Resolution 106: Professor of Practice Title – College of Engineering

Passed: April 8, 2015
Sponsor: Lance Collins, Dean of Engineering
Senate Discussions:

The Resolution

Professor of Practice – College of Engineering

I. Justification

The College of Engineering proposes the use of the title ‘Professor of Practice’ to recruit outstanding faculty with significant, high-level experience in industry or equivalent. This proposal is enabled by the recent adoption of the Professor of Practice titles by the Faculty Senate. The title is reserved for individuals whose experiences in industry, or other non-academic organizations, complement the tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty in the college. The typical holder of this title will be an experienced leader from an upper managerial, technical or research position in his or her organization. These individuals are expected to enrich the experience of our students by bringing to Cornell a deep understanding and appreciation of the best practices as applied in real-world settings, something few tenure track faculty members have. We do not expect these individuals to conduct research at the level expected of tenure-track faculty members, but they will be encouraged to do so when appropriate.

There are two important motivations for creating this title at this time. First, most of our peer institutions have a similar title, and so not having the title places us at a competitive disadvantage. Second, there are increasing opportunities to bring faculty with this type of experience to Ithaca, as well as at the Cornell NYC Tech campus, and, as state above, we believe their presence will enrich the experience of our students.

II. Description of the Position

Holders of the title Professor of Practice will have high-level experience in various aspects of engineering as it is practiced in the industrial setting. Examples include responsibility in product design (including considerations of customer needs and market analysis), innovation, manufacturing, leadership, entrepreneurship and business. Successful candidates will not only have had a successful career in industry, but will be highly motivated to bring those experiences into the classroom. Furthermore, Professors of Practice will engage in other responsibilities that contribute to the college, for example advising students on future career opportunities, serving as advisors for projects and/or project teams, and assisting students in their entrepreneurial activities. Alternatively these activities could be more institutional building, such as the development of new, or enhancement of existing institutes within the college. External visibility and impact in the field of the appointment is expected, either academically or professionally.

III. Terms of Appointment

It is anticipated that all Professors of Practice will be non-tenure track and typically three and no more than five-year appointments. The appointments will be renewable. It is expected that there will not be any movement between Professor of Practice and tenure track appointments, except for exceptional situations determined by the dean and with the approval of the faculty. Professor of Practice appointments will be based on national searches as well as internal appointments, focused on senior and highly qualified candidates.

Credentials: Candidates must have significant leadership experience and hold a senior technical, research or management position in industry or other equivalent non-academic organization plus a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related scientific or technical field. A master’s or Ph.D. is preferred. Advanced degrees may be in business or related fields. Professors of Practice must be learders who remain current with standard practices and technological changes in their field.

Appointments: We envision two types of Professor of Practice appointments. 1) Professors of Practice that are appointed by one of the departments will be identified through a search process that mirrors the search process used for tenure-track faculty. In particular, an ad hoc search committee consisting of tenure-track and existing Professor of Practice faculty and/or Senior Lecturer faculty from within the department, the majority of which will be tenure track, will be appointed by the Director or Chair. It is highly encouraged that this committee have at least one member from an external department. The ad hoc committee will make a recommendation the Director of Chair based on their evaluation of the candidate’s likelihood for success in meeting the evaluation criteria for the job (see evaluation criteria below). The Director or Chair has the final say in the hiring decision. 2) For college wide Professor of Practice appointments, a college ad hoc committee composed of tenure-track and existing Professor of Practice and/or Senior Lecturer faculty, the majority of which will be tenure track, will be appointed by the Dean. The ad hoc committee makes a recommendation to the Dean based on their evaluation of the candidate’s likelihood for success in meeting the evaluation criteria for the job. The Dean makes the final decision. Administrative oversight responsibility of college-wide Professors of Practice will reside with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

Evaluation Criteria: For each Professor of Practice appointment, there must be a specific job description and evaluation criteria established for the position. This document will be used in selection the candidate for the position, as well as in ongoing evaluations of the Professor of Practice once they have arrived, including annual evaluations for the salary improvement program.

Reappointments: Reappointments will be made based on the individual’s performance in relation to the pre-set evaluation criteria established for the position. The Director or Chair, or Associate Dean, will review the performance annually with the individual. A reappointment committee consisting of tenure-track and Professor of Practice faculty will be appointed by the 1) Director of Chair, or 2) Dean/Associate Dean to evaluate the performance of the individual and to make a recommendation for reappointment, with the 1) Director or Chair, or 2) Dean/Associate Dean making the final decision.

IV. Percentage Limitation

The legislation passed by the Faculty Senate stipulates that the number of Professor of Practice faculty will not exceed 25% of the number of tenure track faculty in the college.

V. Voting and Other Rights

Professors of Practice shall have all the rights and responsibilities of Senior Lecturers. They have the additional rights to vote on appointments to Professor of Practice.

VI. Impact Statement

The Professor of Practice title is not expected to have any impact on the number of tenure-track or other non-tenure-track faculty in the College of Engineering. The purpose of the Professor of Practice title is to be able to recruit and retain the best possible non-tenure-track faculty and to maximize their contributions to the college. Current non-tenure-track faculty will be eligible for appointment to the Professor of Practice title if they meet the criteria for the appointment.

Background


Term 2014-2015
Senate University Faculty Senate
Status Adopted
Abstract The Professor of Practice title is not expected to have any impact on the number of tenure-track or other non-tenure-track faculty in the College of Engineering.  The purpose of the Professor of Practice title is to be able to recruit and retain the best possible non-tenure-track faculty and to maximize their contributions to the college.
Resolution File view
Title Implementation of Professor of Practice Title – College of Engineering
Sponsors Lance Collins, Dean of Engineering
Reviewing Committee Committee on Academic Programs & Policies (CAPP)

Resolution History   

Date Action View Details
1/27/15 Received proposal from College of Engineering
2/3/15 Forwarded to Committee on Academic Programs & Policies for review
2/11/15 Approved by CAPP
2/12/15 Posted for 60 days
4/8/15 Adopted by University Faculty Senate
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