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Academic Rank and Criteria for Ranks

(Board of Visitors Policy, #1410)
  1. Board of Visitors Policy and Criteria for Academic Rank (Tenure-track Faculty)
    1. Full-time faculty members holding the following academic ranks are eligible to be considered for tenure after a suitable probationary period, and time at Old Dominion University in these ranks is counted toward the probationary period unless procedures for reduction in the probationary period are followed (see Policy on Initial Appointment of Teaching and Research Faculty).
      1. Professor - This rank is one of the highest honors that the University can bestow.
        1. Professors are teacher-scholars of genuinely national standing who have made recognized contributions to the University and to their disciplines. They are expected to have demonstrated excellence in teaching, to have performed recognized and outstanding research and scholarly activity in their fields of specialization, and to have been pre-eminent in professional service. Except under most unusual circumstances, the highest terminal degree in the field is required.

      2. Associate Professor - Appointment or promotion to the rank of associate professor is an honor based on demonstrable performance.
        1. Criteria include an established high quality of performance in teaching, research, and service and pre-eminence in at least one of these areas. Except under most unusual circumstances, the highest terminal degree normally attainable in the field is required.

      3. Assistant Professor - Appointment or promotion to the rank of assistant professor is the usual rank upon initial hiring.
        1. Criteria – This rank usually requires the highest terminal degree normally held in the field or its clear equivalent. Evidence of promise in teaching, research, and service is required. Faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor may be considered for tenure only if promotion to associate professor is simultaneously considered.

  2. Board of Visitors Policy and Criteria for Academic Rank (Nontenure-track Faculty)
    1. Full-time faculty members holding the following ranks are not eligible for tenure, but time at Old Dominion University in these ranks may be counted as part of the probationary period for tenure, except as noted in paragraph 1.a. below.
      1. Instructor - Appointment to the rank of instructor is based on evidence of promise in teaching. Instructors normally hold master's degrees in their areas of specialization. There are three types of instructors at Old Dominion University:
        1. Faculty members normally lacking the highest terminal degree who are employed to teach undergraduate courses, usually on the freshman and sophomore levels -- They normally receive annual appointments for a period of three years, but in exceptional circumstances they may be reappointed for a maximum of three additional annual contracts. They must be informed in writing at the time of the original appointment that their positions are not permanent and that they will not be eligible to be considered for tenure.

        2. Instructors who are terminal degree candidates – Candidates for a terminal degree may be given annual appointments as instructors if they can provide evidence that they will complete all requirements for the terminal degree within the first year of teaching at Old Dominion University. An instructor in this category who completes this work, and whose department recommends reappointment, is given a second annual contract as an assistant professor and is eligible for tenure at the end of the usual probationary period. An instructor in this category who completes all degree requirements during the first semester at Old Dominion University is given the title of assistant professor for the second semester. An instructor in this category who does not complete all requirements for the terminal degree within the first year of employment is normally not reappointed for a second year, but a second annual contract as instructor may be granted with the approval of the chair, dean and provost and vice president for academic affairs; if all requirements for the degree are completed within the second year, the instructor is promoted to the rank of assistant professor. If all degree requirements are not completed during the second year, a third and terminal contract as instructor may be granted but the faculty member is not eligible for consideration for promotion or tenure.

        3. Tenure-track, master’s-level instructors -- In certain professional departments in which the master’s degree is the terminal degree, faculty members who have three years or less of full-time teaching experience at the college level are normally appointed initially to the rank of instructor. Such faculty members are eligible for promotion to the rank of assistant professor after two years in the instructor’s rank on the recommendation of the chair and dean and on the approval of the provost and vice president for academic affairs. In exceptional cases, where professional experience is clearly demonstrated, the requirement of prior experience may be waived with the approval of the chair, dean, and provost and vice president for academic affairs.

      2. The following full-time academic ranks do not carry tenure, but if a faculty member who has held one of these ranks is subsequently appointed to a tenure-track position as described in section I.A., time spent at Old Dominion University in one of these ranks may be counted as part of the probationary period for tenure.
        1. Visiting professor - This rank is reserved for scholars of distinction who agree to come to the University for one year or less in order to serve a particular need in a college or department. Credentials equal to those required of a full professor are required.

        2. Visiting associate professor - This rank is reserved for scholars of distinction who agree to come to the University for one year or less in order to serve a particular need in a college or department. Credentials equal to those required of an associate professor are required.

        3. Visiting assistant professor - This rank is reserved for scholars of distinction who agree to come to the University for one year or less in order to serve a particular need in a college or department. Credentials equal to those required of an assistant professor are required.

      3. The following academic ranks do not carry tenure, and time at Old Dominion University in these ranks is not counted as part of the probationary period for tenure. All appointments and reappointments are contingent upon available funding.
        1. Assistant instructor - This is a full-time rank requiring at least a bachelor’s degree in the area of specialization. Except under unusual circumstances, assistant instructors do not teach courses carrying degree credits.

        2. Lecturer - This is a full-time rank that requires an appropriate master’s degree and evidence of teaching ability. Demonstrated expertise in a specific field may also be required.

        3. Senior lecturer - This is a full-time rank that requires an appropriate master's degree, demonstrated expertise in the field, a sustained record of effective performance in teaching and professional service, evidence of continued development and study in the field, and a minimum of five years' experience at the rank of lecturer or equivalent. Persons appointed to this rank are expected to assume a predominantly instructional role, at undergraduate or graduate levels, and participate in other professional service activities normally assigned to or expected of full-time faculty.

        4. Faculty of Practice - Faculty of practice are appointed at the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor. Such appointments are generally made for a specified term and do not lead to tenure or promotion during the specified term. A faculty of practice appointment may be for a term of one to three years and may be renewable under exceptional circumstances. Faculty members in such positions may be employed to work on a specific project or series of projects that could involve teaching, research or service or some combination of these activities. If used in teaching, they need to meet all University credential requirements. Employment of such faculty in project-related positions may be limited by the funds available. Faculty of practice may serve on some University-wide committees and, depending on college and department policies, may serve on some department and college committees. They cannot vote on appointments, retention, promotion, or tenure of faculty. Initial appointment or reappointment of faculty of practice must be reviewed and recommended for appointment or reappointment by the promotion and tenure committee of the department in question. A tenure-track faculty member who is denied tenure shall not be eligible for a faculty of practice appointment for five years after being denied tenure. Faculty of practice appointments should not exceed 10% of the total number of tenured/tenure-track positions in a college.

        5. Intercollegiate coach - This is a full-time rank normally requiring a master’s degree and a record of demonstrated performance in the area of specialization. Persons holding this rank devote half time or less to the instruction of credit students. These positions are normally funded from both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth sources.

        6. The University supports the involvement of distinguished practitioners from many disciplines and fields as academics as a means to enrich the experiences of students. Examples of such practitioners are as follows.
          1. Artist-in-residence - The holder of this position is a distinguished practitioner of the fine arts, employed either full time or part time by the University. In most cases, an artist-in-residence devotes half time or less to the instruction of credit students. The rest of the time, for a full-time faculty member, is devoted to noncredit course work and other public service activities; to unstructured instruction to University students; to professional service to the community; and to any combination of these activities. The main criterion for reappointment is pre-eminence in an artistic field, and the normal academic credentials, such as advanced degrees or experience in university teaching, are not necessarily required.

          2. Performer-in-residence - The description of this position is basically equivalent to that of artist-in-residence, except that the holder is a distinguished practitioner of the performing arts whose service to the University and the community may include performances available to the University community and to the region.

          3. Writer-in-residence - The description of this position is basically equivalent to that of artist-in-residence, except that the holder is a creative writer of distinction.

        7. Research Faculty
          1. Research professor - Faculty members in this position, which may be either full time or part time, are devoting most of their efforts to research and are normally not teaching more than one course a semester. These positions are normally funded from non-Commonwealth funds. A research professor must meet the research criteria demanded of a full professor in the relevant department.

          2. Research associate professor - This position has the same credentials and expectations as that of research professor except that designation at this rank must also meet the research criteria for appointment to the rank of associate professor in the department(s) to which the research associate professor is attached.

          3. Research assistant professor - This position has the same credentials and expectations as that of research associate professor except that this designation must also meet the research criteria for assistant professor in the department(s) to which the research assistant professor is attached.

          4. Personnel with the title of research professor, research associate professor and research assistant professor may chair doctoral and master’s committees provided they are certified as graduate faculty. Research personnel are subject to all University, college and department policies and procedures governing graduate teaching, program implementation, and oversight of graduate research and must undergo the same formal academic review and graduate certification review as required of tenured and tenure-track faculty members.

          5. Research associate - This position has the same characteristics as that of research assistant professor except that those holding it meet the criteria for instructor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          6. Postdoctoral Research Associate - This position is generally reserved for a person who has recently completed his or her doctoral degree. While the primary employment activity will be research related, some teaching may be allowed. In general, these positions are funded through non-Commonwealth funds.

        8. Adjunct Faculty
          1. Adjunct professor - This rank is awarded to persons engaged in part-time teaching or special services who meet the criteria demanded of a full professor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          2. Adjunct associate professor - This position is awarded to persons engaged in part-time teaching or special services who meet the criteria established for associate professor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          3. Adjunct assistant professor - This position is awarded to persons engaged in part-time teaching or special services who meet the criteria established for assistant professor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          4. Adjunct instructor - This position is held by part-time faculty members who meet the criteria established for instructor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          5. Adjunct assistant instructors - This position is held by part-time faculty members who meet the criteria established for assistant instructor in the department(s) to which they are attached.

          6. Adjunct clinical faculty, adjunct community faculty - The titles adjunct clinical faculty or adjunct community faculty (as appropriate), with their respective ranks, may be awarded to persons engaged in part-time teaching or special services relating to the practical instruction of students, and who meet the professional and academic criteria for those ranks established in the department(s) to which they are attached. These titles pertain to persons who are not normally paid a salary by the university, but who supervise activities designed to give students practical experience in a given profession.

        9. Other - The president may recommend to the Board of Visitors the establishment of other nontenured positions to allow the appointment of persons distinguished in their fields but not covered by any of the above.

- Adopted by the Board of Visitors
September 26, 2013
Revised September 18, 2014


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