Appointment Process of Non-Tenure Faculty

Proposed September 3, 2010; Updated September 24, 2010


The College of Geosciences employs tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty to meet its respective responsibilities of teaching, research, service/engagement, and other strategic initiatives of the College and Texas A&M University. To ensure consistency and compliance with pertinent System policies and regulation as well as University rules and Standard Administrative Procedures, the College has established the following process for non-tenure track faculty hires/appointments.

Applicants interested in employment with the College of Geosciences to a Non-Tenure Track Faculty Position

To comply with university hiring practices, the statement below should appear on each department’s web site.

“The College of Geosciences invites individuals interested in being considered for Non-tenure track faculty appointments to submit a CV and cover letter to the respective Department Head. These materials are kept on file for one year and are reviewed as relevant job openings become available.”

In addition, an authorization to hire request must be approved by the Dean annually (attachment #3).
The annual authorization to hire should include the maximum number of lecturers expected to be hired for the respective fiscal year. Permission to recruit and/or hire for a specific position must still be approved by the Dean.

All faculty searches will be conducted in such a manner as to promote a full and diverse candidate pool, to evaluate applicants consistently and fairly, and to successfully offer and employ top-notch faculty in accordance with strategic priorities of the Department, College, and University. Non-tenure track faculty are evaluated annually in the same manner as tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments.

Non-Tenure Track Titles

Lecturer Titles

Positions with the word “Lecturer” in the title must have a terminal or Master’s-level degree in the field in which the appointee will teach. If the appointee does not have 18 hours of graduate work completed in the field where he/she will teach, please provide the reason for the exception to the 18 hour rule to the Dean when requesting the appointment.

Assistant Lecturer

These appointments are focused on teaching and are renewable annually. Assistant Lecturers do not normally have eligibility for faculty voting rights in shared governance processes on campus.


Lecturers normally have a terminal degree in his/her respective teaching field, are hired primarily to teach, and are not expected to make significant contributions in the area of service or scholarly research or creative work. Appointments may be renewed each semester or annually.

Senior Lecturer

[reference 12.01.99.M2 – 2.3.2] This title is to be used for faculty who meet the criteria for Lecturer and who normally have five or more years of full-time service at Texas A&M. An essential criterion for appointment as Senior Lecturer is highly capable teaching of proven quality. The term of appointment may not exceed one year, but subsequent appointments may be offered indefinitely. Senior Lecturers shall be provided a one year notice if it is the University’s intent not to renew the appointment.

Distinguished Lecturer

This special title is to be used for persons who are particularly distinguished in an area of academic inquiry in the geosciences. It may be used when appointment to a tenure-track position is a less appropriate alternative. The term of appointment may not exceed one year, but subsequent appointments may be offered indefinitely. Distinguished Lecturers shall be provided a one year notice if it is the University’s intent not to renew the appointment.

Instructional [Rank] Professor

Mainly dedicated to teaching, the appointment differs from lectureships in that it must also involve substantial committee work, curriculum development, training, advising, or other administrative duties. Promotion to Instructional Associate Professor normally requires at least five years in the Instructional Assistant Professor rank and strong evidence of quality performance in teaching and service at Texas A&M University or a similar academic institution. Depending on departmental requirements, promotion may also hinge on the evidence of professional development of a kind designated in the letter of appointment. Promotion to Instructional Full Professor would involve at least 10 years of teaching and service, evidence of quality performance, and some indication of recognition at the university or professional level. All promotions must be approved through the same administrative channels that tenure-track promotions follow. Instructional faculty may be appointed for one, two, or three years at a time (maximum three year appointment term); note a typical appointment is for three years.

Visiting and Adjunct Titles

The title of Visiting is normally used for appointments to faculty members whose long-term primary employment commitment is not to Texas A&M University. Visiting appointments should normally be used in cases where the faculty appointment is expected to cease after no more than three years. Rank is determined by the faculty member’s qualifications and experience in accordance with tenure-track titles. A faculty member hired for a tenure-track position who does not complete the terminal degree prior to the effective date of employment may be appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor until the degree is completed; in such cases, the tenure clock does not start until he/she is appointed to the tenure-track position.

Adjunct appointments are non-compensated appointments that signify an affiliation with a department or program but do not involve teaching or research duties. The appointment may be renewed annually. Notification of non-reappointment should be made as soon as possible, but in all cases they should be notified no later than one month after the Board of Regents has approved the next fiscal year Texas A&M University budget.

Procedures to Recruit and Hire Non-Tenure Track Faculty

(1) The Department Head shall request permission from the Dean to recruit, and/or hire a non-tenure-track faculty member. Justification for the position should be consistent with department and college strategic plan priorities.

(2) Upon the Dean’s approval to recruit a non-tenure track faculty member, the Department Head will actively negotiate with the prospective candidate in consultation with the Dean. A formal offer letter will be sent from the Department Head that includes approval by the Dean, following a verbal or written acceptance of terms negotiated between the candidate, the Department Head, and the Dean.

(3) The Department is responsible for compiling and submitting the Approval-to-hire packet to the Dean for approval. Upon approval, the packet will be forwarded to the Dean of Faculties. The packet should include the following documents:

1) Cover Memo to the Dean (template attached)
2) Approval to Hire a Lecturer Form
3) Non-Tenure Agreement form
4) Offer letter with Dean’s Approval (template attached)*

5) Copy of curriculum vita*
6) Transcript Authorization/Degree Verification Form 7) Self Identification Form
8) Criminal Background Check Request Form

*Note that this is a two-step process. Items #4 and 5 listed above are to be sent to the Dean for approval. Once the candidate has signed the offer letter and completed the required forms listed above, the completed packet should be submitted to the Dean for review and approval. Once the Dean has approved the packet, it will be forwarded to the Dean of Faculties for approval.

All offer letters (tenure-track and non-tenure-track) should include the paragraph below. It describes the need for final administrative approval and the contingencies for the approval to become effective. NOTE: Approval-to-hire packets sent to the Office of Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost that contain offer letters that do not include the text below will not be signed until the degrees are verified and the backgrounds are checked.

“Employment is contingent on your ability to provide employment eligibility documentation required by federal employment and/or immigration laws. In addition, to help expedite the administrative approval, we request that you visit the following website ( and submit the Official Transcript Authorization/Degree Verification For New Faculty, Self Identification, Felony Conviction, and DPS Computerized Criminal History (CCH) Verification forms to the Dean of Faculties Office as soon as possible (fax: 979-845-1822). This offer will not be approved until the degree verification and criminal background forms are signed and received by the Dean of Faculties, and the approval is contingent upon the successful completion of the degree-verification and background-check processes."

Appointment Timelines

Instructional appointments should be submitted to the Dean for approval no later than April 1st if appointment is to be effective at the beginning of the fall semester, and November 1st if the appointment is to be effective at the beginning of the spring semester.

Lecturer type appointments should be submitted to the Dean for approval 30 days prior to the semester start date.

Research Positions that Provide Teaching Service to the College

If a research position provides teaching services to the College such as a Research Scientist, a letter to the Dean requesting services is required using the sample offer letter and the sample cover memo attached at the end of this document. Because the individual is already a TAMU employee, the Dean of Faculties is not included in the approval process. Once the Dean has approved the request, the title code on the funding source line only is changed and the dollar amount is listed accordingly for the services being performed. Below is an example of how the funding source line should appear on the EPA.


Src Effective Dates Campus Account Obj Code Pct Eft Acct Analysis Pgm Code Title Code Monthly Pay
09/01/2009 - 12/31/2009 02 132504-00000 1410 72.42% 0180 7500 $4,000.07
09/01/2009 - 12/31/2009 02 455124-00000 1315 27.58% 5012 7252 $1,523.36
01/01/2010 - 08/31/2010 02 455124-00000 1315 100.00% 5012 7252 $5,523.43

Procedures for Review and Promotion of Non-tenure Track Faculty Appointments

Each department will have a documented process of faculty peer review prior to initial appointment and in awarding promotions; all such requests will normally be considered in the annual performance review and budget process. For non-tenure track, promotions are recommended by the Department Head, endorsed by the Dean, and routed through Dean of Faculties for approval by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

(1) All faculty members holding non-tenure track appointment will be reviewed annually utilizing the respective departmental faculty review process and forms (normally, the 3-G process).

(2) The Department Head will conduct the annual performance review and make pertinent recommendations to the Dean regarding merit salary increases for the succeeding fiscal year subject to University guidelines.

(3) At the request of the faculty member, or at least at the end of every three-year appointment period, the departmental Tenure and Promotion (T&P) Committee shall review non-tenure track faculty members for their progress toward promotion to the next rank. The departmental T&P committee shall inform the department head of the outcome of this evaluation, which in turn should inform the faculty member. Promotion reviews and recommendations will follow the department and College’s established tenure and promotion guidelines and process (review package contents, submission deadlines, etc).

(4) Current non-tenure track faculty members must submit an application package through the formal application process in order to be considered for any open tenure or tenure-track faculty position within the College.

Record Retention

Each department shall maintain faculty search and new hire documentation in accordance with state and university records retention requirements.


The recruitment and hiring and conduct of non-tenure track faculty positions within the College will be in accordance with all pertinent System policies and procedures and University rules and Standard Administrative Procedures including the appropriate delegation of authority matrices for human resource administration and contract administration.

Dean of Faculties New Guidelines for Submitting Approvals to Hire a Faculty Member

Dean of Faculties Faculty Hiring

Dean of Faculties Approval to Hire a Faculty Member

University Rule 12.99.99.M1 Faculty Recruitment Procedures

President’s Delegation of Authority for Contract Administration (Faculty Employment Agreements)

President’s Delegation of Authority for Human Resource Administration

College of Geosciences Faculty Hiring Procedure

University Rule 12.03.99.M1 Faculty Teaching Workload Reporting

Faculty Workload Policy Statement

University Rule 12.01.99.M2 University Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Tenure, and Promotion

Sample Documents