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 Sections 85, 86, 87, and 88 of the University Bylaws, approved May 27, 1968, as amended through September 1, 2014 and through December 9, 2015, 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.

Tenured Faculty

[University Bylaws, Section 85]

a) Tenured Appointments. The Tenured Faculty consists of the Professors and Associate Professors who have full-time appointments at the University and who have been awarded permanent or continuous tenure at the University in accordance with University procedures for the awarding of such tenure, including receipt of a letter from an authorized senior academic official of the University advising the faculty member that he or she has received the requisite approvals and has been awarded tenure. 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 and in the School of Law and certain, but not all, Curators and Associate Curators in the School of Medicine are granted tenure rights under conditions similar to those applicable to tenured Professors and Associate Professors. Only full-time Curators and Associate Curators may achieve permanent or continuous tenure at the University.

Tenure Track Faculty

[University Bylaws, Section 86]

a) Tenure Track Appointments. The Tenure Track Faculty consists of Associate Professors and Assistant Professors who have full-time faculty appointments at the University and currently are not tenured but who may be eligible to be considered for permanent or continuous tenure at the University in accordance with University procedures for the awarding of such tenure, including receipt of a letter from an authorized senior academic official of the University advising the faculty member that his or her appointment is a tenure track appointment. Associate Professors and Assistant Professors are usually appointed for one year only, but full-time service in these ranks may be counted, to the extent permitted under the rules of the Board of Trustees, toward the attainment of tenure.

b) Maximum Duration. A full-time Associate Professor or Assistant Professor on the tenure track in any college, school, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, the College of Dentistry and its departments, and the Rory Meyers College of Nursing and its departments, who is not awarded tenure at the expiration of seven years will be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time Associate Professor or Assistant Professor on the tenure track in the School of Medicine, or any of its departments, or in the College of Dentistry, or any of its departments, or in the Rory Meyers College of Nursing, or any of its departments, who is not awarded tenure at the expiration of ten years will be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time Associate Professor or Assistant Professor in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, or any of its departments, who is not awarded tenure at the expiration of nine years will be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. Service as a Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty member or as an Other Faculty member may not be counted toward the attainment of tenure by persons who may become tenure track Faculty members.

c) Notice. The appropriate dean or departmental Chairperson will as a matter of academic courtesy give notice of these rules to Associate Professors and Assistant Professors on the tenure track in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine, and its departments, the College of Dentistry, and its departments, and the Rory Meyers College of Nursing, and its departments, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and its departments, in the sixth year of service, or, in the School of Medicine, or any of its departments, and the College of Dentistry, or any of its departments and the Rory Meyers College of Nursing, or any of its departments, in the ninth year of service, or, in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, or any of its departments, in the eighth year of service, but no untenured Associate Professor or Assistant Professor will acquire tenure rights on the ground that he or she did not receive a notice or reminder of this section of these Bylaws.

d) Libraries. Associate Curators and Assistant Curators who may be eligible to acquire tenure in the Division of the Libraries and in the School of Law and certain Associate Curators and Assistant Curators in the School of Medicine are appointed on the same terms and conditions as Associate Professors and Assistant Professors on the tenure track at the University, without extension of probationary period as provided for Associate Professors and 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.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

[University Bylaws, Section 87]

a) Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty Appointments. The Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty consists of faculty who are not Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty and who: (i) have full-time appointments at the University; (ii) have titles or appointments that do not prohibit indefinite contract renewals (although promotion within the appointment category, such as from assistant to associate, may be required for renewal); and (iii) are not visiting faculty (including persons who have tenure or are on the tenure track at another institution and persons who are on leave from another institution or a company). A Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty member does not lose that status during the duration of his or her full-time faculty employment because the person has been advised that his or her contract will not be renewed. Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty are not eligible for tenure.

b) Contracts and Titles. Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty are appointed for a definite period of time and the appointment automatically terminates at the close of that period unless there is an official notice of renewal. Unless otherwise specified, Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty are appointed for one year only, but they may be appointed for a longer period, subject to such rules respecting Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty as the Board may adopt. Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty have an array of titles, which may vary depending on the college or school, and which may overlap with Other Faculty titles. On rare occasions, the title of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor are utilized for Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty, most commonly in the case of senior faculty who come to the University after a distinguished career at another institution and at the Abu Dhabi and Shanghai portal campuses. Titles also may include, among others, certain of the nontenure position titles set forth in Section 88 of these Bylaws.

c) Libraries. Associate Librarians of Practice and Assistant Librarians of Practice and certain Curators, Associate Curators, and Assistant Curators in the School of Medicine who are appointed on the terms and conditions required for Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty at the University are considered Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty for purposes of these Bylaws.  

Other Faculty

[University Bylaws, Section 88]

a) Other Faculty Appointments. Other Faculty consists of faculty who are not Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty and who are not Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty. They may include: (i) emeritus faculty; (ii) adjunct and other part-time faculty; (iii) faculty whose titles or appointments prohibit indefinite contract renewals; (iv) temporary faculty; (v) visiting faculty; (vi) instructors and (vii) full-time researchers while they maintain a secondary faculty title. Other Faculty are not eligible for tenure.

(b) Contracts and Titles. Other Faculty are appointed for a definite period of time, not exceeding one academic year unless otherwise specified, and the appointment automatically terminates at the close of that period unless there is an official notice of renewal. Other Faculty have an array of titles, which may vary depending on the college or school, and which may overlap with Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty titles. Titles may include, among others, certain of the non-tenure position titles set forth in Section 88 of these Bylaws.

Non-Tenure Positions

[University Bylaws, Sections 87, 88, and 89]

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. Sections 87(a) and 88(a) of the University Bylaws provide that Full-time Continuing Contract Faculty and Other Faculty are not eligible for tenure. Sections 87(b) and 88(b) of the University Bylaws provide that 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, which may be faculty or non-faculty positions, include the following:

  • instructor titles (e.g., instructor, clinical instructor, research instructor, assistant professor/instructor);
  • research and scientist titles (e.g., research professor, research associate professor, research assistant professor, research scholar, associate research scholar, assistant research scholar, senior research scientist, research scientist, associate research scientist, assistant research scientist, professor (research), associate professor (research), assistant professor (research)2, except when the title that includes research professor is conferred as a distinction upon a faculty member with tenure or on the tenure track);
  • global titles (e.g., global distinguished professor, global professor, global visiting professor, global instructor, global professor, except when a title that includes global professor is conferred as a distinction upon a faculty member with tenure);
  • adjunct titles (e.g., adjunct professor, adjunct associate professor, adjunct assistant professor);
  • clinical titles (e.g., clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor, professor (clinical), associate professor (clinical), assistant professor (clinical)3, master clinician);
  • visiting titles (e.g., visiting professor, visiting associate professor, visiting assistant professor);
  • arts and music titles (e.g., arts professor, associate arts professor, assistant arts professor, visiting arts professor, visiting associate arts professor, visiting assistant arts professor, music professor, music associate professor, music assistant professor, master artist, artist-in-residence);
  • lecturer titles;
  • titles related to the teaching of languages (e.g., senior language lecturer and language lecturer);
  • teacher titles (e.g. master teacher, teacher, associate teacher, teaching fellow, teaching associate, teaching assistant);
  • assistant and associate titles (e.g., library associate, research associate, assistant, clinical assistant, graduate assistant, research assistant);
  • in residence titles (e.g., distinguished scientists in residence, writer in residence);
  • industry titles (e.g., industry professor, industry associate professor, industry assistant professor, distinguished industry professor);
  • scholar titles (e.g., scholar in residence, distinguished scholar, visiting scholar);
  • practice titles (e.g., librarian of practice, professor of/from practice, associate professor of/from practice, assistant professor of/from practice); and
  • fellow titles (e.g., assistant professor/faculty fellow).

Any position designated by a title not specified in this chapter shall be a non-tenure position unless the Board of Trustees determines otherwise. Additional detail about non-tenure positions can be found at the website of the Office of Academic Appointments.

2 In the School of Medicine, research professor, research associate professor, and research assistant professor denote part-time status; professor (research), associate professor (research), and assistant professor (research) denote full-time status.

3 In the School of Medicine, clinical professor, clinical associate professor, and clinical assistant professor denote part-time status; professor (clinical), associate professor (clinical), and assistant professor (clinical) denote full-time status.