UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: Special Faculty Appointments

I. Introduction

This document defines the Special Faculty Appointments available to academic units and colleges to support their programs. The qualifications and workload expectations described herein aim to set a baseline. Colleges and units are at liberty to develop more stringent requirements and expectations for appointment, reappointment, and promotion. Academic credentials will be from accredited institutions of higher learning.

II. Procedure Statement

A special faculty appointment is a non-tenure track, renewable position of a fixed duration to fulfill a specific role in the life of an academic unit. Special faculty appointments can be renewed indefinitely.

A.  Initial Appointment

Colleges and academic units determine the level of initial appointment as part of the normal recruitment process and contract negotiation. The regular practice, however, is that new hires begin at the rank of lecturer or assistant.

B.  Duration of Appointments

While colleges and academic units determine the length of an appointment, typically three years is the minimum and five years is the maximum.

C.  Evaluation and Promotion

A faculty member in a special appointment is evaluated through the established college and academic unit mechanisms.  The evaluation process for reappointment and/or promotion includes formal peer review of work, and adheres to the principle of faculty governance that review committees are constituted through faculty elections.

While colleges and academic units determine progression requirements through the ranks, five years’ experience at the previous level is recommended.

Advancement through the ranks is optional and not a criterion for retention.

Colleges and academic units determine what, if any, incentives, financial or otherwise, are part of the promotion process.

Academic units are encouraged to support faculty who wish to engage in activities outside of their expected areas of contribution (e.g. research faculty who want to teach) to the extent that these activities support the unit and provide professional development opportunities for the faculty.

D.  Special Faculty Appointments

Lecturer

Lecturers support the academic mission of a department by contributing teaching and service directly related to teaching. Professional development that contributes to classroom instruction, curriculum, and advising is encouraged in Lecturers and expected in Senior Lecturers. Typically, the teaching load is four classes per semester.  

Lecturer

  • Master’s degree or higher in appropriate discipline
  • Promise of ongoing commitment to teaching and student success
  • Promise of continued professional development in pedagogy or other area related to instruction

Senior Lecturer

  • Master’s degree or higher in appropriate discipline
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching, and commitment to student success
  • Demonstrated evidence of leadership in instruction and instructional innovation
  • Demonstrated continued professional development in pedagogy or other area related to instruction
Teaching Professor

Teaching professors support the academic mission of a department through distinguished teaching, curriculum innovation, advising, and professional development.

Assistant Teaching Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Potential for effective teaching, curriculum development and innovation, scholarship of pedagogy
  • Promise of ongoing commitment to teaching and student success
  • Ability or definite promise to assume leadership roles in curricular matters and mentoring
  • Ability and willingness to participate in department, college and university affairs

Associate Teaching Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching and curriculum development and innovation
  • Professional contributions to the scholarship of pedagogy
  • Demonstrated commitment to student success
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in department, college and university affairs

Full Teaching Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching and commitment to student success
  • Expertise in teaching, curriculum development and innovation
  • Established reputation through published research on pedagogy
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to assume leadership roles in department, college and university affairs
Clinical Professor

Clinical Professors promote the integration of academic scholarship with practical experience. While many Clinical Professors have professional experience, some come from traditional academic backgrounds. Clinical Professors provide faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate students with an understanding of the practical applications of a particular field of study. Clinical Professors teach courses, advise students, and conduct research or collaborate in areas directly related to their expertise and experience.

Assistant Clinical Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline, or extensive practical experience in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Potential for directing activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Potential for effective teaching and service
  • Ability and willingness to participate in department, college, and university affairs as is appropriate

Associate Clinical Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline, or extensive practical experience in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Recognized ability and distinction in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility.
  • Demonstrated effective teaching and appropriate service
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in department, college and university affairs as is appropriate

Full Clinical Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline, or extensive practical experience in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Distinguished achievement in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility.
  • Demonstrated excellence and leadership in teaching and appropriate service
  • Demonstrated leadership in faculty governance at the unit, college, and university level as is appropriate
Research Professor

The primary effort of Research Professors is in published research and grants rather than instruction. They participate in the educational activities to a degree consistent with their research responsibilities. They may contribute to seminars, classes, and symposia as arranged within the academic unit. In many cases, research faculty can assist in the research training of dissertation candidates or post-doctoral trainees.

Assistant Research Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Potential for eventual distinction in research
  • Potential for securing external funding
  • Ability and willingness to participate in department, college, and university affairs

Associate Research Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Demonstrated excellence in academic publication or established reputation in the individual’s field of scholarly activity
  • Record of securing external funding
  • Record of departmental, college and university service obligations as deemed appropriate by the unit

Full Research Professor

  • Terminal degree in appropriate discipline
  • Established reputation in the individual’s field of scholarly activity
  • Record of securing significant external funding
  • Record of distinguished leadership in departmental, college and university service as deemed appropriate by the unit
Professor of Practice

Professors of Practice bring extensive practical experience to the teaching field to which they are assigned.  Generally, they are licensed professionals or hold similar certifications or credentials, and have documentation of their experience that demonstrates their qualifications in the subjects they are assigned.

Assistant Professor of Practice

  • Master’s or higher degree in the assigned field and a minimum of ten years of professional experience in their realm of assigned responsibility
  • A licensed professional or hold similar certifications or credentials in their field
  • Extensive practical experience in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Potential for directing curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Ability and willingness to participate in unit, department, college, and university affairs

Associate Professor of Practice

  • A Master’s or higher degree in the assigned field and, for initial appointment as an Associate Professor of Practice, a minimum of fifteen years of professional experience in their realm of assigned responsibility
  • A licensed professional or hold similar certifications or credentials in their field
  • Recognized ability and distinction in practice in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in unit, department, college, and university affairs

Professor of Practice

  • Master’s or higher degree in the assigned field and, for an initial appointment as Professor of Practice, a minimum of twenty years of professional experience in their realm of assigned responsibility and substantial professional experience, typically at a managerial level
  • A licensed professional, or hold similar certifications or credentials in their field
  • Distinguished achievement as a practicing professional in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Established reputation in the professional field
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in unit, department, college and university affairs
Visiting Professor

Visiting Assistant Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Professor

  • Earned doctorate or other terminal degree
  • Level of appointment determined by rank at home institution or equivalent level of experience
  • Ability in the mutually agreed upon realms of responsibility
  • Ability and willingness to participate in department, college and university affairs as determined at the time of appointment
  • Maximum appointment term of one year

III. Definitions

  • Special Faculty Appointment - a non-tenure track, renewable position of a fixed duration to fulfill a specific role in the life of an academic unit.  Special faculty appointments can be renewed indefinitely.

IV. Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Established: April 1, 2016
  • Revised: March 15, 2018 [Faculty Council approved changes]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can exceptions be made? 
    Exceptions to the Criteria for Accreditation of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) can be requested through the Faculty Qualifications Report (AA-21).