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Academic Ranks and Titles
The university recognizes various professorial ranks, which have significance in regard to benefits, rights, and obligations. These ranks are professor, associate professor, and assistant professor. The professorial ranks may be modified by the use of words such as "research," "emeritus" or "emerita", "visiting," "practice," and/or "adjunct." All such modified professorial appointments and all appointments to lecturer are nontenure-track. Time spent in such an appointment does not accrue toward the probationary period of any eventual tenure-track appointment.
Assistant professor, associate professor, and professor are ranks given usually to faculty who have earned the Ph.D. or its equivalent. (The university reserves the sole right to determine the measure of degree equivalencies.) Full-time faculty members in the unmodified professorial ranks are expected to participate in all three broad areas of activity—teaching and advising, scholarship, and service to the university and to one's discipline—in accord with various faculty, administrative, and trustee statements on tenure and promotion. (See Chapter 3, Faculty Responsibilities and Chapter 4, Tenure and Promotion.)
Appointment to one of the numerous endowed professorships at Tufts University is an honor. The dean of the school recommends such appointment to the provost and president; subsequently the trustees' Academic Affairs Committee votes. The names of all faculty members holding endowed professorships are reported annually to the Academic Affairs Committee. An appointment to an endowed professorship may be made from the ranks of Tufts faculty or an individual may be recruited from outside the institution and appointed to an endowed professorship.
Modified Professorial Ranks
As stated, the ranks of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor may be modified by "research," "emeritus" or "emerita", "visiting," "practice," or "adjunct." Faculty members with such modified titles are not eligible for tenure. Faculty members with modified titles, with the exception of full-time professors of the practice in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering, are not voting members of the faculty.
Research Faculty. Research faculty members are normally expected to dedicate their full professional commitment to research and associated educational activities, but may teach one course per semester. A research faculty appointment requires independent external support. The faculty member is expected to obtain his or her full compensation and associated indirect costs through external grant or contract sources. In the School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, this research appointment terminates at any time the full external support terminates or is reduced to a level that is insufficient to provide full compensation and associated indirect costs. (However, the dean of the school may, with the concurrence of the provost and the availability of budgeted school funds for this purpose, carry the individual whose support is reduced or terminated at full salary for an additional period of up to twelve months, to allow time to reestablish funding. The school in which the individual is appointed is responsible for the unsupported salary during the additional period.) The School of Engineering allows for part-time research faculty members. At no time may an untenured faculty member appointed to a tenure-track position switch to a research position. If a person is considered for tenure and tenure is not granted, he or she will not be eligible for subsequent employment at the university as a research professor. The names of all full-time research faculty members are reported annually to the Trustee Academic Affairs Committee. Please visit the provost office's website for more information about the Policy on Research Faculty Appointments, available here.
Faculty Emeriti. The department chair and the dean of the school may recommend that tenured faculty members with meritorious professional achievements who have served Tufts University for at least ten years in a full-time capacity and are in good standing under normal circumstances prior to retirement be awarded emeritus/emerita status upon their retirement.
The department chair and the dean of the school may recommend that senior lecturers with meritorious professional achievement who have taught for at least 15 years in a full-time capacity and are in good standing under normal circumstances prior to retirements be awarded emeritus/emerita status upon their retirement.
This recommendation is sent from the dean to the provost and president for approval. Emeritus/emerita appointments are reported to the Academic Affairs Committee of the trustees. More information on opportunities for faculty emeriti is available here.
Visiting Faculty. The title "visiting assistant professor," "visiting associate professor," or "visiting professor" shall be used to designate a faculty member who holds an appointment at another institution, but who is on leave to be at Tufts for a specified period of time. The rank for visiting faculty members must correspond to the rank that is held at the home institution. For example, if the faculty member is an associate professor at another institution, he/she would be a visiting associate professor at Tufts University. Faculty members holding such "visiting" positions are not eligible for tenure. It is standard practice in Arts and Sciences and in Engineering to limit paid visiting appointments to three years. The "visiting" title may be used for unpaid courtesy appointments. In some cases, individuals holding such appointments may be paid to teach or for other services.
Adjunct Faculty. In the School of Arts and Sciences, a title containing the word "adjunct" may be held by a Tufts faculty member whose primary appointment is outside the School of Arts and Sciences. In the School of Engineering, a title containing the word "adjunct" may be held by a faculty members whose primary appointment is outside the School of Engineering.
Practice Faculty (School of Arts and Sciences). The title "professor of the practice" shall be held by a person with eminent accomplishments in his/her field and whose expertise complements the educational and scholarly work in his/her department or program. The initial terms of the appointment will vary between one semester and three years and may be renewed. An individual holding an "of the Practice" appointment for a total period exceeding three years is expected to maintain active involvement in the profession. Professors of the Practice can hold either full-time or part-time appointments. Professors of the Practice designated full-time are eligible to vote at faculty meetings. Professors of the Practice are not eligible for tenure in the School of Arts and Sciences. The expectation is that these faculty members will have a significant on-campus presence. The extent to which these faculty members participate in departmental or program affairs will be left to the discretion of each academic unit.
Practice Faculty (School of Engineering). "Professors of the practice" are individuals with an eminent background in the practice of engineering. An individual holding a "practice" appointment for a total period exceeding three consecutive years is expected to sustain his/her professional practice activities and bring this experience to the classroom as a condition of reappointment. Professors of the Practice designated full-time are eligible to vote at faculty meetings. Professors of the Practice are not eligible for tenure in the Faculty of Engineering.
Instructors are faculty members who have been appointed to tenure-track positions, but who have not yet attained the Ph.D. or its equivalent. Upon certification of the completion of the degree and approval of the dean, they may attain professorial rank. Time spent in the rank of instructor does not count toward the probationary period for tenure. Like full-time faculty members in the unmodified professorial ranks, instructors are expected to participate in all three broad areas of activity–teaching and advising, scholarship, and university service. Instructors may vote in meetings of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering and Arts and Sciences. This appointment can be for three years but usually it is held for one or two years. This title is not currently in use by the School of Engineering.
The position of lecturer can be either full- or part-time. Full-time lecturers are committed to engage in teaching, advising, and other departmental and university service. Therefore, status as a full-time lecturer is not distinguished from part-time solely on the basis of the number of courses taught. Scholarly work is not a condition of employment for lecturers, which is why their normal teaching load is the equivalent of six courses per academic year. Lecturers designated full-time are eligible to vote at faculty meetings. Participation of full-time lecturers in department meetings and service activities is at the discretion of the department, except where expressly prohibited.
Lecturers who are designated as part-time are invited to attend faculty meetings without vote. Lecturers who teach three or more courses during the academic year are eligible for benefits. They shall not be assigned formal advisees.
Lecturers are not eligible for tenure nor does any time spent as a lecturer contribute to any eventual probationary period for tenure. Lecturers are not eligible for sabbatical or other research leaves. Full-time senior lecturers in the School of Arts and Sciences may apply for one of three competitive professional development leaves, as described in Article 14, Section 5 of the CBA for Full-time Lecturers. A lecturer with a record of particular distinction may be promoted to the rank of senior lecturer. This procedure is described later in the chapter.
Visiting Artist, Visiting Scientist, and Visiting Scholar
The policies described in this handbook are not applicable to visiting artists, visiting scientists, or visiting scholars. Their terms of appointment are set forth in their contracts. These appointments are granted by the dean on the recommendation of a department chair, and are typically used for courtesy, nonteaching appointments. In some cases, individuals holding such appointments may be paid to teach or for other services. This requires written approval of the dean. These appointments may last from a few weeks up to one year, with the possibility of renewal.
The policies described in this handbook are not applicable to coach lecturers in the Department of Athletics. The terms of appointment for coach lecturers are set forth in their contracts. They are ineligible for tenure and ineligible for sabbatical or other research leaves.
Joint and Secondary Appointments
An individual may hold one primary faculty appointment at Tufts, but may have more than one additional faculty appointment.
A joint appointment reflects a shared fiscal and time commitment in more than one school, college, department, or center at Tufts University. If the faculty member is eligible for tenure, such tenure must be earned in each unit where the faculty member holds an appointment.
A secondary appointment reflects a meaningful research, teaching, or graduate student supervisory commitment in another department within the school that does not involve a major fiscal or time commitment. In the School of Arts and Sciences, this appointment may or may not involve a salary commitment. In the School of Engineering, this is an unpaid appointment. If the faculty member is eligible for tenure, such tenure may be earned only where the faculty member holds the primary faculty appointment.
In the School of Engineering, faculty members may serve a three-year term per secondary appointment, which his renewable based on evidence of collaboration. To request a secondary appointment, the department chair conducts a vote of the department faculty members, sends a letter of recommendation to the dean, and the dean of the school makes the final decision.
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