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Academic Rank

Faculty eligible for advancement in rank or award of tenure for tenured rank positions shall be advanced to one of the following ranks: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor. Yearly contracts will indicate a faculty member’s specific rank as one of the four listed above and years in rank will also be recorded on the same contracts.

Faculty members contracted by Shepherd University may receive up to two years of credit towards tenure or promotion if they have taught four or more years as a full-time faculty member at a recognized accredited institution of higher education. If a member has taught at least two years but less than four years at another institution, that individual could receive one year of credit. If a member has prior, non-tenure track teaching experience at Shepherd, any application of service credit toward promotion or tenure will likewise be reflected in the initial tenure track appointment. The recommendation for awarding of credit toward tenure or promotion must be brought forward by the hiring department with the agreement of the College Dean, and is subject to approval by the Provost.

Minimum qualifications for advancement to each of four ranks are established as follows:

Professor

a.  Earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or the highest academic degree in the field of specialization or achievement of professional eminence.

b.  Ten (10) years of satisfactory full-time higher educational teaching or professional experience at a regionally accredited institution. After ten (10) years of higher education teaching experience, four (4) years of which must be at Shepherd University as an Associate Professor, a candidate may apply for promotion to Full Professor. 

c.  Evidence of continuous professional growth throughout the term of Associate Professor rank. Additional evidence prior to advancement or appointment to Associate Professor shall be submitted only when supported by the faculty member’s explanation of the need for such additional support materials in order to document a long term continuous professional growth process.

d.  Outstanding teaching effectiveness.

e.  Scholarly work accomplished during the term of Associate Professor rank as evidenced by refereed publications, funded refereed external grants, juried performances, or juried exhibitions. Academic and professional work must be within the candidate’s field or fields of specialization or university-level teaching areas. Grants alone are not sufficient for meeting this standard, but an externally funded refereed grant in combination with a refereed publication or juried exhibition or performance may satisfy the standard.

f.  Excellence in institutional service.

g.  Excellence in community service.

h.  Reputation as a person of good character. 

Associate Professor

a.  To be eligible for promotion, the faculty member must meet one of the following three professional requirements:

  1. Hold an earned doctorate or the highest academic degree appropriate to the teaching field; or
  2. Master’s degree plus 30 hours of graduate work, appropriate to the teaching field, toward the doctorate from a regionally the teaching field, toward the doctorate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; or
  3. Hold an advanced degree, masters appropriate to the teaching field, and a national certification. The appropriate national certification will be identified at the College level and will be subject to approval by the Faculty Senate.

b.  Five (5) years of satisfactory full-time higher educational teaching experience at a regionally accredited institution. After five (5) years of higher education teaching experience, three (3) years of which must be at Shepherd University as an Assistant Professor, a candidate may apply for promotion to Associate Professor.

c.  Excellence in teaching.

d.  Professional activities that might include: Some publication exhibition, or performance activity in the form of research papers, creative writing or participation in juried exhibitions, concerts, or other professionally rendered services.

e.  Evidence of interest in the University through rendered services.

f.  Evidence of interest in community through rendered services.

g.  Reputation as a person of good character.

 Assistant Professor

a.  Master’s degree plus 15 hours of graduate study in the field.

b.  Three years of excellence in teaching or professional experience. This experience requirement may be waived at the time of employment for holders of an earned doctorate.

c.  Excellence in teaching.

d.  Evidenced interest in the profession of university teaching and in professional growth.

e.  Reputation as a person of good character.

f.  In cases where an individual is hired as an Instructor because he or she had not completed work on the doctoral degree prior to signing an initial Notice of Appointment with Shepherd University, promotion to the rank of Assistant Professor will be granted automatically in the next Notice of Appointment should the doctoral degree be received during the term of the initial Notice.

 Instructor

a.  Master’s degree except in certain specialized fields.

b.  Interest in university teaching.

c.  Reputation as a person of good character.

The formal education requirements stated for each rank may be waived by the President in cases of those faculty involved exclusively in associate degree programs, or cases where a national search cannot secure the most qualified candidates because of non-competitive salaries or candidate shortages.

Temporary faculty appointments (both full-time and part-time) will be designated by the title, lecturer, or other appropriate title. Academic rank may be awarded to qualified administrative personnel in addition to any administrative or staff title. The rank to be awarded will be on the basis of the same criteria, which are applied to the award of rank to the teaching faculty. Administrative personnel shall be informed at the time of appointment whether the rank is awarded as a tenured, tenure track, or temporary member of the faculty. Administrative personnel who are not appointed to a faculty position are not faculty and therefore are not entitled to the protections provided those designated as faculty.