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E06.0 Policies on Faculty Rank and Promotion

 

Scope: All RIT Faculty

I. Faculty Categories, Ranks and Responsibilities

A. Categories and Ranks

Table 1 lists all faculty categories and ranks that may exist at the university; further classification information is described in Policy E1.0 - Employee Classification and Status

Table 1: Faculty Categories and Ranks
Category Ranks
Regular Faculty Employees
Tenure-Track Faculty Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor*
Non-Tenure Track Lecturers Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer
Non-Tenure Track Research Faculty Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Research Professor
Extended Faculty None
Non-Tenure Track Adjunct Adjuct faculty is a category of employment as defined in E1.0 Employee Classification and Status
Non RIT Employees
Clinical Faculty Clinical Instructor, Assistant Clinical Professor, Associate Clinical Professor, Clinical Professor
Guest Lecturer None
Affiliate None

*In this policy, "Professor" means a faculty member with the rank of professor.

B. Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty responsibilities are divided into the following three categories: (a) teaching; (b) scholarship; and (c) service, as defined in E4.0 Faculty Employment Policies. The balance among these responsibilities varies by category and rank. Responsibilities for non-tenure-track faculty can be found in the appropriate sections below.

C. Definition of non-tenure track (NTT) faculty

A non-tenure-track faculty member is a faculty employee of the university not on tenure track hired under the auspices of one of the colleges, whether full-time or less than full-time. A non-tenure-track faculty member is employed for a specific period of time and the university is not committed to provide employment beyond the time specified. Appointment to any of the non-tenure-track classifications presented in this policy does not qualify a person for consideration for tenure or other privileges accorded to tenure-track faculty. Definitions for each non-tenure-track classification and rank are found later in this policy.

D. Financial Exigency and Program Discontinuance 

The terms of appointment outlined in this policy will be followed except in the cases of financial exigency or program discontinuance where policies E22.0 - Policy on Financial Exigency or E20.0 – Policy on the Discontinuance, Reduction, or Transfer of Academic Programs will apply.

II. General Guidelines for Promotion

Promotion to the next higher rank in a faculty classification is based on a faculty member’s academic and professional qualifications and achievements in the categories of teaching, scholarship, and service as defined in E4.0 – Faculty Employment Policies and as expected within a particular category and rank.  Academic and professional qualifications refer to past and present professional and career experiences, professional recognition in the form of licenses, honors, degree attainments, and sustained effort directed toward professional and career development.

Although engagement in teaching, scholarship and service is expected of all tenure-track faculty, no faculty member has to be deeply engaged in all of the activities identified in E4.0 at any one time.

A. College Policy

Each college shall develop and publish its own specific promotion policy and promotion expectations, including qualities and achievements as well as acceptable forms of evidence and documentation.  The college promotion policy, expectations, and acceptable forms of documentation shall be no less specific than, and must be consistent with this policy and E4.0 Faculty Employment Policy. Faculty within each administrative unit may define specific standards or qualities related to scholarship that are consistent with both university and college policies. In addition, the college's schedule for promotion must be consistent with the schedule in Section II. D below and the “Dates for Faculty Actions and Academic Ceremonies” as distributed by the Office of the Provost. The college promotion policy, including the college expectations for promotion shall be approved by the voting faculty of the individual colleges. The college policies and expectations that are required by university policy E06.0 shall be published and archived as described in B05.0 IV.D. Governance Policy Promulgation. 

B. College Promotion Committee(s)

1. Composition - Each college shall have a procedure for establishing one or more promotion committees as needed. The committee(s) shall be a college-wide committee which is established such that a minimum of one member returns from the previous year in order to provide continuity over time.  If more than one promotion committee exists, membership on the committee(s) may overlap as necessary and appropriate. In cases where a promotion committee member cannot serve, that member shall be replaced as outlined in the college’s policy.  If a department head is a member of a promotion committee, he or she will recuse him or herself from the committee if a member of his or her department is a candidate for promotion. 

The dean of the college will ensure that a promotion committee is formed according to the college policy.

a. Tenure Track Faculty

i. For the promotion from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor at the time of tenure, the composition, responsibility, and voting of the committee that handles the promotion is covered in policy E5.0 Policies on Tenure. In the rare case of promotion from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor after the time of tenure, the committee structure and function will be same as described below in section II.B.a.ii. 

ii. The promotion committee for associate professors shall be a college-wide committee composed of six college faculty members, all of whom are tenured Professors in the college. If a college has fewer than six tenured Professors then the provost will ask the Academic Senate to establish an appropriate promotion committee that includes all the tenured Professors in the college and additional tenured Professors appointed by the Academic Senate. The committee shall select its chair from committee members within the college.

iii. In the case of a joint academic appointment that spans two colleges, a joint promotion committee shall be formed according to the college policies where the candidate’s primary appointment and tenure reside. The committee will be composed of four tenured Professors of the college in which the candidate’s primary appointment and tenure reside and two tenured Professors from the college in which the candidate’s secondary appointment resides. The committee shall select its chair from committee members within the college in which the candidate’s primary appointment and tenure reside. The committee shall review the candidate based on the promotion criteria of the university as outlined in this policy, colleges’ expectations, the candidate’s documentation, and all internal and external letters of review or evaluation.

b. Non-Tenure Track Teaching Faculty– The promotion committee for non-tenure track teaching faculty shall be composed of six faculty members. Three of the six members will be tenured faculty members and the remaining three members will be lecturers senior in rank to the candidate, if they exist within the college. All remaining committee members shall be tenured faculty.

c. Non-Tenure Track Research Faculty - The promotion committee for non-tenure track research faculty shall be composed of six faculty members senior in rank to the candidate. Three of the six members will be tenured faculty members and the remaining three members will be research faculty, if they exist within the college. All remaining committee members shall be tenured faculty.

2. Responsibility -  The promotion committee(s) shall review the candidate based on the promotion criteria of the university as outlined in this policy, college expectations, the candidate’s documentation, and  all internal and external letters of review or evaluation (where required).

3. Voting - Recommendation for approval for promotion by a promotion committee shall require a minimum 2/3 majority in favor as determined by secret vote. All members of the promotion committee must vote; there shall be no abstentions or avoidances of voting by absence. The promotion committee’s recommendation for approval or denial of promotion shall be in writing and include a statement of reasons that support the recommendation for or against promotion as well as the committee vote. The recommendation and all supporting documentation, including letters, shall be forwarded by the chair of the promotion committee to the dean of the college.

C. University Promotion Review Committee

The University Promotion Review Committee is composed of the chairs of the college promotion committees.  The provost may call the Committee if there is disagreement between a college promotion committee, the dean, or the provost, and in other cases as deemed appropriate.

If a college has more than one promotion committee, the college’s promotion committee chair representative to the University Promotion Committee shall be selected according to college policy.  If the college does not form a promotion committee in a given year, the name of the chair from the college’s most recent available promotion committee shall be included in the pool.  That group shall review all the available documentation and advise the provost toward a final decision, guided by the specific promotion expectations outlined by the candidate’s college. The group shall relate its findings in writing to the provost.

D. Process and Schedule

1. Nomination: By May 1 of the academic year immediately prior to the academic year in which the candidate for promotion will undergo consideration for promotion, nominations for promotion will be received by the department head.

2. Acknowledgement: By May 15 of the academic year immediately prior to the academic year in which the candidate for promotion will undergo consideration for promotion, he or she will receive a written acknowledgement of the initiation of the promotion process and a request of materials by the department head. The department head will also inform the dean of the college about the nomination. 

3. Formation of Promotion Committee:  The dean will ensure that a promotion committee with an elected chair is in place by September 15 to receive the promotion documentation from the candidate.

4. Submission: By September 15, the promotion candidate submits his or her required documentation to the appropriate promotion committee chair for review.

Candidates for promotion to Professor shall submit the names of the suggested external reviewers at this time, if not previously submitted, along with documentation outlined in Section IV.C of this policy.

5. Request for Reviews and Letters for Support: By September 30, the promotion committee chair shall:

a. For promotion to professor, solicit external reviews of the candidate and letters of recommendation for or against promotion from the candidate’s department head and all the tenured Professors in the candidate’s department. 

b. For promotion in the lecturer ranks (see V.A. below), solicit letters of recommendation for or against promotion from the candidate’s department head, and from the tenured faculty members and non-tenure-track teaching faculty senior in rank from within the candidate’s department.

c. For promotion within the ranks of research faculty, solicit letters of recommendation for or against promotion from the candidate’s department head, and from the tenured faculty members and non-tenure-track research faculty senior in rank from within the candidate’s department.

6. Review Begins: By January 1, all materials, including all letters, should be made available for review by the promotion committee.

7. Review Completion: By February 1, members of the promotion committee will complete the review of all promotion materials and the promotion committee chair will submit a letter of recommendation for or against promotion to the college dean, including the tally of votes from members of the committee and from the candidate’s department. This letter will be accompanied by all other letters and documentation.

8. College Dean: By March 1, the college dean will submit his or her letter of recommendation for or against promotion to the provost. This letter will be accompanied by all other letters and documentation.

9. Provost/President: Upon the receipt of the recommendation from the dean, the provost and the president will work together to formulate recommendations for or against promotion. These recommendations will be informed by all other letters and documentation, including the promotion committee’s vote. 

To form a promotion recommendation, the provost may call upon the department head, the college promotion committee, or the dean for clarification or additional information and may meet with any of them to reconcile opposing views. The provost may also convene the University Promotion Review Committee as outlined in Section II.C of this policy.  

10. Final Decision: All final promotion decisions are made by the president. Notification regarding the promotion decision will be sent by the provost to the candidate for promotion by May 1.

E. Granting or Denial of Promotion

1. Notification: The granting or denial of promotion shall be in the form of a written communication from the provost to the candidate no later than May 1. The letter from the provost will express the reasons for the decision on promotion.  In the case of denial, the letter shall set forth the specific reasons and the promotion committee vote.  All letters of recommendation for or against the awarding of promotion shall remain confidential and will not be made available to the candidate.

2. Effective date: If awarded, the promotion becomes effective on the first day of the following academic year.

3. If the promotion is denied, at least one full calendar year from the time of the notification of the promotion decision shall elapse between applications for promotion. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the dean. 

4. Appeal: If a candidate wishes to appeal a promotion denial, the university faculty grievance procedures are available to the extent provided in E24.0 Faculty Grievance. The appeal is not to address the substance of the committee's recommendation but shall be limited to the question of whether the policies and procedures set forth in the promotion policy have been followed in the candidate's case.

F. Access to Letters and Documentation

1. Access to documentation:  All letters of review or assessment shall remain confidential and will not be made accessible to the candidate. Table 2 of this policy describes access to promotion review documentation.

Table 2: Access to Documentation for Promotion Review
  Access of each party:          
Documentation Candidate Department Faculty Appropriate for the Type of Promotion Department Head* College Promotion Committee Dean Provost
Candidate's Portfolio - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual Reviews (per E07.0) - No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Department Faculty Appropriate for the Type of Promotion Recommendation No No No Yes Yes Yes
Department Head* Recommendation No No - Yes Yes Yes
College Promotion Committee (or equivalent) Recommendation No No No - Yes Yes
External Review Letters No Yes Yes* Yes Yes Yes
Dean Recommendation No No No No - Yes
Provost Evaluation Yes No Yes No Yes -

*In cases where there is no department head, the faculty member’s immediate supervisor will perform the functions of the department head.

a. Handling of Letters: In order to ensure that recommendations are completely candid and accurate, all letters of recommendations for or against the awarding of promotion shall remain confidential and will not be made available to the candidate.

b. A promotion candidate will provide materials and other documentation to an office as specified in the college’s promotion policy. Each college will establish its own dates for receiving materials from a promotion candidate that are consistent with the university’s dates noted on the “Dates of Faculty Actions and Academic Ceremonies” which is distributed by the Provost’s Office.

2. After the completion of the promotion process, the documentation for each promotion shall be maintained by the Office of the Dean of that faculty member's college and access to it shall be governed by the university's policy on "Access to Official Professional Staff Files" (E31.0).

III. Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

The promotion from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor typically occurs at the same time as tenure evaluation and is covered in policy E5.0 Policies on Tenure.

IV. Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor 

A. Criteria for Promotion

The basis for the promotion of an Associate Professor to Professor is effectiveness of teaching, the quality and scope of scholarship, and service including the leadership in or contributions to professional activities on and off campus. 

Since receiving tenure and promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, candidates shall be judged in terms of whether they have an established record that indicates continued growth, development and accomplishment in teaching; research, scholarship; and service including leadership, as described in E4.0 Faculty Employment Policies

Candidates for promotion shall be judged in terms of whether they have a record that is deemed excellent overall. This record does not require excellence in all three areas and may be demonstrated in multiple ways, e.g., the candidate has exhibited a balanced record of achievement in all three areas, or excelled in at least two of the three areas with continued growth, development, and accomplishment in the other, or in the rare case excelled significantly in one area with continued growth, development, and accomplishment in the other two.

B. Nomination for Promotion

1. A candidate may be nominated for promotion in any one of the following ways:

a. The department head shall evaluate the rank status of each faculty member at least every two years at the time of annual review and may nominate a candidate for promotion.

b. A Professor eligible to serve on the promotion committee (see E6.II.B) may nominate a candidate for promotion. 

c. A tenured faculty member may nominate him/herself for promotion. 

2. The department head shall notify the faculty member in writing of his or her nomination for promotion or of the receipt of the self-nomination.

C. Documentation and Portfolio

Documentation includes information for each year since the last promotion.

1. The candidate’s portfolio shall include the following:  

  • all agreements relating to the faculty member’s conditions of employment; 
  • plans of work (which include teaching, scholarship, and service);  
  • documentation related to the faculty member's teaching performance e.g. student  evaluations, peer evaluations; 
  • academic and professional qualifications; 
  • and such other information as the faculty and administration of a given college shall deem appropriate. The candidate may also include letters of support.

The documents provided by the dean’s office which are not part of the candidate’s portfolio include the following:

  • candidate’s self-evaluations;
  • department head’s written evaluations. 

Note: the self-evaluations and the department head evaluations along with the evaluations noted above and plans of work together are the annual reviews.

2. Letters of recommendation internal and external to the university: 

a. Internal Letters: The promotion committee chair shall seek letters from all tenured Professors in the candidate’s department and require a letter from the candidate’s department head. Each letter must have a clear statement recommending for or against the promotion of the candidate.

b. External Review Letters:  The promotion committee, after consultation with the candidate's department head (or the dean in cases where the department head is the candidate), shall seek to obtain a minimum of four letters from external reviewers. The committee must seek letters from at least two reviewers suggested by the candidate. 

In all cases, the external reviewers must be at the rank of Professor or equivalent, and shall not have personal ties or conflicts of interest (C4.0) with the candidate. The reviewers should have fields of study within the candidate's expertise.

Each reviewer will be requested to evaluate the candidate's scholarship according to university promotion criteria and college promotion expectations. If fewer than four letters are received, the committee chair should make an additional attempt to obtain four letters. The external review letters will be received by the dean's office of the candidate.

V. Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: Lecturer Ranks and Responsibility

Lecturers substantially contribute to the university’s mission either by teaching or by some combination of teaching and service. Each faculty member appointed to these ranks is expected to participate in service activities appropriate to their rank.

Although the overall direction of the department shall be the responsibility of tenure-track faculty, the non-tenure-track faculty play a valuable role in the teaching and service missions of the department.  The input of non-tenure-track faculty may be solicited on any aspect of departmental business, however, they shall not cast a vote in decisions regarding the hiring, reappointment, promotion, and tenure of tenure-track faculty.  

When elected to represent the college faculty on a university level committee or at Academic Senate, the senior lecturer or principal lecturer votes on all matters before that body as the official representative of the entire faculty constituency of the college.

A. Lecturer Ranks

The non-tenure-track faculty category of lecturer is generally used in situations carefully tailored to university programmatic needs. Normally, lecturer positions should not be created out of previously tenure-track positions. Lecturer ranks may be assigned to those whose talents and experience would give reasonable assurance of qualifying for consideration for a position as a teacher.

Ranks of lecturer are Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Principal Lecturer.  See E6.VIII. - Definitions of Other Non-Tenure-Track Faculty for definition of Visiting Lecturer rank.

B. Responsibility and Contracts

1. Lecturer 

a. Description and Responsibilities: The primary responsibility of a lecturer is teaching. In addition, a lecturer may be assigned student advisees or asked to participate in department-level service activities. A lecturer is not expected to conduct scholarship or participate in college or university-level service.

b. Contracts: A lecturer may be reappointed annually to non-tenure track employment. A lecturer contract may be renewed at the sole discretion of the university.

c. A lecturer in the initial year of appointment will be notified whether the appointment is being renewed by June 30.

d. After the initial year of hire, any lecturer on a one-year contract must be notified whether the appointment is to be renewed by June 30.

e. After three consecutive years of annual appointments, a lecturer may receive a two-year contract, which may be renewed at the sole discretion of the university. If no notice of renewal is given, the contract ends at the end of the two-year period. If the two-year contract will be renewed, notice of the renewal shall be given by June 30 of the first year. The offer of a two-year contract does not guarantee subsequent two-year contracts. Continued employment and subsequent two-year contracts shall be conditional upon satisfactory annual performance, projected departmental needs and/or college resources, and compliance with RIT policies and procedures.  Any notice of non-renewal or offer of a subsequent contract of less than two years shall be given by June 30.

2. Senior Lecturer 

a. Description and Responsibility: In addition to the responsibilities of a lecturer, a senior lecturer shall engage in department or college level service activities.  A senior lecturer may be asked to participate in service activities at the university level, but is not expected to conduct scholarship.

b. Contracts: A senior lecturer will receive a three-year contract, which may be renewed at the sole discretion of the university. If no notice of renewal is given, the contract ends at the end of the three-year period. If the three-year contract will be renewed, notice of renewal shall be given by June 30 of the second year of the three-year contract. The offer of a three-year contract does not guarantee subsequent three-year contracts. Continued employment and subsequent three-year contracts shall be conditional upon satisfactory annual performance, projected departmental needs and/or college resources, and compliance with RIT policies and procedures.  If a subsequent three-year contract cannot be supported, a senior lecturer may be offered a contract of less than three-year duration, but would nevertheless retain the rank of senior lecturer.  Any notice of non-renewal or offer of a subsequent contract of less than three years shall be given by June 30 of the second year of the three-year contract.

3. Principal Lecturer 

a. Description and Responsibilities: In addition to the responsibilities of a senior lecturer, a principal lecturer shall engage in service activities to the department, college, or the university.  A principal lecturer is not expected to conduct scholarship.

b. Contracts: A principal lecturer will receive a five-year contract, which may be renewed at the sole discretion of the university. If no notice of renewal is given, the contract ends at the end of the five-year period. If the five-year contract will be renewed, notice of renewal shall be given by June 30 of the third year. The offer of a five-year contract does not guarantee subsequent five-year contracts. Continued employment and subsequent five-year contracts shall be conditional upon satisfactory annual performance, projected departmental needs and/or college resources, and compliance with RIT policies and procedures. If a subsequent five-year contract cannot be supported, a principal lecturer can be offered a contract of less than five-year duration, but would nevertheless retain the rank of principal lecturer.  Any notice of non-renewal or offer of a subsequent contract of less than five years must occur by June 30 of the third year of any five-year contract.

VI. Promotion to Senior Lecturer or Principal Lecturer

A. Nomination for Promotion 

1. A candidate may be nominated for promotion in any one of the following ways:

a. The department head shall evaluate the rank status of each faculty member at least every two years at the time of annual review and may nominate a candidate for promotion.

b. A faculty member eligible to serve on the promotion committee (Section II.B.) may nominate a candidate for promotion. 

c. A faculty member may nominate him/her-self for promotion. 

2. The department head shall notify the faculty member in writing of his or her nomination for promotion or of the receipt of the self-nomination.

B. Promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer 

1. Eligibility

At the time of hire as a full-time lecturer, an individual may receive up to two years of credit for teaching at RIT or another institution of higher education. Credit will be assessed based upon an equivalent full-time lecturer load. After four years of full-time teaching at RIT including any credits received, a lecturer is eligible to apply for promotion to senior lecturer. If promotion is granted, it will be awarded at the start of the following academic year.

2. Criteria for Promotion

Promotion to the rank of senior lecturer is based on effectiveness of teaching and other duties as assigned and appropriate to the faculty member’s rank. Although not expected, serving as an advisor, and participation in department-level service activities may have been a component of a lecturer plan of work and should be considered in the evaluation for promotion.

3. Documentation

Candidates for promotion to senior lecturer shall submit a portfolio that documents the candidate’s accomplishments for the most recent four-year period of full-time employment as a lecturer. The lecturer’s portfolio shall focus on the responsibilities associated with the candidate’s position and include the following:

  • examples of teaching and examples of  pedagogical approach, as applicable;
  • student and peer evaluations;
  • documentation of the candidate’s efforts to develop professionally;
  • evidence of other areas of activity, such as advising and service, where these have been included in the candidate’s plan of work. 

The candidate’s self-evaluation and department head’s written evaluations are not part of the candidate’s portfolio but are added to the documentation by the dean’s office.  Note: the self-evaluations and the department head evaluations along with the evaluations noted above and plans of work together are the annual reviews.

C. Promotion from Senior Lecturer to Principal Lecturer 

1. Eligibility

After four years of full-time teaching at RIT as a senior lecturer, an individual is eligible for promotion to principal lecturer. If promotion is granted, it will be awarded at the start of the following academic year. 

2. Criteria

Promotion to principal lecturer is based on effectiveness of teaching, quality of service, and other duties as assigned and where appropriate.  Department- and college-level service is expected.  Additional service to the candidate’s professional community and the community at large is also considered in the evaluation. 

3. Documentation

Candidates for promotion to principal lecturer shall submit a portfolio that documents the candidate’s accomplishments for the most recent four-year period of full-time employment following promotion to senior lecturer. The portfolio shall focus on the responsibilities associated with the candidate’s position and include the following: 

  • candidate’s teaching expertise with examples of pedagogical approach,
  • student and peer evaluations,
  • documentation of the candidate’s service to the department and college, as well as any other service contributions,
  • documentation of the candidate’s efforts to develop professionally, as well as 
  • evidence of other areas of activity, such as advising, where these have been included in the candidate’s plan of work and as required for eligibility for promotion. 

The documents provided by the dean’s office which are not part of the candidate’s portfolio include the following:

  • candidate’s self-evaluations;
  • department head’s written evaluations.

Note: the self-evaluations and the department head evaluations along with the evaluations noted above and plans of work together are the annual reviews.

VII. Non-Tenure-Track Research Faculty - Rank, Responsibility, and Promotion 

A. Definition 

The rank of Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, and Research Professor may be assigned to individuals who secure the funding necessary to establish, support, and lead research programs that will enhance the education of RIT students.

Those faculty with non-tenure-track research faculty classification will hold an appointment with an RIT academic department. Qualifications for the position include research expertise, a peer-reviewed publication record, achievement of externally funded grants and contracts, demonstrated collaborative research, and the ability to mentor students. Assignment of research faculty rank will be determined through consideration of the individual's qualifications listed above and credentials such as degrees earned, current rank, and professional expertise. Continuation of the appointment is subject to the university's commitment to the appointee's research, the availability of external funding, satisfactory annual performance, and compliance with RIT policies and procedures.

Because the research faculty ranks are assigned to individuals who secure the funding necessary to support research programs, external funds sufficient to cover the faculty member's salary and benefits must be available in a budget dedicated to the research faculty position.

Appointment to this classification does not qualify one for consideration for tenure or other privileges accorded to tenured and tenure-track faculty (see E5.0). The policy regarding tenure-track faculty who are appointed to research faculty positions prior to earning tenure is defined in E5.0

Research faculty usually do not do service, nor are they required to teach; however, they must take a major role in the enhancement of students’ education in one or more of the following ways: (1) supervise undergraduate research and/or thesis projects; (2) serve as principal advisor to doctoral and/or masters students; (3) serve on committees for doctoral and/or masters students or, (4) engage as non-voting participants in curricular decisions.
 
Research faculty plans of work are to be assessed annually to ensure the education of students is reflected as a top priority. If the need arises, the department head can ask a research faculty member to teach or do service. In that case, the faculty member’s contract must specify the term of service, duties, and the funding that will be used to cover that fraction of the research faculty member’s salary and benefits.

B. Promotion 

1. Nominations

Nominations for promotion of a candidate to a higher rank of research faculty may be initiated by the department head, tenured faculty, non-tenure-track research faculty member senior to the candidate’s present rank, or by the candidate.  

After appropriate consultation with and endorsement of the faculty of the relevant department or program, the department head will recommend the applicant to the college dean. 

The dean forwards the department’s recommendation to the provost for approval.

2. Criteria

Promotion to the rank of associate research professor or research professor is based on meeting promotion criteria and demonstrated evidence of outstanding research, mentorship and successful performance of other duties as assigned and where appropriate.

3. Documentation

The candidate for promotion to associate research professor shall assemble a portfolio that documents his/her accomplishments for the most recent five-year period of full-time employment as an assistant research professor. For promotion to research professor, the candidate shall assemble a portfolio that documents his/her accomplishments for the most recent five-year period of full-time employment as an associate research professor.

The portfolio for promotion shall focus primarily on the candidate’s research expertise with examples of how s/he has enhanced the education of RIT students and advanced the field in which s/he is engaged through peer-reviewed publications. If the candidate has been asked to teach or do service in this period (see Section VII.A), the portfolio shall include relevant examples of pedagogical approach, student and peer evaluations, or documentation of service activities. In all cases, the portfolio will also include documentation of the candidate’s efforts to develop professionally as well as evidence of other areas of activity that have been included in the candidate’s plan of work and as required for eligibility for promotion. 

The candidate’s self-evaluation and department head’s written evaluations are not part of the candidate’s portfolio but are added to the documentation by the dean’s office.  Note: the self-evaluations and the department head evaluations along with the evaluations noted above and plans of work together are the annual reviews.

VIII. Definitions of Other Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks 

A. Visiting Faculty (Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor)

This title may be assigned to those who possess the usual requirements for employment in that faculty rank but have been employed in a non-tenure-track position. Once assigned a visiting rank, there is no provision for promotion in rank at RIT.  The time anyone may serve full-time in a visiting position is usually no more than three years at RIT. For positions approved as difficult to fill by the provost, this period may be extended to an absolute maximum of five years at RIT.

1. Visiting Lecturer – This position is typically used to fill a permanent position for a limited period of time in cases where a search is being conducted for an open position or a permanent faculty member is on an approved leave of absence. 

2. Visiting Assistant, Associate or Professor – Persons hired into these visiting positions cannot be rehired for another visiting term.  

B. Clinical Faculty (Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor)

This title is limited to practitioners who are not employees of RIT and are assigned regular and continuing responsibilities in a clinical setting by institutions with a written affiliate relationship with the university. Once assigned a clinical faculty rank, there is no provision for rank at RIT.

IX. Adjunct Faculty 

This is a category of employment as defined in E1.0 Employee Classification and Status.  This title may be assigned to those with significant experience in a field that qualifies them to teach specific course(s). There is no provision for promotion in rank at RIT. 

X. Other Titles

A. Guest Lecturer

A guest lecturer is a person with expertise in a subject who is invited to participate in the instruction of a course.  Guest lecturers are not RIT employees and are not the faculty of record for the course.  Guest lecturers may be paid an honorarium per visit and may be invited to participate in less than half of the scheduled course sessions per semester.  Guest lecturers are not eligible for RIT benefits.

B. Affiliate

Affiliate appointments are intended to recognize professional contributions to an academic unit by an individual who is not an employee of RIT. 

C. Extended

Extended appointments are intended to recognize professional contributions to an academic unit by a faculty member whose primary appointment resides in another academic unit.  This is not a joint appointment and the faculty member’s rank and tenure remains with the primary college.  

 

Responsible Office: Academic Senate and Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Inquires may be directed to:
Academic Senate – asenate@rit.edu
Office of the Provost – academicaffairs@rit.edu

Effective Date: The start of the 2017-2018 academic year

Policy History: 

Approved June 22, 1959
Revised March 1980
Revised April 20, 2000
Revised May 1, 2002
Revised December 12, 2002
Edited January 1, 2003
Revised May 2008
Revised May 2009
Revised May 2010
Revised April 5, 2012
Revised April 18, 2013
Revised November 6, 2014
Revised May 19, 2015 to include VI_C
Revised April 14, 2016 – Table 1, sections I.C., I.D., II.F, table 2, sections II.C., IV.C., VI.C. and D., and section X.C.
Revised February 23, 2017 - section II.A.

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