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Regulation of Professor of Practice AppointmentsACA-19

Policy Statement

Use of Professor of Practice Appointment

The primary responsibility of Professors of Practice is teaching. Appointees may be assigned research and service responsibilities, but these activities must be in support of teaching, student development and placement. Appointments of Professors of Practice are restricted to those who have achieved distinction in their chosen field of practice, and who bring to the University unique practical experiences and talents that will benefit our students. Appointees shall hold the terminal professional degree in the field or give evidence of equivalent capabilities by virtue of experience. Academic units who use this rank must develop policies that define expectations for “excellence” in instruction. The Professor of Practice title may be preceded by Visiting or Adjunct.

Rights and Privileges

Professors of Practice are expected to follow and be protected by University policies, including those pertaining to faculty hiring and faculty annual reviews. The faculty salary policies of the University, campus, school, and department shall apply to this rank. Professors of Practice have the right to petition the campus faculty board of review. They are not eligible for University sabbatical leave, but schools may provide sabbatical-like leaves for Professors of Practice to provide opportunities for professional learning and collaboration with colleagues.

Participation in University and campus faculty governance is governed by the Constitution of the Faculty of Indiana University and the faculty constitutions on each campus. The role of Professors of Practice in governance within the unit shall be determined by vote of the tenured and tenure-probationary faculty of the unit, provided that where non-tenure track appointees have voting privileges, their voting participation must be structured in a way that reserves at least 60% of voting weight to tenure track faculty. The academic integrity of the school and its programs ultimately is the responsibility of tenured and tenure-probationary faculty.

The rights of Professors of Practice and the regulations concerning their roles within each school shall be written and available to the school faculty. A copy of all rights and regulations shall be filed with the campus academic officer and with the campus faculty governance body.

Explanation and Comment on the Rights and Privileges of Professors of Practice

Professors of Practice are not eligible for academic administrative appointments at and above the department chair level.


Candidates for initial appointments as Professor of Practice shall be reviewed by faculty in the appointing academic unit; a majority vote in favor among eligible faculty is required for appointment. Candidates will have their credentials reviewed by the Provost/Chancellor or designee, who must approve the offer. Initial appointment shall be for three years. A major performance review shall take place before the end of the seven-year probationary period, and if performance is judged excellent, appointees shall be given long-term contracts (either three years rolling or five years term). The Professor of Practice appointment may not be converted to a tenure-track position.

Protection of Academic Freedom

Professors of Practice are not eligible for tenure; however, in order to protect their academic freedom, individuals appointed to this rank shall be given long-term contracts after a probationary period of not more than seven years. The criteria for granting long-term contracts shall be analogous to the criteria for granting tenure, except that Professors of Practice shall earn the right to a long-term contract on the basis of excellence only in those responsibilities that may be assigned to them. Each school will establish procedures and specific criteria for review of individuals concerning the renewal of long-term contracts.

Professors of Practice during the probationary period shall be subject to the same policies and procedures with respect to appointment, reappointment, non-reappointment and dismissal as apply to tenure-probationary faculty during the probationary period. After the probationary period, dismissal of a Professor of Practice holding a longer term contract which has not expired may occur because of closure or permanent downsizing of the academic unit in which the faculty member teaches and serves; otherwise, dismissal shall occur only for reasons of professional incompetence, serious misconduct or financial exigency. Non-reappointment of Professors of Practice to a new contract may occur for the foregoing reasons or may occur as well for reasons of changing staffing needs of the academic unit’s program. Non-reappointment decisions regarding Professors of Practice holding a longer-term contract after the probationary period must be made with faculty consultation through processes established by the school’s faculty governance institutions. The jurisdiction of campus faculty grievance institutions includes dismissal and non-reappointment of Professors of Practice.

Explanation and Comment on Protection of Academic Freedom for Professors of Practice

(University Faculty Council May 6, 2011)

Explanations and Comments on this Policy

Rights and Privileges of Professors of Practice: The University Faculty Constitution defines the voting faculty as “all faculty members on tenure or accumulating credit toward tenure.” The Constitution further states that “the voting members of individual campuses may extend voting privileges to others on matters of individual campus significance.” The rationale for the distributions of rights and privileges is to leave the responsibility for the preservation of the most basic academic interests of the institution in the hands of those with the greatest protection of their academic freedom for the purposes of teaching, research, and service including the service of faculty governance; i.e. those with tenure. Non-tenure track appointees otherwise should have as many faculty privileges as is consistent with their qualifications and responsibilities.

Protection of Academic Freedom for Professors of Practice: University practice requires that probationary periods be served on a continuing basis unless a leave of absence has been applied for and been granted. The University is not obliged to relocate within the institution Professors of Practice whose positions are eliminated because of closure, permanent downsizing, of changing staffing needs of their academic programs.

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University Faculty Council, May 6, 2011

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