Policy 5L: Policy on Approved Faculty Titles
The purpose of this policy is to provide an accurate description of all official, Regent-approved faculty titles. All faculty appointments must include an official faculty title. Faculty appointments shall be made according to Regent Policy 2-K, Delegation of Authority. Eligibility for benefits may vary by title; refer to the Benefits Eligibility Matrix available on the Payroll and Benefit Services website.
A. TENURE AND TENURE TRACK FACULTY
A tenured appointment can normally be held only by a person in the academic rank of Professor or Associate Professor. Tenure may be awarded only to faculty members who are employed by the University and who have demonstrated meritorious performance in each of the three areas of teaching, research/creative work, and leadership and service, and demonstrated excellence in either teaching or research/creative work. (Footnote: In the School of Medicine, tenure may be awarded only to faculty members with national or international reputations who have also demonstrated excellence in scholarship and teaching. See Regent Law 5.B.4.) Once attained, tenure remains in effect regardless of promotion to higher rank. Administrative positions do not carry the possibility of tenured appointments and, unless under a properly authorized term contract, are at will positions, but an administrator holding an eligible academic rank may be granted a tenured appointment as a faculty member. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members with appointments of 50% or more are members of the system-wide Faculty Senate.
Faculty members in the tenure track have limited term contracts. In the School of Medicine, tenure-eligible faculty members in the tenure track, may have limited, indeterminate or at will appointments. Once tenured, a faculty member holds a continuous appointment until retirement or resignation unless the faculty member leaves the university or is removed under provisions of the Laws of the Regents or Regent policy.
Assistant Professor: Assistant Professors appointed to tenure track positions should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, plus some teaching experience. They should be well-qualified to teach at the undergraduate or graduate levels and possess qualifications for research or scholarship in a special field or clinical discipline.
Associate Professor: Associate Professors should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, considerable successful teaching experience, and promising accomplishment in scholarship or in research. Normally the award of tenure accompanies appointment to or promotion to associate professor, except at the School of Medicine where tenure may be granted at any point in the faculty member’s career when he/she meets the School’s standards for tenure.
Professor: Professors (also called “Full Professors”) should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, and; (a) a record that, taken as a whole, may be judged to be excellent; (b) a record of significant contribution to graduate and/or undergraduate education, unless individual or departmental circumstances can be shown to require a stronger emphasis, or singular focus, on one or the other; and (c) a record since receiving tenure or promotion to Associate Professor that indicates substantial, significant, and continued growth, development, and accomplishment in teaching, research/creative work, and leadership and service.
B. NON-TENURE TRACK FACULTY
The Faculty Senate Constitution determines participation in the System Faculty Governance. Eligibility for participation in campus faculty governance activities will be at the discretion of the individual campus faculty assemblies. Eligible participation in school faculty governance activities will be at the discretion of the individual school.
Instructor: Instructors usually have their master’s degree or its equivalent and should be otherwise well-qualified to teach. Instructors are not tenure-eligible and their service as Instructor does not count toward the award of tenure. Instructors are usually employees at will. Only Instructors who engage in 50% or more clinical activity may be appointed to limited or indeterminate appointments. All other Instructors are at will employees except the limited number who are offered multi-year contracts as permitted by state law. Individual schools and colleges may require Instructors to perform scholarly and/or leadership and service activities, but must make clear distinctions between Instructors/Senior Instructors and tenure-track Assistant Professors in terms of job qualifications, work assignments or expectations.
Senior Instructor: The rank of Senior Instructor permits higher recognition and salary than that of Instructor. Senior Instructors are not tenure-eligible and their service as Senior Instructor does not count toward the award of tenure. Senior Instructors are usually employees at will. Only Senior Instructors who engage in 50% or more clinical activity may be appointed to limited or indeterminate appointments. All other Senior Instructors are at will employees by law. Individual schools and colleges may require Senior Instructors to perform scholarly and/or leadership and leadership and service activities, but must make clear distinctions between Instructors/Senior Instructors and tenure-track Assistant Professors in terms of job qualifications, work assignments or expectations.
Lecturer: Lecturer is the title given to individuals hired to teach on a course-by-course basis. Lecturers are qualified to teach the particular course or courses for which they have been hired. They may have graduate degrees and/or advanced experience in their profession or field of expertise. Lecturers are employees at will and are hired on a part-time basis to teach one or more courses per term.
Scholar in Residence: This title is given to individuals whose combination of academic background and career expertise in areas of business, industry, law, K-12 education, the arts or government makes them valuable contributors to the undergraduate or graduate curriculum of their primary unit. Scholars in Residence usually hold the terminal degree in their discipline but have spent much or all of their careers outside academia. They are employees at will.
Artist in Residence: This title is given to individuals whose career experience as an artist makes them valuable contributors to the undergraduate or graduate curriculum of their primary unit. Artists in Residence usually hold the terminal degree in their discipline but have spent much or all of their careers outside academia. They are employees at will.
C. CLINICAL TEACHING TRACK (C/T TRACK) FACULTY
Faculty members who hold Clinical Teaching Track titles are not eligible for tenure. Clinical Teaching Track faculty are usually employees at will. If Clinical Teaching Track faculty members are engaged in greater than 50% clinical activity, then they can be on a limited appointment. Faculty on the Clinical Teaching Track participate in a broad range of teaching and/or clinical activities and provide service to the university and the community, based upon their clinical obligations. They participate in research and scholarly activities to a limited degree. Clinical Teaching Track faculty are expected to demonstrate continued professional growth in their fields. Each school with Clinical Teaching Track faculty titles may have additional requirements for faculty holding these titles.
Instructor, Clinical Teaching Track: Instructors in the clinical teaching track usually have their master’s degree or equivalent in their field and should be well qualified to teach.
Senior Instructor, Clinical Teaching Track: This title permits higher recognition for higher qualifications or experience and, where applicable, salary than that of instructor.
Assistant Professor, Clinical Teaching Track: Assistant Professors in the clinical teaching track are expected to have the terminal degree and have some successful teaching experience. They are expected to teach and/or provide clinical care.
Associate Professor, Clinical Teaching Track: Associate Professors in the clinical teaching track must have the terminal degree, be well qualified to teach and/or provide clinical care with considerable demonstrated evidence of successful teaching and demonstrated leadership and service.
Professor, Clinical Teaching Track: Full Professors in the clinical teaching track must have the terminal degree, outstanding accomplishments in teaching, and/or provide clinical care, a record of leadership in the school, and a meritorious leadership and service record.
D. CLINICAL FACULTY
Clinical faculty members include practitioners or other professionals who perform teaching, research or clinical services on a part-time (less than 0.5 FTE) or volunteer basis. Those who provide clinical care and maintain an independent health care practice must carry their own malpractice insurance which covers both their university work as well as their private practice. Clinical faculty are expected to demonstrate continued professional growth in their fields. Each school with clinical faculty titles may have additional requirements for faculty holding those titles. Clinical faculty are not eligible for tenure. These positions are at will.
Clinical Instructor: Clinical Instructors usually have their master’s degree or equivalent and should be otherwise well qualified to teach and have evidence of either clinical or research experience.
Clinical Senior Instructor: Clinical Senior Instructors permits higher recognition and salary than that of Clinical Instructor.
Clinical Assistant Professor: Clinical Assistant Professors must have a terminal degree or equivalent and demonstrated professional experience to include teaching, clinical activity or research.
Clinical Associate Professor: Clinical Associate Professors must have a terminal degree or equivalent and demonstrated success in teaching, clinical activity or research.
Clinical Professor: Clinical Professors must have a terminal degree or equivalent and a record that, taken on the whole, is judged to be excellent and indicates substantial, significant and continued growth and development and accomplishment in teaching, research, clinical activity and leadership and service.
E. CLINICAL PRACTICE TRACK
Faculty members in the health sciences schools and colleges whose duties are focused primarily in direct patient care may hold titles in the Clinical Practice track if their school or college has approved the use of these titles. Faculty members in this track must demonstrate excellence in clinical care and meritorious teaching and are encouraged but not required to participate in scholarship. Each health science school and college may define additional requirements for appointment or promotion to each rank. Faculty members in the Clinical Practice track are not eligible for tenure. These appointments may be at-will, limited term or indeterminate, but must be at least 0.5 FTE.
Instructor of Clinical Practice: Instructors of Clinical Practice should have at least a master’s degree or equivalent in their field and should be otherwise well qualified as clinicians in their area of specialization and qualified to teach.
Senior Instructor of Clinical Practice: This title permits higher recognition for higher qualifications or experience and, where applicable, salary than that of an instructor.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice: Assistant Professors of Clinical Practice should have the terminal degree or equivalent, significant clinical experience and some successful teaching.
Associate Professor of Clinical Practice: Associate Professors of Clinical Practice should have the terminal degree or equivalent and demonstrated excellence in clinical practice and successful teaching.
Professor of Clinical Practice: Professors of Clinical Practice should have the terminal degree or equivalent and a record that, taken as a whole is judged to be excellent and that indicates substantial, significant and continued growth and development in clinical practice and teaching.
F. RESEARCH FACULTY
Faculty members whose primary duties are to conduct research will be given a title within the Research Associate or Research Professor series. Faculty members who are not involved in the instructional program will be appointed within the research associate series; those who are involved in the instructional program will be given a title within the research professor series. All faculty members who carry research titles will be supported by non-general funds.
Faculty appointments to the Research Professor series must be sponsored by an academic primary unit or by research institutes that have been authorized by the campus chancellor to make such appointments. Appointments sponsored by research institutes must be co-sponsored by an academic primary unit that will be a beneficiary of the instructional contributions of the research faculty member. Faculty appointed to the research associate or research professor series are employees at will, and they are not eligible for tenure.
F.1 RESEARCH PROFESSOR SERIES
Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Senior Instructor and Research Instructor: These titles are used for persons with qualifications similar to the Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Senior Instructor and Instructor respectively. (See Section A for descriptions of the academic qualifications for these titles.) These faculty are involved in research and have limited involvement in the instructional programs at the University.
F.2 RESEARCH ASSOCIATE SERIES
Individuals holding titles in this series are not involved in an instructional program at the University.
Professional Research Assistant (PRA): This title is held by individuals competent to carry out research or scholarly work of a quality comparable to that produced by a graduate student research assistant. Other persons eligible to be considered for appointment to the PRA title would be individuals, such as Graduate Student Teaching Assistants, who possess professional skills and competencies that can be applied to assist the professor directly in the support of the research program. A PRA works in a collaborative role with the principal investigator and contributes substantively to the investigation and analysis of the project. As a collaborator on the project, the PRA may receive full credit as co-author of publications and technical reports, and shares responsibilities in the research setting. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required for appointment to the Professional Research Assistant title.
Senior Professional Research Assistant: This title is held by individuals competent to carry out research or scholarly work of a quality comparable to that produced by an advanced Graduate Student Research Assistant. Appointment to this title is regarded as a promotion above the rank of PRA. The master’s degree or equivalent experience is required for appointment as a Senior PRA.
Research Associate: This title is granted to persons holding the doctor’s degree or its equivalent and whose academic qualifications may be comparable to the regular faculty ranks of Associate Professor or Assistant Professor.
Senior Research Associate: This title is granted to persons who, because of demonstrated superior service and performance, are recognized by the University as outstanding researchers in their field. Appointment to this position is to be regarded as a promotion above the existing rank of Research Associate, and may be comparable to the regular faculty rank of Professor.
Faculty Research Associate: Faculty members in the University who are temporarily assigned as “Research Associates” are given this title.
G. MUSEUM FACULTY
Museum Curator: This title refers to regular faculty rostered in the Museum, serving as heads of sections or subsections to oversee collections about which they have scholarly expertise. A Museum Curator is jointly appointed by the Museum and an academic department.
Museum Associate Curator: This title is used for regularly appointed members of the University of Colorado faculty in a department (other than the Museum) whose research interests would normally associate them with the Museum or who have expertise necessary for the proper identification of collections. This title provides no additional remuneration.
Museum Curator Adjoint: This title is granted to individuals not employed by the University of Colorado. This title provides no additional remuneration. Holders of this title have doctoral degrees or experience that provides equivalent proficiency. Retired faculty from other universities or professionals in industry with competence in areas relevant to the museum may be appointed. Holders of this title are more involved with collections than instruction.
Museum Associate: This title is granted to individuals who have developed competence in some area of the Museum’s interest and who are not eligible for other University titles. Museum Associates have the competence sufficient to be at the instructor rank. This title provides no additional remuneration.
H. TITLE PREFIXES
Adjoint: The titles Professor Adjoint, Associate Professor Adjoint, or Assistant Professor Adjoint are used to designate individuals, such as employees of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or other agencies or institutions who offer courses or supervise academic programs without compensation above their regular salary. Adjoint Professors have the usual privileges and responsibilities of members of the regular faculty, except that these positions are not tenure eligible and are at will. Their academic qualifications should be similar to those of regular faculty in full Professor, Associate, or Assistant ranks.
Adjunct: Adjunct faculty status of Professor Adjunct, Associate Professor Adjunct, and Assistant Professor Adjunct is awarded to an individual who previously held the rank of full Professor, Associate, or Assistant at a comparable higher education institution. Adjunct faculty members are hired on a course-by-course, part-time, non-tenure track basis (similar to Lecturers). The title of full Professor, Associate, or Assistant Professor Adjunct will be dependent upon the last rank held by the individual in a comparable institution. If the permanent faculty believes an individual’s qualifications and experience warrant an adjunct appointment even though the individual has not previously held a professorial rank, the title of Assistant Professor Adjunct normally would be recommended.
Visiting: The designation “visiting” before an academic title indicates that the faculty member has a temporary appointment for a defined period such as an academic year, semester, or summer term. The visiting title should indicate the faculty member’s rank at his/her home institution or planned for at this university.
Special Visiting Professor: This title may be recommended for distinguished persons who are not regular faculty members but who serve the University in some instructional capacity.
Attendant Rank: Attendant rank titles are Professor Attendant, Associate Professor Attendant, Assistant Professor Attendant, Senior Instructor Attendant, Instructor Attendant, Museum Curator Attendant, Museum Associate Curator Attendant, Museum Associate Attendant and may be granted to persons holding University administrative or service positions. Those approved for this rank are expected to possess the same scholarly qualifications in a discipline as regular faculty members and to engage in instructional activities without compensation over and above their regular salary. Those attaining this title have the same rights and privileges available to regular faculty members, except that they are not eligible for consideration for tenure.
I. PRESTIGE TITLES
Distinguished Professor: This title is extended by the Board of Regents to recognize the outstanding contributions of tenured CU faculty members to their academic disciplines. The faculty awarded this title must demonstrate accomplishments in accordance with the following University-wide criteria: (1) a record of excellence in both classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning; (2) a record of distinguished performance in research or creative work; and (3) a record of outstanding leadership and service to the profession and to CU and/or affiliate institutions. The title “distinguished” implies that there will be limited number of faculty members holding this title.
Endowed Chair/Endowed or Named Professor: This title is awarded to a faculty member who has been selected, by virtue of an outstanding record in an academic field, to fill a position that is endowed or funded by a donor. Holding an endowed or named chair/professorship, that is being an endowed or named professor, does not affect the faculty member’s existing University appointment. Endowed or named chairs/ professorships convey honor to their holders and provide a source of funding.
Emeritus: This distinction is awarded those faculty, in the ranks of full Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Senior Instructor, or Instructor, upon retirement, who are nominated by their department for this distinction and whose nomination is supported through the usual personnel review process.
History: Approved 09/08/2005; revised 06/21/2013; 04/29/14