Secondary Appointments (Joint and Dual)

Faculty may receive one or more joint appointments in other school(s) at USC or dual appointments within other departments at the Keck School (or Institutes, as described below). The appointments are usually at the same rank. When there is no allocation of resources or support by the secondary unit (school, department, or institute), it is considered a “courtesy” appointment. Courtesy appointments may allow faculty to host graduate students from the secondary unit according to their policies, but the secondary unit still has no financial responsibility for the faculty member.

There are, in addition, joint or dual appointments that are not “courtesy appointments” which may include dedicated salary or other support from the secondary unit. These are negotiated among the two department chairs, and the two Deans of the schools for joint appointments, and between the two department chairs with approval of the Dean for dual appointments. Even in the case that 50% of the support of a faculty member is provided by each of two schools or departments within the Keck School, one of the two schools or departments must be declared as the primary appointment and one must be declared as the secondary appointment, to ensure a single unit is ultimately responsible for administering to that faculty member’s needs.

Secondary appointments are usually made for a specified term for faculty who are clinical, research, or tenure-track, and are usually “continuous” if a faculty member has tenure. Secondary appointments may be made according to department-specific criteria (e.g., the secondary appointee must participate in teaching, graduate training, mentoring or research activities, etc.) and can be withdrawn at the will of the secondary unit if those criteria are no longer being met.

Both the UCAPT manual and these Keck School AP Guidelines specify that when candidates on any track are considered for promotion and/or tenure, the secondary department (whether joint or dual) needs to be involved in the decision. When tenure is granted, it is granted only in the primary school.

Institutes which grant membership rights (such as the Zilkha Neurogenetics Institute, or Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine), are treated as secondary appointments, and the Institute Director acts as the secondary “Department Chair” in providing documentation in promotion or appointment dossiers.

For information about the process of establishing a secondary appointment, please contact the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs.