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Office of Academic Affairs

GLOSSARY OF PERSONNEL TERMS


Academic Professional

Academic-Year (AY) Appointments

Adjunct or Clinical Faculty

Archive Faculty

Assistant Professor

Associate Professor

Development Leave

Emeriti Faculty

Extended-Term Appointment

Extension Educator

Faculty

Fiscal-Year (FY) Appointments

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

Instructor

Leave of Absence Without Pay

Lecturer

Library Faculty

Part-Time Employee

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Probationary Employee

Professor

Research Professor

Research Scientist

Review Year

Sabbatical Leave

Temporary Appointment

Tenure-Track Appointment

Terminal Degree

Visiting Appointment

 

Academic Professional

Person other than faculty, engaged primarily in activities that extend and support the teaching, research, extension, and service missions of the University. There are four categories of academic professional: 1. Extension Educators, 2. Lecturers, 3. Research Scientists, 4. Post-Doctoral Research Associates. Individuals belonging to any of the first three categories can hold extended-term-track appointments under certain conditions.

Academic-Year (AY) Appointments

Appointments in which the regular period of employment includes the fall and spring semesters (nine months) of each year, with no accrual of vacation leave.  Most faculty members and academic professionals hold AY appointments. AY employees typically receive their nine-month salaries and benefits spread out over the 12 months of each calendar year.

Adjunct or Clinical Faculty

Indicates a non-financial appointment of an individual to an academic unit.  Adjunct appointments can include qualified non-academic personnel or faculty with other academic affiliations.  Adjunct appointments are made at all three faculty ranks (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor) based upon academic qualifications.  Clinical appointments are always at the Professor level.  Adjunct appointments are normally for three years, while clinical appointments are for one year.

Archive Faculty

This special faculty designation is reserved for archivists of the American Heritage Center.  Archivists are responsible for acquiring original resource material to support academic research and teaching, organizing the material physically and intellectually, and teaching faculty, students and others to use these materials.  There are three archivist ranks:  1. Assistant Archivist, 2. Associate Archivist, 3. Archivist.  Promotion and appointment as Associate Archivist or Archivist carries with it the automatic award of a five-year extended-term appointment.

Assistant Professor

Indicates tenure-track appointments of  individuals who hold the terminal degree in their discipline. This is the usual entry-level faculty rank.

Associate Professor

In addition to the qualifications of an Assistant Professor, Associate Professors have established a strong reputation in scholarship and teaching.  Generally, faculty hired as Assistant Professors are promoted to the rank of Associate Professor at the time tenure is granted.

Development Leave

Extended-term academic professionals who have completed six years of service at the University are eligible for professional development leave.  The purpose of development leave is to enhance performance, to conduct special studies, or in some other way to enhance an individual's ability to contribute to the University.  Development leaves can be granted with or without pay, are the prerogative of the academic unit in which the academic professional is located, and are generally similar to sabbatical leaves for faculty.

Emeriti Faculty

Emeritus status can be awarded to tenured faculty who retire after long and distinguished service. The designation is honorary. By analogy, extended-term academic professionals may be eligible for emeritus status upon retirement. (Emeritus=masculine, emerita=feminine, emeriti=plural.) 

Extended-Term Appointment

Academic professionals who have successfully completed probationary terms (usually six years) may receive six-year appointments called extended-term appointments. The term also applies to certain librarians and archivists who hold faculty status.  These employees are eligible for extended-term appointments after five-year probationary periods. Extended terms for these employees are five years in length. Academic professionals, librarians, and archivists who are in the probationary period are on the extended-term-track.

Extension Educator

The primary function of this academic professional is to provide non-credit education to off-campus clientele through UW's Cooperative Extension Service. There are three ranks of Extension Educators:  Assistant University Extension Educator, Associate University Extension Educator, Senior University Extension

Faculty

Members of the permanent faculty include tenured or tenure-track Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors. Also included are tenure-track individuals who hold the rank of Instructor while completing their terminal degrees. Certain librarians and archivists also hold faculty status, but they are eligible for extended terms instead of tenure.

Fiscal-Year (FY) Appointments

Appointments in which the regular period of employment is the entire calendar year, with accrual of annual vacation leave.  Faculty members who hold administrative positions with summer responsibilities often have FY appointments for the duration of their administrative terms.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

A measure of the time commitment expected of an employee or a set of employees. For example, two full-time employees or four half-time employees constitute 2.0 FTE.

Instructor

Tenure-track faculty member who does not yet hold the terminal degree in the appropriate field. UW requires verification of degrees in the form of official transcripts. UW does not grant tenure to faculty members who hold Instructor status at the time of the decision.

Leave of Absence Without Pay

Academic and administrative personnel may request leaves without pay for periods normally not in excess of one year, for purposes consistent with the professional enhancement of the employee and the advancement of the University's stature.

Lecturer

A category of academic professional involved largely in classroom instruction.  Lecturers may be appointed to three ranks: Assistant Lecturer, Associate Lecturer, Senior Lecturer.

Library Faculty

This faculty designation applies to employees of the University Libraries.  There are three ranks of library faculty: Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, Librarian.  Persons holding the rank of Assistant Librarian are appointed on an annual basis.  Persons holding the ranks of Associate Librarian and Librarian are eligible for five-year extended-term appointments.

Part-Time Employee

Any employee holding less than a full-time equivalent position (FTE less than 1.0).

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Post-Docs are persons who desire greater professional development and research investigation, after having received a doctoral degree but before obtaining permanent employment.  Post-Doctoral appointments are temporary.

Probationary Employee

Refers to tenure-track faculty members who have not received tenure and to academic professionals, library faculty, and archive faculty who have not yet received an extended-term contract.  The probationary term for academic professionals is generally six years, with yearly reviews and re-appointments. For librarians and archivists, it is five years. Faculty members who are on tenure-track appointments typically undergo the review for tenure in the sixth year of employment.

Professor

In addition to the qualification of an Associate Professor, "full" Professors have demonstrated superior research contributions, have attained wide recognition in their professional fields for scholarship or other creative activity, and have gained recognition as teachers and contributors in their fields.

Research Professor

Person with demonstrated superior capacity for research contributions, who is employed solely on external funds, and who holds a terminal degree.  These appointments are made only at the Professor level and for not more than one year at a time.  They are renewable.

Research Scientist

An academic professional whose primary responsibility is to conduct research.  There are four ranks for Research Scientists:  1. Assistant Research Scientist, 2. Associate Research Scientist, 3. Research Scientist, 4. Senior Research Scientist.

Review Year

Year in which a reappointment review occurs for probationary employees.  Normally, tenure-track faculty members undergo mandatory reappointment reviews in their first, second, and fourth years, with optional reviews in the third and fifth years.  A review for the tenure decision occurs no later than the sixth year. An explanatory flow chart appears at the end of this glossary. In some cases employees start with credit toward a tenure or extended-term decision, based on their previous experience. In these cases the review year is the number of years of service at UW plus the number of years of credit.

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave may be granted to any tenured member of the faculty for the purposes of increasing professional competence and usefulness to the University.  A minimum of six years service at the University must precede each period of sabbatical leave, although no right accrues automatically through lapse of time.  Sabbatical leaves are normally granted for either a half year (full pay) or a full year (60% of salary).  A faculty member who fails to return to the University after a sabbatical leave must repay the amount of compensation received from the University during the sabbatical.

Temporary Appointment

A short-term appointment without rights to tenure or extended term. Most temporary appointments are for one semester or one academic year.

Tenure-Track Appointment

Indicates a probationary faculty appointment prior to the award of tenure.  Tenure-track positions generally require six years to tenure, but fewer years may be required based upon level of previous experience and accomplishments.

Terminal Degree

Typically the highest earned degree in a field of study.  Examples include the Ph.D. (a variety of fields), the M.D. (medicine), the Ed.D. (education), M.F.A. (fine arts), and J.D. (law).

Visiting Appointment

Indicates a non-permanent, non-tenure-track faculty appointment.  Most visiting appointments are for one year.

 

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