Policy HR21 DEFINITION OF ACADEMIC RANKS

POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: June 6, 1958
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: February 3, 2009

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Earned Degrees
  • Academic Rank

  • PURPOSE:

    This policy provides guidance on the qualifications necessary for appointment or promotion to the various academic ranks.

    EARNED DEGREES:

    In assessing candidates for appointment, tenure, promotion, sabbatical leave, etc., the University will accept only those degrees earned at institutions in the United States that have been accredited by regional higher education accrediting associations (such as Middle States) and professional accrediting associations (such as AASCB in Business) in disciplines in which such accrediting takes place, or foreign degrees that have been earned at institutions recognized by their respective governments. Degrees from qualified institutions (per above) are the only ones that the University will acknowledge for appointment, determination of rank, or subsequent personnel decisions. Further, misrepresentation of such information by an individual can be cause for denial or termination of employment.

    ACADEMIC RANK:

    1. Lecturer or Instructor. A lecturer or instructor should possess at least a master's degree or equivalent, or be an active candidate for an advanced degree, in an academic field related to his/her teaching specialization.

    2. Senior Lecturer or Senior Instructor. The senior lecturer or senior instructor should possess at least a master's degree or its equivalent in an academic field related to his/her teaching specialization; must have demonstrated ability as a teacher and adviser; and must have shown evidence of professional growth, scholarship, and mastery of subject matter.

    3. Research Assistant. The research assistant should possess a master's degree or equivalent, or be an active candidate for an advanced degree, in an academic field related to his/her research.

    4. Senior Research Assistant. A senior research assistant should possess a master's degree or its equivalent in an academic field related to his/her research; must have demonstrated ability as a researcher; and must have shown evidence of professional growth and scholarship in his/her discipline.

    5. Assistant Librarian. The assistant librarian should possess a graduate degree in Library or information studies or other appropriate degree; must have demonstrated potential, ability as a librarian; and must have shown promise of growth in research and service.

    6. Assistant Professor (or Research Associate). The assistant professor (or research associate) should possess a doctor's degree or its equivalent in organized research or professional practice; must have demonstrated ability as a teacher or research worker; and must have shown definite evidence of growth in scholarly, artistic, or professional achievement.

      The research associate rank is limited to a faculty member in an academic unit who devotes a major fraction of time to the personal conduct of research in which individual initiative, creativity and responsibility are required.

    7. Associate Librarian. The associate librarian should possess the same qualifications as the assistant librarian, demonstrate excellence in librarianship, show evidence of an established reputation in research, and have a strong record of service to the University and the profession.

    8. Associate Professor (or Senior Research Associate). The associate professor (or senior research associate) should possess the same qualifications as the assistant professor (or research associate), but must also give evidence of an established reputation in scholarly, artistic, or professional achievement.

    9. Librarian. In addition to the qualifications for associate librarian, the librarian should demonstrate sustained excellence in librarianship, give evidence of creativity in his/her field of specialization (including a continuing capacity for significant contributions in research and creative accomplishments), and show evidence of leadership in the profession. The rank of librarian should be reserved for persons of proven stature in librarianship, research, and service.

    10. Professor (or Professor of Practice or Senior Scientist). In addition to the characteristics of the members of the lower ranks, the professor (or senior scientist) should give evidence of a marked capacity for creative work and of leadership in his or her field of specialization. This rank should be reserved for persons of proven stature in teaching and/or research.

      The professor of practice title for this rank is limited to those individuals who are non-tenure-track faculty who may not have had the traditional academic background that is typical of faculty as they move through the professorial ranks. The title of professor of practice should be reserved for persons who have accumulated a decade or more of high level and leadership experience in the private or public sectors outside the academy that would provide a unique background and wealth of knowledge that is of particular value as it is shared with the University's students and other faculty. Prior to an offer being extended to an individual being considered for the professor of practice title, the appropriate dean or academic administrator shall consult with, and receive approval from, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

      The senior scientist title for this rank should include the field of research specialization of the individual as appropriate for the college or intercollege unit.

    NOTE: For example, in a college; Senior Scientist--Biology Research; Senior Scientist--Sociology Research; Senior Scientist--Soil Research; etc. In interdisciplinary programs: Senior Scientist--Toxicology Research; Senior Scientist--Materials Research; Senior Scientist--Policy Research; etc.

    PROFESSORIAL TITLES FOR RESEARCH FACULTY:

    Research faculty who profess are entitled to professorial titles in accordance with HR24 (Professorial Dual Titles for Research Faculty).

    The equivalency of rank, indicated above, is followed in granting such titles.

    FIXED-TERM RANKS AND TITLES:

    Ranks and titles vary among units for faculty in fixed-term positions; most units use the titles of instructor, lecturer, or senior lecturer; some may use the professorial ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor, or assistant librarian, associate librarian, and librarian. Units should have clear rationale of the different ranks and titles they choose to use and their expectations for faculty to achieve these various ranks.

    Rather than use the titles "lecturer" and "instructor" interchangeably for fixed-term appointments, each college should determine for itself which of the two titles it chooses to use, and then use that title consistently for such appointments.

    Colleges should have their own guidelines for distinguishing between lecturer and senior lecturer or instructor and senior instructor positions, or for promoting from one rank to the other, but all units should operate under the following University assumptions:

    1. Although there can be exceptions, the senior lecturer and senior instructor positions are designed to be promotion opportunities, with a recommended period of at least five years in rank as an instructor or lecturer before consideration for promotion.

    2. The promotion from instructor to senior instructor or from lecturer to senior lecturer should be accompanied by a promotion raise, in addition to a merit raise, to be determined and funded by the college.

    3. The promotion procedure itself should include recommendations by both a campus department faculty committee and the DAA or department/division head, and the approval of the campus chancellor and/or dean of the college.

    Professorial ranks are for faculty who are advanced in their fields, have terminal degrees and scholarly records, and are hired for their special expertise. It is not recommended that such ranks be used for faculty members hired to teach basic courses as part of a college's service mission. For colleges that do make use of such ranks, HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations, specifies that promotion within the professorial ranks must include recommendations by a peer committee and the appropriate administrator in the faculty member's unit and then be approved by the dean of the college.

    CROSS REFERENCES:

    HR23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations

    UPDATES:

    4/20/07 - Professor of practice title added.

    11/2/06 - Changed Intercollege Research Programs to interdisciplinary programs.


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