3.2.2 Non-Tenure Track Academic Faculty Members: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines

While persons holding the positions detailed under the following headings are members of the Academic Faculty, they are not eligible for tenure. While they are subject to many of the general hiring and promotion criteria for tenure-track Faculty, there are significant differences.  The following sections identify non-tenure track positions in the Academic Faculty and their promotion criteria.

Professor of the Practice

The position of Professor of the Practice is for qualified academic, business, or government leaders. Due to the stature of individuals to be offered this position, the category will have only one rank:  Professor of the Practice.

The qualifications and expectations for this position are:

  • Have substantial bases of experience, normally at least ten (10) to fifteen (15) years, and a national/international reputation for excellence.
  • Have rich and extensive backgrounds in fields and disciplines related to the school or college of appointment at the Institute.
  • Will serve as liaisons between industry or government and the Institute in identifying teaching and research opportunities that support the public interest and societal needs.
  • May be expected (depending on circumstances of their appointment) to generate financial resources to support and enhance the Institute programs in which they work.

The guidelines for implementation are:

  • General duties and responsibilities must be agreed upon in advance with each Professor of the Practice and her/his Chair and/or Dean.
  • Appointments as Professor of the Practice may be full-time or part-time. Eligibility for fringe and retirement benefits will conform to Georgia Tech employment policies.
  • “Professor of the Practice” is a non-tenurable title which is consistent with Board of Regents provisions for “Non-Tenure Track Personnel”. This classification carries with it membership in the Academic Faculty of the Institute.
  • The position may be described as “Professor of the Practice of X,” where X is an academic discipline or specialty. For communications purposes, a Professor of the Practice may represent himself or herself with a shorter title as “Professor of X.”
  • Professors of the Practice will be reappointed annually but with no limit as to the number of years that may be served.
  • Professors of the Practice will participate in an annual evaluation, as is regularly conducted for tenure track Faculty. Performance will be evaluated during this annual review, with actions and recommendations made as appropriate.
  • During the term of their appointment, Professors of the Practice are subject to, and protected by, the same Institute policies concerning academic freedom as tenured and tenure track Faculty.
  • Funding sources for Professors of the Practice may include the Institute, College, School, or Center, or some combination of these, and the funds may consist in whole or part of funds generated by the individual.
  • Schools and Colleges at the Institute have considerable latitude in developing complementary policies and procedures for Professors of the Practice as long as they are consistent in spirit with overall policies detailed in this Section.
  • The Institute and its Schools and Colleges will adopt appointment and reappointment policies. At minimum, these policies will involve letters of recommendation concerning the individual being proposed for a position as Professor of the Practice, on-campus interviews of the candidate, input into the decision by a body of the faculty in the School or College, recommendation of the Chair and/or Dean, and approval by the Provost. Faculty involvement in the decision to hire should be identical to those procedures used for hiring tenured Professors.

Academic Professionals

Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.3.

Academic Professional titles may be assigned to appropriate positions (as defined below). Persons in such positions may be involved in duties of a managerial, research, technical, special, career, public service or instructional support nature. The ranks of the Academic Professional at Georgia Tech include: Associate Academic Professional, Academic Professional, Senior Academic Professional, and Principal Academic Professional.

The following stipulations apply to all Academic Professional positions:

  • The position requires an appropriate terminal degree, or in rare and extraordinary circumstances, qualification on the basis of demonstrably successful related experience, which exception is expressly approved by the President.
  • The Academic Professional designation may not be assigned to a position where the teaching and research responsibilities total 50% or more of the total assignment.
  • The position is not a tenure-track position, and the holder of the position is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure, or for probationary credit toward tenure.

The designation Academic Professional would apply to a variety of academic assignments that call for academic background similar to that of a Faculty member with professorial rank, but which are distinctly different from professorial positions. Examples include managing instructional laboratories, assuming academic program management roles not suited for expectations applied to Tenure-Track Faculty members, operating instructional technology support programs, being responsible for general academic advising, assuming professional student counseling center responsibilities, providing specialized skill acquisition training as support for academic programs, working with Tenure-Track Faculty members in course and curriculum development and in the laboratory, and course delivery.

General categories for Academic Professionals include:

  • Training and Instructional Support. This includes educational needs assessment, program development and coordination, instructional materials and technology development, delivery of specialized or skill acquisition instruction, and program evaluation.
  • Technical Assistance. An advisory or operating role which provides specialized knowledge appropriate for program support and development. The activities range from a significant or advisory or operating role to managing a technical support unit to development of organizational structures and function.
  • Specialized Management. This includes supervision of clinical practice or field experience, or providing services or out-of-class educational opportunities for Students.

Reappointment of Academic Professionals is made annually. Notice of non-reappointment must be made in a timely manner consistent with Board of Regents policy, using the three-, six-, and nine-month notification schedule depending upon length of service in the position, as outlined in the Notice subsection of 3.3.3.

Criteria or guidelines for reappointment in Academic Professional ranks generally follow those established for Instructional Units as set out in Section 3.3.3.  Additional criteria may be established by the President in consultation with the Faculty Executive Board, and shall be published and distributed to the Faculty.

Guidelines for Appointment and Promotion

  • Associate Academic Professional. This is the entry-level rank and normally requires completion of the terminal degree.  In exceptional cases, this rank may be used for individuals completing a terminal degree and for a period of two (2) years.  If the degree is not conferred, another position appointment is required.

  • Academic Professional.  This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires significant related experience or promotion from the rank of Associate Academic Professional.  Ordinarily at least three (3) years as an Associate Academic Professional is required before promotion to the rank of Academic Professional.  The quality of performance and potential for development must be recognized by peers. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

  • Senior Academic Professional.  This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires evidence of superior performance in the chosen field, recognition by peers (whether national, regional, or local), and successful and measurable related experience.  Promotion to Senior Academic Professional from the rank of Academic Professional requires at least five (5) years at that level. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

  • Principal Academic Professional. This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires evidence of superior performance in the chosen field, recognition by peers (whether national, regional, or local), and successful and measurable related experience, including but not limited to supervision of others’ work, significant responsibility and authority within program area, and demonstrated impact  in discipline and/or administrative function.  Promotion to Principal Academic Professional from the rank of Senior Academic Professional requires at least six (6) years at that level. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

Minimum expectations in all Academic Professional ranks are listed below. The candidate does not need to demonstrate noteworthy achievement in all five (5) of the following areas, but must do so in number one (effective administration) and two of the others.

  1. effectively carrying out assigned administrative duties within unit;
  2. superior teaching, if applicable;
  3. outstanding service to the Institute, and/or community
  4. outstanding research, scholarship, creative activity, or academic achievement, as defined by role; and
  5. professional growth and development.

As part of the promotion process, the supervisor should submit a written recommendation setting forth the reasons for promotion. The Academic Professional’s length of service with the Institute shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the individual should be promoted.

Promotion to the rank of Academic Professional or above additionally requires the earned doctorate or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee per se of promotion.

Any promotion denied for budgetary reasons alone shall be considered as deferred until sufficient funds become available.

After initial appointment, each candidate for promotion will be judged primarily on the basis of the quality of performance of her/his assigned responsibilities consistent with the appropriate position description and on whether or not she/he meets the criteria for the rank.  The candidate will also be expected to have made significant progress in her/his own professional area.  Documentation of this progress necessarily will be appropriate for the specific position and may include such items as professional recognition, awards, service in professional associations, creative activities, and service within the academic community and professional or disciplinary contributions. Section 3.3.7 of the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook provides guidance related to the evaluation of faculty members as teachers and educators and the evaluation of the research and service contributions of faculty. This guidance may be used as a framework for promotion consideration; however, evaluators should keep in mind that teaching and research together should constitute less than 50% of any Academic Professional’s duties.

Academic Professional ranks constitute a career ladder, and minimum times in rank are generally required for consideration for promotion.  However, promotion is not routine:  Each rank has its own performance criteria.  Thus, successful performance at one rank in and of itself does not necessarily imply having met the criteria for the next rank simply with the passage of time.

Promotion Procedures

Candidate’s Responsibility

Preparation of the promotion dossier is the responsibility of the candidate in consultation with and support of his/her supervisor. The candidate has the responsibility to prepare and review the documentation that is submitted, except for the evaluation letters.  However, the list provided by the candidate for external evaluators should be included in the package.  When this documentation is complete, and in the proper format, the candidate will sign a statement that it is both accurate and complete.

Should the candidate fail to meet the deadlines established by the Unit for submission of the required documentation, consideration of promotion may be delayed until the following year.

The candidate should include at a minimum the following information:

  • A position description (provided in conjunction with the supervisor), if the promotion includes a change in professional responsibilities.
  • A self-statement by the candidate.
  • A curriculum vitae that summarizes biographical, personal, and professional data.  As Academic Professional positions vary in responsibilities, no standardized format is appropriate.  However, the initial page should include the standard education and work history.  Professional contributions beyond those of the position description should be included, as should any awards, recognition, grants, artistic installation/presentation, etc.
  • The candidate may also submit evidence of three (3) to five (5) examples of their relevant best work that represent their administrative and/or creative capabilities. These may include reports, published papers, books, software, patents, art productions, or other relevant examples that reflect their superior performance and will be recognized by their peers as such.
  • If the candidate has teaching responsibilities, the candidate should provide their own table of student evaluation scores from the Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). The table should include the scores from the question: “Is the instructor an effective teacher?” Other evidence of effective teaching may be provided with the guidance of the supervisor.
  • Names of Reviewers. The candidate should provide the names of at least three (3) people who are in a position to evaluate the dossier for promotion. Depending upon the nature of the candidate’s responsibilities, these letters may be national, regional, or local.
  • Signed Statement of Completeness and Waiver of Access forms provided by the Unit.

External Peer Review

Letters of recommendation.  Depending upon the nature of the candidate’s responsibilities, these letters may be national, regional, or local.  There should be at least three and need not be more than five, but each should address the substance of the candidate’s accomplishments and be solicited either by the supervisor or Unit head with an explanation of the criteria for evaluation, as appropriate.

The list of individuals from whom letters are to be obtained should be developed jointly by the candidate for promotion and the supervisor. The final decision regarding who shall be selected to provide recommendations from the list shall rest with the supervisor. It is appropriate to use the same letters for two (2) consecutive years of the process.

A candidate for promotion may request that a particular individual not be contacted as an external reviewer. Such requests are typically honored. If the supervisor concludes that circumstances require use of that reviewer, the letter must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from the other external letters. A justification for including the letter must be included in the package.

External evaluations shall be solicited by the supervisor or Unit Head and supplied to the other levels of review. These letters shall be solicited with the understanding that, insofar as possible, access to them will be limited to persons involved in the promotion decision.

All candidates will be asked to sign a waiver indicating whether or not candidate “waives all rights to see the identity of the external letter writers and/or the content of their letters”. The waiver form with the candidate’s decision will be included in the package.

Internal Review

Based on the candidate’s dossier and the external letters, the supervisor will provide a letter of evaluation addressed to the Unit Head. This letter should provide an analysis of the candidate’s experience and performance using the relevant criteria related to their position, a summary of the external letters, and a recommendation for or against promotion.  If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities, the change should be described. This letter from the supervisor will be added to the candidate materials and external letters.

The Unit Head will convene a committee which may include tenured faculty as well as academic professionals at or above the rank being considered (the members of the committee may be external to the home unit).  Based on the results of an official vote, the committee will send its recommendation to the Unit head describing the rationale of the vote either for or against promotion.

The Unit head will write a letter to the Provost summarizing the main strengths and/or weaknesses of the case and whether he/she recommends promotion or not. In a case in which the supervisor is the Unit Head, for example when the candidate reports directly to the dean of a college, the Unit Head may provide the committee with written guidance that describes what the candidate has accomplished and what there is about the quality of the candidate’s work and expertise which warrants promotion at this time.  If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities, the change should be described. The Unit Head will write his/her letter to the Provost following the recommendation by the committee.

Institute Review

The Unit Head forwards his or her letter with the completed package to the Provost through the Office of Faculty Affairs for final review. The final outcome of the decision is communicated in writing to the Dean of the College or appropriate Unit Head, who in turn communicates the decision to the faculty member at the end of the review process.

Feedback to Faculty Members

After the final decision has been made and communicated in a letter from the President, It is important for the Faculty member to receive feedback regarding the assessments involved. The appropriate place for the individual Faculty member to receive this feedback is from the supervisor. The supervisor shall receive a copy of the recommendations prepared by the committee and all other reviewers (with the exception of the reviewers’ letters). At the end of the review process, the supervisor shall review each recommendation, including his/her own, with the candidate, and counsel the candidate appropriately.

In cases of disapproval of promotion, a candidate shall be counseled concerning the reasons for a negative decision.

The candidate may withdraw his/her promotion package at any time prior to submission of the package to the Office of the Provost.

 

Lecturers/Senior Lecturers

Full-Time Lecturers
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.1

To carry out special instructional functions such as basic skills instruction, the Institute may appoint instructional staff members to the position of Lecturer. Lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure. Reappointment of a lecturer who has completed six (6) consecutive years of service to the Institute will be permitted only if the lecturer has demonstrated exceptional teaching ability and extraordinary value to the Institute. The reappointment process must follow Institute procedures. Not more than twenty (20) percent of the Institute’s FTE corps of primarily undergraduate instruction may be Lecturers and/or Senior Lecturers.

Senior Lecturers
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.2

The title of Senior Lecturer may be used at the discretion of the Institute.   The Institute is discouraged from initial hiring at the Senior Lecturer level. Lecturers who have served for a period of at least six (6) years at the Institute may be considered for promotion to Senior Lecturer. Promotion to Senior Lecturer requires approval by the President. Reappointment procedures for Senior Lecturers follow the same reappointment procedures as those for Lecturers. Senior Lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure.

Hiring and Reappointment
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.4

Full-time Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are appointed on a year-to-year basis.  Since individuals in these positions serve in Instructional Units, procedures for consideration of reappointment are handled by those Units in the same manner as for other Reappointments, as set out in this Handbook, Section 3.3.3. Hiring of Lecturers should include letters of recommendations, on-campus interviews, official transcripts, background checks, a job description specific to the appointment, other supporting documentation, request by the Chair and/or Dean, and approval by the Provost.

Lecturers and Senior Lecturers who have served full-time for the entire previous academic year have the presumption of reappointment for the subsequent academic year unless notified in writing to the contrary as follows:

  • For Lecturers with less than three (3) years of full-time service, the Institute shall provide non-reappointment notice as early as possible, but no specific notice is required.
  • For Lecturers with three (3) or more years but less than six (6) years of full-time service, the Institute must provide non-reappointment notice at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the first day of classes in the semester.
  • For Senior Lecturers or Lecturers with six (6) years or more of full-time service, the Institute must provide non-reappointment notice at least one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days prior to the first day of classes in the semester.

Lecturers or Senior Lecturers with six (6) or more years of full-time service and who have received timely notice of non-reappointment shall be entitled to a review of the decision in accordance with the procedures in this Handbook.  For additional appeal procedures see Section VIII of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

In no case will service as a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer imply any claim upon tenure or reappointment under conditions other than those above.

Guidelines for Promotion and Evaluation

Lecturers are expected to focus on classroom instruction, but service activities can be part of their duties.  The development of original course material and syllabi in line with the learning outcomes of the course(s) may also be part of their duties. Service may be included in the evaluation.  Some examples of service may include participation on internal or related external committees, faculty advisor for student organizations, advisor for senior design projects, or other meaningful engagement with the campus community.

Professional development may also be included in the evaluation.  Examples of professional development are publication of papers or technical reports, attendance at field-related conferences, incorporation of recent research into courses, attendance at teaching workshop, or creative contributions.  Any expectation of service or professional development activities should be outlined in the appointment letter. In rare cases, administrative duties may be assigned as a small percentage of the position responsibilities. However, classroom instruction should account for at least 62% of workload.

Lecturers shall prepare a teaching portfolio which should include all materials for the course(s) taught, self-evaluation, student evaluations, and other related information.

The teaching portfolio will be reviewed as part of the annual evaluation by a committee constituted in each School or College. 

In addition to an annual evaluation, Lecturers in their third year will have a third-year review initiated by the Unit head and conducted by the School/College Committee.  This review will also be used to determine progress toward promotion to Senior Lecturer. Promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer may be considered after six (6) years at the Institute. Time in service does not necessarily imply having met the criteria for the next rank simply with the passage of time.

Formal evaluation for promotion should include the teaching portfolio, a current curriculum vitae including service and professional development activities, and letters of recommendation.  Materials will be reviewed by a School/College committee.  The School/College Committee will submit a letter of support for and the reason for the promotion as well as the official vote to the school chair or dean (depending on if the candidate is at the school or college level). The school chair or dean will write a letter to the Provost summarizing the main strengths and/or weaknesses of the case and whether he/she recommends promotion or not.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer requires approval by the President.

Senior Lecturers are expected to participate fully in the School/College and at a more robust level than a Lecturer.  Their participation may include new course development, service on internal/external committees, research and implementation regarding pedagogy, and/or provide leadership within the School/College.

Senior Lecturers will be evaluated annually.

 

Instructors

A person hired with the academic rank of Instructor is not eligible for tenure under Board of Regents policies.  They are however afforded the same expectations and procedures for reappointment as set out in this Handbook in Section 3.3.3.  The maximum period of time that may be served at the rank of full-time Instructor shall be seven (7) years.

Librarians and Archivists

The position of Librarian or Archivist is for qualified individuals within the Georgia Tech Library and Archives who provide complex information services to the Institute. Persons in such positions may be involved in duties of a managerial, research, technical, special, career, public service, or instructional support nature.

The following stipulations apply to all Librarian and Archivist positions:

  • The position requires an appropriate terminal degree, typically a master's degree in the appropriate area of specialization.
  • The position is not a tenure-track position, and the holder of the position is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure, or for probationary credit toward tenure.

Career ladders are established for Librarians and Archivists, using the following titles: Librarian/Archivist I, Librarian/Archivist II, Librarian/Archivist III, and Librarian/Archivist IV.

Reappointment of Librarians and Archivists is made annually. Notification of non-reappointment must be made in a timely manner consistent with Board of Regents policy. Appointments, cumulative reviews, and opportunities for promotion occur in accordance with the Library Faculty Constitution, and are overseen by the Provost, as Chief Academic Officer of the Institute.

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