Term appointments provide a benefit status for positions whose funding is not assured past a certain point. Term status is an alternative to the use of short-term temporary appointments that do not provide benefits.
Term appointments provide time for the employing unit to test new position concepts and/or establish a source of funding past the original term of appointment. Term appointments can facilitate the creation of new professional positions and allow staff to demonstrate the value of the position and/or to generate ongoing funding.
Term appointments provide clear expectations to incumbents for the duration of the appointment. Employees know the limitations of the appointment up front and can plan accordingly.
Term appointments tend to match the cyclical nature of funding from grants and contracts, and the maximum duration of term status allows at least one successful renewal of the grant/program before moving into career status.
The maximum length of term status (six years) may coordinate with the length of the faculty promotion cycle.
Term appointments balance the interests of staff and employers. While the appointment provides a commitment of employment for that specific period with benefits, it does not create an immediate obligation equivalent to career status. The duration of term is limited to enable individuals to move into career status.