Joint and Interdisciplinary Appointments

An appointment is joint when a faculty member is qualified in the discipline of two (or more) schools/departments and fulfills significant functions and responsibilities in each school/department.

An appointment is interdisciplinary when the faculty member is qualified in one discipline, fulfills significant functions and responsibilities in more than one school/department of instruction OR in a school/department and in an institute or Center.

Home/Host Departments: At the time of the appointment, the school/department which best represents the faculty member’s primary discipline as determined by training and academic interests is designated the home department. The other department is the host.

Administrative School/department: The administrative school/department/institute is the unit that assumes the responsibility for processing the required appointment and payroll documents for the faculty member.

Position Department: Officers of Instruction: the position department is the instructional department that best represents the faculty member’s principal discipline and grants the academic appointment. For Officers of Research, this is the School/Department/Institute or Center in which the individual is appointed.

*Only officers of instruction at the rank of Assistant Professors or above are eligible for a joint or interdisciplinary appointment

All joint and interdisciplinary appointments at the rank of Assistant Professor or Assistant Professor at CUIMC, require review and approval by the Department Chairman and Institute or Center Directors, by the respective Deans and by the Senior Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Career Development.

All annual/term joint and interdisciplinary appointments to the titles of Professor, Professor at CUIMC, Associate Professor and Associate Professor at CUIMC require approval by the individuals listed above, the School/Department’s Committee on Appointments and Promotions (COAP): CDM, MSPH, P&S FOM and SON COAP.

All tenured faculty joint and interdisciplinary appointments to the titles of Professor and Associate Professor require approval by the individuals listed above, the School/Department’s COAP and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CUIMC COAP).

A written “Memorandum of Agreement” (MOA) between the home and host School/Department/ Institute/ Center, is required to process all joint and interdisciplinary appointment. The MOA must include the following:

  • proposed title of the nominee
  • specification of the home/host/administrative and position school/department
  • Source of the nominee’s salary indicating percentage per source
  • The space assigned to the nominee during the period of the appointment
  • The nominee’s teaching, research, service and clinical (if applicable) responsibilities in each School/Department.

In addition, the nominee’s voting rights in the home/host departments should be specified in accordance with the school/department bylaws.

For tenure-track faculty only, a statement indicating that the appointment falls under the eight or eleven-year rule for tenure is required.

The MOA is sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs for the approval of FOM or CUIMC COAP and of the Senior Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Career Development.

The joint or interdisciplinary appointment of tenured faculty requires final approval by the Trustees Committee for Education.