Faculty appointments are organized into ranks and groups by title. The titles have significance concerning voting, benefits and rights that may or may not pertain to each category or classification. The granting of tenure, further discussed in “Third-Year, Tenure and Promotion Review” (Section Seven) and in school-specific sections of this handbook, is a separate guarantee that is not implied by any of the titles discussed in this section. The original letter of appointment and each subsequent salary notification or term appointment letter will indicate the term or duration, locus, tenure status, appointment track, title and salary of the appointment. Each school shall have clear statements regarding the expectations for faculty of each track and title as described in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
Suffolk University recognizes three appointment tracks: tenure-track, professional track, and the instructor track. All other appointments shall indicate that the faculty member is on no track and the terms and conditions, rights and responsibilities of those positions are outside the scope of this University Handbook and as such are not covered by this University Handbook.
The tenure track is characterized by a limited number of probationary appointments that is followed by either a continuous appointment or a terminal appointment. Each tenure track professor has an obligation to strive for excellence in teaching; in the production of research, creative work and/or professional work; and in leadership in service to his or her department, school, the University, profession and community.
Tenure is a continuing appointment of full-time employment with duties and privileges as defined under the terms of this University handbook. Each school and/or department has specific requirements for teaching, scholarship, research, professional activities, creative endeavors, and necessary degrees of a faculty member. However, the following define the minimal qualifications expected of a faculty member holding a tenure-track rank.
An assistant professor generally holds an earned doctorate or other terminal degree deemed appropriate to the position. The dean, in consultation with the provost and appropriate faculty members, may determine that a candidate is qualified to hold the position as an assistant professor because he or she is in the final stages of earning a terminal degree.
An associate professor, in addition to meeting the requirements for appointment as an assistant professor, and having obtained the appropriate terminal degree, must also demonstrate a record of excellence in teaching; in the production of research, creative work, and/or professional work; and an exemplary record of engagement in service at a departmental, school or University level.
A professor, in addition to meeting the requirements for appointment as an associate professor, must exemplify excellence and distinguished achievement in teaching; a continuing record of broadly recognized research, creative and/or professional work; and demonstrate leadership in service contributions to the University and the profession.
The professional and instructor tracks are characterized by term appointments. These term appointments may, in appropriate cases, be followed by presumptively renewable contracts pursuant to the rules within each school as described in the school-specific sections of this handbook. The professional and instructor tracks are intended to support excellent teachers whose primary responsibility is the education and skills related to the professional life of a graduate. The professional and instructor tracks offer an opportunity for stability and security to those teachers who excel in professional education as they develop the distinct knowledge and pedagogical base necessary for providing an excellent educational opportunity for students.
Those on the professional track may be granted titles customarily associated with full-time tenure-track faculty. In such cases the title will include modifiers such as ‘of skills’ or ‘of practice’ (e.g., “associate professor of business practice”). In the Law School, those faculty members who are appointed to the Legal Writing faculty are professional track appointees.
An assistant professor of skills or practice on the professional track generally holds an earned doctorate or other terminal degree deemed appropriate to the position. The dean, in consultation with appropriate faculty members, may recommend that a candidate is qualified to hold the position as an assistant professor because he or she is in the final stages of earning a terminal degree or because of significant professional accomplishments that are the equivalent of a terminal degree. An assistant professor of skills or practice rank is reserved for those who receive a one-year term appointment on this track.
An associate professor on the professional track, in addition to meeting the requirements for appointment as an assistant professor, must have a record of excellent teaching and should demonstrate a high level of professional development as evidenced by presentations, research, creative work, and/or professional work and an exemplary record of engagement in service at a departmental, school or University level.
A professor on the professional track, in addition to meeting the requirements for appointment as an associate professor, must exemplify excellence and distinguished achievement in teaching; a record of broadly recognized research, creative or professional work; and demonstrate leadership in service contributions to the University and the profession.
An in-residence instructor-track faculty member ordinarily possesses a master’s or equivalent degree. The particular focus of the academic efforts of this instructor track faculty is identified by ‘executive,’ ‘scholar’ or ‘practitioner.’
An instructor ordinarily possesses a master's or equivalent degree and offers the promise of future achievement in the areas of teaching, research, creative and/or professional activity, and service.
A senior instructor, in addition to meeting the requirements for instructor, must demonstrate a record as an excellent teacher and mentor for at least five years, produce creative and/or professional work, and demonstrate a reasonable level of service to the department, school or University.
This title indicates a position of honor and high regard in the University community. It is conferred upon those who have had a long-term relationship with the University and have been invited to maintain a continuing collegial relationship with the University after retirement as provided in Section Nine.
This title is offered to those who fulfill the research qualifications of the professor or instructor ranks. The principal criterion for this title is scholarly productivity and recognition of original work. Research faculty may be eligible to give seminars and teach occasional courses, but such teaching assignment is at the discretion of the department and/or school. This title may only be used for appointments of up to three years, but may be renewed upon a demonstration of continued research and/or scholarship productivity.
This title is generally offered to a faculty member who holds an appointment at another institution, but who is on leave from that institution to be at the University. The conditions of their employment are not governed by this University Handbook.
Suffolk University recognizes the following categories of duration or terms of appointments:
A continuous appointment is an appointment offered to those who have achieved tenure.
A probationary appointment is an annual appointment for those faculty members on the tenure-track that the University may renew each year, for up to six years, at which point tenure must be either granted or denied.
A terminal appointment is the final appointment issued to a faculty member for the year following denial of tenure. A terminal appointment is for one year and is nonrenewable.
A presumptively renewable appointment is a multi-year appointment that will be renewed unless just cause is shown why it should not be renewed.
A term appointment is a full-time faculty appointment issued for a specific period of time.
The terms of each full-time faculty appointment, reappointment, or continuous appointment are for a fiscal year. Full-time faculty members are therefore eligible for year-round perquisites including: office space, technology, appropriate administrative support, and benefits offered through the human resources office.
Each faculty appointment has as its locus the school(s), department(s), and/or program(s) that is stated in the letter of appointment. To be appointed with tenure in any school, a faculty member must be approved through that school’s tenure process. However, at the discretion of the provost, in consultation with the appropriate deans, department chairs and the faculty member, the locus of a faculty member’s appointment may be changed to meet the curricular and organizational needs of the institution.