Faculty Senate Faculty Rank Task Force

November 1, 2013

At the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, Senate President Kelly Smith established the Faculty Rank Task Force. Chaired by Antonnis Katsiyannis, Faculty Senate Vice-President/President-Elect, and Bill Surver, this committee was charged to consider a series of questions related to faculty rank, including lecturer ranks and evaluations, extension professors, and university professors. The committee is concentrating on four faculty ranks: research professors, lecturers, university professors, and clinical professors.

Research Professors: The current policy regarding research professors, as found in Part III, Section E of the 2013-14 Faculty Manual states that “Research Faculty which include the titles of research professor, research associate professor, and research assistant professor (depending upon professional qualifications) may be granted to persons engaged in full time research who are supported exclusively (including fringe benefits) from external funds or foundation accounts. Such appointments must be initiated by the host department(s) in accordance with departmental bylaws and approved by the dean and the Provost. These positions are contingent upon the availability of external funds and adequate space; termination is automatic upon expiration of external funding.” The committee is working on a proposal to encourage more flexibility in funding for these positions. Other institutes, such as Georgia Tech, provide opportunities for research faculty to be funded through both internal and external means. Georgia Tech’s policy regarding research faculty states that “research faculty are typically supported by a variety of mechanisms (internal and external sources); however, the majority of salary support is derived from grant and contract funds obtained by the research faculty member.” Encouraging great flexibility in funding sources will allow Clemson to hire more research faculty. Research faculty are necessary if Clemson hopes to achieve classification as a Carnegie Very High Research University.

Lecturers: The committee wants to adjust the length of appointment for senior lectures and a pay raise upon promotion to senior lecturer. As Clemson has become increasingly reliant on lecturers, creating a policy that will enable the recruitment and retention of talented lecturers should be a goal of the university.

University Professors: This rank would be a distinctive rank to encourage full professors who have been at that rank for at least five years to achieve further excellence in teaching, research, and service. The committee is discussing creating a life-time rank of “University Professor.” The “University Professor” rank would provide an opportunity for recognizing exemplary performance.

Clinical Professors: The committee is proposing the creation of a Clinical Professor rank for renewable-term faculty in programs subject to professional accreditation that require clinical teaching and/or clinical supervision and/or clinical direction. This specialty rank is particularly important given the expanded collaboration with the Greenville Hospital System.

The committee hopes to draft recommendations to present to the Policy Committee by the end of the Fall 2013 semester. If you have any comments or suggestion for the committee, please comment below or email

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    • Lance Howard says:

      I am a Sr Lecturer serving as delegate and am serving on the Task Force. I have asked the other delegates to collect stories and concerns from the lecturers in their respective colleges. I will be checking here for lecturer input and you can email me also at

  • Ken Marcus says:

    The university professor rank would be outstanding ! ! !

  • David Allison says:

    I would like to suggest the rank of “Professor of Practice” rather than clinical professor, or in addition to it. Neither clinical professor or research professor adequately defines adjunct faculty in professional disciplines who have higher professional or disciplinary qualifications than might be expected of a lecturer, yet do not fall within the framework of clinical professor. “Professors of Practice” could include both clinical and non-clinical professional programs at Clemson, and would have a much broader application across the University.

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