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Human Resources



To define and clarify certain terms used within the personnel section of this manual.  


Active duty: duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in Section 101(a)(13)(B) of title 10, United States Code.

Administrator: an employee who provides managerial coordination or fiscal coordination for a unit within the College.

Appointment: employment of an individual in a specific position at the College.

The College: Teachers College, Columbia University

COBRA: the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986, a federal law which requires that certain employers offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage in certain instances where their coverage would otherwise end. The COBRA participant pays up to 102% of the total premium for the insurance s/he select to continue.

Compensatory time (“comp. time”): time off in lieu of pay.  Under federal law, most employees may not take or be given comp time.  A narrow exception applies only to hourly (non-exempt) employees.

Confidential employee information: Teachers College protects confidential employee information except to the extent required by reasonable business standards and by law.  Confidential employee information may include social security number, home address, home telephone number, ethnicity, gender, performance evaluations, education, financial matters and medical history. 

CU: Columbia University

Domestic partner: an individual who shares a regular and permanent residence with another individual of the same sex (referred to as his or her partner), who has a committed personal relationship (for at least six (6) months) with his or her partner, who can demonstrate financial interdependence with his or her partner, and who is not related to the other by blood, legally married to anyone else, nor in a domestic partnership with anyone else.

Essential functions: the duties and tasks that are the reason the position exists.

Exempt employees: employees who, because of their position’s duties, responsibilities and level of decision making authority, are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These employees are paid an annual salary and are not eligible for overtime pay.

Fiscal Year: the period of September 1 through August 31.

Full-time: an employment relationship, applicable to both faculty and staff members, which requires a commitment of 100% of the individual's normal and expected working time and effort. Full-time employment (i.e., 100% FTE) is generally inconsistent with the acceptance of any other employment on a continuous or ongoing basis.

Hiring Manager: a role in the recruitment process for the person to whom a recruited position reports, or that person’s supervisor.

Hiring Proposal: a form completed by the Hiring Manager or Administrator which identifies the selectee for a position, the proposed start date and the proposed starting salary.

Incumbent: the current employee in a specific position.

Instructional Staff: employees in titles of Lecturer, Distinguished Practitioner, Visiting Professor, Adjunct Professor, Instructor, Honorary Professor, and Visiting Scholar.

Next of kin: the nearest relative of an individual, as defined by state law.

Non-exempt employee: an employee paid on an hourly basis and covered by the overtime policies of the College.

OASID: the Teachers College Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities.

Part-time employee: an employee, either regular or temporary, who is normally scheduled to work less than thirty-five (35) hours per week.

Personnel: all individuals employed by the College, including faculty, instructional staff, administrative staff, and other staff members.

Position description: a form used to list the job responsibilities and other aspects of the incumbent’s job.

Professional Staff: that part of the academic staff that is not of professorial rank or instructional and is engaged in research, general administration or administrative support. Some members of the professional staff may also have the rank of instructor, or have professorial titles, but their primary assignments are those of professional staff members.

Professorial Staff: the Professorial Faculty (Tenure Track or Tenured), including ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and (Full) Professor, Professor of Practice and Research Professor.

Regular employees: an employee who fills an established, budgeted, staff position and may be either full-time or part-time, but is not temporary.

Regular rate of pay: the salary or wage amount assigned to the position by the Office of Human Resources.

Requisition: the form used to request a job vacancy to be posted and/or filled.

Salary range: the range of salaries, from lowest to highest, that is assigned to each position.

Selectee: the applicant who is selected to fill a job vacancy.

Sponsored research contract or grant: a contractual arrangement with a federal, state, private, or other non-College entity under which funds are made available to and are administered by the College for a specified research or training project or program.

Student employee: either: 1) an academic assignment that is considered to be an extension of the student’s academic program; or 2) a part-time (less than twenty (20) hours per week), temporary position designed for full-time TC students during their academic career at TC.

Supervisor: an employee whose responsibilities include overseeing the job performance of other employees and who recommends or takes action related to hiring, compensation, and performance appraisal of those employees.

TC: Teachers College, Columbia University

Temporary employee: an employee whose full or part-time employment is limited in duration to a specific period of time or for the duration of a specific project or group of assignments.

Termination: the end of the employment relationship between the College and the individual, as a result of resignation, retirement, dismissal, non-renewal, expiration of contract, or death.

Work week: 12:00 a.m. Monday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Year of service: a twelve (12) month period of continuous employment.