Appendix J


(Shaded areas in [square brackets] reflect revisions made during the Senate meeting. )


Revision of AC-21 Definition of Academic Ranks – Provision of Multi-Year Contracts


Implementation: Upon Approval by the President


Multi-year contracts, where available, provide further opportunities to foster continuity of programs and curriculum by stabilizing the working conditions for full-time fixed-term faculty members. Although multi-year contracts are often associated budgetarily with permanent funds, in some situations, multi-year contracts can be granted based on temporary as well as permanent funds. This proposal recommends changes to AC-21 (the University’s policy on fixed-term faculty titles, rank, and promotion) in order to guide administrative actions related to the provision of multi-year contracts for full-time fixed-term faculty.

[(Add) The intent of this Advisory and Consultative Report is to strengthen stability for full-time fixed-term faculty members.  This proposal encourages both faculty and administrators to think of longer-term contracts for full-time, fixed-term faculty members who have earned promotion, when longer-term contracts are feasible. The proposal also aims at the improvement of communication and understanding between faculty and administrators if there are factors that inhibit the offering of longer-term contracts. (End Add)]


Recommended changes to one section of AC-21 are as follows.

Please note that the following contains bold text for additions and strikeouts indicating deleted text. Deleted text is notated with [Delete] [End Delete]. Added text is notated with [Add] [End Add]. The only strikeout below is a change to the numbering of sections.


Fixed-term ranks and titles should follow the guidelines set forth above for teaching, research, and clinical faculty, as well as librarians. Units should have clear rationales for the different ranks and titles they choose to use and their expectations for faculty to achieve these various ranks.

Rather than use the titles “lecturer” and “instructor” interchangeably for fixed-term appointments, each college should determine for itself which of the two titles it chooses to use, and then use that title consistently for such appointments.

Colleges should have their own guidelines for distinguishing between lecturer/instructor, assistant/associate/full professor positions for designating a third rank beyond that of lecturer or for promoting from one rank to the other, but all units should operate under the following University assumptions:

  1. Although there can be exceptions, positions above the first rank are designed to be promotion opportunities, with a recommended period of at least five years in rank as an instructor or lecturer (or, for fixed-term and standing faculty without tenure who hold terminal degrees, assistant teaching/research/clinical professors) before consideration for promotion. Fixed-Term and Standing non-tenure-line faculty should become eligible for promotion to the second rank after five years in rank, and would be permitted to compile their promotion dossiers in their fifth year. There should be no fixed time period for promotion to the third rank. Reviews for promotions should be conducted solely with regard to the merit of the candidate.
  2. Reviews for promotion of the full-time fixed-term faculty shall be conducted by Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committees. Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committees shall be constituted as follows: each of the colleges at University Park shall establish a committee for that college; each of the five stand-alone campuses (Abington, Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Harrisburg) shall establish a committee for that campus; each of the Special Mission Campuses (Great Valley, College of Medicine, and Dickinson Law) shall establish a committee for that campus; and the University College shall establish one committee composed of full-time fixed-term faculty from the campuses within the University College, with no more than one member from any campus. If a unit shall have fewer than seven fixed-term faculty members, at least two members of that unit’s Fixed-Term Review Committee shall be drawn from another unit’s Fixed-Term Review Committee. Only full-time fixed-term faculty members in each unit are eligible to serve on and to vote for the members of the review committee in their unit. Only faculty of higher rank than the candidate should make recommendations about promotions. If there should be insufficient numbers of higher-ranked fixed-term faculty, exceptions to this provision may be permitted by the Executive Vice President and Provost at the request of the academic unit.
  3. The promotion procedure itself should include recommendations by both a campus/department faculty committee, (b) the DAA or department/division head,/school director and (c) the approval of the campus chancellor and/or dean of the college.
  4. All promotions should be accompanied by a promotion raise, in addition to a merit raise, to be determined and funded by the college.
  5. Once it has been determined that a full-time fixed-term faculty member in the second rank at Penn State will be offered a new contract, the faculty member shall be considered for a [(Delete) three-year contract (End Delete) (Add) multi-year contract of three or more years. (End Add)] If a three-year contract is not granted, then factors that shaped this decision shall be communicated to the fixed-term faculty member at the time when a new contract that is of shorter duration is offered.
  6. Once it has been determined that a full-time fixed-term faculty member in the third rank at Penn State will be offered a new contract, the faculty member shall be considered for a [(Delete) five-year contract (End Delete) (Add) multi-year contract of five years. (End Add)]. If a five-year contract is not granted, then factors that shaped this decision shall be communicated to the fixed-term faculty member at the time when a new contract that is of shorter duration is offered.

[Delete] 5. [End Delete] [Add] 7. [End Add] The exceptions to this policy are the College of Medicine, the Colleges of Law (Dickinson and University Park), and the University Libraries, since their faculty have for many years been hired off the tenure-track and do not create confusion about their relation to tenure-track faculty.


  • Kathy Bieschke
  • Renee Bishop-Pierce
  • Richard Brown
  • Michael Bruno
  • William Butler
  • Peter Dendle
  • Wendell Franklin
  • Julie Gallagher
  • Edward Joseph Glantz
  • Leland Glenna
  • Terrence Guay
  • Betty Harper
  • Kathryn Jablokow
  • Rosemary Jolly (Vice Chair)
  • Maureen Jones
  • Matthew Jordan
  • Lisa Kitko
  • Angela Linse
  • Michael Lobaugh
  • Yvonne Love
  • Marc McDill
  • Rajen Mookerjee
  • John Nousek
  • Eric Novotny
  • David Passmore
  • Mark Patzkowsky
  • Nicholas Rowland (Chair)
  • Amit Sharma
  • Patricia Silveyra
  • Alok Sinha
  • Stephen Snyder


  • Harold Aurand
  • Claudia Brown
  • Joseph Cusumano
  • Peter Eberle
  • Ryan Elias
  • Raymond Funk
  • David Kahl
  • Carolyn Mahan
  • Clifford Maurer
  • Timothy Palmer (Vice Chair)
  • Rosemarie Petrilla (Chair)
  • Carla Pratt
  • Francesca Ruggiero
  • Bryan Saunders
  • Ann Schmiedekamp
  • Richard Shrugalla
  • Roger Subramanian
  • Johanna Wagner