Office of the Provost

The University of Michigan Faculty Handbook

5.C Instructional Faculty: Classifications

The instructional faculty of the University are classified as tenure track faculty, clinical instructional faculty, lecturers, lecturers covered under a collective bargaining agreement, adjunct instructional faculty covered under a collective bargaining agreement, adjunct clinical instructional faculty, and visiting instructional faculty, as explained below (bylaw 5.01; bylaw 5.23; SPG 201.34-1). The bargained for instructional faculty are represented by the Lecturers' Employee Organization-American Federation of Teachers, Local 6244 (LEO). These instructional faculty are defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the University and LEO. The agreement can be found on Academic Human Resources’ website at <hr.umich.edu/acadhr/contracts/index.html>. Please contact Academic Human Resources at 763-8938, for questions regarding which instructional titles are covered by the Agreement.

With respect to the use of the terms "regular instructional faculty" and "supplemental instructional faculty" in the University’s Standard Practice Guide, the term "regular instructional faculty" includes tenure track faculty (5.C.1 “Tenure Track Faculty”), clinical instructional faculty (5.C.2 “Clinical Instructional Faculty”), lecturers (5.C.3 “Lecturers”), and lecturers covered under a collective bargaining agreement (5.C.4 “Lecturers Covered Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement”). In addition, the term "supplemental instructional faculty" includes adjunct instructional faculty covered under a collective bargaining agreement (5.C.5 “Adjunct Instructional Faculty Covered Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement”), adjunct clinical instructional faculty (5.C.6 “Adjunct Clinical Instructional Faculty”), and visiting instructional faculty (5.C.7 “Visiting Instructional Faculty”).

5.C.1 Tenure Track Faculty

The tenure track faculty classifications are described below. Note: Tenure track professorial faculty may also hold additional appointments, such as adjunct instructional faculty, adjunct professor, adjunct associate professor, adjunct assistant professor, adjunct instructor, or adjunct lecturer.

Professor and Associate Professor

The title of professor or associate professor is given only to persons of established professional position and demonstrated scholarly or creative ability. The difference between the two ranks is primarily one of achievement. Unless otherwise specified, appointments with these titles are with tenure. An appointment with either title may be made without tenure. Members of the tenured professorial faculty are appointed by the Board of Regents on recommendation of:

  • the appropriate dean or executive committee, and
  • at the Ann Arbor campus by the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, or
  • at the UM-Dearborn or UM-Flint campus by the chancellor, and
  • on all campuses, by the president.

Assistant Professor

The title of assistant professor is given to persons of proven ability who have acceptable experience (a) at the rank of instructor at the University, instructor or higher at another institution, or (b) in professional work. Appointments are without tenure but are tenure-track. They are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses) on recommendation of the dean and the executive committee of the appropriate school or college.

Instructor

The title of instructor is given to persons who hold a doctorate or its equivalent in professional experience, or who have completed a major part of the work toward a doctorate, and have shown evidence of special ability as a teacher or scholar. Appointments are made either for one term or, in the case of persons with proven ability, for not more than four years. Appointments are without tenure but are tenure-track. They are appointed by the president (Ann Arbor campus) or chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses) on recommendation of the dean and executive committee of the appropriate school or college.

Appointments to the regular instructional faculty with the title of professor and associate professor are made with tenure unless otherwise specified. Appointments as assistant professor or instructor may be for terms of up to four years and are without tenure. If the term of appointment is not specified, it is for one year. Instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor appointments are tenure-track appointments. Tenure-track appointments of at least 80% effort accumulate time on the tenure clock. See section 6.C "Tenure Probationary Period" (bylaw 5.08; SPG 201.13; SPG 201.34-1).

Regental approval is required for all tenured appointments and for non-tenured appointments of professors and associate professors. Only the Regents have authority to grant tenure and thus no one except the Board of Regents has authority to promise tenure (bylaw 5.08). On the Ann Arbor campus, all promotions of regular instructional faculty require approval by the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. At UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn campuses, the chancellor takes tenure recommendations to the president. See Chapter 6 "Tenure."

5.C.2 Clinical Instructional Faculty

The following titles may be used for clinical instructional appointments: clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor, clinical instructor, or clinical lecturer. Clinical instructional appointments are at appointment fractions of 50 percent or greater, and are without tenure.

The emphasis on these appointments is on clinical/practice and teaching skills. Criteria for clinical appointments should be consistent with those for regular instructional faculty to the extent applicable. Standards for promotion within the clinical track should follow the same protocols used for promotion of instructional-track faculty.

Appointments to the clinical faculty track are based on recommendations by the dean to the president for reporting to the Board of Regents. On the Ann Arbor campus, all appointments of clinical associate professors and clinical professors and all promotions to those ranks require the approval of the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Within the Medical School, approval of the executive vice president for medical affairs and dean is also required. At UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn campuses, the chancellor must approve appointments at the associate or full rank. Clinical appointments are not tenure-track appointments (bylaw 5.23).

An academic unit may be authorized to appoint clinical instructional faculty to support its instructional program only if the school or college has adopted a policy authorizing such appointments in accordance with its bylaws and the policy has been approved by the appropriate provost, chancellor (UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn), president, and the Board of Regents.

Appointments to the clinical track are for a fixed term, cannot exceed seven years in duration, and may be renewed. The appropriate school or college will establish appointment and promotion criteria. The school or college bylaws may further define the rights and responsibilities of clinical faculty, consistent with the Regents’ bylaws.

Clinical assistant professors, clinical instructors, and clinical lecturers are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses) on recommendation of the chair or director of the appropriate academic department or program and the dean of the appropriate school or college.

Clinical professors and clinical associate professors are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses), on recommendation of the chair or director of the appropriate academic department or program; the dean of the appropriate school or college; and the appropriate provost.

5.C.3 Lecturers

Under some circumstances the University appoints lecturers who are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO). For such appointments, the title of lecturer is given to persons who do not appropriately fall in the other ranks this policy describes.

Appointments are made either for one term or, in the case of persons of proven ability, for not more than four years, and are without tenure. They are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses) on recommendation of the dean and executive committee of the appropriate school or college.

Lecturer appointments are not tenure track, are always of a fixed duration, and are usually temporary appointments for one or two terms. In some cases, lecturer appointments may be for a longer period, not to exceed four years, and may be renewed.

5.C.4 Lecturers Covered Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement

This group of instructional faculty are lecturers who are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO, which can be found on the University Human Resources' website at <www.hr.umich.edu>, under Academic Human Resources (see Contracts).

5.C.5 Adjunct Instructional Faculty Covered Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Adjunct instructional faculty are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO) unless they also hold a tenure track professorial faculty appointment (see section 5.C.1 “Tenure Track Faculty”).

Please refer to the Agreement between the University of Michigan and LEO, which can be found on the University Human Resources' website at <www.hr.umich.edu>.

5.C.6 Adjunct Clinical Instructional Faculty

To supplement the University’s instructional program, any academic unit may appoint professional practitioners in the community or within the University at appointment fractions below 50 percent as adjunct clinical professors, adjunct clinical associate professors, adjunct clinical assistant professors, adjunct clinical instructors, or adjunct clinical lecturers.

Appointments as adjunct clinical instructional faculty are on an annual or shorter basis and are without tenure. The school or college will establish appointment and/or promotion criteria.

They are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint) on recommendation of the dean and executive committee of the appropriate school or college.

Criteria for appointment to these ranks should be consistent with those for regular instructional faculty to the extent applicable. The specific conditions of these appointments, including the degree of participation in departmental affairs, are unit-specific. See SPG 201.34-1.

The term "adjunct" is assigned to instructional faculty members in any rank whose primary employment responsibilities lie outside the University or in another capacity within the University. Appointments as adjunct instructional faculty are part-time, on an annual or shorter basis, and are not tenured appointments (bylaw 5.22).

The term "adjunct clinical faculty” is assigned to professional practitioners in the community or within the University who assume teaching responsibilities in the regular curriculum (bylaw 5.23).

As of January 1, 2008, 16 academic units on the Ann Arbor campus have established clinical tracks: A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, School of Dentistry, School of Education, School of Information, School of Kinesiology, Law School, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Medical School, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and School of Social Work. On the UM-Flint campus, the School of Health Professions and Studies and the School of Education and Human Services have established a clinical track. Criteria and terms for clinical appointments are determined by the units and must be approved by the Regents.

5.C.7 Visiting Instructional Faculty

To supplement the instructional program at the University, individuals whose ongoing employment responsibilities lie outside the University at another institution of higher education may be appointed as visiting professors, visiting associate professors, visiting assistant professors, visiting instructors, visiting lecturers, visiting clinical professors, visiting clinical associate professors, visiting clinical assistant professors, visiting clinical instructors, or visiting clinical lecturers.

Appointments as visiting instructional faculty are for one year or less, may be extended only under unusual circumstances, and are without tenure. Visiting instructional appointments may be made at any rank but must be consistent with the individual's professional stature. The school or college will establish appointment criteria for this set of titles.

They are appointed by the president and chancellor (UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint) on recommendation of the dean and executive committee of the appropriate school or college.

Criteria for appointment to these ranks should be consistent with those for regular instructional faculty to the extent applicable. The specific conditions of these appointments, including the degree of participation in departmental affairs, are unit-specific. See SPG 201.34-1.

The term "visiting" is used for persons primarily identified with another institution of higher education who assume some teaching responsibility at the University of Michigan and for persons whose employment with the University will be explicitly temporary. The specific conditions of all these appointments are determined by each school and college, but usually these appointments are for one year or less and may be extended only under unusual circumstances. They are not tenured appointments. See SPG 201.34-1.

Faculty Handbook: Appointments: