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Faculty Titles

In 1960, the Board of Trustees issued a comprehensive statement on the subject of permanent or continuous tenure. It appears in a section headed “Statement in Regard to Academic Freedom and Tenure”. The Bylaws in effect at that time gave only brief descriptions of faculty titles; new Bylaws adopted since then give more ample descriptions. The text of Bylaws 81, 72, and 83, approved May 27, 1968, as amended through May 5, 1980, is found below. In the event of conflict between earlier and later statements by the Board of Trustees, the most recent statement governs.

Since 1974, by action of the Board of Trustees, the professional librarians of New York University have had full faculty status. Their titles of rank are equated with those of the teaching ranks.

Professors and Associate Professors; Curators and Associate Curators

[Bylaw 81]

a) Appointments. Professors and associate professors are usually appointed to serve on a full-time basis, and only full-time professors and associate professors may achieve permanent or continuous tenure at the University. Unless otherwise specified, professors and associate professors are appointed for one year only, but they may be appointed for a longer period or without limit of time, subject to such rules respecting tenure as the Board may adopt.

b) Libraries. Curators and associate curators in the Division of the Libraries are granted tenure rights under conditions similar to those applicable to professors and associate professors.

Assistant Professors; Assistant Curators

[Bylaw 82]

a) Appointments. Assistant professors are usually appointed for one year only, but full-time service in this rank may be counted, to the extent permitted under the rules of the Board of Trustees, toward the attainment of tenure by assistant professors that are promoted to the rank of associate professor or professor.

b) Maximum Duration. A full-time assistant professor in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, and the College of Dentistry, its College of Nursing and their departments, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, who is not promoted at the expiration of seven years as a full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time assistant professor in the School of Medicine, the College of Dentistry and its College of Nursing or any of their departments who is not promoted at the expiration of ten years as a full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time assistant professor in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, who is not promoted as the expiration of nine years as a full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University.

c) Notice. The appropriate dean or departmental chairperson shall as a matter of academic courtesy give notice of these rules to full-time assistant professors in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the College of Dentistry, its College of Nursing and their departments, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, in the sixth year of service as assistant professor, or, in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry, its College of Nursing and their departments, in the ninth year of service as assistant professor, or in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, in the eighth year of service as an assistant professor, but no assistant professor or instructor shall be promoted or acquire tenure rights on the ground that he or she did not receive a notice or reminder of this section of the bylaws.

d) Libraries. Assistant curators in the Division of the Libraries (including assistant curators in the School of Medicine) are appointed on the same terms and conditions as assistant professors at New York University, without extension of probationary period as provided for assistant professors in the School of Medicine, and are subject to the same prohibition on further full-time appointment if not promoted at the end of the specified periods. An exception is made, under special administrative arrangements approved by the President and Chancellor, for assistant curators appointed prior to October 1, 1972.

Non-Tenure Positions

[Bylaw 83]

a) Types of Nontenure Positions. Instruction or research service shall be without tenure implications of any kind, regardless of rank or title, if rendered in a part-time capacity, or in a temporary position, or in a program having a subsidy of limited duration. Appointment to a non-tenure position shall be for a definite period of time, not exceeding one academic year unless otherwise specified, and shall automatically terminate at the close of that period unless there is an official notice of renewal. Non-tenure positions include the following:

  • instructor;
  • research professor, research associate professor, research assistant professor (except when the title of research professor is conferred as a distinction upon a person already having tenure at New York University);4
  • adjunct professor, adjunct associate professor, adjunct assistant professor;
  • clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor;4
  • visiting professor, visiting associate professor, visiting assistant professor;
  • senior research scientist, research scientist, associate research scientist, assistant research scientist;
  • senior research scholar, research scholar, associate research scholar, assistant research scholar;
  • senior language lecturer and language lecturer;
  • lecturer, master teacher, teacher, master artist, artist-in-residence;
  • teaching fellow, teaching associate, teaching assistant;
  • associate, research associate, assistant, clinical assistant, graduate assistant, research assistant.

Any position designated by a title not specified in this chapter shall be a non-tenure position unless the Board of Trustees determines otherwise.

b) In Specific Schools.

Additional nontenure positions in specific schools include the following:

In the Tisch School of the Arts:

  • arts professor, associate arts professor, assistant arts professor;
  • visiting arts professor, visiting associate arts professor, visiting assistant arts professor.

In the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development:

  • music professor, music associate professor, music assistant professor

In the School of Medicine:

  • professor (clinical), associate professor (clinical), assistant professor (clinical);
  • professor (research), associate professor (research), assistant professor (research)

c) Full-time Instructor. A full-time instructor is usually appointed for one year only, but if not promoted at the expiration of three years as an instructor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. Full-time service in the rank of Instructor may not be counted towards the attainment of tenure by instructors who are promoted to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. Library Associates are appointed on the same terms and conditions as Instructors.

Further Information on Selected Non-Tenure Track Position Titles

The title instructor is ordinarily applicable to an appointee as an officer of instruction who has not completed the Ph.D. or equivalent degree necessary for entry into the rank of assistant professor, but whose academic preparation is sufficiently advanced to indicate the likelihood of completing that degree and who otherwise gives evidence of character, productive scholarship, and ability to teach.

The title acting professor (or acting associate professor or acting assistant professor) is applicable to a temporary appointee of appropriate caliber who may succeed to unqualified appointment to the rank thus tentatively occupied, but who ordinarily has no assurance of such succession. Occasions for such temporary appointment are rare and are employed only when other designations fail to satisfy the circumstances.

The title visiting professor (or visiting associate professor or visiting assistant professor) is ordinarily applicable to an appointee who is a member of the teaching staff on leave of absence as a full-time teacher of corresponding professorial rank from another institution, but may be applicable to an appointee who does not have a home institution. The duration of the appointment of a visiting professor is normally one year, but shall not exceed three years. In the event of subsequent appointment to the tenure track, the time as visitor will count as part of the probationary timetable.

The title research professor (or research associate professor or research assistant professor) may be employed as a courtesy title without tenure implications, for part-time or full-time service or visiting individuals whose primary activities are in the area of research.

The title research scientist or research scholar (senior, associate or assistant) may be used for those temporarily serving on year-to-year appointments under research contracts, without tenure implications.

The title clinical professor (or clinical associate professor or clinical assistant professor) is applicable in the medical, dental, and certain other divisions to appointees whose professional attainments are comparable to those required for the regular professorial grades but whose teaching service is part-time or whose qualifications and responsibilities are fundamentally distinguishable from those of appointees in the tenure-earning ranks.

The title language lecturer (or senior language lecturer) is applicable in the Faculty of Arts and Science and in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies to an appointee whose professional attainments are in the area of language instruction and whose qualifications and responsibilities are fundamentally distinguishable from those of appointees in the tenure-earning ranks.

The title adjunct professor (or adjunct associate professor or adjunct assistant professor) is applicable to an appointee whose academic preparation and professional attainments are such as to meet the qualifications for the regular professorial grades as set forth in the tenure statement but who usually does not have a current professorial connection with any other institution and is appointed to teach, usually a part-time program, in New York University on a purely temporary basis. Appointment in these ranks is made on a year-to-year or semester-to-semester basis.

The title lecturer is applicable to an appointee who is an individual of distinction in a professional field, who is not otherwise on the teaching staff of the University, and who is engaged to give a series of lectures or to teach on a part-time basis during a specified semester or year.

The title teaching assistant is applicable to a graduate student pursuing a prescribed course of study at this institution who, because of outstanding qualifications, is appointed to part-time duties concurrent with his or her academic program. The duties of a teaching assistant are ordinarily related to the field or discipline of a student’s degree studies at NYU and are primarily focused on the development and exercise of teaching skills. Generally, such appointments entail stipend support and tuition remission.

The title graduate assistant is applicable to a graduate student pursuing a prescribed course of study at this institution who, because of outstanding qualifications, is appointed to part-time duties concurrent with his or her academic program. The duties of a graduate assistant are ordinarily related to the field or discipline of a student’s degree studies at NYU and are primarily focused on the development and exercise of a variety of professional and technical skills. Generally, such appointments entail stipend support and tuition remission.

The title research assistant is applicable to a graduate student pursuing a prescribed course of study at this institution who, because of outstanding qualifications, is appointed to part-time duties concurrent with his or her academic program. The duties of a research assistant are related to the field or discipline of a student’s degree at NYU and are primarily focused on the development and exercise of a variety of research-related skills. Generally, such appointments entail stipend support and tuition remission.

The designations instructor, lecturer, associate teacher, master teacher, master artist, artist-in-residence, teaching fellow, graduate assistant, research assistant and teaching assistant, and any positions designated or not designated by a title cited in this chapter, whether gained at New York University or elsewhere, do not fall within the academic hierarchy (i.e., assistant professor, associate professor, professor) that may lead to tenure at New York University, and service in such capacities, irrespective of its duration or where it was rendered, whether full-time or part-time, is not creditable toward tenure requirements at New York University.



4 In the School of Medicine, these designations denote part-time status. For full-time service appointments, the designations “Professor (Research or Clinical)”, “Associate Professor (Research or Clinical)”, and “Assistant Professor (Research or Clinical)” are used.

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