I. Policy Statement
Recruiting faculty, either inexperienced or experienced, is a competitive process. As such,it is relatively common to provide some initial funds for inexperienced faculty to establish their scholarly programs and to aid the transition of experienced investigators from their previous positions. This policy serves as a guide for hiring units in the negotiation of start-up research funds (SURF) with prospective new faculty, and the expenditure of such funds in the case of successful hires.
II. Budget Request
The process of negotiating SURF begins with the responsible hiring unit (department). In those cases where the search process has determined that an offer to hire is in order, the hiring unit will discuss with the potential hire his/her needs/expectations with respect to SURF. Each SURF package is negotiated individually within that year’s budget. The request for a SURF package should be accompanied by a documented proposal stating the need, research requirements and proposed budget for spending. Both the hiring unit and the prospective faculty member are expected to be reasonable in their expectations. In the course of the negotiation, the hiring unit should be clear with the candidate that there are no commitments until all necessary approvals are obtained and no SURF package can be made as a final offer until all approvals as detailed below have been obtained and signed off on.
Once the hiring unit and the candidate have discussed the potential SURF package, the request should be committed to writing. The request should be specific and detail each item's cost in the request. The written request is then forwarded to the appropriate Dean for his/her approval, and then to the Provost for final approval. Only after all indicated approvals have been obtained in writing can the hiring unit convey this information to the candidate as part of the employment offer.
In the case of a successful hire, the approved SURF package becomes a part of the new faculty hire’s personnel file. The business office should also be provided a copy of the approved SURF package.
Expenditures from the new hire’s SURF package must follow all CHSU procedures and approvals. All expenditures must be for specific items and materials detailed in the approved SURF package. Any deviations from approved items requires prior approval of the department and Dean and should be conveyed, in writing, to the Business Office in advance.
All start-up funds must be spent or obligated within three (3) years of the initial hiring date.Only in unusual circumstances and with strong justification will exceptions to this time frame be granted and only with approval of the Provost. Prospective hires should be made aware of this timeframe at the time of the initial offer. Any unexpected funds after the three (2) year period will revert to the funding source and are not available for use to the department or college for other purposes.