Office of the Provost

Academic Policies

Criteria for Appointment and Promotion


The criteria for appointment and promotion described in the following paragraphs for the University as a whole should be supplemented by additional criteria to be furnished by the colleges and departments.

To encourage fairness and objectivity of evaluation in the review of candidates with a wide range of interests and abilities, the following three traditional criteria for academic competence are affirmed by the University and are suggested as guidelines. Though no single individual is expected to be accomplished in all categories, it is expected that a successful candidate will qualify in all categories, demonstrating particular excellence either in teaching or in research, scholarship, or artistic investigation.


  1. Effectiveness in the undergraduate and/or graduate classroom laboratory.
  2. Revision of existing and development of new courses and technology.
  3. Publications related to teaching, such as textbooks, aids, manuals, etc.
  4. Effectiveness as an undergraduate and/or graduate adviser, including service as an adviser for a dissertation, thesis, or independent study.

Research, Artistic Investigation, and/or Scholarship

  1. Quality of research, artistic investigation, or scholarship, as evidenced by publications, presentations of papers, research reports, exhibitions, etc. Particular notice will be given to papers, which are invited or subject to peer review.
  2. Effectiveness in directing research of students.
  3. Originating, participating in, and/or directing research projects.
  4. Evaluation of scholarly and/or artistic accomplishment by recognized authorities outside of Drexel where appropriate.

Service to the University to the Profession, and to Society in General

  1. Leadership and/or participation in faculty elective bodies and service on committees at department, college and University levels.
  2. Service to individual students and/or student organizations.
  3. Promotion of the University through extramural activities, such as lecturers, the visiting professor program, alumni affairs, etc.
  4. Recognition outside Drexel as evidenced by service on professional committees, councils, boards, review panels, etc.
  5. Appropriate industrial, governmental, or consultant experience.

Decisions regarding appointment and promotion will be affected by the evolving needs and objectives of the department, college and University. However, individuals will be expected to perform at a level comparable to corresponding ranks at similar institutions. N.B. Exceptional candidates of outstanding achievement and reputation may occasionally be appointed to any level without fulfilling the established criteria, the appointment being determined by the special circumstances involved.

  1. Professor

    Appointment or promotion to this level presupposes demonstrated high achievement as measured by the basic criteria, as well as continuing evidence of future growth.

  2. Assistant Professor

    Appointment or promotion at this level will usually involve completion of the Ph.D. degree or equivalent, a candidate being expected to show greater academic potential than at the lecturer level.

3. Associate Professor

Appointment or promotion to this level will presuppose that the candidate has demonstrated substantial achievement as measured by the basic criteria, as well as potential for further and continuing growth.

Part-Time and Temporary Full Time Appointments

The following appointments usually have a limited duration and possibly limited duties. Appointments are made for periods of less than a full academic year, and by appointment letters for periods of a full academic year. The letter will specify whether the position is full-time or part-time. None are eligible for tenure. Staff benefits for each employment category are limited to the period of time for which the appointment is effective and are subject to restrictions and limitations as established by the Personnel Office. (See Appendix A and/or the Personnel Office for specifics.)

  1. University Lecturer and Lecturer

    These appointments are made under a variety of situations, such as, but not limited to the following:

    a. Potential candidates for annual contracts, usually as assistant professor, who have not yet received their terminal degree but expect it within a short period (less than a year).

    b. Academic specialists hired to teach a particular course, or part of a course, on a temporary basis.

    c. Academic specialists who are beyond ordinary retirement age but who teach full-time from quarter to quarter while a qualified regular staff member is sought.

    d. The term University Lecturer refers to academic specialists with a minimum of twenty years relevant professional experience, who teach and participate in other departmental activities. With the exception of multidisciplinary centers, no college may have more than 5% of its regular faculty designated as University lecturers. Appointment for University lecturers are made for a full academic year.

  2. Adjunct Faculty

    The term adjunct instructor, or adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor or adjunct professor, should be used instead of lecturer whenever appropriate. Appointments to the various adjunct ranks should be based on the consideration of qualifications that are consistent with similar ranks used for full-time personnel. The rates of pay for adjuncts must be approved in advance by the Provost. Initial appointments for these employees must be accompanied by adequate resumes to justify the particular level involved. Reappointment is handled routinely by submitting Form D-15 designating the new term of appointment and rate of pay. Evening and University college faculty are considered adjunct faculty, but reappointment is not required since salary is paid and benefits are provided only during the actual time worked. Time worked by Evening and University College adjunct faculty is reported monthly for the actual number of class contracts.

3. Visiting Professor

This appointment may be at the level of full, associate or assistant professor level, usually for a one-year, maximum two years, made by appointment letter to fill the temporary vacancy of a regular faculty member on leave. Occasionally a one-year appointment is made to fill an authorized but unfilled faculty vacancy. Time served in the visiting rank at Drexel University does not count toward the probationary tenure period.

4. Teaching Assistants (students)

Assuming adequate budgetary funds have been authorized, the dean or authorized department head, having decided to make an offer to a graduate student, writes a letter offering such appointment and specifying details of the offer in accordance with a standard letter prepared by the graduate dean. The student signifies his/her acceptance by signing and returning this letter. The dean or department head then initiates an “Award of Support” D-108 form which results in the student being placed on the payroll. The form will include the amount of salary or stipend as well as the applicable percentage for remission of tuition and fees. The aforementioned form is available from the research administrator in the comptroller’s office. No other staff benefits are provided in conjunction with appointment to these positions.

5. Research Associates and Post-Doctoral Fellow (Non student)

In the event the adequate graduate student help is not available for participation in a research contract or grant, the appointment of a research associate or a post-doctoral fellow may be considered. The project director shall obtain the written concurrence of his/her department head and dean prior to seeking the approval of the Provost, whenever the appointment of a research associate or post-doctoral fellow is being considered. A resume should accompany the recommendation. The appointment of research associate and post-doctoral fellow will be made by appointment letter, which will be signed by the Provost. It is, of course, necessary that funds be available in the research contract or grant for which the work is proposed.

Appointment letters for research associates and post-doctoral fellows should include a statement of the duties to be performed, the maximum duration of the appointment (one year of the duration of the research contract, whichever is the lesser), and the annual salary rate on which the monthly payments will be calculated. The annual salary rate shall be within the limits of the research contract or grant but shall not be greater than the salaries of the faculty with comparable qualifications.

Salary review and/or reappointment shall be annual at the renewal dates of the research contract or grant except that if the initial appointment does not occur at the start of the research contract or grant, or within the first six months thereof, the original rate shall continue until the second renewal of the research contract.

Salary adjustments shall not exceed the most recent average percentage of the comparable faculty positions and shall be forwarded through the department head and dean to the Provost for final approval.

6. Instructors Post-Doctoral

This is a one-year appointment made by appointment letter to fill an authorized but unfilled faculty vacancy. This appointment is usually a twelve-month position (September through August).
7. Drexel Fellow

This position provides opportunities for teaching and research. Appointment is made by appointment letter for a twelve month period. The appointment letter will state the specific details of responsibilities, salary, and term of appointment. Drexel fellow appointments are made on an annual basis but can be renewed up to a maximum of three years. Time served in this rank does not count toward academic tenure.