Chapter 5: Faculty Structure, Titles, Promotion, and Reviews

5.1 Faculty Structure

5.1.A Governance of Faculty Appointments and Related Policies

Faculty appointments in all schools and colleges of Emory University are governed by policies and regulations set forth in three university documents.

First, the Bylaws of Emory University define limited (non-continuous; non-tenured) and continuous (tenured) faculty appointments. A limited appointment is one that is terminated at the close of a period of time specified in writing to the faculty member. These appointments often are renewable. A continuous appointment is one that will not be terminated by the university except for adequate cause or by retirement.

Second, the Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book") concerns a broad range of topics including appointment to the faculty, the definition of faculty ranks and promotion tracks, eligibility for continuous appointment, promotion, and termination of appointment (see Chapter 4). This is a Board of Trustees document.

Third, the Tenure and Promotion: University Guidelines for Candidate Files (Tenure Track) describes the university-level review process and establishes university-level practices for the preparation of dossiers for appointment to tenure and promotion on the tenure track.

To complement these university-level policies and procedures, the Dean of each college and school must establish college-level policies and procedures for appointment, reappointment, tenure, and promotion, all in compliance with the Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book").

5.1.B Policy on Cross-departmental and Cross-school Appointments

Faculty appointments across departments within schools and across schools within Emory University are possible. A variety of terms (e.g., joint, secondary, associated) are used to describe such appointments based upon the school(s) involved and the compensation agreements. The requirements for rank consistency between appointments also vary across schools. Cross-departmental and cross-school appointments require approval from the relevant chairs and dean(s). School policies on appointment, promotion, and tenure include each school's guidelines on these appointments. 

5.1.C Policy on Retirement and Emeritus Faculty Appointment

Faculty are eligible to retire if they work at least 20 hours or more per workweek, are at least 55, have at least 10 years of service of at least half time with breaks not to exceed a 12-month period or 24-month period if due to a reduction in force, and are retiring from a paid status or a disability leave of absence; and if their total years of age and service equal at least 75. The retirement date can be any day of the month as mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and his/her department, but retirement at the end of a semester is usually preferred. Retired faculty can access a range of benefits, which are described in the benefits section of this Faculty Handbook and on the Human Resources website. In addition, school-specific resources may be available to faculty upon retirement.

A retired member of the faculty who has reached age 55 and has served as a member of the Emory faculty for at least 10 continuous years, and whose total age and years of continuous service equal at least 75, may be considered for an "emeritus" title that reflects rank and appointment track at the time of retirement. Following rules and guidelines for academic titles, the Dean of the academic unit where the faculty member's appointment is housed may recommend a faculty member to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President, who shall inform the Board of Trustees, if awarded.

View Full Policy

5.2 Current Faculty Titles and the Requirement for Approval of New Titles

Four faculty titles are available on the tenure-track: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. Many more titles exist on the non-tenure tracks, some of which depend on the school and college in which the individual holds an appointment.

The addition of faculty titles and tracks requires a request to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Such a request must include a justification, budget impact, and faculty support within the academic unit, as well as benchmark data from other schools outside of Emory. A request will be reviewed by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the deans, Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee (TPAC), the Office of the General Council, Human Resources and other relevant parties. In addition, feedback is sought from the Faculty Council. Depending on the nature of the new title or track, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs will report to or seek approval of the Board of Trustees.

View Full Policy

5.3 Appointment and Promotion Guidance

All policies, procedures, and actions regarding faculty appointment, promotion, conferring of tenure, and termination shall conform to the Bylaws of the University (Chapter 3) and the Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book") (Chapter 4). This section provides some additional information about faculty promotion.

5.3.A General Policy Statements on Faculty Appointment and Promotion

Recommendations and review for faculty appointment or promotion or conferring of tenure are based on qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability,  sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status and cultural, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds except where sex or religious status are bona fide occupational requirements, or where a specific disability constitutes a bona fide occupational disqualification. 

Individuals appointed to the faculty are subject to all departmental, school, and university policies, guidelines, and procedures as they exist at the time of appointment, as they may be changed during the period of the faculty appointment, and as new policies, guidelines, and procedures are made. They also are subject to any local, state, and federal laws and regulations that are applicable to their activities at Emory University. 

5.3.B Standard for Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure (Tenure track)

On the tenure track, standards for appointments at rank, for promotion, and for the grant of tenure reflect the expectations that a faculty holds of its members. Candidates for appointment or promotion to Associate Professor must show academic excellence, including meritorious scholarship, creative inquiry, and outstanding teaching, as well as have the demonstrated promise to become leaders and transform their field as their career progresses. Candidates for appointment or promotion to Professor must show scholarly excellence and be established, nationally or internationally, as among the most distinctive and recognized voices in their discipline, consistently examining and addressing their field's most pressing questions. (See Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book"), paragraph 3.(e).) 

Each Dean, in consultation with the faculty and chairs, will establish standards for scholarship, teaching, and service for appointment and promotion on the limited tracks that are published in the school's appointment and promotion policies and consistently applied. 

5.3.C Consideration of Scholarship, Teaching, and Service in Promotion

The primary activities of the faculty of Emory University fall within three key domains: scholarship, teaching, and service. Since each of these domains are essential to the university, each is weighed carefully in all considerations involving track placement (e.g., those who focus only on research are on the research track, those who focus on teaching are on the teaching tracks, and those who engage mainly in service are on the clinical track), appointment, reappointment, promotion, and the granting of tenure, as well as in determining salary levels. All schools and colleges have their own definitions and descriptions of these three domains and what is expected of their faculty within each domain, as well as the balance between these three domains.

5.4 Procedures for Reappointment, Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure

5.4.A Procedural Provisions in the Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book")

The Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book") details guidelines and policies that apply to all candidates who are proposed for tenure and/or for senior appointment and promotion on the tenure track from any school or college within the university.

View Gray Book

5.4.B University Procedural Guidelines for Candidate Files for Tenure Track Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure

The following University Procedural Guidelines for Candidate Files apply to all candidates for appointment or promotion to Associate Professor and Professor with tenure or for the grant of tenure at rank from any school within the university. 

These guidelines exist in addition to the procedures of each school. Emory University, according to its Bylaws, grants continuous appointment by action of the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the President. The ordinary process for moving a candidate's file for the award of tenure at rank or for appointment or promotion with tenure to the Board of Trustees begins in the school with its faculty and Dean, proceeds through the Provost and, in the case of the schools of health sciences, also through the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs before reaching the President. Upon recommendation of the President, the file is forwarded to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees and then to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for final approval. 

To assist the President and Provost in promoting excellence across Emory and to ensure comparable quality while protecting school distinctiveness, the Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee (TPAC), a group of senior faculty elected by the tenured faculty in each of the schools/colleges, conducts a university-wide evaluation of all tenure-track faculty candidates who are recommended for appointment or promotion to Associate Professor or Professor with tenure, or for the grant of tenure at rank, from all departments, if applicable, and from all schools and colleges. The full election process for TPAC can be found in Section 11.2.a of this handbook. After reviewing and discussing the candidate(s), TPAC, as an advisory body, makes recommendations based on its deliberations and provides an advisory vote on the outcome which is submitted to the Provost and President. 

View Provost's Checklist

5.4.C School Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

In addition to the university-wide guidelines described above, each school has tenure and promotion guidelines, procedures, and policies specific to its faculty. Please see the school websites for complete descriptions of those guidelines and policies.

5.5 Faculty Reviews

Each school and college have specific procedures for reviewing the teaching, scholarship, and service contributions of its members, both for appointment and promotion and for faculty development. The specifics of these reviews differ across units. Further, these reviews may differ in format and frequency based upon the faculty member's rank. For more details, consult the policies and procedures of the relevant school or college.

Appeals of promotion and/or tenure decisions will be made in accordance with the requirements as described in the particular school, unit, or college's procedures. In the case of an appeal of a decision made by the Provost, the Provost will establish an ad hoc committee which will include four current and former Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee (TPAC) members that will advise the President.