ACD 505–03: Academic Professional Status, Ranks, Titles, and Appointment Categories
To describe and define academic professional status, ranks, titles, and appointment categories
Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6-301
Office of the Provost of the University
Academic professionals include employees designated by the Notice of Appointment as “professional.” Academic professionals, including librarians and researchers, are nonclassified employees who are involved with research, academic support, and/or teaching programs, have advanced degrees and/or specialized training, require academic freedom and report to a person below the level of vice president. A complete list of titles can be found below.
Appointments for academic professionals are continuing, probationary, or fixed-term as defined below.
A continuing appointment means that the person shall have an expectation that the president will renew the appointment as an academic professional for successive appointment periods, except when such a recommendation is precluded by reason of retirement, resignation, release for budgetary reasons or reorganization, or dismissal for just cause. Associate librarians and librarians are eligible for continuing appointments. The president upon recommendation from the Office of the Provost of the University may approve other ranks/titles for continuing appointment. The Notice of Appointment shall carry the designation of “continuing.” See ACD 507–06, “Continuing Appointment for Academic Professionals.”
A probationary appointment means that the person has no expectation of employment beyond the end of the current appointment period, but shall be reviewed for continuing appointment. New probationary appointments may be made to academic professionals with the rank/title of assistant librarian, associate librarian and librarian and other ranks/titles approved by the president. The Notice of Appointment shall carry the designation of “probationary.” See ACD 507–05, “Academic Professional Probationary Appointments.” for more information about probationary appointments.
A fixed-term appointment is for a specified period of time as noted below and shall not lead to consideration for continuing appointment. These appointments have no expectation of employment beyond the end of the current appointment period and may be renewed annually, conditional upon satisfactory job performance, the continued availability of funds, and the needs of the academic unit and the university. College/University Library bylaws must include procedures for renewal. Written notification of nonrenewal is required 90 days prior to the end of an appointment; if notice is provided later than 90 days prior to the end of the appointment, the individual shall be compensated for the 90-day period immediately following the date of the notice but shall not be entitled to another appointment.
All academic professional ranks/titles are eligible for fixed-term appointments. 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 may terminate prior to the expiration of the appointment if funding is no longer available. Persons on fixed-term appointments whose assignment is at less than 50 percent FTE shall generally not receive a Notice of Appointment but may continue to be reappointed so long as performance is satisfactory, their work is needed, and funding is available.
A year-to-year appointment is for a period of one academic or fiscal year or a portion thereof and may be renewed.
Multiple-Year (MY) AppointmentA 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 and assessment of the needs and resources of the unit by the dean/university librarian and following a minimum of three years in a multiple year or year to year appointment, a Rolling Multiple Year Appointment is available to an Academic Professional. A Rolling Multiple Year appointment is a three year multiple-year appointment which is replaced annually by a new three year multiple-year appointment conditional upon availability of funds, the needs of the academic unit and the university, and the approval of the dean/university librarian.
Academic professionals on MY and RMY appointments whose annual performance is unsatisfactory in one category may be put on an improvement plan for the succeeding year. 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 90-day notice of termination.
The ranks of appointment for all academic professionals shall be assistant, associate, or full with the exception of academic associate, biodesign researcher, and senior biodesign researcher. Full, usually not stated, will be used to designate the most senior rank.
The following ranks/titles may be modified by “visiting” to distinguish them from probationary or continuing appointments: assistant librarian, associate librarian, and librarian. “Visiting” is not used to preface ranks/titles that are fixed-term appointments. Academic professionals with administrative appointments may also have administrative titles using such terms as “manager,” “director,” “dean/university librarian,” etc., but such titles are supplemental to basic academic professional ranks.
Other than the generic definitions given below, there are no university-wide job descriptions for these ranks/titles. Because of variation across the university, academic professionals work with their supervisors (and primary evaluators, if different) as part of the yearly review process to draft mutually agreed-upon job descriptions.
Administrative professional: Holds an advanced degree; has significant supervisory and/or management responsibilities, as designated in most units by a notice of administrative assignment in addition to the academic professional appointment.
Archivist: Holds a master’s degree; acquires, organizes, manages, preserves, and makes available historical source material of significance to research.
Clinical professional: Teaches and supervises students working through clinical practice to put into use the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
Fine arts specialist: Works in partnership with artists and designers to bring their projects to fruition.
Instructional professional: Has the teaching and mentoring of students as a significant part of his or her job responsibilities.
Learning resources specialist: Holds at least a master’s degree; acquires, manages, utilizes, and provides access to media materials and equipment in support of the instructional, research, and service programs of the university.
Librarian: Holds a Master of Library Science degree; acquires, organizes, manages, preserves, and provides access to library resources in support of the instructional, research, and service programs of the university.
Museum professional: Has the responsibility of managing and protecting a collection of valuables as in a museum.
Research administrator: Has management and administrative responsibilities for units that support faculty members and other professionals in their research efforts.
Research engineer: Holds a Ph.D. and works cooperatively or independently in conducting research and seeking outside funding and supervising others in carrying out significant research projects. This rank is specific to individuals with engineering credentials and/or engineering related assignments.
Research scientist: Holds a Ph.D. and works cooperatively or independently in conducting research and in seeking outside funding and supervising others in carrying out significant research projects.
Research professional: Has a wide variety of research-related tasks requiring advanced training and skills and carried out with varying levels of independence.
Research technologist: Lends high-level technical support to assist faculty and other professionals in their research efforts.
Biodesign researcher/senior biodesign researcher: Are qualified by training and/or experience to perform varied types of research and/or lab work in the Biodesign Institute.
Academic associates: Are qualified by training and experience to assist in the functioning of the university and serve in such supportive roles as interviewers, management assistants, and liaisons between the university and outside agencies. Academic associate appointments are year-to-year appointments.
The president may confer upon retired academic professionals 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/university librarian must forward notices of retirement to the provost of the university. For more information about emeritus status, see ACD 607–01, “Emeritus Status.”