Changes in Status

Career Opportunities, Promotions and Transfers

It is Mount Holyoke policy, whenever possible, to promote employees from within the College before going to outside sources to fill vacancies. When an opening occurs within a department, the department head reviews the department employees to determine whether there is a qualified individual who may be a candidate for promotion. If there is no one, the department head will request applicants for the position from the Human Resources Department, form a search committee or use a departmental process appropriate to the position vacancy in accordance with College guidelines and Human Resources Department procedures.

Descriptions of staff openings are posted on a bulletin board located outside the Human Resources Department and on the Human Resources Employment Opportunities Web site for position vacancies. Job notices are posted for at least three working days and are updated regularly.

If you desire further information about an open position, call the Human Resources Department for details. If you decide that you would like to apply for the position, you are encouraged to discuss your interest with your present supervisor, but you are not required to do so until the department with the open position decides to arrange an interview with you.

The department which has the opening will be supplied with applications of all present College employees applying for the position. If the department head cannot find an acceptable appointee from within the College, an applicant from outside the College may be selected.

If you have applied for an opening, whether or not you have been interviewed, you will be notified by the hiring department of the outcome of your application as soon as possible.

The effective date of your position in your new department should allow for adequate notice to the department releasing you.

Termination of Employment

Mount Holyoke values the contribution its employees make to the successful operation of the College and expects a productive and mutually satisfactory employment relationship with each employee. However, it is understood that neither the employee nor the College is obligated to continue the employment relationship and either may immediately terminate the relationship if so desired.

Voluntary Termination of Employment

If you are voluntarily leaving the College, it is helpful for you to give as much advance notice as possible. It is customary for non-exempt employees to give at least two weeks' notice; administrative and professional staffs are expected to give at least one month notice. A letter of resignation addressed to your department head, stating your final date of work in the office is appropriate. An exit interview with your supervisor or with the Human Resources Department is strongly encouraged. You must visit the Human Resources Department for a benefit debriefing.

Involuntary Termination of Employment

In the case of involuntary termination, the College tries to provide the same notice it expects of you. The College, in its sole discretion, may involuntarily terminate an employee even in the absence of prior notices when, in its opinion, circumstances warrant immediate action. Although no notice is required, normally several written (e.g. employee conference form) and/or oral evaluations of inadequate performance will have been given in advance. If an individual's employment is terminated for reasons of poor job performance/attendance, in most circumstances, they will have received prior notice that their continued employment was at risk and would have been afforded opportunity to improve performance prior to a decision to terminate their employment. Reasons for involuntary termination may include, but are not limited to, falsification of employment records, poor job performance, absenteeism, insubordination, or financial necessity.

Termination papers are prepared by the department head and forwarded to the Human Resources Department. If possible, that office should receive them at least two weeks in advance. They should indicate the amount of vacation you have accrued through your last day of work so that your final paycheck can be prepared correctly.

Retirement Planning

Mount Holyoke College believes that individuals are entitled to work as long as they remain productive and choose to continue employment. Accordingly, there is no mandatory retirement age. On the other hand, many people look forward to retirement. You should, as your retirement approaches, do advance planning for your retirement years.

Financial considerations are invariably a major factor in deciding when to retire. ING, TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, or the USI Consulting Group will, at your request, provide special reports of estimated income from retirement contracts. The Social Security Administration will also provide estimates of Social Security benefits beginning at various ages. The benefits staff in the Human Resources Department will be happy to explain the method for obtaining such estimates, and may assist you in the retirement process. Please also refer to the Benefits section.

Without advance notice and planning, the retirement of an experienced staff member is disruptive to the operation of an office or department. Your retirement may require some re-organization of duties and responsibilities; in some cases, you may be needed for orientation or training of your successor. Therefore, when setting a retirement date, you should give advance notice to your department head. Whenever possible, a minimum of four months written notice is expected; however, six months to one year's notice is preferred and will be helpful both to you and to the department head in necessary planning for your departure.

If you are eligible to retire under the College's Early Retirement Program, normally one calendar year's notice is required.

Other Benefits at Termination

If you are participating in College-sponsored benefit programs, it is important that you contact the benefits staff in the Human Resources Department to discuss the status of your benefits and opportunities to continue health insurance coverage under the provisions of COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act) which provides the option for you to continue group health insurance coverage for eighteen months (up to thirty-six months in some cases designated under COBRA). The Human Resources Department can also answer other questions you may have about other benefit plans in which you participated.