Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 7/1/1982

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 505–02: Faculty Membership, Appointment Categories, Ranks, and Titles

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To describe and define faculty membership, appointment categories, ranks, and titles

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–201, 6–208
Office of the Provost of the University

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Faculty Membership

Faculty include all employees of the Arizona Board of Regents, for and of Arizona State University, engaged in teaching, research, scholarship and/or creative activities, or service whose Notice of Appointment is as lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, clinical assistant professor, clinical associate professor, clinical professor, assistant professor of practice, associate professor of practice, professor of practice, research assistant professor, research associate professor, research professor, or persons who are otherwise designated as faculty on the Notice of Appointment. Graduate students who serve as assistants associates, or otherwise are academic appointees, as well as graduate students, are not members of the faculty.

College Faculty

College faculty shall consist of the dean of the college and all faculty members of the academic units and divisions assigned to that college. The right to vote in college matters shall be determined by college bylaws and policies. The president and provost of the university shall be nonvoting ex officio members of all college faculties. A college faculty may consider, among other matters, all questions of educational policy affecting the college, including requirements for entrance and graduation, majors, and prescribed subjects of study.

Faculty Appointment Categories

Appointments to the faculty are tenured, tenure eligible, and fixed-term as defined below.

Tenured Appointment

Tenure is awarded by the president to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and/or creative activities, and service in accordance with standards established by the university and academic units. Tenured appointments are only made to associate professors or professors. An assistant professor may be awarded tenure with a promotion to associate professor. Tenure creates a legitimate claim of entitlement to continued employment unless the tenured faculty member retires, resigns, or is dismissed or released in accord with ACD 501, “Conditions of Faculty Service.” The Notice of Appointment of a faculty member shall carry the designation “with tenure.” See ACD 506–04, “Tenure” for more information about tenure.

Tenure-eligible Appointment

This appointment means that the faculty member may be reviewed for the award of tenure. Tenure-eligible appointments may be made to faculty with the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. The Notice of Appointment for a faculty member shall carry the designation of “tenure-eligible.” See ACD 506–03, “Faculty Probationary Appointments” for more information about tenure-eligible appointments.

Fixed-Term Appointment

A fixed-term appointment is for a specified period of time as noted below and will not lead to consideration for tenure. All faculty titles of visiting, clinical, research, professor of practice, instructor, lecturer, faculty research associate and faculty associate will be in this appointment category. Academic unit bylaws specify eligibility for academic unit committees, graduate supervisory committees, and other roles within the unit. Appointments terminate at the end of the period stated in the offer letter or Notice of Appointment and may be eligible for renewal. Renewal is conditional upon satisfactory job performance, the continued availability of funds, and the needs of the academic unit and the university. Where applicable, the offer letter shall state that the appointment is dependent for continuation upon funding from a specific source other than state appropriations and that the appointment may terminate prior to the expiration of the appointment if funding is no longer available. The Notice of Appointment for a fixed-term faculty member shall carry the designation of “non-tenure eligible.”

Persons with fixed-term appointments of less than 50 percent time generally do not receive a Notice of Appointment and work at the discretion of the university as long as performance is satisfactory, services are needed, and funding is available. In general, faculty working less than 50 percent time do not qualify for such employment benefits as subsidized insurance and university fee waivers, see ACD 600, “Benefits” for more information.

Annual Appointment

An annual appointment is for a period of one academic or fiscal year or a portion thereof and may be renewed.

Multiple-Year (MY) Appointment

A multiple-year appointment is for a term of more than one academic or fiscal year but not more than three academic or fiscal years and may be renewed.

Rolling Multiple-Year (RMY) Appointment

Upon a determination of satisfactory performance by the college dean, the current two or three-year multiple-year appointment may be renewed annually with a new two or three-year multiple-year appointment conditional upon availability of funds, the needs of the unit and the university, and the approval of the college dean.

Faculty on MY and RMY appointments whose annual performance is unsatisfactory in one category may be put on an improvement plan for the succeeding year and placed on an annual appointment. Such unsatisfactory performance may alternatively result in nonrenewal. If put on an improvement plan and performance returns to a satisfactory level, the individual may be reappointed to an annual, MY, or RMY appointment. If performance does not improve to a satisfactory level by the next annual evaluation, the individual may receive a notice of nonrenewal.

Academic Ranks and Titles

Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor

Faculty who hold the ranks of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor are either tenured or tenure-eligible (see the policies ACD 506–03, “Faculty Probationary Appointments,” ACD 506–04, “Tenure,” and ACD 501, “Conditions of Faculty Service”).

Regents’ Professor

The title “regents’ professor” shall be conferred on selected tenured full professors who are sustaining the highest level of distinction by their exceptional contributions to the mission of the university in research, scholarship, or other creative activity, and who have made significant professional contributions in teaching and public service.

In accord with Board of Regents’ policy (6-208 B.), regents’ professors will receive salary increments added to their base salaries at the time of appointment, subject to approval by the Board of Regents. The candidate’s home academic unit will also receive additional monies to support the individual’s scholarly activity, dependent on availability of funds. Appointment to this position involves service to other state universities in Arizona. The service may include lecturing, consulting on curriculum and research matters, advising administrative officers, or other similar activities.

In recognition of the special honor and upon approval by the Board of Regents, the university shall name as regents’ professor no more than 3 percent of the total full-time tenured and tenure-eligible faculty. The complement of regents’ professors should reflect the excellence of the strongest scholars within the university without regard to their distribution within specific disciplines.

President’s Professor

The title “president’s professor” may be conferred by the president on selected tenured full professors who have made outstanding contributions in undergraduate and master’s level teaching at Arizona State University. President’s professors are chosen based on a variety of criteria: mastery of subject matter; enthusiasm and innovation in the learning and teaching process; ability to engage students both within and outside the classroom; ability to inspire independent and original thinking in students to stimulate students to do creative work; innovation in course and curriculum design; and scholarly contributions.

Professor Emeriti

The president may confer upon retired faculty members who have served the institution for a substantial length of time the title of “emeritus.” To initiate the process for this designation, the college dean must forward notices of retirement to the provost of the university. For more information about emeritus status, see ACD 607–01, “Emeritus Status.”

Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Scholar

Research faculty are fixed-term faculty members who are qualified to engage in, be responsible for, or oversee a significant area of research or scholarship. They may also serve as principal or co-principal investigators on grants or contracts administered by the university or take on other appropriate responsibilites. Research faculty who are hired on or supported by research grants or contracts are not guaranteed space, facilities, or services beyond those approved for currently active grants or contracts.

Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical faculty are fixed-term faculty members who are qualified by training, experience, or education to direct or participate in specialized university functions, including teaching, student internships, training, or other practice components of degree programs. Responsibilities of clinical faculty may encompass any area of professional practice and/or technical expertise and may include professional development.

Professor of Practice, Associate Professor of Practice, Assistant Professor of Practice

Professors of practice are fixed-term faculty members whose expertise, achievements, and reputation developed over a sustained period of time qualify them to be distinguished professionals in an area of practice or discipline, although they may not have academic credentials or experience. The responsibilities of this position are teaching courses, seminars, and independent studies to undergraduate and graduate students or other duties that the dean determines are appropriate.

Principal Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer

Lecturers are fixed-term faculty members with responsibilities that may include teaching service responsibilities, supervising supplemental kinds of student learning, professional development, and/or administrative duties related to teaching. A senior lecturer generally holds a doctorate degree (or appropriate terminal degree) and has a minimum of five years of college-level teaching experience or equivalent qualifications and experience. A principal lecturer generally holds a doctorate degree (or appropriate terminal degree) and has a minimum of seven years of college-level teaching experience or equivalent qualifications and experience.

Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Visiting Scholar, Visiting Scientist, Visiting Artist, Visiting Writer

Visiting faculty are faculty with annual, fixed-term appointments who are normally expected to return to their own institutions at the expiration of the appointment. Visiting faculty are not members of the Academic Assembly.

Instructor and Instructor, ABD

Instructor and instructor, ABD are annual, fixed-term appointments. Instructor may include appointments to positions with teaching assignments and limited service and/or professional development responsibilities. Instructor, ABD must be used as a temporary designation for newly hired individuals who, upon completion of their dissertations or other final terminal degree requirements, will be ranked as assistant professors. See ACD 506–03, “Faculty Probationary Appointments” for more information on the instructor, ABD appointment.

Faculty Research Associates

Faculty research associates are appointed on a semester or annual, fixed term appointments, are not eligible for promotion, and are not members of the Academic Assembly. Persons appointed to this rank usually hold an advanced degree and are employed to work on a research grant or contract. Faculty research associates may also engage in teaching as part of their responsibilities.

Faculty Associates

Faculty associates are appointed on semester or annual, fixed term appointments, are not eligible for promotion, and are not members of the Academic Assembly. Individuals in this rank are qualified by training and experience to teach university-level courses.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty appointments are unpaid, usually part-time positions for limited (not more than one-year) renewable terms. Adjunct faculty are not part of the Academic Assembly. The appointments are made by deans to individual academic units or to such units as interdisciplinary degree or certification programs. Appointments are made in order to facilitate the adjunct faculty member’s professional association with the university for the benefit of the individual and the university in such roles as supervising clinical practice students, assisting with research efforts, and occasionally teaching.

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  1. ACD 505–04, “Transfer, Joint, and Affiliated Faculty and Academic Professional Appointments”
  2. ACD 506–03, “Faculty Probationary Appointments”
  3. ACD 506–04, “Tenure”
  4. ACD 607–01, “Emeritus Status.”

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