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Responsibilities of the Faculty Member

Members of the faculty are expected to meet their professional and institutional commitments at the University on a regular basis throughout the academic year. These commitments include time spent on teaching, research, student advising, clinical activities and various kinds of University or outside professional service on committees and in administrative or advisory roles.

All officers of instruction are expected to handle their teaching assignments with professional skill. They should familiarize themselves with the overall organization of the University, and especially with the operations of the school or college in which they serve, and with its requirements and regulations, with which they will scrupulously comply. They should strive to be good citizens of the academic community, cooperative and efficient in meeting deadlines, submitting grades, and returning students’ work with appropriate comments. They should be active participants as committee members, student advisers, or in whatever other capacity they can render the best service in the affairs of the department and the school. Ideally, they should also maintain interest in the current activities and problems of the larger community and in how the community and the University can benefit each other.

Tenure and tenure-track faculty should aim at the steady enlargement of knowledge in their special fields—by enlarging their own knowledge through continuing study and by enlarging the knowledge of others through making scholarly contributions. All faculty should keep abreast of publications about new developments in their subject area, and attend and actively participate in the meetings of appropriate learned societies. (Financial assistance in attending professional meetings may be available, according to the rules of the several schools and colleges.)

General criteria for promotion and tenure for tenure and tenure-track faculty are cited in Title I, Section V of the Statement in Regard to Academic Freedom and Tenure. Some schools and colleges also have written statements on faculty appointment policies and procedures, particularly those concerned with promotion and tenure.

Section XI of the Tenure Statement cites important information regarding yearly notification of nontenured faculty concerning tenure prospects, including a formalized early review for certain junior faculty during their third year of service and, in the School of Medicine and the Stern School, also in their sixth year of service.

Teaching and Research Assignments

As regards full-time faculty members, long-standing University policy limits regular teaching assignments to the usual fall and spring terms (approximately early September to mid-May) or equivalent. The summer months are generally expected to be spent partly in scholarly activity for professional growth and partly in rest and recreation. Faculty on such nine-month appointments may accept teaching, research or other employment during the three summer months, either at NYU or at another academic institution, or from another employer. In addition, with permission of the Dean or Chair, faculty may be released from some teaching responsibilities in order to conduct research. Assignments at NYU outside of the usual pattern as a part of the regular teaching load are normally made only as the result of a specific agreement with an individual faculty member. In the School of Medicine and the College of Dentistry, the teaching and research assignments are September through August and September through July, respectively.

Full-time teaching loads are determined administratively under guidelines approved by the Office of the Provost for a particular school or department. No additional compensation by reason of teaching overload may be paid to a full-time faculty member during the period of a regular teaching assignment, except in emergency circumstances duly approved in advance by the Office of the Provost. As an exception, teaching in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies or in a regularly established off-campus program for additional compensation to the extent of one course per semester (in addition to a faculty member’s regular assignment) will be permitted with the approval of the dean of the school in which the teacher’s principal services are rendered, but such arrangements are subject to review and renewed approval from year to year. Exceptions for additional compensation by reason of teaching overload may also be made for teaching in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and in experimental programs.

A full-time faculty member whose regular teaching assignments are limited to the fall and spring terms (approximately early September to mid-May) may accept teaching or research assignments at times outside his or her regular schedule (e.g., during the summer) at New York University or elsewhere, provided such additional undertakings do not unduly interfere with the teacher’s efficiency and serviceability to the department. Summer teaching assignments at New York University are normally made to full-time faculty members only with the consent of the teacher concerned.

Meeting Classes

The regulations of the University require all officers of instruction to be present for teaching duty and ancillary activities (e.g., committee work and student advisement) during the academic sessions to which they have been assigned. In addition, unless special arrangements have been made through the department or school, all officers of instruction are duty-bound to meet all their assigned classes at the place and hour scheduled. The length of the various academic sessions and the number of class meetings per session are set conformably to the requirements of the State Education Department for the different programs offered by the University, and may not be varied arbitrarily by individual teachers.

In case of illness necessitating absence from class, the teacher should communicate with the
proper departmental officer or, if the latter is not available, with the dean. The department head or dean will determine what arrangements, if any, shall be made to provide a substitute instructor or to make up the work of the class at a later date.


The fiscal years for New York University extend from September 1 through August 31. In most divisions (except certain professional schools, where slightly different schedules obtain) the regular teaching year consists of two terms, beginning in early September and mid-January, respectively. The summer sessions conducted by the various divisions extend for the most part from May to August. The calendars published in the University-wide and individual school bulletins will cite specific dates conforming to local variations. This information is also available online. The annual Commencement exercises are ordinarily held in May.


Each school and college of the University, under the direction of its dean, issues its own bulletin or bulletins describing entrance and degree requirements, programs of study, and the like. Because this is the official publication of the school’s or college’s requirements and programs, it must be as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

It is incumbent upon the individual faculty member whose particular courses are described therein to inform the departmental executive officer of all essential changes that may necessitate a revision of the course description in the bulletin.

Restriction on Outside Employment

All faculty members compensated on a full-time basis are expected to devote their major energies to teaching, research, service, student counseling, and related activities at New York University. This implies a limit on outside activities, particularly those that involve the rendering of service for extra compensation.

No one appointed to a tenure or tenure-track faculty position at NYU may simultaneously hold a tenure or tenure-track position elsewhere. Teaching service at other institutions during the academic year must be approved in advance by the Dean.

For tenure or tenure-track faculty, extramural activities that are consistent with the individual’s overriding obligation to the University, including consulting and other gainful employment, must be consistent with the principles outlined above and may not require on the average more than one day per week in any academic semester or in any summer month in which the faculty member is receiving compensation for full-time employment at the University.

Circumstances thought to merit exceptional treatment should be referred in writing to the appropriate dean and the Office of the Provost.

All faculty members shall on a yearly basis report to their deans on (i) teaching outside the University; if the course taught is the same or similar to a course s/he teaches at the University, an outline of the curriculum taught at both institutions must be provided, (ii) other compensated activities outside the University and (iii) significant financial interest in entities having a relationship to the University (see Statement of Policy on Faculty Responsibility to the University)

It is the responsibility of departmental chairpersons or heads and of the deans of the various schools to protect the interest of the University in the full-time service of its full-time faculty, professional research and library staffs, and administration.

Limitation on Degree Candidacy

Special attention is called to Bylaw 77(c), which reads as follows:

No officer of instruction holding professorial rank in the University, that is, rank above the grade of instructor, shall be permitted to enroll as a candidate for a degree or be recommended for a degree in course. A degree candidate who accepts appointment to professorial rank must thereupon relinquish such candidacy.

While the rule does not prohibit a teacher of professorial rank, whether on temporary or permanent appointment, from taking courses at this institution for credit to be applied elsewhere toward a degree, it does prohibit such an appointee from pursuing a course to be credited toward a degree at New York University. In applying the rule, the prohibition has been extended to all holders of professorial titles, including visiting, research, adjunct, and clinical professors of each grade, and to administrators of policy-making rank. The holder of any professional librarian’s rank may pursue graduate work and be a degree candidate at the University.

New York State Oath Requirement

Section 3002 of the Education Law of the State of New York, as amended, requires in part that any United States citizen employed within the state as a teacher in a tax-supported or tax-exempt institution sign an oath or affirmation to support the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York.

This oath or affirmation must be executed by every newly appointed teacher before the first class session and returned for filing with the records of the institution.

The requisite form for complying with the law is available from the Office of Academic Appointments and in the offices of the deans of the schools and colleges (see the NYU Public Directory for contact information). Foreign nationals, of course, are not subject to this requirement.

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