II:01:05D Faculty Appointments

I. INTRODUCTION

Two broad categories of faculty appointments can be made at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU): 1) tenure/tenure track appointments; and 2) non-tenurable (special purpose) appointments. The University recognizes special needs and circumstances in which non-tenurable faculty appointments can be justified. The following constitute the types of faculty appointments that can be made at MTSU including temporary, tenure-track, tenure, clinical-track, research-track, and coordinator appointments.

II. TENURE AND TENURE-TRACK FACULTY APPOINTMENTS

The minimum rank criteria for appointment in tenure and tenure-track appointments are outlined in MTSU Policy II:01:05B Policies and Procedures for Promotion.

A. Tenure-track Appointments are appointments for regular full-time faculty with academic rank and may be for the academic or fiscal year. Tenure-track appointments are for faculty who are employed in a probationary period of employment prior to consideration for tenure. Tenure-track appointments shall not include any right to permanent or continuous employment, shall not create any manner of legal right, interest, or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment, and shall be subject to annual renewal by the University. Moreover, such appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specified salary or position, or employment during summer sessions or inter-sessions.

B. Tenure Appointments are appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) pursuant to the provisions of MTSU Policy II:01:05A Policies and Procedures for Tenure. To protect academic freedom, tenure appointments include the assurance of continued employment for the academic year for an indefinite period, subject to expiration, relinquishment, or termination of tenure as provided in MTSU Policy II:01:05A Policies and Procedures for Tenure. Such appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specified salary, position, or employment during summer sessions or inter-sessions.

III. NON-TENURABLE FACULTY APPOINTMENTS

A. Temporary Appointments are appointments for a specific purpose for a time appropriate to that purpose or for an unspecified period. Such appointments may be terminated according to the terms of the contract of employment or appointment. Temporary appointments do not carry rank and ordinarily should be used only for lecturers, adjunct, or part-time faculty, faculty employed to replace regular faculty on leave of absence, and faculty employed pursuant to grants or for projects funded in whole or in part by non-appropriated funds. Temporary appointments cannot be considered for promotion since no rank is associated with these positions. In addition, temporary appointments may be used for faculty employed on the basis of state appropriated funds in departments, divisions, or other academic units where the permanent and continued need for the position has not been established, provided that such appointments normally should not be in excess of three academic years. After that, the position can be re-advertised, and the instructor can apply again and be hired if he/she is the best candidate. Appointments of faculty members supported by more than fifty percent (50%) grant fund, or other soft money sources, may be approved by the University president for periods in excess of three years. Other extensions of temporary appointments for periods in excess of three (3) years require the approval of the Chancellor.

B. Clinical-Track, Research-Track, and Coordinator Faculty Positions

1. Description of Clinical-Track, Research-Track, and Coordinator Faculty Positions. The clinical-track, research-track, and coordinator positions originate in the department, are renewable for fixed terms, and are non-tenurable.

The clinical-track and research-track positions are full-time positions which may be converted to tenure-track prior to but not later than the expiration of the first three-year term, depending on funding availability and faculty performance. Faculty members holding one of these appointments may apply for the converted tenure-track position and, if successful, may be awarded up to three years toward tenure for prior service. While each appointment is for a fixed term not to exceed three (3) years, annual renewal is required. Terms are renewable indefinitely. Neither renewal within a fixed term nor reappointment to a new fixed term requires a new search.

Faculty in clinical-track appointments participate in academic programs by providing professional services, by exposing students to their professional expertise, and by directing students' educational experiences in clinical/professional settings where the faculty members practice. Clinical-track appointments may be supported, in whole or in part, by appropriated funds or funding from grants or contracts, from clinical practice or clinical/professional facilities, or from other sources. Individual job descriptions developed in the department will further define job duties.

Faculty in research-track appointments participate in the academic programs by conducting independent research projects and by mentoring students involved in the research process. Research-track appointments may be supported, in whole or in part, by appropriated funds or funding from grants or contracts, or other sources. Individual job descriptions developed in the department will further define job duties.

Coordinators teach and provide administrative services within the academic departments. They devote a preponderance of their time to faculty responsibilities including, but not limited to, teaching, advising, and student mentoring. Coordinators may also have responsibility for administering special academic projects, systems support, and other administrative services. Individual job descriptions developed in the department will further define job duties.

2. Ranks of Clinical-Track and Research-Track Faculty Positions

The clinical-track and research-track positions will have four ranks—instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. For instance, the four ranks for clinical-track faculty are Clinical Instructor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, and Clinical Professor. Advancement to a higher rank occurs at the time of annual reappointment, once specified criteria have been met and the advancement has been approved by the president and TBR. Procedures for advancement to the next rank are described below. Faculty in these appointments may participate in department/college/university governance decisions related to their position category. They may not participate in tenure or tenure-track personnel decisions.

Appointments are possible at all four ranks and should be the result of a search process similar to hiring a tenure-track faculty member. Faculty in these positions must hold at least an earned master's degree in an area appropriate for the appointment. In certain areas, licenses or certifications may be required.

For clinical-track and research-track faculty: for rank of instructor, a candidate must have an earned master's degree from an accredited college or university. For rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, a candidate must have an earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited college or university. Coordinator faculty do not hold rank and therefore are not subject to promotion.

3. Criteria for Appointment, Reappointment, and Annual Renewal for Clinical-Track, Research-Track, and Coordinator Faculty Positions and Advancement in Rank for Clinical-Track and Research-Track Faculty Positions

Annual renewal and reappointment for a new term both require satisfactory performance of assigned duties. To be eligible a candidate must have the degree in an area appropriate for the appointment, reappointment, or renewal.

In addition, to be eligible for appointment, reappointment, or renewal a candidate must:

a. Demonstrate quality work appropriate to the appointment type and discipline;

b. Demonstrate a willingness to collaborate with MTSU colleagues to ensure a quality program;

c. Demonstrate additional skills outside the primary focus area that are required by the position;

d. Hold appropriate certifications/licenses required by the position; and

e. For clinical-track and research-track faculty positions with rank, have an appropriate number of years of experience in an appropriate position: five years at assistant professor (or 5 years of equivalent experience) are required for appointment to associate professor; 5 years at associate professor (or 10 years of equivalent experience) are required for appointment to professor.

Additional or more specific appointment or review criteria may be developed by any department/school/program unit offering one of these positions. Changes to the criteria must be approved by the dean, the provost, and the president.

4. Review Process for Clinical-Track, Research-Track, and Coordinator Appointments

Annual review by the chair/director/supervisor is required for the clinical-track, research-track, and coordinator positions. Review by a departmental/school faculty committee is required prior to (1) reappointment to a new fixed term, (2) advancement to a higher rank (clinical-track and research-track only), or (3) non-reappointment during a fixed term. Annual renewal within a fixed term does not require a committee review.

For clinical-track and research-track faculty, appointment to a higher rank will occur at the beginning of a new fixed term once the criteria for the higher rank have been met. Advancement in rank requires a recommendation from the chair/director/supervisor, the departmental review committee, the college review committee, the dean, the provost, the president, and TBR.

Academic departments/schools/program units with a faculty member in one of these positions must describe (1) the composition of the review committee and (2) procedures for electing the review committee. (Program units that do not report to an academic department and who have faculty members in one of these positions will create a faculty review committee from one or more pertinent departments/schools for review of their clinical-track, research-track, and coordinator faculty.) Procedures for review of the faculty in these positions must be developed by each department/school/program unit and must be approved by the dean, the provost, and the president prior to use.

5. Termination for Clinical-Track, Research-Track, and Coordinator Appointments

Termination may occur at any point in the employment term with thirty (30) days notice. The University may terminate the employment agreement with seven (7) days written notice if said notice is given before August 1. This notice is considered as provided on the date the notice is placed in the U.S. mail.

Revisions: April 22, 2010; November 11, 2011.

Cross-references: MTSU Policy II:01:05B Policies and Procedures for Promotion; MTSU Policy II:01:05A Policies and Procedures for Tenure.