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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

Article XVII. The Instructional and Research Staff–Appointment and Tenure

1. Grades of Appointment

Appointments to the University’s staff of instruction and research shall be made at one of the following grades: university professor, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, clinical professor, associate clinical professor, assistant clinical professor, professor of the practice, associate professor of the practice, assistant professor of the practice, instructor, senior scholar, senior scientist, research scientist, principal research scientist, senior research associate, senior extension associate, senior lecturer, professional librarian or archivist, research associate, extension associate, postdoctoral associate, postdoctoral fellow, lecturer or teaching associate and such other grades and titles at the Medical College as may be approved by the President on the recommendation of the Provost for Medical Affairs. Descriptive terms such as “visiting”, “acting” or “research” may precede titles. Visiting scholars and scientists who are afforded facilities for resident work but who perform no formal duties and are paid no salary may be appointed by the President to the title of visiting fellow. Visitors also may be appointed as visiting scientists, visiting scholars or visiting critics with or without salary. The titles of senior scholar and senior scientist shall not be applicable to the staff at the Medical College.

2. Tenure and Method of Appointment

Except as otherwise specified in Section 6. below, all appointments shall be made with the tenure and in the manner following:

(a) University professor, professor or associate professor – shall be elected by the Committee on Academic Affairs for an indefinite term. The President  shall appoint professors and associate professors to term appointments for the maximum period of five academic years of full-time equivalent service, continued only for reasons which, in the judgment of the President, are temporary.

(b) Promotion of an associate professor with indefinite tenure to full professor shall be by presidential action.

(c) Assistant professor – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed four years. The maximum period of service for assistant professors with term appointments shall be six academic years of full-time equivalent service (for the Johnson Graduate School of Management, eight years), continued only for reasons which, in the judgment of the President, are temporary.

(d) Senior scholar, senior scientist, research scientist, principal research scientist, senior research associate, senior extension associate, senior lecturer, clinical professor, associate clinical professor, assistant clinical professor, professor of the practice, associate professor of the practice, and assistant professor of the practice – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed five years, renewable indefinitely. Research associate, extension associate and lecturer – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed three years, renewable indefinitely. For those cases where senior lecturers or lecturers are employed to address long-term teaching needs, the terms of appointment shall be five and three years respectively; one year appointments shall be reserved for one-year replacements and other short term needs, and initial probationary appointments.

(e) Professional librarian or archivist – shall be appointed by the President for specified terms. Assistant librarian or assistant archivist and senior assistant librarian or senior assistant archivist shall be appointed for terms normally not to exceed three years. Librarian or archivist and associate librarian or associate archivist shall be appointed for terms not to exceed five years, renewable indefinitely.

(f) Instructor – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed two years. The maximum period of service for an instructor shall be five academic years, continued only for reasons which, in the judgment of the President, are temporary.

(g) Postdoctoral associate and postdoctoral fellow – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed one year, normally renewable only four

(h) Teaching associate – shall be appointed by the President for a term of not to exceed one year, renewable indefinitely.

(i) The foregoing provisions with respect to maximum periods of service shall not apply to the Medical College, the Department of Military Science and Tactics, the Department of Naval Science or the Department of Air Service.

3. Presidential Approval

All appointments, reappointments or promotions under this Article XVII shall be made pursuant to procedures approved by the President from time to time. Such procedures shall be designed to assure that candidates for similar positions receive comparable procedural treatment.

4. Courtesy Appointments

Persons having professional qualifications for regular faculty appointments who serve on the staff of an academic department although employed by an outside agency, may be appointed by the President to the teaching staff at the professorial, instructor or lecturer level with the modifier “courtesy” appended to the appropriate title. Such courtesy appointments may be approved for renewable terms  of not to exceed five years each. Courtesy appointments, reappointments and promotions shall be subject to the same departmental and college reviews as regular professorial appointments.  Such appointments shall be without salary or fringe benefits.

5. Adjunct Professors

Persons having professional qualifications for regular faculty appointments but who will serve only part-time may be appointed by the President to the staff of instruction and research as adjunct professor, adjunct associate professor or adjunct assistant professor. Adjunct professors or adjunct associate professors may be appointed for renewable terms of not to exceed five years each. Adjunct assistant professors may be appointed for renewable terms of not to exceed three years each.

6. Miscellaneous

(a) Medical College

All appointments to the voluntary staff in the Medical College, regardless of grade, shall be for periods not exceeding one year. All  new appointments and reappointments for a definite term shall be made by the President. All appointments of faculty for an indefinite term shall be made by recommendation of the President and election by the Board of Overseers.

The voluntary staff in the Medical College is defined as those academic staff members who regularly practice their profession privately and serve the University on a part-time basis only.

(b) ROTC Instructors and Staff

The commanding officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC units shall be department heads with the ex officio rank of professor in the Department of Military Science and Tactics, the Department of Naval Science, and the Department of Air Science, respectively; and other members of the instructional staff in these departments shall have the academic rank below that of professor to which they may be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of their department heads. Non-teaching instructional staff in those departments shall be accorded the same University privileges as Cornell staff. Unless sooner terminated by  the University, all appointments in these departments shall terminate upon relief from military duty at the University.

(c) Physical Education Instructors

The instructional staff in the Department of Physical Education shall be termed physical education instructors and considered nonacademic professional employees. The provisions with respect to maximum periods of service for instructors shall not apply to physical education instructors.

7. Appointments on Outside Funding

All appointments to the staff of instruction and research which are funded from non-University sources (e.g., federal or state appropriations, research or other service contracts or grants) shall be subject to modification or termination in the event that such funding shall cease to be available to the University for such purposes.

8. Holdover

Members of the academic staff appointed for definite periods shall not hold over, and their connection with the University shall cease at the expiration of said periods unless they are reappointed.

9. Leaves of Absence

Within policies approved by the Board of Trustees from time to time, the President may grant sabbatic leaves and other leaves to members of the staff of instruction and research.

10. Right of Dismissal

The Board shall have the right to dismiss and terminate the appointment of any member of the staff of instruction and research for failure to perform the duties required of the position which he holds or for such personal misfeasance or nonfeasance as shall make him unfit to participate in the relationship of teacher and student. Such dismissal shall be effected through such procedures as the Board may adopt. Such procedures shall provide for reasonable notice and an  opportunity to be heard.

Last Updated: July 14, 2017 at 5:06 am