Update on Visiting Scholars 430 (APM)
September 22, 2015
DEANS, DEPARTMENT CHAIRS, and DIRECTORS
Re: Update on Visiting Scholars (APM 430)
I appreciate there has been some confusion and concern regarding the implementation of Academic Personnel Manual (APM) Section 430, Visiting Scholars and Other Visitors, which placed certain Visiting Scholars within the responsibility of Academic Personnel – namely individuals who hold academic appointments at other institutions or are engaged in other professional or creative activity, and who come to UCLA to participate in a short-term educational, research, or other academic project under the supervision or sponsorship of an academic appointee. Previously all Visiting Scholars were under the purview of the Graduate Division. To guide the campus in implementing this new policy, APO issued an interim measure last September, listed as Appendix 39 to The UCLA CALL. That policy is now available in final form at https://www.apo.ucla.edu/policies/the-call/appendices-1/appendix-39. This memo addresses several issues that have arisen over the course of the past year.
WHEN IS A VISITING SCHOLAR APPOINTMENT APPROPRIATE, RATHER THAN AN APPOINTMENT IN ANOTHER SERIES OR NO APPOINTMENT AT ALL?
APM 430 requires that Visiting Scholars have formal appointments, although they are not employees and are not compensated. Among other matters this requirement assures that certain benefits such as library access can be provided and that certain requirements, most especially lab safety, library materials and other equipment return, and sexual harassment policies are enforced.
Appointment as a Visiting Scholar is appropriate for a wide array of individuals, including recent Ph.D recipients who are not on a formal post-doc, faculty on sabbatical from other institutions, and journalists working on a limited-duration research project. The typical duration of a Visiting Scholar appointment will be six months or less, though appointments for as long as a year are possible, as well as renewal for a second one-year term. The Academic Personnel Office has created a sample document that departments are free to use to designate individuals as Visiting Scholars (enclosed).
Visiting appointments in other series, such as Visiting Professor or Visiting Researcher, With or Without Salary, must be used when there are formal departmental connections such as teaching, ongoing office space, and school participation. Nonetheless, persons who would qualify for such an appointment in another series but whose activities and affiliations are less formal may be appointed in the Visiting Scholars Series (APM 430).
For brief visits under three weeks, especially when there is no laboratory involvement (thus especially in the Humanities and Social Sciences), no appointment under APM 430 is required at all. Without such an appointment, however, access to a Bruincard, parking, borrowing rights from the Library, computer applications requiring University logon, reimbursement for UCLA-related research expenses, and cost-of-living reimbursement will not be available.
HOW BURDENSOME/COMPLEX IS THE PROCESS ASSOCIATED WITH MAKING A VISITING SCHOLAR APPOINTMENT?
APM 430 and Appendix 39 do not require extensive review before a Visiting Scholar can be appointed. The process has been designed to keep “paperwork” to a minimum, while ensuring that the series is appropriate and the academic unit anticipates sufficient benefit from the appointment to be willing to accommodate the individual’s limited time on campus. Although a “dossier” must be forwarded from the Department Chair to the Dean, that dossier need only include the individual’s CV, an APM 430 form that is available online and electronically fillable (https://ucla.box.com/v/visiting-scholar-form), evidence of self-support (including health insurance or the ability to purchase UCLA VSISP), and the Dean’s approval.
Visiting Scholar appointments for international visitors, however, present an extra step for departments because of visa regulations. UCLA has been designated by the U.S. Department of State to administer the J-1 Visa Exchange Program. The J-1 visa will permit Visiting Scholars to enter the U.S. and participate in their intended program activities at UCLA (e.g. research, observe, demonstrate, consult, or train). B-1 (Business Visitor) and B-2 (Tourist) visas may not be used in conjunction with a Visiting Scholar appointment.
Once approved for a Visiting Scholar appointment, departments must coordinate with their respective visa offices to obtain the appropriate J-1 visa documents for their international visitors. The Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars (DCISS) and the David Geffen School of Medicine’s Visa & Licensing Office will be able to guide you with this process.
WHAT KINDS OF PAYMENTS CAN BE MADE TO A VISITING SCHOLAR, AND HOW ARE THEY ADMINISTERED?
As noted above, Visiting Scholars are not employees, and may not receive compensation. Nonetheless, they may be reimbursed for documented research-related expenses for University-related activities, and may also receive a cost-of-living allowance. The rules about what costs can be reimbursed are straightforward. Appendix 39 provides that upon presentation of appropriate receipts evidencing payment and subject to funding availability, Visiting Scholars may be eligible for reimbursement, up to a limit of $2,500.00, of actual research-related expenses for official University business. Departmental or grant funds for cost of living, designed to defray amounts spent on food, housing, and other basic necessities, are still administratively disbursed through a Graduate Division Office account.
For any further questions about Visiting Scholars, please contact the Academic Personnel Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel
Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law