As described in the Faculty Handbook, while tenure-track and tenured appointments are normally full time, Virginia Tech recognizes the importance of allowing flexibility in the percent employment so that faculty members can better manage the balance between their professional work and family or personal obligations over a defined period of time, or perhaps permanently. This policy is intended to encourage departments to accommodate reasonable requests for part-time appointments; however, part-time appointments are not an entitlement, and requests may be turned down when the faculty member and the department cannot agree upon a workable plan.
Tenure-track faculty members may request a part-time appointment only for reasons of balancing work and family for the arrival or care of a child, the care of a family member, or for personal circumstances related to the health of the faculty member. In addition, they may request a term part-time appointment only, allowing the issue to be revisited on a defined cycle. While such term appointments can be renewed throughout the probationary period, a permanent part-time appointment may not be granted until tenure is awarded.
Tenured faculty members may request either term or permanent part-time appointments for reasons stated above, or to balance work at Virginia Tech with professional practice or significant community or public service, for example, a professor who wishes to serve as a consultant in addition to an appointment at Virginia Tech; a professor who wishes to engage in entrepreneurial activity outside of university responsibilities; or a professor who runs for office for a limited term and wishes to reduce the workload at Virginia Tech for that period. Other reasonable justifications may be considered if approved by the department head or chair, dean, and provost.