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An effective and consistent off-boarding process plays an important role in protecting the interests of both Northwestern and the exiting employee. Off-boarding an employee is important both in voluntary terminations (that is, when an employee resigns or retires) and in involuntary terminations (when Northwestern removes the employee from his or her job due to poor performance, loss of funding resulting in position elimination, or other reasons). Elements of off-boarding are also important when an employee transfers internally to a new position at Northwestern.

Employment termination checklist

The Employment Termination Checklist may be used by departments when an employee leaves Northwestern (either voluntarily or involuntarily) or transfers to another department to assure that Northwestern property is returned and systems security is updated.

Exit interviews

Staff members leaving Northwestern University are asked to complete an exit interview prior to their departure from the University. Staff members should submit their resignations in writing to their supervisor and contact their HR Consultant/ Business Partner to schedule the exit interview.

Non-renewal of appointment letter for research staff

If the employee who is leaving is a research staff member whose appointment is ending and it is not being renewed, you will also want to work with your Department/ Business Administrator to provide the employee with the Research Staff Non-Renewal Letter.

Tracking postdoctoral fellows

If the employee who is leaving is a Postdoctoral Fellow, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) strongly encourages postdoctoral fellows, their faculty advisors and/or department administrators to complete this brief online exit survey prior to the postdoctoral fellow’s departure from Northwestern. The OPA can assist with the collection of information that will assist faculty with tracking of postdoctoral fellows as they progress through their careers, and utilize the information for future enhancements of the postdoctoral training experience for faculty and postdoctoral fellows.

Temporary employees

You may choose to terminate a temporary employee at any time. Once the decision has been made, you should notify the Temporary Staffing Center with an end date and they will handle several of the key off-boarding steps for you. See pages 9 and 13 of the Temporary Staffing Center Hiring Manager Guide.