Employee Handbook


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Only the President, upon approval of the Board of Trustees, has the authority to enter into an agreement for employment of any faculty member. The President may, at any time, delegate this responsibility to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer. No other faculty member or administrator has the authority to bind the University to any agreement of employment. 

Definition of Faculty

Faculty is defined as those persons who make up the instructional staff of the University. They are grouped into broad categories, each of which is described below.
  1. Full-Time Faculty

Full-time faculty are those whose primary responsibility to the University is classroom instruction. Full-time faculty is typically ranked according to the following categories: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. Named Academic Chairs are also considered Full-Time Faculty.  In addition to these typical ranks, there exist four categories of special appointment faculty that may also be considered full-time by load: Distinguished Professor, Visiting Professor, Artist/Composer in Residence, and Lecturer.  All full-time faculty are considered members of “The Faculty” at the University and participate in all of the responsibilities and privileges of the Faculty.  Only Full-Time Faculty who are rostered full-time in a department may vote in the official proceedings of academic Schools and Departments; in the case of dually appointed faculty members, the department or school where their primary teaching duties are assigned is where their service and faculty vote resides.
  1. Faculty Rank for Academic Administrators and Administrative Staff

Some academic administrators and a number of administrators and staff outside of the academic administrative structure may be assigned “faculty rank,” (i.e., a title such as “lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor”). The following academic administrators and staff normally have faculty rank at the University: President; Provost and Chief Academic Officer; Deans of the Schools; and others when determined by the Provost and with approval of the President.
  1. Library Faculty

Library faculty are librarians who hold faculty rank. The Director of the Warren Library and all full-time librarians are considered members of “The Faculty” at the University. The Director of the Warren Library and all full-time librarians are ranked according to the following categories: affiliate librarian, assistant librarian, associate librarian, and librarian.  As librarians do not receive Letters of Agreement, they are not eligible for Multi-Year Letters of Agreement.  Otherwise, they receive the same rights, privileges, and benefits as other calendar year faculty. 
  1. Part-Time and Adjunct Faculty

Part-time and adjunct faculty are those who typically teach fewer than twelve credit hours per semester.
  • Part-time faculty are persons who are hired to fill part of an authorized faculty position. These positions receive a part-time Letter of Agreement specifying compensation and responsibilities but receive no benefits.
  • Adjunct faculty are persons who are selected to teach because of particular expertise in classes otherwise not covered by the Faculty or because of courses for which there are not sufficient full-time faculty to cover.
  1. Special Appointment Faculty

The University recognizes five categories of special appointment faculty: (1) Distinguished Professor, (2) Visiting Professor, (3) Artist/Composer in Residence, (4) Lecturer, and (5)  Associate or (Full) Professor Emeritus. Persons so designated, with the exception of the various levels of Professor and Professor Emeritus, may serve either on a full-time or part-time basis.  Special appointment faculty are assigned by the Provost, in consultation with the President and the respective academic dean and department chair.  Special appointment faculty may attend meetings of their academic department but are not considered voting members of that department.

Differential Classification of Academic Personnel

Academic administrators and librarians are employed at will and do not receive Letters of Agreement.

Letters of Agreement

Full-time faculty members receive a Letter of Agreement annually. Letters of Agreement include information concerning faculty rank, salary and benefits. Agreements are issued in the spring for the upcoming academic year and are ordinarily issued for a twelve-month period except when otherwise provided for in this Handbook. Faculty members are expected to accept or reject the offer within 15 days after receipt. If a letter is not returned within 15 days, this will be considered a “not accepted” offer and the faculty position will be considered “open.”  Exceptions to this policy must be requested individually and approved by the Provost before the end of the 15-day period.  The Letter of Agreement includes the effective dates of the agreement, beginning dates and expiration dates. The awarding of any Letter of Agreement is the prerogative of the University, just as its acceptance is the prerogative of the faculty member.

Letters of Intent to Employ

Full-time faculty members are offered a Letter of Intent for summer teaching if summer courses are not included in their regular load requirement. Adjunct faculty members are issued a Letter of Intent for all short term teaching.  The term “intent to employ” indicates that it is the desire of the University to employ individuals for certain duties contingent upon sufficient enrollment and/or course need.  Letters of Intent to employ include the effective dates of the agreements, beginning dates and expiration dates. The awarding of any Letter of Intent to employ is the prerogative of the University, just as its acceptance is the prerogative of the faculty member.  Non-exempt hourly staff members of the University are prohibited from teaching as adjuncts.


Multi-Year Letters of Agreement



Faculty Evaluation

Each year the School Dean (and any designated Program Director or Program Coordinator) participates in a review of each faculty member following specified criteria. It may include reference to any self-evaluation and student evaluations available. Such evaluation may be used as the basis of discussions with the faculty member as well as for salary and status for promotion and multi-year Letters of Agreement. Each faculty member produces an annual growth plan, which is reviewed during the review process. This growth plan is summarized on the faculty evaluation form.
A schedule of annual review is prepared by the Office of the Provost and the School Deans. The Deans then discuss the evaluations and the review with each faculty member.


Faculty Evaluation Form 

Each year a Faculty Evaluation will be developed in consultation with the School Dean (and Program Director or Program Coordinator). This plan will describe an overall plan of activities for a period of two to three years. The faculty evaluation form and accompanying criteria can be found by clicking on the following link:
 The criteria for evaluation include integration of faith and learning in the curriculum; teaching and relationships with students; teaching effectiveness; evaluation of research and scholarship efforts; service (professional, community, PBA, church); student relationships (advising and related services); and evidence of Christian character and commitment.  

Faculty Promotion

Policy and procedure faculty use when applying for promotion: 


Faculty Retirement/Separation





 A faculty member or academic administrator who has served the University on a continuous full-time basis for a minimum of ten years and has reached the age of sixty-five, will be eligible for retirement from the University. The University will explore the options for early retirement with faculty who are interested. Professional retirement plans are built upon the assumption of retirement at age sixty-five (65). The University recognizes the right of each faculty member to choose the age for retirement.
The University wishes to recognize the considerable service rendered to the University by faculty who are now retired. Although in individual cases the retired faculty member might not be interested in a continuing formal relationship with the University, the University recognizes that teaching and other service to the University on a part-time basis may be to the advantage of both the University and the individual.
Retired faculty, regardless of whether any service is currently being rendered to the University, have the privilege of using the Library and attending University functions. Faculty members who resign prior to retirement are not accorded these privileges.

Separation without Cause

Faculty members may be separated from the University under circumstances, as follows, that require neither the University nor the faculty member to give cause for the separation.  No appeal is available.
From time to time, temporary appointments, such as Visiting Professor, are made that have a specific expiration date beyond which the University will not offer employment.  Such appointments may be occasioned by the temporary absence of a faculty member from the campus for study leave or for other reasons. The term of employment and the nature of the service with its date of expiration are clearly stated in the Letter of Agreement signed prior to the commencement of service with the University. 
The University does not award tenure and no Letter of Agreement is automatic.  As the employer, the University has the right to terminate an existing appointment at the expiration of a Letter of Agreement. Since the Letter of Agreement is for a limited period of time, it expires at a given date.  When a Letter of Agreement is accepted by a faculty member, it is understood that the agreement is only for the time specified.  The Letter of Agreement will be renewed if the faculty member has not been notified in writing by February 15 that the agreement will not be renewed.  This date may be extended to March 15, provided notice in writing to that effect is given to the faculty member by February 15.  In the case of separation from the University without cause, there is no appeal for non-renewal of the Letter of Agreement.  Visiting faculty may be notified of non-renewal at any time, but the University will seek to provide updates to these faculty members wherever possible and notice of non-renewal as soon as is possible.

Separation with Cause

Palm Beach Atlantic University has identified the following as examples, but not an exhaustive list, of conduct justifying dismissal of faculty members during the term of a Letter of Agreement:
  1. Grave moral delinquency
  2. Incompetence
  3. Inability of a faculty member to perform the essential functions of the job because of health
  4. Unfaithfulness to faculty and institutional duties
  5. Advocating doctrines contrary to those generally accepted by the Christian faith, which are affirmed in the Guiding Principles
  6. Obstructing the administration of the University in carrying out the policies of the institution as established by the Board of Trustees
  7. Making false statements or concealing facts related to prior employment or education
  8. Disruption of faculty cohesiveness
  9. Misconduct with a student or fellow employee
  10. Conviction of a felony
In addition to the aforementioned grounds for separation with cause, a faculty member may be dismissed during the term of a Letter of Agreement due to financial exigency or limited funds for support of a program in which the faculty member is teaching.


Review of Separation with Cause Decisions

In addition to those items listed above, there may be other grounds for dismissal with cause of a faculty member during the term of a Letter of Agreement, as determined by the discretion of the University.  In any case of proposed dismissal with cause of a faculty member during the term of a Letter of Agreement, the person recommended for dismissal may, if he or she desires, make a written request (no later than seven days after notice of dismissal) to the Provost and the Senate Ethics Committee for a review of the decision.  The chair of the Committee shall preside over the review.  The decision of the committee shall be recorded in the form of a recommendation to the Provost either supporting or opposing dismissal.  The Provost shall, in turn, convey the recommendation of the committee along with the Provost’s own recommendation to the President.  Based upon the review of the recommendations of the committee and the Provost, the President may support or reverse the dismissal.  In either case, there is no further appeal.

Office and Resource Use Upon Separation

It is expected that faculty resigning, retiring, or separating from PBA will vacate their office not later than thirty days after the last teaching day at the end of the regular academic year. If a professor is teaching summer school, the office must be vacated within one week after the last teaching day. Calendar year faculty who leave PBA must vacate their office within one week of teaching their last class. All keys and PBA property issued to the faculty member must be returned to the Office of Human Resources.