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General Provisions Regarding Academic AppointmentsACA-12

Policy Statement

The Purpose and Use of Academic Appointment Classifications

The academic work of Indiana University is done by individuals holding academic appointments in different classifications. Each tenured and tenure-probationary faculty member has responsibilities in the areas of teaching, research and service. Each tenured and tenure-probationary librarian has responsibilities in the parallel areas of performance (of librarianship duties), professional development/research/creative activities, and service. Academic appointees in other classifications have responsibilities in some but not all of the three areas. While all academic appointees make valuable contributions to achieving the mission of the University, the ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the academic programs of the institution and the authority for university faculty governance lies with those who have tenured and tenure-probationary appointments.

It is the policy of Indiana University to staff its regular instructional program with tenure-track faculty to the maximum extent feasible. Accomplishing the University’s academic mission, however, also requires the appointment of non-tenure-track faculty. The faculty of each school shall specify the minimum proportion of tenured and tenure-probationary FTE faculty for that unit, with the base of the proportion derived from the total FTE tenured and tenure-probationary, clinical and lecturer appointees, and the dean of the school shall file this specification with the campus academic officer.

It is critical to the productive use of resources in our efforts to achieve academic excellence and safeguard the basic nature of the University that the purpose and definition of each classification of academic appointment be clearly understood and that academic appointments be used appropriately. The courses and other instructional tasks to which non-tenure-track appointees may be assigned shall be specified within each academic unit by the tenured and tenure-probationary faculty. The dean of each academic unit shall report to the chief academic officer of the campus on an annual basis which of its courses and other instructional tasks have been assigned to non-tenure track faculty, and describe by appointment classification and by FTE and head count its non-tenure-track instructional personnel. The chief academic officer and the faculty governance body on each campus will review each year the use of all academic appointments in the academic units on that campus, to include the information referenced in the preceding sentence and in the final sentence of the preceding paragraph, and each January they will issue a report to the chief academic officer of the University and the University Faculty Council.

[EXPLANATION AND COMMENT: The tenuring process requires that faculty demonstrate their understanding of, competency in, and dedication to the University’s diverse missions in teaching, research, and service, and tenure allows the faculty member to exercise the independent judgment in academic governance that is critical to the well-being of the institution. Tenure-probationary faculty are appointed with the expectation that they will demonstrate the abilities pertaining to all the University’s missions that will qualify them for tenure. Accordingly, it is the tenured and tenure probationary faculty in whom the University vests the ultimate responsibility for the integrity of its academic programs. The review of the use of academic appointments should include not only the numbers of individuals in each appointment classification in each academic unit and the functions assigned to them, but also other aspects of the use of academic appointments as directed by the campus chancellor/provost and faculty governance body, such as demographic information, trends over time, and the appropriateness of appointment classification assignments. In the course of analyzing the use of appointment classifications, the inappropriate use of academic appointments is likely to be discovered, and it is expected that some transitional period of adjustment in faculty appointments will be necessary.]

(University Faculty Council, March 26, 1996)

All campuses of the Indiana University system use classifications for academic appointees uniformly. No regular academic appointment may be made in connection with an administrative appointment unless that appointment is identified with an existing unit and the regular procedures for academic appointments are followed. Appointees to deanships and other administrative positions at Indiana University retain academic appointments held at Indiana University at the time of their appointment to administrative office, unless otherwise specifically stipulated.

(University Faculty Council, April 11, 1978; April 28, 2009; altered by action of the Board of Trustees, August 7, 1984; June 12, 2009.)

Limitations on Assigned Responsibilities

A University employee’s assigned responsibilities may include offering courses for credit or conducting research as a principal investigator only with an academic appointment in a classification in which those responsibilities are appropriate. Academic credit may be awarded only in courses offered by academic appointees in faculty classifications for which offering courses for credit is an appropriate responsibility.

[EXPLANATION AND COMMENT: Those who teach should inquire into subject matter and pedagogy to maintain and advance the quality of their instruction, and those who conduct research should inform others of the product of their work. Further, inquiry (research) and communication (teaching) are fundamental rights that the University would not and cannot prohibit. Nevertheless, those who are assigned and undertake, on behalf of the University, the academic missions of teaching, research, and service in the full sense should have the status and protections of tenure-track appointments, and the assignments given to those in the various appointment classifications must be appropriately regulated.]

(University Faculty Council, February 13, 2001; Board of Trustees, May 4, 2001)

Participation in Faculty Governance

Participation in unit faculty governance by those in non-tenure-track academic appointment classifications is subject to regulation by faculty governance of a campus or of a school on a campus organized by schools (except for classifications in which voting rights in governance is not permitted).

[EXPLANATION AND COMMENT: Participation in University level faculty governance is governed by the Constitution of the University Faculty. Participation in faculty governance on the campuses is governed by the faculty constitution of each campus. Participation by those with part-time appointments (both tenure and non-tenure track) is an issue that will need to be addressed at each level. Visiting, and Adjunct appointees do not have the kind of relationship to the academic unit and its programs that justifies voting rights in governance. Individuals who do have that kind of relationship to the unit and its programs should be appointed in another classification.]

(University Faculty Council, February 13, 2001; Board of Trustees, May 4, 2001)


“Part-time” is not an appointment classification, but is a descriptive term indicating that the appointee is employed in an appointment classification at less than 1.0 FTE. Part-time appointments may have, where relevant, adjusted time limits (including for probationary periods) according to regulations approved by faculty governance of a campus or of a school on a campus organized by schools, but the adjusted time limit may not be longer than would be proportionate to those of full-time appointees.

[EXPLANATION AND COMMENT: This provision applies to all appointment classifications that would otherwise be full-time. Those who contribute to the academic mission in a continuing relationship to a unit should have a status appropriate to their work and responsibilities. Probationary appointments are relevant to Tenure-track Faculty and Librarian Appointments and to Non-tenure-track Lecturer and Clinical Appointments. This provision implies no policy that there should be part-time appointees in any classification. The most common application of this provision will be to Lecturer Appointments. Part-time tenure-track appointments are resorted to occasionally to facilitate units’ accomplishment of their academic missions. Such appointments will continue to be infrequent, but they should be subject to straight forward regulation where they do occur. Further development of regulation of part-time appointments, for example, with regard to participation in governance and benefits and to transfer between part- and full-time, will be required.]

(University Faculty Council, February 13, 2001; Board of Trustees, May 4, 2001)

Special Titles

The University awards titles to indicate special distinction within an appointment classification. Further, with the approval of the campus’ academic officer, a unit may use a title that meets the special needs of the unit so long as the appointment classification is made clear. The campus’ published academic regulations shall maintain a list of special titles indicating their appointment classifications.

[EXPLANATION AND COMMENT: It will be the responsibility of the campus Academic Officers to see that special titles are not confusing, to see that the appointment classification is made clear in appointment letters, and to maintain the campus list of approved special titles.]

(University Faculty Council, February 13, 2001; Board of Trustees, May 4, 2001)

Retired Faculty

Other provisions notwithstanding, retired academic appointees may perform academic functions consistent with the individual’s academic appointment classification prior to retirement.

Campus Regulations

Campuses may adopt regulations of academic appointments that are consistent with University regulations in the Academic Handbook.

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