Open Faculty Positions

About Grinnell College

Shared Position Policy

Cooperative Links to Faculty Positions at Area Colleges

Visiting Scholars


About Grinnell College

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a highly selective liberal arts college that enrolls 1500 students who come from every state and 50 countries around the world. The College's curriculum is founded on a strong advising system and close student-faculty interaction, with few college-wide requirements beyond the completion of a major. Grinnell College is consistently evaluated as among the finest residential liberal arts colleges in the nation. Capitalizing on a student/faculty ratio of 9:1 and an average class size of 17 students, the College's curricular and research programs incorporate active learning and collaborative work between students and faculty, a strong, growing commitment to undergraduate research, and an increasing focus on interdisciplinary study. Grinnell College has an attractive campus of 108 acres, with spectacular, well-maintained facilities such as the Noyce Science Center, including collaborative spaces that have inspired similar designs nation-wide, and the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, acting as a creative hub between the campus and community. The college also owns the 365-acre Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), located about 14 miles from the campus and used on a regular basis for research and teaching.

Shared Position Policy

Two persons who are both members of the Grinnell College faculty are able to share a single faculty position. By creating shared positions, the College has responded to those consistent employment challenges incurred by academic couples in small communities such as Grinnell. Both individuals sharing a position have full faculty status. The College benefits by attracting faculty to the College who might not otherwise be able to accept a position at Grinnell College. By having two persons in a single faculty position, the College also may gain curricular flexibility.

Because of the contractual differences between shared positions and single full-time positions, shared-position issues must be carefully considered both for current holders of shared positions and for candidates applying for faculty positions at Grinnell on a shared basis. This document presents a discussion of these issues.

1. Persons considering a shared-position application for an advertised faculty position must decide prior to the on-campus interview of the applicant pool if they wish to apply separately for the full-time position or together for a shared position. The College will honor their choice. For shared-position candidates, both candidates must be ranked near the top of the applicant pool to be offered a shared position.

The College will also consider converting a single full-time appointment to a shared-position appointment. The department should present a proposal to the Dean that indicates how the conversion would benefit the College and that presents evidence for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and potential service on the part of the candidate. The Dean will take the proposal to the Executive Council for its recommendation. The Executive Council will decide whether the proposal is sufficiently compelling and recommend whether the College should proceed with its normal hiring procedures.

2. The College will not require one member of a shared position to teach full time during an approved family or medical leave granted to the other partner. However, in the event that one of the individuals holding a shared position resigns or is unable to continue his or her teaching duties for a period of time extending beyond an approved medical or other leave of absence, the other individual in the shared relationship must assume teaching duties up to the equivalent of one full-time position. For example, if one individual in the shared-position relationship suffers a long-term disability or resigns, the other individual in the shared-position relationship must assume the full-time position. To fulfill this obligation, shared-position faculty must have expertise in the same or closely allied academic discipline or subdiscipline and must hold appointments in the same academic department.

3. As regular, continuing members of the Grinnell College faculty, shared-position faculty have the same duties, obligations, responsibilities, and privileges as outlined in The Faculty Handbook for all regular faculty. Thus, shared-position faculty have the same performance expectations for teaching and scholarship as full-time faculty and have the same contract and promotion review schedules and procedures as full-time faculty. Service expectations for the shared position should be the same as for a single regular faculty position. Each faculty member in a shared- position relationship is separately considered for contract renewal and for promotion and tenure. They may each apply for support for attendance at an annual professional meeting and for grant board support according to the guidelines in The Faculty Handbook.

4. Since the current full-time teaching schedule at Grinnell College is five courses or course equivalents per year, a full-time shared-position schedule is five courses per year. Each faculty member in a shared position shall teach at least two courses per year unless given permission to teach fewer courses by the Dean of the College.

5. Currently each shared position carries a base salary associated with the position rather than two base salaries respectively associated with each individual in the shared-position relationship. For appointments made after September 1, 1994, each individual will have a base salary. Having individual base salaries allows the College to make appropriate merit salary increments and to develop shared-position appointments with individuals who have different experience or academic rank. The College will make salary payments to each individual according to one of two methods.

Method one Salary payments will be made to each of the faculty members at their respective prorated salary. That is, if the faculty members teach respectively three and two courses in a given year, each will receive three-fifths and two-fifths of their respective individual base salary. Each additional course is compensated at one fifth of the respective individual base salary.

Method two Salary payments will be made to each of the faculty members at the prorated average base salary of the shared position faculty members. That is, if the faculty members teach respectively three and two courses in a given year, each will receive three-fifths and two-fifths of the average base salary calculated from the two individual base salaries. Each additional course is compensated at one fifth of the average base salary.

With either method, if one faculty member assumes the full-time position, the base salary of this faculty member will be his or her individual base salary.

Shared position faculty must chose method one or method two at the time of appointment. Subsequently, at the conclusion of every fifth year of service at the College, they may elect either method of salary allocation for the next five years.

Regardless of the method of salary allocation for the shared position, if the shared position members have approximately equal teaching duties, current College policy permits the College upon the request of both members of the shared position to allocate 1/2 of the sum of their actual salaries to each member of the shared position. In this case, each member would receive the same salary for the year.

6. Shared-position faculty members qualify for those benefits described in The Faculty Handbook. Since shared-position faculty members share full faculty positions, benefit waiting periods for all shared-position faculty members will be those for full positions rather than for part-time positions.

7. Each faculty member in a shared position is eligible for a sabbatical leave in accordance with The Faculty Handbook. The College will base the compensation during this sabbatical period on the average number of courses taught per year calculated from the previous six years of teaching, excluding unpaid leave periods.

8. All full-time, regular faculty are eligible to apply for Senior Faculty Status (SFS) according to the guidelines stated in Part III. Section VI. of The Faculty Handbook. During the period of a shared position, each faculty member separately accumulates time toward the fifteen-year SFS eligibility requirement with each year of service counting as one of the fifteen years required for SFS eligibility.

Upon meeting the SFS eligibility requirements, a member of a shared position may propose moving to SFS. While both members need not propose to move to SFS at the same time, the College may ask the other member of the shared position for a commitment to a specific timetable for retirement or moving to SFS prior to approving the request of the proposing member.

The total SFS compensation for the shared position member proposing to move to SFS will be calculated as described in The Faculty Handbook but pro-rated at a rate equal to his or her average FTE yearly course load during his or her career at the College as a holder of a single full-time faculty position or a full-time shared position. For example, under the current SFS 55% compensation policy, a member of a shared position who has taught an average of four courses each year (80% FTE) while at Grinnell may propose moving to SFS with annual compensation of 80% of 55% of the faculty member's base salary in the shared position.

When one member of a shared position moves to SFS, the second member assumes a full-time teaching position. Subsequently, upon meeting the SFS eligibility requirements, this person may propose moving to SFS using the same compensation rules as described in the preceding paragraph.

If the shared position converts to a single position prior to either member moving to SFS, the position converts to a single position and the holder of this position falls under the SFS guidelines that pertain to a full-time member of the faculty as described in The Faculty Handbook.

As stated in Part III.VI.F of The Faculty Handbook, the College reserves the right to re-evaluate its position at any time concerning the offering of the SFS option or withdraw from offering it as the College deems necessary. If such adjustment or withdrawal should occur, those faculty members who have been granted the option will be continued under the plan as specified in their SFS appointment agreement with the College.

Cooperative Links to Area Colleges (Faculty Positions)

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program

The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows program is supported by an endowment from Grinnell College and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program may not be offered every year. Please note that the Mellon Foundation stipulates that Postdoctoral Fellows must not be more than three years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. 

Mellon Fellows are appointed for two years and teach two courses per year. Each Postdoctoral Fellow establishes a close, collaborative mentoring relationship with one faculty member. The courses taught must include at least one course each year that is regularly offered in the College curriculum. The other course can extend Grinnell's curriculum into new areas. The fellow's two courses in the second year may be used either to enable a course release for various purposes (MAP release, partial replacement of a faculty leave), to provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary teaching, or to otherwise expand the departmental offerings. The program is designed to benefit the Fellow through development of teaching skills and the opportunity to experience an educational environment that prizes excellence in undergraduate education, as well as providing time for Fellows to advance scholarly efforts and share those with students and faculty. The program correspondingly benefits departments by allowing a small increase in the number of course offerings and the opportunity to bring in contemporary perspectives from a recent Ph.D.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible to apply for professional development opportunities using the same process as regular full-time teaching faculty at Grinnell College.

In addition, the Fellow may be eligible for an additional conference targeted specifically at Postdoctoral Fellows. The Associate Deans' Office will contact the Fellow when this opportunity arises.