculty or staff status, including recommendations for annual increases in the base (nine-month or twelve-month) salary.

2. Salary Base: In all cases, a record of base salary changes must be kept as a part of the faculty or staff member's file. This on-going record of the nine-month base (typical faculty) or twelve-month base (typical staff or administrative officer) is essential for establishing the appropriate salary upon return from the international assignment. Therefore, while various supplements, adjustments from nine-month to twelve-month, and other additions (such as overseas incentive and post differential) may be included in the total salary for a given year, the original base figure plus any annual increment to the base figure that may accrue will remain intact and will be used to establish the individual's salary upon resumption of regular duties.

3. University Policy #20: Items covered in Policy #20, "Policy on Administrative Personnel Returning to Full-Time Teaching Status in a Department," where appropriate, should be included in the letter of appointment.

Section B

For individuals in this category, the following issues must be addressed in the letter of appointment:

1. Annual Evaluation: An annual evaluation report will be prepared by the individual's supervisor in the international project and will be used in development of recommendations regarding the individual's continuing status in the project, including recommendations for annual salary increases.

2. Readjustment Period: If project funds are available for support, readjustment periods may be considered for individuals who are not returning to WCU as tenured faculty or to resume continuing positions. If the international assignment is regarded as a hardship assignment, special arrangements for a more extended readjustment period may be considered. In any event, these periods and the duties associated with them must be supported by the project in which the individual is involved, and there will be no obligation on the part of Western Carolina University to provide such readjustment periods.

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