Administrative Resources: Guidelines for Faculty Appointments

5/10/1998
Revised March 2003
Revised September 2006
Revised November 2006

These guidelines are intended to regularize the use of academic titles and benefits in the appointment of temporary and non-tenure-track faculty across the campus. Past practice in making such appointments has varied widely, with the same title sometimes meaning vastly different statuses and with similar statuses often being associated with vastly different titles.

The purpose of the guidelines is three-fold: to clarify the distinction between tenure-track and non-tenure-track positions; to clarify which positions are eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits (and to expand the number of positions eligible for such benefits); and to provide for appropriate assignment, evaluation, and possibility of advancement for those in non-tenure-track positions.

NUFlex and retirement benefits are governed by the University of Nebraska's retirement and insurance benefit plans. Notwithstanding any statement in the guidelines below, any faculty appointee with a .5 FTE or greater, not otherwise deemed a 'regular' employee for benefits purposes, is eligible (regardless of title designation) to participate in (1) NUFlex on the first day of the month following the shorter of six full months or one full semester of service; and (2) the retirement plan upon reaching age 26 and two years of service. Participation in the retirement plan is mandatory at age 30, following two years of service; for regular appointments, prior service with another educational employer may apply towards the two-year service requirement. While every effort has been made to ensure that these guidelines are consistent with the University's benefit plans, the benefit plan documents prevail over these guidelines should any conflict arise. This document requires that all new contracts for faculty appointments, starting with appointment for the 1998-99 academic and fiscal year, conform to the following guidelines and definitions:

TENURED AND TENURE-TRACK APPOINTMENTS

ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, AND (FULL) PROFESSOR: Appointment as an assistant, associate, or (full) professor is reserved for tenured and tenure-track, regular faculty positions (except for courtesy appointments as noted below).

INSTRUCTOR: The instructor category will be reserved for individuals recruited for a regular tenure-track assistant professor's job but who fail to complete their terminal degrees before starting. An individual will be appointed as instructor while ABD, but it is expected that his or her appointment will be upgraded to assistant professor at the beginning of the next academic year or (for 12-month appointments) the next July 1. Service as an instructor is limited to two years, and ordinarily no reappointment beyond two years will be permitted. Instructor is an appointment within the tenure track ordinarily eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.

REGULAR NON-TENURE-TRACK FACULTY APPOINTMENTS

EQUIVALENT RANK FACULTY (for example, ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, AND [FULL] EXTENSION EDUCATOR; ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, AND [FULL] FORESTER; ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, AND [FULL] GEOSCIENTIST). These are categories of non-tenure track appointments for individuals with specific duties in educational outreach or service. Such appointments at 0.5 FTE or greater are ordinarily eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.

VISITING APPOINTMENTS

VISITING ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, OR (FULL) PROFESSOR: Visiting assistant professor, visiting associate professor, and visiting (full) professor are categories of non-tenure-track appointment that are ordinarily reserved for faculty members who are on leave from appointments from other institutions or whose extensive professional or other accomplishments warrant such appointment. Appointment as a visiting assistant, visiting associate, or visiting full professor at or above 0.5 FTE is limited to three years of service within a five-year period. Such appointments at 0.5 FTE or greater are ordinarily eligible for NUFlex, but not retirement benefits.

LECTURER APPOINTMENTS

LECTURER/T: Lecturers/T are instructional faculty on non-tenure-track term appointments of less than one year (i.e. semester by semester appointments) and less than 0.5 FTE. There is no limit to how often these semester appointments may be renewed.

LECTURER: Lecturers are non-tenure-track faculty on term contracts. Contracts for lecturers may be written for terms of 1 to 2 years (or in exceptional cases, for longer terms) and are renewable (or not); as non-tenure-track faculty, lecturers are not subject to the 7-year limitation on length of service. Lecturer appointments must be 0.5 FTE or greater and are ordinarily eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.



ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE/FULL PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE:

See the Professor of Practice policy for a full description of these titles.

RESEARCH, COURTESY, AND OTHER APPOINTMENTS

RESEARCH ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, OR (FULL) PROFESSOR: Research assistant, associate, or (full) professor appointments are non-tenure-track appointments paid from grant or other extramural funds; contracts may be written for terms of 1 to 3 years (or in exceptional cases, for longer terms) and are renewable (or not); as non-tenure-track faculty, research assistant, associate, and (full) professors are not subject to the 7-year limitation on length of service; appointments at 0.5 FTE or greater are ordinarily eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.

SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Senior research associate appointments are non-tenure-track appointments paid primarily from grant or other extramural funds. An individual would be appointed to this rank on the basis of qualifications including a doctorate, three years of service as a Post-doctoral Research Associate, and a record of demonstrated superior performance in that position. Contracts for senior research associates may be written for terms of 1 to 3 years, and are renewable (or not), based on the performance and renewal of funding; as non-tenure-track faculty, senior research associates are not subject to the 7-year limitation on length of service. Senior research associates appointed at 0.5 or greater are ordinarily eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES: Post-doctoral appointments are research faculty on non-tenure track contracts. These are annual appointments and may be appointed for a maximum of five years. Post-doctoral research associates are not regular employees and do not qualify for retirement benefits; if appointed at 0.5 FTE or greater, however, they ordinarily are eligible for NUFlex benefits.

EXTENSION ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, OR (FULL) PROFESSOR: Extension assistant, associate, or (full) professor appointments are non-tenure-track appointments paid wholly or partially from grant or other extramural funds; contracts may be written for terms of 1 to 3 years (or in exceptional cases, for longer terms) and are renewable (or not); as non-tenure-track faculty, extension assistant, associate, and (full) professors are not subject to the 7-year limitation on lengths of service; appointments at 0.5 FTE or greater are ordinarily eligible for NUFLEX and retirement benefits.

ADJUNCT ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, OR (FULL) PROFESSOR: Adjunct appointments are unpaid appointments that permit the establishment of a fruitful relationship between the individual appointed and the appointing academic unit. Adjunct appointees are non-tenure-track and are not eligible for NUFlex or retirement benefits.

COURTESY APPOINTMENTS: Courtesy appointments are restricted to individuals holding non-temporary employment elsewhere on campus, and are made to facilitate useful and productive relationships among individuals in different University units. Courtesy appointments are non-tenure-track and do not include compensation or benefits. Courtesy appointments may be made at the rank of assistant, associate, or (full) professor, as appropriate.

HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS, SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS: High School Teacher is an appointment for instructional faculty in the Division of Continuing Studies with full-time, regular appointments; High School Teachers are eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits. Substitute Teacher is an appointment for individuals employed by the Division of Continuing Studies on an on-call, temporary basis, and appointed for less than one year and at less than 0.5 FTE. They are not eligible for NUFlex and retirement benefits.

OTHER TITLES: Individuals currently holding the title of Research Assistant, not requiring a terminal degree, should be moved to an appropriate managerial-professional (B-line) position, such as 'Research Engineer' or 'Research Technologist.' Use of other titles (such as adjunct research professor, visiting lecturer, etc.) are expected to conform to the pattern of usage outlined above.