Policy on Visiting Professor Hires in the College of Arts and Sciences

Last update: 08/16/2017 - 8:51am

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Reason for Policy

To clarify when a department head should propose a visiting professor or pro tem hire and to guide department managers in determining whether a hire in an approved visiting assistant professor search is eligible to receive a VAP contract.


Entities Affected

Department heads, department managers, divisional deans, divisional and financial specialists in CAS.





Policy Statement

Visiting (Assistant, Associate, or Full) Professors are temporary faculty whose professional responsibilities more closely mirror those of TTF than those of instructional NTTF.  In particular, they typically will have a significant portion of their FTE assigned for research and scholarship.  As appropriate, some of their advising and service duties may also be specifically directed toward graduate students and the graduate program in the departments in which they serve.

Article 15 of the 2015-18 Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics restricts the Visiting Professor title to the following situations:

VISITING:  A non-tenure track paid temporary appointment of limited duration (up to two years) for (1) an individual who holds a like, similar, or relevant appointment at another institution or (2) pursuant to norms of the specific discipline, an individual who has recently obtained a terminal degree and is seeking further professional experience prior to seeking a professorship.

With the CBA requirements in mind, CAS will follow the criteria set out below in determining whether or not the Dean’s Office will approve the hiring of a Visiting Professor whose duties involve teaching in a CAS unit.

  1. The candidate must hold a PhD at the time the contract begins;
  2. The candidate is replacing the teaching of one or more TTF, or the candidate is filling an additional Foundation-funded position created for that purpose; and
  3. The candidate offers crucial scholarly expertise or coverage, especially in relation to the graduate program or to upper-division courses in undergraduate program.

In some cases, a Visiting Professor position may be strategically used to recruit a top scholar to an upcoming TTF vacancy, a recruitment strategy that will still require a national search; in this case, criteria 1 and 3 above will apply.  This policy does not apply to Visiting Professors hired only to conduct research.

In order to offer a position that provides financial support for research and scholarship time to a temporary faculty member, units must show a clear benefit to the College and University.  Since most temporary faculty will not be affiliated with the University for more than two years, their research efforts while here will not be credited to the University when published.  As a result, most short-term instructional needs in the College should be met by hiring pro tem instructional NTTF whose FTE does not include research and scholarship time.  For the same reason, requests for Visiting Professors should be rare, especially for large departments that have a sufficient number of TTF to cover graduate program needs.

In the case of a Visiting Assistant Professor, the person filling the position must have their Ph.D. completed (with verification) at the beginning of their contract term.  If not, they will be given a pro tem NTTF contract and salary until the degree is received. The pro tem contract will not include any FTE for research and scholarship or a reduced course load.

Unofficial letters of offer to prospective Visiting Assistant Professors must stipulate that the candidate will be issued a pro tem instructor contract at, typically, .56 FTE, if the PhD is not received before the contract begins.  (That is, if a VAP is hired at 1.0 FTE to teach five courses, a pro tem instructor would be hired at .56 FTE on a regular nine-course load to teach those five courses.  Likewise, the contract will reflect the pro tem, not the VAP, salary until the degree is received.)  A replacement contract will be issued once the degree is received.

Visiting Professors supported by Foundation funds will not necessarily be subject to these same criteria, though the terms of their appointments will have to follow the CBA and the conditions of the related endowment.