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Human Resources Responsibilities

The college seeks to recruit and hire qualified administrators, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ideas into its various job vacancies and takes affirmative steps to identify and encourage qualified applicants to apply, consider, and accept positions to become part of the college’s growing community. Achieving this goal requires effort and total commitment of every department within the college. Each search must be documented and reviewed at numerous stages of the process. The role of the Office of Finance and Administrative Affairs in this process is to review all documents for accuracy and compliance with affirmative action standards before submission to the dean for approval.

In addition to searches for new employees, the Office of Finance and Administrative Affairs also receives and processes all documents pertaining to various changes in the appointments of faculty, staff, and students. These occur often and throughout the year, generating substantial paperwork that must be processed by the departments and routed to payroll via this office.

Our office is here to support all the academic departments and centers with their budget and HR related needs. Please contact tcehr@utk.edu  or Beth Thrasher at 974-1827 for questions or support.


For more information, visit the Graduate School website. Once you are ready to make an offer, you can use this template acceptance letter.

If you want or need a graduate student to work over 20 hours per week (excluding summer), you need to submit the Additional Pay Request form to the graduate school for approval before the time being requested.

Student Health Insurance

Termination of a Graduate Student on an Assistantship

The process for terminating a graduate student on an assistantship is outlined in the Hilltopics Student Handbook under Campus Policies & Procedures. See section entitled Termination of Student Employees.

These students are considered “contract employees” since they have a written contract (offer letter) with the University providing employment for a specified period of time. A contract employee may be terminated during the term of his or her employment for gross misconduct or inadequate job performance.

When contemplating student employee termination, the supervisor should first contact the department head. Assuming the department head agrees with this assessment, the Dean of the Graduate School should be informed of the decision. The Dean of the Graduate School (or designee) will provide guidance on the termination process. The department and Graduate School will inform the appropriate Vice Chancellor of the decision to terminate the student and the reasons for termination.

The Vice Chancellor will then notify the student in writing of the reasons for his/her immediate termination (or suspension) and of his/her right to request a hearing. If a hearing is scheduled, the department will need to provide evidence on the decision to terminate.

Please see more detailed information on the Hilltopics website listed above.

FAQ for Processing Stipends on Sponsored Projects

The college may provide a moving stipend for a newly hired faculty or staff member to move from their former residence to their new residence. To be eligible for a stipend, a person must be moving at least 50 miles from the location of their former residence to start a new job with the university, Departments are responsible for determining if a stipend will be offered and the amount; and the stipend must be approved by their Department Head/Director or their designee. The amount of the stipend should be consistent and reasonable with the employee’s position and distance moved. The amount of the stipend must be specified in the employee offer letter or other written agreement with the employee.

Eligibility

Full time regular faculty and full-time regular exempt staff. Only one stipend per household is permissible. Students are not eligible for moving stipends.

Coverage

Cost associated with house hunting, moving of household items, or temporary housing.

Approval

Pre-approval is required for all TCE faculty and staff from the Dean, or designee, for any amount exceeding $10,000. Steps to follow if greater than $10,000:

  1. The department must obtain the required prior approval before making the offer to the candidate.
  2. The department head must submit a written justification to tcehr@utk.edu and detail the need for an amount exceeding $10,000.
  3. The Dean, or designee, will review the justification and inform the department head of the decision.
  4. If approved, the department prepares a moving stipend offer letter to the candidate clearly outlining the allowance amount.
  5. The candidate signs the moving stipend offer letter and returns it to the department.
  6. The signed offer letter and pre-approval documentation should be attached to the electronic T-5 – Moving Stipend Request Form and must be completed in Zap entry which will route to the Treasurer’s Office for processing.

Moving stipend requests cannot be submitted to the Treasurer’s Office more than 60 days prior to the employees start date.

Questions regarding the supplemental policy should be directed to the Finance and Administration Office, TCE HR 865-974-1827.

Performance evaluation and planning is a key process for the college. It ensures employees receive candid performance information and clear goals going forward.  Evaluations are also used in making merit decisions if merit is available. Please review the Performance Review Instructions and Performance Review Checklist to assist you in completing the evaluations. 

The college’s rating system is based on a 5 point scale for the areas of accomplishments, service & relationships, accountability & dependability, adaptability & flexibility, and decision making & problem solving. The maximum rating an employee can receive is 25.  The college’s expectation is that the majority of employees will receive a rating of fully achieves expectations (total rating of 15-18).  This means that the employee is doing their job well. The college will tabulate ratings by department/center as we do with faculty evaluations and will provide the final results to each respective associate/assistant dean, department head, and director after all evaluations have been submitted.

Learn more about the process, forms, requirements and policy information for Annual Performance Reviews, Probationary Period Evaluations and Performance Improvement Plans.

If you think you may need to prepare a PIP for an employee, please contact and work with TCE HR. We will help with the preparation and guide you throughout the process.


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