The following section outlines the various faculty titles available on campus and the requirements for their use.
Sourced from the CU Administrative Policy Statement (APS) on Faculty Appointments: APS 5060
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.
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.
Professors (also called “Full Professors”) should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, and;
- A record that, taken as a whole, may be judged to be excellent;
- 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
- 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.
Administrative Faculty Titles
The chair shall be the principal officer of the department and is responsible for the effective and efficient administration of the department. The chair shall also have the responsibility for providing intellectual leadership toward achievement of the highest possible level of excellence in the teaching, research, and service activities of the department, and for providing direction in academic planning and support for faculty development. Administratively, the chair is responsible to the dean of the college as well as to the department. With the advice and counsel of colleagues in the department and acting under the rules of the department, the chair is the departmental representative and spokesperson. In implementing the rules of the department with respect to recommendations for faculty appointments, promotions, tenure, and salary increments, the chair may submit his/her own comments to the dean in addition to the recommendations of the department, but may not overrule decisions of the department or of regularly constituted committees of the department.
The title of Associate Chair may be appointed to departments in which size and/or complexity require the assistance of an associate to the chair. The Associate Chair supports the work and role of the department chair and is also responsible to the dean of the college and the department. The role of Associate Chair may necessitate serving as acting chair at those times when the department chair’s schedule requires her/him to be either absent from a departmental event or, for example, when the chair is recused from personnel voting procedures.
The title Faculty Director is designated for those faculty members who serve as faculty-rank directors of academic programs and for faculty in academic programs who perform activities comparable to that of a chair in an academic department.
The title Associate Faculty Director may be appointed to programs in which size and/or complexity require the assistance of an associate to the faculty director. This title is reserved for individuals assigned responsibilities similar to those of an associate chair.
Instructors usually have their master’s degree or its equivalent and should be otherwise well-qualified to teach at the undergraduate (primarily lower division) level. 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.
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.
Principal Instructors usually have at least a master’s degree. They shall have a record of significant contribution to education. The rank of Principal Instructor permits higher recognition and salary that that of a Senior Instructor.
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- and Artists-in-Residence usually hold the terminal degree in their discipline but have spent much or all of their careers outside academia. The Scholar- or Artist-in-Residence would be under contract primarily to provide classroom instruction in their area of expertise. In addition to these instructional activities, they also may have program management, fundraising, and/or student career advising responsibilities that require the talents and experiences developed in their careers outside academia. Scholars-in-Residence earn the same benefits as those earned by instructor-rank faculty, including membership in the Faculty. They are employees at will.
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:
- A record of excellence in both classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning;
- A record of distinguished performance in research or creative work; and
- 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 a limited number of faculty members holding this title.
This distinction is awarded to 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.
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.
Clinical Faculty Titles
Instructors in the clinical teaching track usually have their master’s degree or equivalent in their field and should be well qualified to teach.
This title permits higher recognition for higher qualifications or experience and, where applicable, salary than that of instructor.
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 Professors in the clinical teaching track must have the terminal degree and be well qualified to teach and/or provide clinical care; they must have considerable demonstrated evidence of successful teaching and demonstrated service. They will in most cases be at a similar point in their careers as others holding the title of “Associate Professor.”
Full Professors in the clinical teaching track must have the terminal degree, outstanding accomplishments in teaching, and/or providing clinical care, a record of leadership in the field, and a strong service record. They will in most cases be at a similar point in their careers as others holding the title of “Full Professor.”
Research Faculty Series
Recruiting and hiring procedures for research faculty are managed by the Research and Innovation Office (RIO).
Other Faculty Titles and Title Prefixes
Please note: All personnel actions for these titles are processed by the dean’s office at the specific college or school in which the faculty member is rostered.
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.
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. Their academic qualifications should be similar to those of regular faculty in full Professor, Associate, or Assistant ranks. 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.
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. These positions are not tenure-eligible and are at-will.
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.
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 their home institution or planned for at this university. Award of this title does not guarantee future hiring at this university.