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 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 of the System must take if it is unable to provide a written contract within the specified time frame. It is important that the content of such contracts appropriately reflect the rights of the institution and the faculty. The terms and conditions of employment of all faculty members shall be embodied in a Memorandum of Appointment in the form and containing the content specified in the standard contracts found on the web site of the U. T. System Administration’s Office of General Counsel.
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. Except for the titles Regental Professor and Regents' Research Scholar, the only titles to be used in which faculty members may hold tenure or be on the tenure track are as follows:
(b) Associate Professor
(c) Assistant Professor
2.2 Other Titles. The following academic titles may also be used by the institutions of the U. T. System. Tenure may not be awarded to a person appointed to these titles. With the exception of the title of Instructor, academic service with these titles may not be counted toward the satisfaction of any maximum probationary period. Appointments to these titles shall be for a period of time not to exceed one academic year except in the case of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, or a clinical or research position with a title authorized by Section 2.2(g) below when an appointment may be for periods of time not to exceed three academic years. With the exception of the title of Instructor, such appointments shall terminate at the expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal. Except for the titles described in Sections 2.2(n) and 2.2(o), if an institution determines that it is to the benefit of the institution, it may offer reappointments to these titles in accordance with Texas Education Code Section 51.943 and may provide annual renewability of two- and three-year appointments.
(a) Instructor. This title denotes a probationary appointment.
(b) Lecturer. This title may be used for individuals who will serve as Teachers and whose teaching experience and qualifications are comparable to those of faculty members in untenured, tenure-track positions. 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 Teachers who will augment and complement regular teaching faculty and whose teaching experience and qualifications are comparable to those in tenure positions.
(d) Distinguished Senior Lecturer. This title may be used for Teachers who will augment and complement regular teaching faculty and whose teaching experience and qualifications demonstrate extraordinary service and performance.
(e) Faculty Associate. This title may be applied to a person 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 so as to indicate the specific areas of proficiency, such as Practice Teaching Specialist, Physical Activity Specialist, or Social Work Field Training Specialist.
(g) Patient Care or Research. Persons appointed to full-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 shall be given one of the following titles, even though the individuals may be assigned teaching responsibilities:
(1) Professor of (title of specialty)
(2) Associate Professor of (title of specialty)
(3) Assistant Professor of (title of specialty)
(4) Instructor in (title of specialty)
(h) Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, and Visiting Assistant Professor. These titles are used only for temporary appointments of persons 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.
(i) Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, and Adjunct Assistant Professor. One of these titles may be used when a qualified person from business, industry, government, private practice, or another institution of higher education may be teaching a course or participating in the teaching of a course at one of the institutions. For the health institutions, this prefix should be used only for those persons not involved in patient care who otherwise satisfy the above criteria. 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, and 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 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. Persons 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 by virtue of professional experience in lieu of typical academic credentials. Appointments to the faculty with a Professor of Practice 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.
(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.
(n) Assistant Instructor or Graduate Teaching Associate. These titles may be used interchangeably for:
• certain graduate students teaching on a part-time or full-time basis who are in the last phase of their doctoral programs and who are unconditionally enrolled in graduate study, or
• persons who, because of the nature of their duties, such as in a laboratory or hospital, do not qualify for one of the usual academic titles and do not hold the academic training or professional distinction usually required for attaining tenured positions.
(o) Teaching Assistant. This title usually applies to graduate students who assist faculty and who are employed on a part-time basis.
2.3 Honorific Titles
(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 only upon approval by the president of the institution or by another official in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.
(c) Regents’ Research Scholar. Any tenure-track faculty recruit, regardless of rank, would be eligible for a Regents’ Research Scholar title. To be eligible for this title, the U. T. System institution would identify an important recruitment of a Regents’ Research Scholar and obtain philanthropic commitments for the specific recruitment. Recipients of these monies would be known as Regents’ Research Scholars for the duration of the financial support and could also bear the name of the donor.
(d) Honorary Titles. Honorary titles such as Dean Emeritus, Chair Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, and similar honorary designations may be given to a 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 by the president of the institution or by another official in accordance with procedures included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures.
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.
Faculty Member – a faculty member is any individual holding an academic title listed above, with the exception of Assistant Instructors or Teaching Assistants.
4. Relevant Federal and State Statutes
Texas Education Code Section 51.943 – Renewal of Faculty Employment Contracts
5. Relevant System Policies, Procedures, and Forms
U. T. System, Office of General Counsel, Standard Contracts – Memorandum of Appointment
6. Who Should Know
7. System Administration Office(s) Responsible for Rule
Office of Academic Affairs
Office of Health Affairs
8. Dates Approved or Amended
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: