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3380 - Personnel on International Assignment


  • Position: Human Resources Director/Vice Provost for Faculty
  • Email: /

Last updated: July 01, 2007


A. Policy
B. Appointment or Assignment
C. Performance Evaluation
D. Promotion and Tenure
E. Remuneration
F. Interinstitutional Arrangements
G. Advisory Committees

A. POLICY. UI professional employees sometimes have unique opportunities to share intellectual and cultural resources through engaging in authorized international projects and activities. In this way, they may make important contributions to the welfare of both developing nations and our own state and nation. UI recognizes the benefits that accrue, both to the university and to the individuals concerned, from the involvement of UI personnel in such activities.

A-1. Professional growth and development of its personnel is a major concern of UI. Thus, it is of particular importance that performance of employees on remote assignments be fairly and adequately evaluated.

A-2. To ensure that the nature and requirements of an international assignment are reviewed and understood by UI administrators and the faculty or staff member concerned, and to ensure that the employee's performance while on the assignment is given appropriate weight in considerations for tenure, reappointment, promotion, remuneration, and similar matters, the following guidelines are established.

B. APPOINTMENT OR ASSIGNMENT. The assignment of UI personnel to international projects and the employment of new personnel for such assignment must be approved by the president or the president's designee. In accordance with regents' policy, approval will not be given for assignment of UI personnel to any country with which the U.S. does not have full diplomatic relations. Otherwise, the relevant university, college, and departmental policies and procedures govern such assignments or new appointments. (See F for special interinstitutional arrangements and G for the role of advisory committees.)

C. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION. (See also 3320, 3340, 3420) This aspect of international assignments is the one that demands primary attention. Special effort and procedures are required to overcome the obstacles of distance and, typically, the lack of tangible evidence of productivity so that these do not operate to the disadvantage of the employee.

C-1. The teaching, research, and service activities of personnel on international assignment must be recorded and documented so that they may be properly considered whenever occasion for evaluation arises. Primary responsibility for evaluation remains with the appropriate college dean and subject-matter departmental administrator. These officers, however, must place heavy reliance on the documentary reports and appraisals furnished by the project leader.

C-2. The basis for evaluation is, as usual, the job description of the employee concerned. The job description for the participating employee must be revised to reflect the scope of work for the international program or project. It is important that the requirements and expectations applicable to the assignment be spelled out in advance by appropriate parties involved including the project leader and advisory committee (if applicable), approved by the departmental administrator, and accepted by the employee.

C-3. Aspects of the employee's performance that should be made a matter of record include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Cooperation, as a team member, with counterparts.
b. Publication, as appropriate to the assignment.
c. Field accomplishments, considering the nature of the position.
d. Organization and conduct of meetings, short courses, field trips, demonstrations, etc.
e. Contribution to the overall objectives of the project.
f. Innovations in carrying out project activities and duties.
g. Execution of any responsibilities specifically identified in the job description.

D. PROMOTION AND TENURE. (See FSH 3500) Before accepting assignment to an international project, a UI faculty or staff member must request a review of his or her current standing with appropriate departmental or unit administrators to discuss: (1) tenure qualifications and eligibility criteria required by his or her department or unit and college, and how the international assignment will affect chances for promotion or tenure, (2) requirements that must be met in order to secure favorable consideration for either form of advancement, either during or following the international assignment, and (3) details of the revised job description. There may also be a written stipulation as to the employee's position and duties on return to the campus.

E. REMUNERATION. (See also 3320, 3420, 3440)

E-1. Established UI policies, procedures, wage scales or salary ranges, and benefits are the basis also for remuneration of UI employees on international assignment. Special adjustments to the base pay, incentive pay, and consulting pay are often made in view of cost of living, hardship, six-day work weeks, or other conditions peculiar to the project location, and these may be changed from time to time as warranted by circumstances and funding agency guidelines. Any nonstandard elements of remuneration, and any changes in such elements, must be specifically approved by the provost. Both the temporary nature of such adjustments and the placement of the employee as to wage or salary level on return to the campus must be made explicit in writing prior to the employee's departure.

E-2. Any uniform adjustment in salaries of exempt personnel or any general change in the wage schedule for classified employees (i.e., an across-the-board increase or other change that affects all UI employees or all those in a given class in equal dollar or percentage amounts) should be applied to the base pay of those who are on foreign assignment at the time the general change is effected. In addition, employees on foreign assignment are to be considered for individual salary adjustments whenever that process is carried out for UI employees who are on campus (or elsewhere in the state or U.S.); the basis for such individual consideration is described in C.

F. INTERINSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS. It is not uncommon for a UI faculty or staff member to be engaged in an international project that is administered by another institution and to be supervised by the project leader who is an employee of the other institution. Conversely, faculty or staff members of other institutions are sometimes engaged on projects administered by UI and headed by a UI project leader. In such cases, the general rule is that the person continues to be paid by his or her parent institution and to be subject to that institution's personnel policies; project funds reimburse the parent institution for the employee's services. It is crucial that the institution administering the project, especially the project leader, be apprised of the requirements of and schedule for evaluative processes of the employee's parent institution (e.g., for salary adjustment, promotion, tenure, or competence review). As stated in C-1, the parent institution must rely on the project leader's reports and appraisals for these purposes and must communicate its needs to the project leader.

G. ADVISORY COMMITTEES. An advisory committee may be established in connection with a particular international project. Such a committee is involved at the outset in formulating the objectives, procedures, duration, and budget for the project. It also participates in drawing up job descriptions for personnel who are to be assigned to the project. During the life of the project, the committee makes occasional on-site visits, evaluates progress, and may recommend changes. Although the committee's overview will not ordinarily extend to evaluating the work of individual team members, its appraisal of the project's effectiveness should be available to the appropriate administrator for use in evaluation of the project members' performance.

Version History

Amended July 2007. Editorial changes.

Amended July 2000. Editorial changes to D and F.

Amended July 1997. Editorial changes to D.

Amended July 1991. Revised for clarity

Adopted 1979.

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