II. New Appointments
Select from the following to jump down the page:
- A. Full-time academic tenure-track faculty appointments
- B. Academic Full-time Appointments not on Tenure Track.
- C. Full-time Appointments in Athletics and Physical Education
- D. Other Full-time Appointments
- E. Part-time and Special Appointments
A. Full-time academic tenure-track faculty appointments
An academic full-time tenure-track appointment may be in a single department or program, or jointly in a department and a program.
Joint appointments are appointments of a faculty member to two departments, two programs, or a department and program. Joint appointments are normally approved before a search is conducted, are made at the time of hire, and persist for the duration of a faculty member’s contract. Joint appointment divide faculty members’ responsibilities between two departments, a department and a program, or two programs. Faculty members with joint appointments teach, advise, and participate in the administrative duties of both. The conditions of the division are spelled out in writing at the time the joint appointment is made. Faculty members must contribute at least 30% of their total teaching load (normally 3 courses over two years) to each. The research of a faculty members with joint appointments may lie primarily in either but should be relevant to both. Informal or formal agreements, contractual or otherwise, to guarantee a portion of a faculty member’s teaching load or administrative service to a department or program to which the faculty member is not appointed are not joint appointments. Such agreements may be made at any time and may be limited in term.
A shared appointment is a contractual agreement in which two individuals split evenly a single full-time FTE equivalent on a tenure track line. This appointment may be within a single department or program, or across two departments, two programs, or a department and a program. Regardless of how the appointment is structured, each individual in the shared position will only be appointed to a single department or program.
A shared appointment is appropriate when a department, program, or combinations thereof agree to two half-time equivalent tenure track positions and when two people desire long-term half-time employment.
Candidates for a shared appointment must both compete for their positions in national searches and must both be selected by the respective program(s) and/or department(s) to be the appropriate candidates for hiring in half-time tenure track positions. Once hired by the college, the holders of a shared position are reviewed independently following the standard review calendar and requirements for standards of promotion as articulated in the Governance and the Faculty Handbook, with the exception that the number of courses taught, scholarly output and service expectations are half in quantity but equivalent in quality to those for full-time tenure track faculty members. The outcomes of reviews of each holder of the shared position are independent of the outcomes from the other’s reviews.
Holders of shared positions are eligible for health benefits and housing eligibility as if they were full-time members of the faculty. Each holder of a shared position is eligible for all other benefits offered to full-time tenure-track faculty, but at a rate prorated to the half-time salary.
If a faculty member is hired on the equivalent of a half-time tenure-track contract, the contract may only be increased to full-time if the department or program argues for that increased time, the candidate is interested in a fuller contract, and the dean approves the change. It should be clear at the time of hire that a candidate accepting a shared position at half-time should have no expectation that the contract will be expanded.
Ranks and Qualifications for Academic Full-time Appointments on Tenure Track
Academic tenure track appointments are made with the following titles, listed in ascending order of rank, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor.
The qualifications for appointment to each rank are:
Instructor: promise of achievement in teaching and scholarship or artistic activity. This rank is used only for new tenure-track appointments when the faculty member is completing a terminal degree.
Assistant professor: promise of achievement in teaching and scholarship or artistic activity.
Associate professor: distinction in teaching together with scholarly or artistic achievement of high quality, or distinction in scholarly or artistic achievement, together with teaching of high quality.
Professor: continued distinction in teaching together with scholarly or artistic achievement of high quality, or distinction in scholarly or artistic achievement, together with teaching of high quality.
Except for appointments at the rank of instructor, a faculty member with an academic tenure-track appointment is expected to have a Ph.D. or the appropriate terminal degree in their field.
Terms of Service and Advancement for Academic Tenure-track Appointments
The following limits on contracts will be observed:
Instructor: The term of appointment is ordinarily two years, with eligibility for a single one-year reappointment at that rank under extraordinary circumstances, when approved by the department chair and/or program director, FASC, and the Dean of the Faculty.
Contracts at the Instructor rank provide for contingent promotion to assistant professor. If the Ph.D. degree or other appropriate degree requirements are satisfied by October 1 of the first year, the person is promoted to the rank of assistant professor, retroactive to July 1, and is issued a new contract for a total of three years. A salary adjustment may be made.
If the degree requirements are satisfied after October 1 of the first year and before October 1 of the second year, the person will be promoted to the rank of assistant professor effective July 1 of the second year. A salary adjustment may be made. A new contract will be issued, bringing the first contract to a total of three years. The person will be reviewed for extension of contract in the second year.
Failure to meet the October 1 date of the second year does not preclude a departmental or dean’s recommendation in exceptional cases for a final one-year contract at the Instructor rank with a new October 1 deadline for completion of the degree requirements. If these requirements are satisfied by October 1 of the third year, the individual will be promoted to assistant professor, retroactive to July 1 of the third year. A salary adjustment may be made. Persons recommended for this third year must be reviewed for extension of contract (contingent upon completion of the degree) in their second year.
The completion of degree requirements must be certified by letter to the chair of the department by an appropriate official of the granting institution. The chair should forward a copy of the letter to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
Assistant professor: The initial term of appointment is ordinarily three years followed by a two-year extension. The second term of appointment is three years, except that members of the faculty successfully reviewed for promotion to associate professor assume that rank at the end of the year in which the review occurs.
For a faculty member promoted from instructor to assistant professor, the combined lengths of service at the rank of instructor and as first term assistant professor prior to extension of contract does not exceed five years.
The total length of service at the rank of assistant professor or at the rank of instructor and assistant professor combined ordinarily should not exceed eight years. In accordance with the leave policies described below, the president or dean of faculty can grant an extension on any contract for a period of up to two years.
Associate professor and professor: Members of the faculty receive indeterminate tenure upon promotion from assistant professor to associate professor.
Associate professors ordinarily are invited to be reviewed for promotion to professor in their sixth year after promotion to indeterminate tenure. Thereafter, review for promotion is at the request of the candidate.
Associate professors and professors without previous service at the college are appointed with indeterminate tenure.
Upon appointment, the president, dean of the faculty, dean of strategic planning and academic resources, and dean of the college receive indeterminate tenure, if they do not already hold it at Vassar College.
Procedures for Appointment of Full-time Academic Appointments on Tenure-track
In department or program action on matters pertaining to appointments on the tenure-track, the right to vote is restricted to members who have academic suffrage in the general faculty and who are of rank superior to that of the person under consideration, except that: professors are entitled to vote in cases involving others of the same rank; associate professors are entitled to vote on all new appointments; and assistant professors are entitled to vote on new appointments up to and including the rank of assistant professor.
Faculty members not on tenure track appointments may not vote on departmental matters pertaining to appointments.
Selection of Candidates
The chair and/or program director, in consultation with the department and/or program and in accordance with the Governance, is primarily responsible for the process of selection of candidates for new appointments. The dean of the faculty or the president, in consultation with the department or program, may take part in the search.
Application materials of all candidates are made available to all members of the department and/or program eligible to vote on a particular appointment.
Interviews of candidates are normal practice and usually take place during a visit to the campus. Efforts are made to include students in interviews of candidates for faculty positions.
The dean and two tenured faculty members, including one elected member of the faculty appointment and salary committee (FASC), interview all candidates for first regular appointments to the professorial ranks.
For each candidate, FASC writes a recommendation to the dean and the chair and/or program director based on the application materials and the interview. The recommendation is accompanied by a fuller appraisal only in cases in which FASC wishes to express concern regarding the candidate.
Offers of Appointment for Instructors and Assistant Professors
The chair and/or director informs the dean of the faculty of the departmental and/or program recommendation for hire as soon as possible after receiving FASC’s feedback and consulting with the students involved in the candidate’s interview.
No offer of employment, formal or informal, is made without authorization by the dean of the faculty after review by the faculty director of affirmative action.
After making and successfully negotiating the terms of the offer, the chair and/or director submits a “Request for Appointment” to the dean.
Additional Considerations for Offers of Appointment at the Rank of Associate Professor or Professor.
Appointment of a faculty member at the rank of associate professor or professor ordinarily includes tenure at the time of appointment. The circumstances of hiring must be agreed to by the department or program, the faculty appointment and salary committee (FASC), the dean of the faculty, and the president.
The president (when possible), the dean of the faculty, and FASC interview candidates for senior appointments after reviewing the candidate’s application materials, including letters of recommendation, publications, and a statement of teaching philosophy.
Assistant professors and lecturers in the department and/or program interview candidates for a position at the rank of associate professor or professor and submit individual or joint confidential reports to FASC on their interviews.
After receiving FASC’s written report and consulting with the students involved in the interview of candidates, the chair or director informs the dean of the faculty of the department’s or program’s decision in writing, addressing issues of past and projected teaching, scholarship, and academic leadership. The chair and two members of the department or program then meet with FASC. The chair and two members of the department or program together with FASC then meet with the dean. FASC and the dean confer throughout the process. The president may meet with members of the department or program, with FASC, or with the dean of the faculty. No offer of employment may be made without authorization by the dean of the faculty and the president.
Additional Considerations for Joint Appointments on the Tenure-track
When a joint appointment is under consideration, the department and the program consult concerning the qualifications for the position to be filled.
Both the department and the program participate in reviewing candidates’ dossiers and conducting campus interviews. Students from both majors should be involved.
In the program’s review of candidates, the program director acts in the capacity of a department chair and participating members of the program act in the capacity of department members.
Faculty members who are eligible to vote on a candidate for appointment vote in the home department, not in the program, unless they are the director of that program. In that case, they may choose to vote either in the department or in the program.
When the department and the program have agreed on a candidate, the department chair and program director submit a “Request for Appointment” to the dean of the faculty signed by the program director and the department chair.
Departmental Appointments for External Candidates for Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Strategic Planning and Academic Resources, and Dean of the College
At least one week prior to inviting external candidates to campus to meet with the faculty and other members of the campus community, search committees involved in the hire of a new dean of the faculty, dean of strategic planning and academic resources, or dean of the college submit the dossiers of candidates to the departments the candidates would be joining as tenured members if they were to be selected. If tenured members of the department have concerns about offering a candidate a tenured appointment, they communicate those concerns to the search committee in writing within one week of receiving the dossier.
Additional Considerations for Opportunity Hires
When a faculty line becomes available, it is expected that a national search will be conducted consistent with established faculty hiring policies and procedures, including Vassar’s affirmative action policy. Under exceptional and limited circumstances, a national search may be forgone when a special opportunity presents itself to bring to the college scholars and teachers of exceptional achievement or promise who will help to fulfill the college’s academic mission, as reflected in the Mission Statement of Vassar College.
There are two categories of such appointments, which in some cases may overlap. In the first, the opportunity hire will strengthen the college’s academic mission by increasing the overall diversity of the faculty, where diversity is understood broadly and considers such characteristics as experience, background, research agendas and pedagogical approaches, in addition to race, gender, or ethnic or national origin. In the second, the opportunity hire will strengthen the college’s academic mission by bringing to the college an individual of exceptional achievement in the areas of teaching and scholarship, or one who offers the extraordinary possibility of strengthening the college’s educational mission in significant ways. In either case, such appointments can only be made where candidates for an opportunity hire have demonstrated clear achievement or promise such that it is probable that they would have emerged as candidates of choice in conventional searches, if such had been undertaken, and the college sees the hiring as being in its strategic interests.
To request an opportunity hire, the department chair or program director must secure authorization from the dean of the faculty by submitting a proposal describing how the potential opportunity hire will support the college’s priorities for new or replacement faculty positions and fulfill the college’s academic mission either by diversifying the faculty or by bringing to the college a person of exceptional achievement in the person’s field.
The department or program undertakes all such procedures normally a part of the hiring process except for the national search (i.e., interviews, presentations, reviewing of credentials, including CV, publications, letters of recommendation, teaching experience, FASC reports). The dean and two senior faculty members, including one member of FASC, interview a candidate for first regular appointment to the professorial rank. The president, as well as the dean and members of FASC, interview a candidate for senior faculty appointment.
The dean of the faculty consults with the faculty director of affirmative action prior to making an appointment. The faculty director of affirmative action must certify that an appointment meets the college’s goals and conforms to the college’s equal employment opportunity and affirmative action policies.
The president has the final authority to decide whether to make a special opportunity hire. This policy is subject to annual review by the dean of the faculty, in consultation with the faculty director of affirmative action and the faculty appointment and salary committee. This policy will be enacted as long as its effectiveness in fulfilling the academic mission of the college is clear.
B. Academic Full-time Appointments not on Tenure Track.
Ranks for full time appointments not on the tenure track
Academic full time appointments not on the tenure track are made with the following titles:
The title of lecturer and senior lecturer may be used for faculty who hold special, full-time appointments in department or programs.
“Visiting” shall be included in titles of faculty at any rank appointed on a temporary, full-time basis. Such appointments shall normally be for 1 semester, 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years with eligibility for reappointment. Ordinarily, no one shall be continued in a visiting position beyond a total of six years.
C. Full-time Appointments in Athletics and Physical Education
Ranks for full-time appointments in Athletics and Physical Education.
Appointments are made with the following titles:
The titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor are used for faculty in Athletics and Physical Education on a tenure track.
The titles of lecturer and senior lecturer are used for full-time appointments in Athletics and Physical Education not on a tenure track.
Terms of Service and Advancement
Lecturers in Athletics and Physical Education regularly receive a 3-year contract, followed by a two-year extension, two 3-year contracts, and renewable 4-year contracts with the possibility of promotion to senior lecturer with the first 4-year contract. Faculty undergo a regular review process at the time of each contract extension or renewal, using the criteria established by the program and approved by the dean of strategic planning and academic resources.
(Approved by the faculty April 13, 2011)
D. Other Full-time Appointments
Other full time appointments may be made with the following titles:
Professional Librarians: This title carries academic suffrage with it.
Curators. Full-time administrators who support an academic department.
- The director of the Writing Center, and the director of the Quantitative Reasoning Center. These titles carry academic suffrage with them.
E. Part-time and Special Appointments
Persons holding special appointments are subject to the terms of service indicated in this section, rather than those terms governing regular appointments. Persons holding special appointments do not have academic suffrage.
Special appointments may be made with the following titles:
Adjunct: any member of the faculty at any rank who teaches part-time.
Research professor: faculty members who have retired from the regular professorial ranks but continue to perform sponsored research at Vassar. This title shall be granted only for the duration of the sponsorship and at the discretion of the dean of the faculty, who shall specify the conditions of appointment.
Research scientist or research scholar: principal investigators working at Vassar with support from an outside granting agency.
Research associate: persons holding postdoctoral appointments at Vassar.
Part-time coaches: coaches on part-time, renewable 2-year contracts; part-time coaches do not have academic status.
Visiting scholar or visiting artist: a courtesy title granted by the dean of the faculty, who shall specify what privileges are allowed.
(Amended by the faculty, March 3, 1993; February 16, 2005; and March 27, 2013)