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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

Promotion-within-Track Rules

Clinical Professor

Associate CP

Assistant CP

Decisions about appointment and promotion are made on the authority of the dean; approval by the provost or the Board of Trustees is not necessary. The titles “clinical professor,” “associate clinical professor,” and “assistant clinical professor” are available in a given college only upon satisfaction of a special approval process specified in the University Faculty’s enabling legislation.
Professor of the Practice

Associate PoP

Assistant PoP

Promotion within the professor of the practice ranks is possible, and promotion guidelines are comparable in rigor and process to those for tenure-track faculty. For detailed information about this title, see college-specific legislation available in
Research Professor

Associate RP

Assistant RP

Promotions to the associate and full professor ranks, as well as reappointment at any rank at the end of a fixed term, should follow procedures used for tenure-track faculty.

A dossier-based review must be conducted for initial appointment. Through an exception approved by the department chair and the dean, the dossier-based review may be conducted during the first year, with continued appointment contingent on successful review. This dossier shall typically include letters from confidential external referees, letters from participants in current or recent research programs, a report of the faculty vote, and an analytical recommendation by the department chair to the dean, who makes the ultimate decision about appointment.

Senior Extension Associate

Extension Associate

Promotion to the rank of senior extension associate is not automatic, but may be undertaken when a senior position becomes necessary or available and when an extension associate has demonstrated high levels of ability, independence, originality, and productivity. Promotions are based on the candidate’s past performance, prominence in the field, and ability to anticipate future programming needs. A formal review is required for promotion to senior extension associate.
Senior Research Associate

Research Associate

 To initiate a promotion review, the head of the research program asks the candidate to supply a personal statement of past research accomplishments and future goals together with a curriculum vitae that includes publications, honors and awards, service to professional organizations, and other relevant professional activities. These materials must accompany a covering letter from the head of the research program to the chair or director. The letter should address the candidate’s performance, contributions to scholarship, and standing in the field. The department chair or the director solicits letters of recommendation from known experts (at Cornell and/or elsewhere) who provide candid, confidential assessments of the candidate’s achievements. The chair or director then forwards the dossier and makes a written recommendation, either positive or negative, to the dean or the vice provost for research for final disposition.
Principal Research Scientist

Research Scientist

An individual may be appointed directly to the principal research scientist title or promoted from research scientist. The line of progression in these titles is limited to research scientist and principal research scientist – there is no routine expectation of promotion from senior research associate. There is no routine expectation of promotion from these titles to senior scientist. Promotion from research scientist to principal research scientist is based on quality of achievement, productivity, national and international stature in the field, leadership of the independent research program, effectiveness with colleagues and with participants in the research program, and service to the field. Promotion is not automatic, for example after a particular number of years in title. A formal dossier review is required for promotion to principal research scientist and follows the procedures for the dossier-based appointment review.
Senior Lecturer


Promotion to senior lecturer is based on excellence in teaching and pedagogy. Such excellence may be shown in classroom teaching; contributions to the design, syllabi, and organization of departmental course offerings; and applications or development of pedagogy in the field. Contributions to pedagogical advances will vary from field to field, and may be demonstrated by, but not limited to, developing independent or team-taught courses, creating teaching materials and methodologies, training and supervising other lecturers, or holding administrative or supervisory responsibilities for course offerings.

The dean is responsible for determining appropriate qualifications for senior lecturers and lecturers; those qualifications may vary by subfield or department. Senior lecturers may be hired at that rank if they have appropriate qualifications and experience; they also may be promoted to that rank, typically after six years of service as lecturer.

Last Updated: May 23, 2018 at 11:30 am