Drexel University Office of the Provost

Academic Policies

Teaching Faculty Policy

Posted – 5 May 2008
Revision Date – 15 April 2009

1. Overview

This document provides guidelines regarding the appointment, promotion, and evaluation of full-time non-tenure track faculty (hereafter, “Teaching Faculty”) at Drexel University. Teaching Faculty are appointed to positions for which their primary responsibilities are focused on teaching. These appointments are made without any expectation of tenure, and years of service in these positions do not apply toward tenure or any probationary period should a Teaching Faculty member transition to a tenure-track position.

Teaching Faculty can be appointed at one of the following ranks:

  • Assistant Teaching or Assistant Clinical Professor
  • Associate Teaching or Associate Clinical Professor
  • Teaching or Clinical Professor

The “Clinical” title is intended for faculty in those academic units, e.g., the College of Nursing and Health Professions, in which faculty have specialized training and experience in a professional field and for which the primary responsibility is teaching.

Academic units may also appoint teaching faculty with the title of Instructor and a contract length of one year. Teaching faculty appointed as Instructor following the policies for appointment, reappointment, evaluation, early termination, and faculty governance contained herein.

2. Appointment, Evaluation and Promotion

These criteria for appointment and promotion of Teaching Faculty are to be used in conjunction with established procedures for Drexel University as set forth in University Human Resources and Academic Policies as well as any policies or procedures established by individual departments, colleges, schools and/or accreditation organizations.

Teaching Faculty are typically expected to teach 36 credits per academic year if on a 9-month appointment (48 credits on a 12-month appointment) or to complete other duties as assigned by the Department Head (or equivalent). Such other duties may include service or other academic or administrative responsibilities as assigned.

Teaching Faculty are offered at the following ranks with the following descriptions:

  • Assistant Teaching or Assistant Clinical Professor

    Appointment as an Assistant Teaching or Assistant Clinical Professor requires appropriate credentials as determined by the Department Head (or equivalent). These credentials should include, as appropriate, academic preparation and degrees, professional experience, professional development, teaching experience, clinical experience, or some combination of these factors. The candidate should display a commitment to, and espouse a philosophy of, education compatible with the goals and objectives of the University.

  • Associate Teaching or Associate Clinical Professor

    Basic criteria for appointment as an Associate Teaching or Associate Clinical Professor are the same as for the Assistant Teaching or Assistant Clinical Professor level. In addition, candidates should have demonstrated excellence in teaching over time or have extensive professional and/or academic expertise.

  • Teaching or Clinical Professor

    Basic criteria for appointment as a Teaching or Clinical Professor are the same as for the Associate Teaching or Associate Clinical Professor. In addition, candidates should have outstanding credentials, academic and/or professional, and a record of leadership in the area in which they teach.

2.1 Appointment

Appointments of Teaching Faculty are made upon approval of the Department Head (or equivalent), the Dean/Director, and the Provost.

In their application, candidates must submit a curriculum vitae including a statement of their teaching philosophy and reflections on delivery, assessment, and development of instruction, and teaching achievement. Materials to support teaching achievement should include, as appropriate, copies of the candidate’s course materials including course descriptions, syllabi and indication of class size; student evaluations; samples of presentation methods; and examples of curriculum development. Other supporting materials may include samples of continuing education activities; publications/creative scholarship/research on pedagogy; teaching awards; and other professional activities.

2.2 Reappointment

Reappointments of Teaching Faculty are made upon approval and at the discretion of the Department Head (or equivalent), the Dean/Director, and the Provost. All appointments of Teaching Faculty automatically expire at the conclusion of their term with no right of automatic renewal. A Dean will notify a Teaching Faculty member as early as possible in the case that a reappointment will not be offered.

2.3 Evaluation

The Department Head (or equivalent) will review the performance of Teaching Faculty as part of the annual review process. The review is intended to determine the fulfillment of teaching duties, caliber of teaching, service to the hiring unit and/or other units, and continued professional activities and development.  Publications/creative scholarship/research may be taken into consideration for the review.

2.4 Promotion

Teaching Faculty are eligible to apply for promotion after having served five years in a given Teaching Faculty rank. For promotion, Teaching Faculty shall undergo a formal review as set forth below.

  1. Promotion to the Rank of Associate Teaching Professor or Associate Clinical Professor

    Candidates for promotion to the rank of Associate Teaching Professor should have:

    • Demonstrated excellence in teaching and applied visible and durable initiatives in improving their teaching skills, teaching materials, and in curriculum development.  There should be evidence that class work is well organized, that assignments are clear and varied according to the nature of the course content, and that effective modes of presentation are commonly employed.  Course objectives, learning outcomes, and methods of assessment must be clearly addressed on all syllabi.  A candidate should have revised existing courses and/or developed new courses.  A candidate should have displayed a commitment to, and philosophy of, education compatible with the goals and objectives of the University;
    • Been involved in service responsibilities within the Department, the College/School, the University, and/or related civic organizations, as appropriate, and have worked successfully and collegially with other colleagues within the College/School and University;
    • Clearly demonstrated an ability to keep abreast of new professional developments and to communicate ideas to students and colleagues so that their own performance is improved. They should be actively participating with colleagues and students in a community that focuses on intellectual and professional matters.

  2. Promotion to the Rank of Teaching Professor or Clinical Professor

    Candidates for promotion to the rank of Teaching Professor should have:

    • Demonstrated continued excellence in classroom teaching. There should be evidence of substantial new course development in the candidate's area of expertise. Work with students individually and in groups should be effective with commitment to outcomes-based learning and assessment. Candidates for promotion to the rank of Teaching Professor or Clinical Professor should demonstrate outstanding expertise in one or more aspects of teaching and educational scholarship;
    • Demonstrated leadership in service responsibilities within the Department, the College/School, the University, and/or related civic organizations, as appropriate, demonstrating collegiality across the University;
    • Demonstrated continued professional development and leadership in matters of curriculum development, methodological innovation, or appropriate scholarly or artistic contributions beyond that expected of Associate Teaching Professors or Associate Clinical Professors;
    • Demonstrated commitment to inspire colleagues and students to greater achievement and identify new developments and best practices. Insofar as possible, candidates should have demonstrated mentorship to junior faculty colleagues.

  3. Procedures for Promotion

    • Application for Promotion

      Teaching Faculty shall submit their written application for promotion with all supporting documentation to the Department Head (or equivalent) in accordance with the timetable for promotion of Teaching Faculty established by the Provost.   The Department Head (or equivalent) will forward the documentation to the Teaching Faculty Promotions Committee of the Department (or equivalent) as set forth in the procedure for the respective College/School.  Although the Department Head (or equivalent) may encourage faculty to apply for promotion when he/she thinks that is appropriate, a candidate may take the initiative and present himself/herself for promotion without the initiative of the Department Head (or equivalent).  Teaching Faculty who are considering applying for promotion should have informal discussions with the Department Head (or equivalent) and with faculty who have previously gone through the promotion process. Teaching Faculty may apply for promotion no more than once every two years (i.e., an unsuccessful candidate may be evaluated again after serving one post-review year).

    • Composition of the College/School Promotions Committee

      The College/School Promotions Committee must consist of at least three faculty, including at least one tenured or tenure-track and one Teaching Faculty member at a rank equal to or higher than the rank sought.  If there are no eligible Teaching Faculty, the Department Head (or equivalent) shall nominate additional tenure-track faculty.  The Committee shall be appointed in accordance with the timetable for promotion of Teaching Faculty established by the Provost.

    • Candidate Documentation

      These categories are intended as guidelines.  Each academic unit may establish more specific guidelines that relate to its expectations.  In addition to the following sources, Teaching Faculty promotion committees may also consider higher degrees completed by the candidate after the initial appointment.

      • Teaching

        Candidates must submit a statement of their teaching philosophy and reflections on delivery, evaluation, assessment, and revision of instruction, and a resume or curriculum vitae presenting evidence of teaching achievement with any materials to support evidence of teaching achievement.  Materials to support teaching achievements may include: 1) copies of course materials used by a candidate; 2) course descriptions, syllabi and class size; 3) student evaluations; 4) samples of presentation methods used by candidate; 5) samples of continuing education activities; 6) samples of curriculum development; 7) publications/creative scholarship/research on pedagogy; 8) teaching awards; and 9) professional background information.

      • Service

        Sources of evidence that may be used regarding this criterion include service to the College/School, University and the profession in administrative roles such as Program Directors or Associate Directors, or membership on University or professional committees.

      • Academic and Professional Activities

        Sources of evidence that may be used regarding this criterion may include new course development, presentation of research or creative scholarship, participation as an invited expert in seminars and lectures at other departments and universities or at national conferences, or program leadership.

  4. Promotion Recommendations
  • For each application for promotion, the Teaching Faculty Promotion Committee will make a written recommendation to the Department Head (or equivalent).  The Department Head will forward the Committee recommendation, with his/her written recommendation to the Dean/Director of the academic unit.  The Dean/Director will forward these recommendations with his/her written recommendation to the Provost.  Candidates will receive a copy of each written recommendation at each stage; in the event of a recommendation against promotion, the candidate will be allowed to respond in writing within two weeks of receipt of the copy of the recommendation.  The response will become a part of the promotion application.

3. Length of Appointment

  • Assistant Teaching Professor or Assistant Clinical Professor

    Initial appointment shall be for one year.  This appointment may be renewed annually.

  • Associate Teaching Professor or Associate Clinical Professor

    Initial appointment is normally made for one year, but in some circumstances, and with appropriate justification, may be made for up to two years with approval of the Dean/Director and the Provost.  After the initial appointment, and upon review and approval of the Dean/Director and the Provost, this appointment may be renewed for terms of up to three years.

    Promotion to this rank may include an appointment with a term of up to three years.

  • Teaching Professor or Clinical Professor

    Initial appointment is normally made for one year, but in some circumstances, and with appropriate justification, may be made for up to three years with approval of the Dean/Director and the Provost.  After the initial appointment, and upon review and approval of the Dean/Director and Provost, this appointment may be renewed for terms of up to three years.

    Promotion to this rank may include an appointment with a term of up to three years.

4. Early Termination of Appointment

An appointment can be terminated during a term for any of the following reasons:

  1. Discontinuance of or reduction in program;
  2. Financial exigency;
  3. Adequate cause. Adequate cause includes grave or gross misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, insubordination, incapacitation, and/or immoral or unethical conduct.

Any decision to terminate an appointment during a term under this Section shall be at the discretion of the Provost.

In the event of termination for adequate cause, no notice is required. In the event of termination resulting from discontinuance of or reduction in program or financial exigency, Teaching Faculty with more than five years of full-time faculty service to Drexel University will be given six months written notice of termination. Teaching Faculty with less than five years of full-time faculty service to Drexel University will be given written notice of termination equal to one month for each year of full-time faculty service.

5. Faculty Governance

Teaching Faculty are considered voting faculty as established in the Charter on Faculty Governance. Voting rights in individual Departments, Schools, and Colleges are governed by that unit’s by-laws.

Drexel University Office of the Provost | 3141 Chestnut Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104 | 215-895-2200
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