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Rule 31001: Faculty Appointments and Titles

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Details

Series

30000: Personnel

Date Approved

Date Last Amended

Office(s) Responsible for Rule

Office of Academic Affairs 
Office of Health Affairs

1.  Title

Faculty Appointments and Titles

2.  Rule and Regulation

Sec. 1  Introduction.  Texas Education Code Section 51.943 outlines the steps Texas public institutions of higher education must follow in reappointing faculty. That statute specifies that faculty members as defined in Subsection 2.1 and 2.2 who are to be reappointed shall be offered a written contract at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the academic year. The statute also outlines the steps an institution must take if it is unable to provide a written contract, commonly referred to as a Memorandum of Appointment, within the specified time frame. The content of such contracts must appropriately reflect the rights of the institution and the faculty.

Sec. 2  Academic Titles.  To achieve consistency in the use of academic titles among the institutions of the System, the following Subsections describe the use of titles to apply in all institutions.

2.1  Tenure Titles.  The three titles Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, and the titles listed in Subsection 2.3, with the exception of 2.3(g), are the only titles to be used in which faculty members may hold tenure or be on the tenure track. Tenured or tenure-track faculty members with one of these three titles may also simultaneously hold honorific titles as described in Subsection 2.3. The conferring of an honorific title does not change a faculty member’s tenure or tenure-track status except as described in Subsection 2.3.

2.2  NonTenure-Track Titles.  The academic titles listed in this subsection may also be used by U. T. institutions. Tenure may not be awarded to an individual appointed to one of these titles.

Academic service with these titles, with the exception of the title of Instructor, does not allow for the accrual of time toward tenure.

Appointments shall terminate at the expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal, except for appointments to the title of Instructor. Instructor appointments may only be terminated in accordance with Regents’ Rule 31008.

If an institution determines that it is to the benefit of the institution, it may offer reappointments to faculty holding these titles in accordance with Texas Education Code Section 51.943, except that an institution may not offer reappointments to individuals holding the titles Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, or Visiting Assistant Professor. Such reappointments may be renewed annually for one, two, or three years.

(a) Instructor.  This title denotes a probationary appointment and may allow for the accrual of time toward tenure.

(b) Lecturer.  This title may be used for individuals who will augment and complement regular teaching faculty. Upon approval by the president, an institution may identify up to three divisions within this rank to be designated Lecturer I, Lecturer II, and Lecturer III.

(c) Senior Lecturer.  This title may be used for individuals who will augment and complement regular teaching faculty and who demonstrate excellence in service and performance in their experience and qualifications.

(d) Distinguished Senior Lecturer.  This title may be used for individuals who will augment and complement regular teaching faculty and who demonstrate excellence in service and performance in their experience and qualifications.

(e) Faculty Associate.  This title may be used for an individual who is participating in nonteaching clinical practices or for an individual assigned to a research or nonteaching center, institute, or other unit or interdisciplinary program of an institution.

(f) Specialist.  This title may be used for professional individuals who will serve as practitioners in specific areas of instruction, training, or supervision. In accordance with institutional policy, the title may carry appropriate descriptive prefixes to indicate the specific areas of proficiency, such as Practice Teaching Specialist, Physical Activity Specialist, or Social Work Field Training Specialist.

(g) Professor of (title of specialty), Associate Professor of (title of specialty), Assistant Professor of (title of specialty), and Instructor of (title of specialty).  These titles may be used for individuals appointed to full-time or part-time positions for the primary purpose of patient care and other service activities or to full-time or part-time positions for the primary purpose of research activities, even though the individuals may be assigned teaching responsibilities.

(h) Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, and Visiting Assistant Professor.  These titles are used only for temporary appointments of individuals either visiting from other institutions where they hold similar ranks or who are brought to the institution on a trial basis. Such appointments are limited to two years and are not renewable.

(i) Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, and Adjunct Instructor.  One of these titles may be used when a qualified individual from business, industry, government, private practice, or another institution of higher education may be participating in teaching, research, or clinical care at a U. T. institution. Appointments to the faculty with an adjunct title may be with or without pay and shall be for a stated period of time not to exceed one academic year. Such appointments shall terminate upon expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal.

(j) Clinical Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Instructor, Senior Clinical Instructor, Distinguished Clinical Instructor.  These titles may be used by the institutions of the U. T. System to designate regular part-time or full-time service on the faculty while involved in research or a professional clinical experience program. Appointments to the faculty with a clinical title may be with or without pay and shall be for a period of time not to exceed three academic years. Such appointments shall terminate upon expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal.

(k) Adjoint Professor, Adjoint Associate Professor, and Adjoint Assistant Professor.  These titles may be used by the institutions of the U. T. System to designate faculty who serve the institution in cooperative or joint programs pursuant to a memorandum of understanding, cooperative research and development agreement, or similar partnership instrument. Individuals holding these titles will be employees of and compensated by the partnership organization. They will not be deemed employees of the institution. They will, however, have the same obligations, responsibilities, and authority as regular faculty employed directly by the institution when performing faculty functions pursuant to the agreement. Appointments will usually be part-time for the purpose of supervising theses and dissertations or for the teaching of highly specialized courses. The term of the appointment shall be specified in the agreement with the partner organization.

(l) Professor of Practice, Associate Professor of Practice, and Assistant Professor of Practice.  These titles may be used by the institutions of the U. T. System to designate regular part-time or full-time service for faculty qualified to teach or conduct research by virtue of professional experience in lieu of typical academic credentials. Appointments to the faculty with these titles may be with or without pay and shall be for a period of time not to exceed three academic years. Such appointments shall terminate upon expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal.

(m) Professor of Instruction, Associate Professor of Instruction, and Assistant Professor of Instruction.  These titles may be used by the institutions of the U. T. System to designate nontenure-track faculty primarily engaged in instruction. Appointments to the faculty with a Professor of Instruction title may be with or without pay and shall be for a period of time not to exceed three academic years. Such appointments shall terminate upon expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal.

2.3  Honorific Titles.  Faculty members may hold multiple honorific titles at the same time.

(a) Regental Professor.  Any faculty member who is awarded the Nobel Prize or who has in the past been awarded the Nobel Prize may, upon recommendation of the president of the institution, the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Chancellor, be given the title Regental Professor by the Board. Because of the great honor associated with the award of a Nobel Prize, institutional tenure is awarded to Regental Professors by virtue of the appointment to this rank.

(b) Distinguished Teaching Professor.  In recognition of their significant contributions to education, members of an institutional academy of distinguished teachers may use the honorific title Distinguished Teaching Professor. The use of this title may be conferred or removed only upon approval in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.

(c) Regents’ Research Scholar.  The Regents’ Research Scholar program ended in 2017, and this title is no longer offered; however, faculty members with the title may retain it at U. T. institutions. Under the program, any tenure-track faculty recruit, was eligible for the title.

(d) Distinguished Research Professor. In recognition of their significant contributions to research, members of an institutional academy of distinguished researchers may use the honorific title Distinguished Research Professor. This title may be conferred or removed only upon approval in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.

(e) Distinguished University Professor. In recognition of their significant contributions through membership in the National Academies (e.g., Medicine, Engineering, Science, Humanities) or an equivalent recognition, faculty may use the honorific title Distinguished University Professor. This title may be conferred or removed only upon approval in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.

(f) Distinguished Service Professor. In recognition of their significant contributions through service to their institution or U. T. System; the profession; and/or the community, state, or nation, faculty may use the honorific title Distinguished Service Professor. This title may be conferred or removed only upon in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.

(g) Emeritus Titles.  Titles such as Dean Emeritus, Chair Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, and similar honorary designations may be given to an institution’s retired faculty member or in anticipation of the retirement of a faculty member, effective upon retirement. The conferring of one of these titles is not automatic upon retirement and may be conferred only upon approval in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.

2.4  Student, Trainee and Other Non-Faculty Titles

(a) Assistant Instructor and Graduate Teaching Associate.  These titles may be used for:

  • Enrolled graduate students or trainees (e.g., chief residents or fellows) who are teaching part-time or full-time and are the instructors of record for a course; or
  • Individuals who, because of the nature of their duties, do not qualify for one of the usual academic titles.

(b) Graduate Teaching Assistant.  This title may be used for graduate students who are not the instructor of record for a course but are employed on a part-time basis and assist faculty.

Sec. 3  Departure from an Administrative Position.   Administrative and academic (faculty) titles, duties, and pay rates for individuals who hold both administrative and academic appointments are distinct and severable. Departure or removal from an administrative position does not impair the individual’s rights and responsibilities as a faculty member.

3.  Definitions:

None

4.  Relevant Federal and State Statutes 

Texas Education Code Section 51.943 – Renewal of Faculty Employment Contracts 

5.  Relevant System Policies, Procedures, and Forms 

None 

6.  Who Should Know 

Administrators 
Faculty 

7.  System Administration Office(s) Responsible for Rule 

Office of Academic Affairs 
Office of Health Affairs 

8.  Dates Approved or Amended 

November 18, 2021
November 15, 2018
Editorial amendments to Section 2.3(a) and (b) made September 25, 2018 
November 10, 2016 
February 11, 2016 
Editorial amendments to Section 2.3(a) and (b) made July 13, 2015 
Editorial amendment to Section 2.2 made August 1, 2013 
Editorial amendments to Section 2.2(m), (n), and (o) made March 27, 2012 
Editorial amendment to Section 2.3(a) made December 5, 2011 
November 10, 2011 
Editorial amendments to Section 2 made October 6, 2011 
Editorial amendments to Sections 2.2 – 2.3 made March 28, 2011 
February 18, 2011 
Editorial amendment to Section 2.2 made September 3, 2010 
Editorial amendment to Section 2.4(d) made February 3, 2009 
November 16, 2006 
May 11, 2006 
December 10, 2004 

9.  Contact Information 

Questions or comments regarding this Rule should be directed to: 
•  bor@utsystem.edu