Faculty Titles & Visiting Appointments

Faculty Titles

According to the University of Illinois Statutes, a faculty member is defined as a member of the academic staff who holds an appointment of 50 percent or more in the College of Fine and Applied Arts as a professor, an associate professor, or an assistant professor and is tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure.

Each person who holds at least a 50 percent appointment in FAA as an instructor, as a lecturer, or as an academic professional who also holds the title professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, or lecturer in the college shall be known as a member of the college for purposes of governance. Positions that encompass teaching duties only are appropriately titled lecturers. If part-time or visiting positions also include other aspects of faculty responsibilities, such as research/creative activities and service, then the title visiting assistant professor may be used, but the candidate must have credentials commensurate with that title as well. A title that is not commensurate with duties or achievements should not be used to attract candidates or reward academic professionals.

Visiting Appointments

The quality of our faculty is a concern for all of us, not only in securing tenure-track and tenured faculty but also in locating visiting faculty members. Before hiring full-time visiting faculty members, unit executive officers should observe the following procedures.

  • Review with the dean the need for and the number of visiting appointments in the context of the overall planning process for the unit.
  • Communicate with faculty members about the reasons for these positions.
  • Establish means of review and consultation about selecting visiting faculty members (especially over the summer when the usual methods of consultation are unavailable).
  • Develop methods for the orientation of visiting faculty, their mentoring, and their evaluation.

Letters of offer for yearlong, full-time visiting faculty positions are to be sent from the dean’s office.


The provost’s office has established the following guidelines for visiting appointments.

Visiting Prefix

“Visiting” may be used in the title of an otherwise unmodified professorial or [academic professional] appointment when the appointment is likely to have a limited or temporary duration. New programs, programs with an identified budgetary or programmatic end, or new/expiring funding sources are just some examples of situations appropriate for appointments with the visiting designation. Visiting appointments may require the performance of services to the University and may therefore be salaried, but this need not always be the case.

The “visiting” modifier should not be used with modified professorial (i.e., teaching or clinical professor appointments at any rank), instructor, or lecturer appointments. Under limited appropriate circumstances, the “visiting” modifier may be used with research associate, teaching associate, clinical associate, or research professorial titles. Units must consult with their college human resources office and obtain approval from Illinois Human Resources to use the visiting modifier with a research, teaching, or clinical associate appointment.

“Visiting” specialized faculty appointments (i.e., professorial titles, teaching associates, and research associates) with a .51 FTE or greater, with the exceptions of . . . postdoctoral research associates and fellows in any unit . . . are represented by the Campus Faculty Association, Local 6546, IFT-AFT, AAUP, and will be covered by a bargaining agreement between the [Board of Trustees] and the union.

Visiting [academic professional] appointments are covered under a collective bargaining agreement between the [Board of Trustees] and the Visiting Academic Professionals/AAP-IEA-NEA union. This bargaining agreement applies only to visiting academic professional appointments.

“Adjunct” Prefix

The use of “adjunct” as a prefix to a faculty rank or specialized faculty title indicates that the position is not the individual’s primary position. “Adjunct” may be used in the title of a faculty or specialized faculty appointment when the individual has less than a .50 FTE (cumulative of all university appointments). The modifier “adjunct” is not used with [academic professional] titles. The individual to be appointed should be recognized in his or her field. Units should exercise appropriate review procedures before making an adjunct appointment.

Departmental or Institute Affiliate

Institutes, centers, and laboratories may offer an affiliate appointment to tenure system faculty members, specialized faculty members, or [academic professionals] holding appointments in other campus units, as well as to individuals outside the university. Units wishing to offer such affiliate appointments should have a formal written policy setting forth the requirements and expectations of affiliation, including a regular process of reviewing and discontinuing appointments. Units may choose to have different types of affiliate appointments based on the degree of engagement of the individual with the unit. For example, an affiliate appointment may carry the general designation as “institute faculty” or “institute affiliate.” Institute faculty affiliate appointments shall only be given to tenure system faculty members holding an appointment in an academic unit on the Urbana campus. Per the Board of Trustees policy (1978), the affiliate position conveys no voting rights or tenure rights in the affiliated unit.

See the guidelines for visiting appointments from the provost’s office for additional details.

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