Research Faculty Title Series

Policy Memorandum No. 151

Recommended by the Commission on Research
Approved by CRA: December 14, 1994
Approved by CGS&P: January 18, 1995
Endorsed by CFA: February 3, 1995
Approved by University Council: April 3, 1995
Approved by the President: April 3, 1995
Effective: Immediately

The University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on Research, approved a resolution to establish a research professorial title series for special research faculty, and further stipulated that these research faculty titles will be evaluated after two years.

Replacement pages for the relevant section of the Faculty Handbook(s) will be provided separately through campus mail.

Following is the text of the resolution as adopted by University Council:

WHEREAS, the University has continuously expanding requirements for scientists, specially trained investigators and highly qualified personnel to meet responsibilities in research and other creative activities; and

WHEREAS, there is a growing cadre of scholars who hold doctorates but not positions commensurate with their education and desire a position in research in the University; and

WHEREAS, the University could increase the scholarly activity and faculty expertise with such persons.

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that to fulfill the needs of the University and to be more competitive in attracting and retaining needed professorial staff, a research professorial title series be established for special research faculty to include research assistant professor, research associate professor and research professor. Furthermore, after the establishment of these three titles, all research faculty titles will be evaluated in two years.

2.1 Special Research Faculty Appointments

The following Special Research Faculty Appointments are intended to promote and expedite the research activities of the University. The research title series of assistant, associate and research professor is a professorial series for appointment and promotion of appropriately qualified individuals who participate in the University's research and graduate education program but whose activities shall be limited to participation in projects which involve research or other creative activity of limited duration and operate under grants and contracts. A faculty member on appointment in the professorial series may direct graduate student research. A faculty member on appointment in the special research faculty series shall not have a regularly scheduled teaching assignment.

Tenure cannot be earned in any of the research faculty ranks, and service is not applicable toward probationary faculty service if subsequently appointed to a tenure track position. The procedures of the Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Office for advertising, interviewing and selection for the position (full-time, part-time, length of appointment) must be followed.

2.1.1 Research Associate

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.1.2 Senior Research Associate

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.1.3 Postdoctoral Associate

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.1.4 Research Scientist/Scholar

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.1.5 Senior Research Scientist/Scholar

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.1.6 Research Assistant Professor

Persons appointed to this rank are required to have a doctoral degree or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Qualifications are consistent with those for appointment to Assistant Professor. Appointment is for three years or less contingent on available funding. Reappointment is contingent upon continuity of funding, the individual's accomplishments, and the needs of the program. Original appointments including rank, salary and other conditions must have approval of the Department Head before an offer is extended. Research Assistant Professors may serve as principal investigators on grants and contracts with approval of the department head. Persons in this rank may direct graduate theses and dissertations and serve on graduate committees consistent with department graduate policy and with the approval of the Department Head and Dean of the Graduate School.

2.1.7 Research Associate Professor

Persons appointed to this rank are required to have a doctoral degree or terminal degree appropriate to the field. Qualifications are consistent with those for appointment to Associate Professor. Appointment is for five years or less contingent on available funding. Reappointment is contingent upon continuity of funding, the individual's accomplishments and needs of the program. Original appointments including rank, salary and other conditions must have approval of the Department Head before an offer is extended. Promotion to this rank shall be made after an indication of continuous improvement and contribution in research or creative activity supported through grants and contracts and regional recognition.

Research Associate Professors may serve as principal investigators on grants and contracts with approval of the Department Head. Persons in this rank may direct graduate theses and dissertations and serve on graduate committees consistent with department graduate policy with the approval of the Department Head and Dean of the Graduate School.

2.1.8 Research Professor

Persons appointed to this rank are required to have a doctoral degree and have research qualifications consistent with those for appointment at the rank of Professor. Appointment is for five years or less contingent upon continuity of funding. Reappointment is contingent upon continuity of funding, the individual's accomplishments and needs of the program. Promotion to this rank shall be made after indication of outstanding research or creative activity supported by grants and contracts and national and/or international recognition.

Research Professors may serve as principal investigators on grants and contracts with approval of the Department Head. Persons in this rank may direct graduate theses and dissertations and serve on graduate committees consistent with department graduate policy with the approval of the Department Head and Dean of the Graduate School.

2.2 Searches for Research Faculty

Virginia Tech is committed to increasing the number of women and minority faculty and administrators. This commitment is stated and elaborated in the University Plan 1991-1996 and the document titled "An Affirmative Commitment to Faculty Diversity, " issued in November 1991, as well as the documents filed with federal and state officials.

The document Procedures for an Approved Faculty Search is available from the EO/AA Office and the Office of the Provost. These procedures apply to full-time regular faculty positions and to restricted positions (such as those for research faculty) for which the appointment is likely to be renewed beyond the one year term.

2.2.1 Establishment of a Position of Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor or Research Professor

To establish a position in the research professorial series, the initiating unit shall prepare a proposal demonstrating the need for such a position and indicate the source, amount and term of funding for the program of research or creative activity to which the position is related. Requests for appointment of the research professorial series must be approved by the Head or Director of the department or division in which the appointee will serve with the advice of the appropriate departmental or divisional committee, endorsed by the College Dean, and approved by the Vice Provost for Research and Provost.

2.2.2 Interim Position

Interim appointment and payment of salary from funds other than those associated with grants and contracts may occur with approval of the Vice Provost for Research/Dean of the Graduate School when there is a gap of six months or less between approved grants and contracts. However, in such circumstances, there is no obligation to continue funding by the University. The appointee's assignment during an interim appointment shall be completely consistent in a general sense with the duties which the individual had and will be expected to continue under a program for research or other creative activity which is supported from grants and contracts.

2.2.3 Abolition of Position

Research Faculty positions may be discontinued. In such cases, the procedure for Abolition of Position (Section 2.5.1.3) will apply.

2.2.4 Responsibilities of Research Professorial Faculty Series

At the discretion of the unit to which the faculty member is assigned, faculty membership with or without voting privileges may be extended to an assistant, associate or research professor. However, a research faculty member shall not be eligible to vote on matters relating to faculty appointment, retention, promotion or tenure.

2.3 Terms of Restricted Appointments

Same as Research Faculty Handbook

2.3.1 Letter of Restricted Appointment

Same as Research Faculty Handbook except remove reference that all appointments are 1 year or less.

2.3.2 Appointment and Promotion

Procedures for appointment and promotion to research assistant professor, research associate professor and research professor are consistent with those for appointment or promotion to assistant, associate and professor (Faculty Handbook Section 2.8.4).

2.3.3 Evaluation Procedures

For the ranks of Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Professor, a performance review will be done annually by the same procedures as regular faculty. (Faculty Handbook Section 2.8). Salary adjustments are made annually and should parallel the most recent salary actions for the general faculty.

Promotion to a higher rank may be granted to research professorial faculty who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in appropriate activities. Every faculty member should maintain a current curriculum vitae with copies filed in the department and college (or equivalent academic units, as appropriate). The curriculum vitae together with annual reports, reprints of publications, reference letters and other similar documents comprise a dossier, which furnishes the principal basis for promotion decisions.

Research professorial faculty members being considered for promotion will have their dossiers reviewed at as many as three levels: by a departmental or divisional committee and the head or chair or director; by a college committee and the dean; and by a University committee and the Provost.

Besides consideration of specific criteria, evaluation for promotion should consider the energy and integrity of the candidate and the candidate's concern for professional ethics and responsibilities.

(Entire section copied from Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4 Leaves

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.1 Military Leave

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.2 Administrative Leave

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.3 Annual Leave

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.4 Sick Leave

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.5 Research Faculty Family and Medical Leave

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.6 Advanced Study at Virginia Tech

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

2.4.7 Leave Report

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.0. Benefits Program

3.1 Required Benefits

The following benefits are mandatory and are paid for by the University.

3.1.1 Group Life Insurance

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.1.2 Long-Term Disability Insurance (Required for Faculty)

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.1.3 Faculty Retirement

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.1.3.1 Virginia Retirement System

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.1.3.2 Optional Retirement Plan

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.1.3.3 Disability Retirement

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2 Optional Programs

There are several insurance plans and benefits that are available for faculty members. Some have a portion of the premiums paid by the University, others are totally the employee's responsibility.

3.2.1 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2.2 Health Insurance

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2.3 Tax-Deferred Investments/Deferred Compensation

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2.4 Savings Bonds

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2.5 Credit Unions

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

3.2.6 Charitable Deductions

(Same as Research Faculty Handbook)

PET:bjl


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm151