1.5.1 Academic Rank Definitions

Academic ranks are defined in the following categories.

1.5.1.1 Tenured/Tenure-Track Promotional Ranks 

Assistant Professor: An appointment requiring an earned doctorate or terminal degree or equivalent and the potential for excellence in teaching and research.

Associate Professor: An appointment requiring an earned doctorate or terminal degree or equivalent and demonstrated quality teaching, recognition for scholarly activities, and service to the university community.

Professor: An appointment requiring an earned doctorate or terminal degree or equivalent and demonstrated sustained quality teaching, wide recognition for scholarly activities, and substantial service to university and appropriate outside communities.

All tenure-track appointments entail full responsibility for teaching, performing research, advising students, and performing professional and university service.

1.5.1.2 Instructional-Track Promotional Ranks 

Assistant Teaching Professor: An appointment requiring a master's degree or
professional qualifications equivalent to a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the instructional topic(s). Assistant Teaching Professors may be expected to deliver existing courses, develop new teaching materials and course segments, develop new courses to keep pace with changes in the discipline, represent the department/college within the University, advise undergraduate students, conduct research, and serve on committees. Assistant Teaching Professors  appointments are two-year, renewable (rolling) appointments. Notice of
termination must be given at least one year in advance of an appointment's expiration. (See Appendix L)

Associate Teaching Professor: An appointment requiring a master's degree
or professional qualifications equivalent to a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the instructional topic(s). In addition to the expectations for assistant teaching professors, an associate teaching professor is expected to
demonstrate excellence in teaching and leadership in education. Associate teaching professors are expected to and develop new courses, and implement new teaching methods and procedures designed to enhance learning within the
department/college and across the University. Associate teaching professor
appointments are continuing appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance of the appointment's expiration. (See Appendix L)

Teaching Professor: An appointment requiring a master's degree or
professional qualifications equivalent to a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the instructional topic(s). In addition to the expectations for assistant teaching professors and associate teaching professors, a teaching professor is expected to demonstrate exceptional achievements in teaching and education, either through fundamental contributions to University's mission or as a result of national or international impact. Teaching professors appointments are continuing appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance
of the appointment's expiration. (See Appendix L)

1.5.1.3 Librarian and Archivist Promotional Ranks

Librarian/Archivist: This is a beginning professional rank. The base qualification for entry is educational training or experience appropriate to the professional requirements of the position. Professionals at this level are doing journey-level work to build competence within their field. Their work requires guidance and mentoring by supervisors and more experienced colleagues. At this level, individuals exhibit evidence of a beginning record of professional excellence.
Librarians and archivists will have two-year (rolling) renewable appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance of the appointment expiration. (See Appendix L)

Senior Librarian/Senior Archivist: The basic qualification for this rank is the demonstrated ability to competently fulfill the range of library functions applicable to the individual’s primary assigned area of responsibility. The individual should demonstrate evidence of a continuing record of professional excellence. An individual at this level should demonstrate the ability to work productively independently, make sound decisions, and be an active and productive participant in the betterment of the library and the University. They should accept responsibility for their continued professional growth and development without dependence on a supervisor. Senior librarians and senior archivists will have continuing appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance of the appointment expiration. (See Appendix L)

Principal Librarian/Principal Archivist: An individual promoted to this rank is one who has received recognition within the University, as well as at regional, state, and national levels as a result of excellence in job performance, professional achievement/scholarship and service. Excellence in job performance must be at the highest level with evidence of leadership and a broad understanding of overall library operations beyond the primary assignment. Principal librarians and principal archivists will have continuing appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance of the appointment expiration. (See Appendix L)

1.5.1.4 Instructor Rank

An appointment requiring a master's degree, or a bachelor's degree and professional qualifications equivalent to a master’s degree in a discipline relevant to the instructional topic(s). Instructors may be expected to deliver existing courses, hold office hours, perform other duties associated with instruction, and contribute limited service. Instructor appointments are considered temporary, one-semester, or semester-by-semester appointments, for full-time or part-time work with contracts of no more than one year. (See Appendix L)

1.5.1.5 Professor of Practice Rank

An appointment requiring a bachelor's degree with significant professional experience. A professor of practice may be expected to deliver existing courses, develop new teaching materials and course segments, develop new courses to keep pace with changes in the discipline, represent a department or college within the University, advise undergraduate students, conduct research, serve on committees, be active in professional societies, and maintain awareness
of current practices in the field outside of academia. Professor of practice appointments are continuing appointments. Notice of termination must be given at least one year in advance of an the appointment's expiration. (See Appendix L)

1.5.1.6 Research Ranks

The research title can prepend any of the tenured or tenure-track academic
ranks (assistant professor/associate professor/professor).

An appointment offered to persons with qualifications commensurate with the research qualifications and the level of accomplishment of a regular tenure-track faculty of the same rank. The appointment is appropriate for those with full responsibility for research activities (including serving as principal investigator on grants and contracts), limited responsibility for advising (direct graduate theses and dissertations and serve on graduate committees), and minimal service activities. Appointments are initially for up to three years and are renewable
depending upon funding for additional three-year periods.

1.5.1.7 Visiting Ranks

The visiting title can be included with any of the tenured or tenure-track academic ranks (assistant professor/associate professor/professor). This title is used to connote a guest appointment normally offered to a faculty member from another institution who is appointed at the rank they hold at that institution. Responsibilities will normally be similar to those of tenure-track faculty in the department or college in which the appointment is made. Visiting appointments shall normally be for one year or less.

Visiting Professor of Practice: A short-term guest appointment offered to a candidate with the requisite professional experience for a position as a professor of practice when the appointment will be for one-year or less. Visiting
professor of practice appointments shall normally be for one year or less.

1.5.1.8 Adjunct Ranks

The adjunct title can prepend any of the other academic ranks associated with continuing academic appointments with instructional responsibilities (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, assistant teaching professor,
associate teaching professor, teaching professor, professor of practice). An appointment at this rank is offered to persons not regularly or primarily employed within an academic unit at the University. Such individuals--because of
training, experience, credentials, and interest--are invited to participate in the teaching, research, and/or instructional programs of academic departments. Remuneration may be provided for teaching and/or research activities. Appointments shall be for no more than three years with the possibility of subsequent reappointments.

1.5.1.9 Affiliated Ranks

The affiliated title can prepend any of the other academic ranks associated with continuing academic appointments with instructional responsibilities (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, assistant teaching  professor,
associate teaching professor, teaching professor, professor of practice, research assistant/associate/professor) and with the, emeritus professor) rank. Affiliated faculty appointments are used to acknowledge and support the scholarly contributions that faculty may make in more than one discipline.

All faculty members holding affiliated appointments must have a primary appointment within an academic department or college. The primary department or college will be responsible for annual reviews for the faculty member’s reappointment, tenure, promotion, and salary consideration. The primary department/college is encouraged to seek and consider written input from the chair of the department(s) and/or dean of the college(s) hosting the faculty member’s affiliated appointments.

Affiliated faculty appointments are at the same rank (e.g., associate professor, teaching professor, or research assistant professor) as a faculty member’s primary
appointment.

Affiliated faculty will not be granted tenure and/or promoted within a unit in which they hold an affiliated appointment.

Affiliated faculty appointments are possible with non-departmental and interdisciplinary programs as well as with departments or departmental programs.

All requests for affiliated appointments must be approved by the provost and president.

Requests for affiliated appointments also need approval from the:

  • faculty member’s primary academic department chair (if in a department),
  • dean of their primary college,
  • approval from the affiliated-appointment discipline’s department or college (for disciplinary appointments) or the appropriate executive group or director and dean(s) (for interdisciplinary appointments)
  • dean of the faculty member’s affiliated-appointment college.

Senate Policy 701.1


Revised:
05/05/2022 - Incorporated section 1.5.5, with edits as passed by the Senate (38-22) and administration
01/25/2017 - Moved "Affiliated Faculty Appointments" to 1.5.5
01/17/2017 - To reflect current practice. Senate Proposal 36-15 additions made concerning the definition of "Affiliated Faculty Appointments". Affiliated Faculty Appointments section added.
12/08/2016 - Annual Review: No changes made to content.
03/30/2015 - Annual Review: To reflect current practice, the email address for questions is now policy@mtu.edu. No changes made to content.
02/06/2014 - Annual Review: Updated Michigan Tech and Handbook banners, no changes made to content.
03/12/2013 - Annual Review: "(Senate Proposal 4-95)" is now "(Senate Policy 701.1)"
07/13/2011 - Annual Review: To reflect current University titles and practice, MTU is now Michigan Tech and the email address for questions is now hbwebmaster.
02/27/2007 - Format changes made.