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PAc-1 Definition of Academic Titles

Policy:  PAc-1
Subject:  Definition of Academic Titles
Approval Date:  07/01/85
Revision Date:  05/12/95; 03/13/2009; 08/08/2019
Last Review Date: 08/08/19

PURPOSE:
To describe the academic titles and the qualifications necessary for appointments or promotion to them.
 
EARNED DEGREES: 
In assessing candidates' credentials for personnel actions, the University will accept only those degrees earned at institutions in the United States that have been accredited by regional higher education accrediting associations and professional accrediting associations (in disciplines in which such accrediting takes place) or foreign degrees that have been earned at institutions recognized by their respective governments.  These earned degrees are the only ones that the University will acknowledge for appointment, determination of rank, or subsequent personnel decisions.  Further, misrepresentation of such information by an individual can be cause for termination of employment.
 
TERMINAL DEGREE:
The terminal degree will be considered an earned doctorate from an accredited institution in the individual's teaching field as recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Exceptions will be those non-doctoral degrees considered to be terminal degrees by discipline-specific accrediting bodies recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA). 

REGARDING THE CRITERIA FOR RANKS:
The minimal criteria set forth for these ranks should not be interpreted as an exclusive set of conditions to be met or so rigidly applied as to prevent the appointment or promotion when an individual submits an approved record of outstanding professional experiences and demonstrated contributions to the teaching field in lieu of formal academic preparation.  These criteria may be supplemented by departmental and/or college requirements agreed upon by the faculty of the department and colleges.  Deans and/or Department Chairs/Associate Deans must inform faculty members and the University Faculty Promotion Committee of all supplemental requirements for promotion.

GENERAL ACADEMIC RANKS:   
These following ranks are recognized by the University. 
  
  1. Lecturer. This title is used for appointments of nonregular faculty members who teach on a temporary or ad hoc basis, or if on a continuing basis, for less than full-time. The minimum qualification is the master's degree with 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching field or an approved record of outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching field.
  2. Instructor. This title is for an individual whose primary responsibility is teaching. The minimum qualification for this fixed-term, non-tenurable faculty rank is a master's degree with at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching field or an approved record of outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching field.
  3. Assistant Professor or Visiting Assistant Professor.  The terminal degree in the teaching field is expected for this rank.
  4.  Associate Professor. The Associate Professor shall possess the terminal degree in the teaching field, and if the rank is granted upon appointment, there must be evidence of scholarly, artistic, or professional achievements.  Consistent with PAc-2, this rank will be awarded to assistant professors who successfully complete their probationary periods and achieve tenure.
  5.  Professor. The terminal degree in the teaching field is required, and if the rank is granted upon appointment, there must be evidence of scholarly, artistic, or professional achievements. This rank should be reserved for persons of proven stature in their fields.  When considered for promotion to this rank, a faculty member must meet the criteria required in PAc-2.
 
CLINICAL FACULTY APPOINTMENTS:
A Clinical Faculty Appointment is used for current or former staff employees of external clinical affiliates associated with such programs of study at the University.

VISITING APPOINTMENTS:
Visiting appointment titles are used to designate individuals from other institutions or employees who are employed either full-time or part-time for a limited period of time.  The titles used for these visiting appointments will be determined by the academic unit and approved by the Provost.