In a 1977 memorandum, Provost D. Gale Johnson announced the “administrative policies of the University” applicable to the ranks now enumerated in Statute 11.2.4.1 The policies were never modified to take account of several important changes in practices that units instituted during the last thirty years. This document brings up to date, modifies and expands the 1977 document.
 
Persons covered in this memorandum have certain ERISA and other employee benefits. Policies published on the University Web site set forth what benefits are available to persons in each academic rank or title enumerated here.
 
It should be noted that there are persons who have a primary appointment or position in the University, including in Staff or Postdoctoral Researcher positions, while holding a secondary academic appointment. In those instances, the benefits they receive will be determined with reference to the primary position they hold in the University.
 
1. The Statutes enacted in June 2010 by the Board of Trustees renumbered the sections in Statute 11. Throughout this document the most recent numbers are used.

 

II. Relevant Statutes

11.2. Other academic appointees. The University also makes academic appointments that are not Faculty appointments, and are for a specified or unspecified length of term. Each of the following appointments shall be made for periods and upon terms consistent with the applicable administrative policies of the University, which are subject to change. No appointments under this section shall be eligible for or carry any implication of indefinite tenure. At the end of the term of appointment, employment by the University ceases unless the appointment is renewed, and the failure to give or receive a notice of termination shall not give rise to any contrary presumptions or implications either as to (1) promotion, or (2) reappointment.
 
11.2.4 Research Appointees and Lecturers.
11.2.4.1 Research Appointees are classified as follows: Research Associate and Senior Research Associate; Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Professor.
11.2.4.2 Lecturers are classified as follows: Lecturer and Senior Lecturer.
 
11.4.1 All appointees under §11 are subject to removal for inadequate performance of duty or for misconduct.
 

III. Policies: Appointments, reviews, and termination

Without exception, all offers of appointment, reappointment or promotion may not be made without the prior approval of the Provost.
 
Appointments are normally in a department, school, or institute with appointive authority, must be approved by the Chair or Director, and recommended to the Dean with appropriate documentation.
 
An appointment with a specified end date is a term appointment. Term appointments terminate automatically at the end date specified in the appointment, absent a decision to reappoint. Unless the applicable Statute or written policies in the Provost’s Office or a CBA states otherwise, no prior notice is required that the appointee will not be reappointed.
 
Although for some appointments the date of termination is undetermined and not specified at the time of initial appointment, these appointments are not tenured or eligible for tenure, and are not more permanent that term appointments. They may be ended for programmatic reasons, due to the unavailability of external funds, or because of deficiencies in performance. Appointees must be notified at least one year prior to the date determined for the end of the appointment. 
 
With the exception of Lecturers, part-time appointment is not permitted.
 
All appointees are subject to periodic review at prescribed minimum intervals, unless otherwise specified. All reviews are to be conducted by the faculty. Generally, reviews of appointments with an indeterminate end date are to be conducted every three years. Otherwise reviews are required at the time of reappointment, or at promotion. For appointees on one-year appointment, a full review is required at three-year intervals. Although a minimum period for review is stated, this shall not preclude the faculty from conducting a review at any time.
 
In cases of removal for inadequate performance of duty or misconduct, or in cases of long-term disability, notice periods do not apply.
 
Any decision to terminate an appointment prior to its scheduled end date, or to determine an end date for appointments where one has not been determined, must be reviewed by the Provost before it is communicated to the appointee or becomes effective.

 

IV. Research Appointees in the Division of the Biological Sciences

Job description: Research Appointees are appointed to advance the research program of a member of the faculty. Research Appointees conduct research in collaboration with other investigators or groups of investigators. They also may provide the experience, expertise and leadership needed for the efficient running of core laboratories, and may have command of novel and technically demanding research technologies, making them available to a broad range of faculty.  Participation in the other missions of BSD is not required and may be precluded by stipulations of the funding source or effort allocation. Scientific independence, while allowed and credited, is not required. 
 
Quality: Research Appointees should have the technical knowledge, expertise, experience and accomplishment in research to make meaningful, original, intellectual contributions to research programs. This aspect and the necessity for associated due diligence distinguish them from Research Professionals, where the focus is on technical contributions to the research. 
 
Distinct from faculty: Research Appointees cannot be promoted to the University of Chicago faculty tracks. Research Appointees who believe themselves to be qualified may compete in national searches for open faculty positions.
 
Process: Departments recommending appointments and promotions will evaluate the candidate’s satisfaction of the relevant criteria (see below), and obtain at least three assessments of the candidate’s satisfaction of the relevant criteria, and vote on the recommendation.  The department chair is responsible for preparation of a letter describing the evaluation and the process leading to it. The Dean’s evaluation is transmitted to the Provost for final action.
 
More specific criteria for appointment and promotion to each rank in the series are set forth below. 
 
Research Assistant Professor
 
Appointment at this rank requires that research training be complete, and that the appointee has the aptitude and motivation to advance to Research Associate Professor in due course. Where promotion or work towards it is not desirable or feasible, the position of Research Professional should be used. Terms are for a maximum of three years, and reappointment requires evidence of adequate progress towards Research Associate Professor.  Where terms are shorter than three years, typically because they need to be coterminous with funding, review of adequate progress towards Research Associate Professor is required every third year. Appointments beyond 9 years in rank normally will not be approved.
 
The appropriate academic unit shall review Research Assistant Professors and recommend to the Dean either that the Research Assistant Professor be reappointed as Research Assistant Professor, be promoted, or not be reappointed. The Research Assistant Professor shall be given notice of the decision not to reappoint at least three months prior to the end date of the current appointment.
 
Research Associate Professor
 
Criteria.
  • Compelling rationale for an academic appointment (versus staff position).
  • Intellectual contribution of the candidate, typically evident through
    1. Authorship of original publications in peer reviewed journals. The number of publications is considered; however, of more importance is the quality of the body of work as evidenced by the sources of publication and by the national and international impact of the contributions. This scholarly recording of the investigator’s work is the major criterion that establishes academic credibility. Research Associate Professors are expected to have significant intellectual contributions to this work but are not expected to have initiated and lead the research effort.
    2. Contributions to programs that have extramural peer-­‐reviewed financial support for basic and/or clinical investigation. Research Associate Professors are expected to have made important contributions to successful grant applications, though not necessarily as the Principal Investigator. Obviously, success as a Principal Investigator receives considerable credit.
    3. Other evidence of research and scholarly accomplishments that may be considered include authorship of textbooks, book chapters and scholarly reviews acknowledged in the specialty, as well as authorship of “nontraditional” educational materials (such as health agency publications and computer programs) or research materials (such as development of databases and research software).
  • External standing of the candidate, typically documented by one, some, or all of the following or by other indicators:
    1. Invitation as a speaker or visiting professor at other academic institutions, and invited presentations at meetings.
    2. Presentations that were selected based on competitive peer-­‐review at national and regional meeting.
    3. Election to membership and positions of leadership in professional societies.
    4. Editorial board memberships and other editorial review assignments.
    5. Consultative positions with various government and private agencies (e.g., study sections, foundations, American Cancer Society, etc.).
    6. Organizer of regional, national, and international meetings or meeting sessions.
    7. Intellectual contribution (see above) recognized outside the institution.
Administration and teaching (including mentoring) in departmental, divisional, program, or University activities are not obligatory responsibilities for Research Associate Professors but can nonetheless be considered as a positive factor in promotion.
 
Process.
At least three assessments of the candidate’s satisfaction of the above criteria will be sought from “at arm’s length” experts outside the institution. The Dean may seek the advice of the BSD Committee on Appointments and Promotions (COAP) in evaluating the proposal.
 
Terms are up to 5 years, and are renewable with continued satisfaction of the above criteria. Research Associate Professor shall be given notice of a decision not to reappoint at least six months prior to the end date of the appointment.
 
Research Professor
 
Appointment or promotion as Research Professor is an honor that requires careful evaluation. A Research Professor at UChicago should be nationally recognized for investigative excellence in his/her specialty or subspecialty, as well as for other activities described above.
 
Process and terms are identical to that for Research Associate Professor.
 

V. Research Appointees in the Division of the Physical Sciences

Research Assistant Professor
Description/Qualifications: Normally a Research Assistant Professor will be several years beyond the Ph.D. and be actively involved in the research led by a faculty member. Cases must include at least two external letters of support and one internal letter of support.
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointment may be made for up to three years. Ordinarily, the total number of years a person may serve in this rank is limited to six years.
 
Terms shorter than three years: In the last year of the term of an appointment shorter than three years, the appropriate academic unit shall review the case and recommend to the Dean that the Research Assistant Professor be reappointed, be promoted, or not be reappointed. The Research Assistant Professor on a term of less than three years shall be given notice of termination at least three months prior to the end date of the current appointment.
 
Terms of three years: In the third year in rank, the appropriate academic unit shall review the case and recommend to the Dean either that the Research Assistant Professor be reappointed, be promoted, or not be reappointed. Reappointment requires evidence of adequate progress towards promotion before the time limit of six years in rank. The Research Assistant Professor shall be given notice of the decision not to promote at least five-and-one-half months prior to the end date of the current appointment.
 
In the sixth year in rank, the appropriate academic unit shall review the case and recommend to the Dean either that the Research Assistant Professor be promoted or not be promoted. The Research Assistant Professor shall be given notice of the decision not to promote at least five-and-one-half months prior to the end date of the current appointment.
 
Research Associate Professor
Description/Qualifications: The primary activity of a Research Associate Professor shall be research as part of a research group or in association with a faculty member. Qualifications for the rank of Research Associate Professor include significant publication record beyond thesis, strong evidence of independent research, and a research program that would likely be funded for several years. Cases must include at least two external letters and two internal letters of support.
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointment to the position of Research Associate Professor may be made either with an undetermined end date or for a term of up to, but no more than, five years. There is no limitation on the number of times term appointments may be renewed. The faculty of the appropriate academic unit shall make an academic review of those on term appointment prior to renewal, with an academic review at least every three years.
 
The faculty of the appropriate academic unit shall make an academic review of those with an undetermined end date at least every three years.
 
Termination notice for those on a term appointment must be given at least five-and-one-half-months prior to the end of the current appointment.
 
Termination notice for those with an undetermined end date must be given at least two years before the date set for termination. Employment may continue beyond the termination notice period if the Research Associate Professor is successful in obtaining federal or non-federal funding to continue to support their salary and research. However, this is dependent on their sponsorship by a faculty member or active faculty emeritus in the PSD. Additionally, the notice period will not be reinstated.
 
Research Professor
Description/Qualifications: The primary activity of a Research Professor shall be research as part of a research group or in association with a faculty member. Qualifications include evidence of major independent scientific research, excellent published research contributions, potential for additional contributions to the field, international recognition, and a research program that is likely to be funded for several years. Cases must include at least three outside letters and two internal letters of support.
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointment to the position of Research Professor may be made either with an undetermined end date or for a term of up to, but no more than, five years. There is no limitation on the number of times term appointments may be renewed.
 
Research Professors are exempt from periodic review.
 
Termination notice for those on a term appointment must be given at least five-and-one-half-months prior to the end of the current appointment.
 
Termination notice for those with an undetermined end date must be given at least two years before the date set for termination. Employment may continue beyond the termination notice period if the Research Professor is successful in obtaining federal or non-federal funding to continue to support their salary and research. However, this is dependent on their sponsorship by a faculty member or active faculty emeritus in the PSD. Additionally, the notice period will not be reinstated.
 

VI. Research Appointees not in the Biological or Physical Sciences Divisions

Research Associates without Professorial Titles
 
Research Associate
Description/Qualification: These appointments shall be held by people who hold a Ph.D., are engaged in research and are expected to make a substantial contribution to that research as part of a research group or in association with a faculty member.
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: A Research Associate shall be appointed for a term of up to three years. There is no limitation on the number of years an individual may be serve as a Research Associate.
 
Senior Research Associate
Description/Qualifications: The primary activity of Senior Research Associates shall be research as part of a research group or in association with a faculty member. Senior Research Associate is the highest rank of research associate without professorial rank.
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointment to the position of Senior Research Associate may be made for a term of no more than five years. There is no limitation on the number of years a person may serve   as a Senior Research Associate.
 
Notice of termination for appointees on a five-year term shall be given at least five-and-one-half months in advance. For appointments for a term of fewer than three years, the termination of the individual's employment at the University requires no further notice.
 
 
Research Appointments with Professorial Titles
Research Appointments with professorial titles are independent researchers, normally holding a Ph.D. They are expected to stand alone on their scholarly accomplishments, and should meet the customary Chicago research standards of the rank they hold. Appointees are engaged in research and expected to make a substantial contribution to that research as part of a research group or in association with a faculty member.
 
Research Assistant Professor
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: A Research Assistant Professor shall be appointed or reappointed for a term of up to three years. In no case shall a person hold the position of Research Assistant Professor for more than six years. In the last year of the term of the appointment the appropriate academic unit shall review the case and recommend to the appropriate Dean either that the Research Assistant Professor be promoted to Research Associate Professor or not be reappointed. The Research Assistant Professor shall be given notice of the decision not to reappoint no later than January 15. Persons whose appointive year ends at dates other than June 30 or September 30 shall be given 5.5 months notice.
 
Research Associate Professor
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointment to the position of Research Associate Professor may be for a term of no more than five years. There is no limitation on the number of years a person may serve in this rank.
 
A Research Associate Professor shall be given notice of the decision not to reappoint at least five-and-one-half months prior to the date set for termination
 
Research Professor
 
Terms of Appointment/Reappointment: Appointments of Research Professor shall be made upon the recommendation, appropriately documented, of the Department or other appropriate academic unit and the Chair of that unit to the Dean of the Division or School, who shall make recommendations to the Provost.
 
The terms of appointment are the same as for Research Associate Professor.
 
Before any research appointee engages in teaching, other than an occasional lecture in a course, it should be determined that such teaching is consistent with the source of funds used to pay the appointee. In most cases government financed research projects cannot be charged for the part of the appointee’s time and effort that are devoted to teaching. An appointee’s teaching must be approved by: (a) the unit in which the appointee is affiliated, (b) the department and dean of the academic unit in which the teaching is performed, and (c) the Provost’s Office. Normally a Lecturer appointment will be sought in the unit in which the course is offered. 
 
Lecturer & Senior Lecturer
 
Lecturer
Description/Qualifications: This position shall be held by people whose contribution is to be primarily in teaching, normally in scheduled, for-credit courses. Appointments to the position of Lecturer may be for a term of up to five years. There is no limitation on the number of years a person may serve as a Lecturer. The Lecturer position is not on a promotion track. Therefore, Lecturers are never automatically or routinely considered for appointment as Senior Lecturer. Despite the similarity in their titles, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are distinct kinds of appointments, and there is no promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer.
To be considered full-time, during every quarter of the appointive year a Lecturer should have assigned duties, including teaching courses, teaching or advising in less formal settings, laboratory oversight, directing performances in an instructional program, or performing similar activities within an instructional program. Time devoted to research is not a constituent of one hundred percent effort for a Lecturer. If administrative duties are assigned, reduction of teaching load of more than 25% of the established full-time load must be consistent with the written policies of the department, division, school, or the College, and requires the approval of the Provost.
The faculty of the appropriate academic unit shall conduct an academic review of each Lecturer at least every three years, or at the time of reappointment. Lecturer appointments end on the date specified and no further notice is required.
 
Senior Lecturer 
This position shall be held by people who have exceptional competence in teaching and superior academic credentials or professional competence. In addition to the normal Lecturer role of classroom or laboratory teacher, Senior Lecturers will be hired when there is a substantial and sustainable role in a program of study, which may include one or more of the following: delegated responsibility for a program of study or an undergraduate core sequence; supervision, evaluation, discipline, and mentoring of Lecturers and of academic appointees represented by the Service Employee International Union; the responsibility for training and evaluating graduate students in their instructional roles; engagement with advanced graduate students in narrowly specialized course-work or independent study; other plausible roles in addition to classroom teaching. Senior Lecturers normally will not be members of dissertation committees or have time protected to pursue their own research; they may engage in applied research in connection with the program of study in which they work. Ongoing evaluations must put considerable weight on both how well the classroom work is done, and the additional roles. The scholarship is not to be evaluated according to the high standards applicable to Faculty scholarship, but rather on how well it supports the Senior Lecturer’s instructional role or engages students.
The minimum qualifications for Senior Lecturer are the following:
  1. Outstanding effectiveness and competence in teaching, including, e.g., advanced training in how students learn, program assessment, training new teachers in a field, or development or deployment of learning technology. Student evaluations alone are not evidence of this sort of competence.
  2. Exceptional mastery of the pedagogy the subject matter taught (but excluding related subject matters, viz., exceptional language teaching is not a qualification to teach literature or history).
  3. A Ph.D. or other terminal degree when appropriate; or, professional experience sufficient to establish superior professional credentials.
Appointments in this rank may be for a term of up to five years. Initial appointment must be for at least one year. Senior Lecturers appointed for a specified term are to be reviewed prior to reappointment. Termination of employment of a Senior Lecturer on a five-year term may be made only after notice of termination has been given to the person at least five-and-one-half months before the date set for termination. Appointments also may be made with an undetermined end date. There shall be an academic review of each Senior Lecturer appointed with an undetermined end date at least once every three years. Termination of the employment of a Senior Lecturer appointed with an undetermined end date may be made only after notice of termination has been given to the person at least one year before the date set for termination.
 
Dated: 1977
Revised: 1 July 2012; January 2019