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Faculty Appointments

Appointment to the Faculty*

All appointments to the faculty are made by the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the President, advised by the Dean of the College and the chair and other members of the appropriate department. Reappointments with tenure are made by the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the president and dean of the college according to the procedures stipulated in the TENURE REVIEWS section of this Handbook.

The College makes full- and part-time faculty appointments and promotions as follows:

  • Tenure-track appointments to the ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor.
  • Appointments in the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation (PEAR), without the possibility of tenure, through a series of renewable contracts to the ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor.
  • Continuing appointments, without the possibility of tenure, through a series of renewable contracts to the ranks of senior lecturer, lecturer, and instructor.
  • Visiting faculty appointments, without the possibility of tenure, normally to the ranks of assistant professor or instructor.
  • Appointments in applied music in the Department of Music, without the possibility of tenure, to the ranks of senior lecturer, lecturer, and instructor.

Initial appointments are established in the form of a letter from the president or dean, specifically stating title, salary and collateral benefits, length of appointment, responsibilities, and any qualifying conditions or other considerations. The signed return of the letter by the faculty member being appointed will be taken to mean acceptance of the appointment and understanding of all its particulars; the letter thus becomes the contractual instrument.

Any appointment or reappointment to the faculty, if it is not with tenure, is either with or without the possibility of tenure and will be so designated in the letter of appointment. A faculty member may be appointed with the possibility of tenure when an appropriate position exists or will become available within the first seven years of his or her employment at Carleton (the first six years in the case of an associate professor). Faculty may also be appointed with the possibility of tenure when the opening of such a position within the required amount of time is a probability but not a certitude. Clear written communication between the Dean, the department chair and the appointee is a requirement for appointments of the latter sort. It must be clear to all that any type of appointment with the possibility of tenure can actually lead to tenure only if a tenure-track position exists or becomes available, and that unforeseen factors such as economic exigency or changes in educational priorities might cause the College to abolish a position expected to be available. All other appointments are made without the possibility of tenure. Faculty so appointed include visiting professors, administrators who are granted faculty status, and those part-time faculty who are ineligible for tenure (as noted in this section and under Part-Time Faculty).

Faculty members with tenure are on permanent appointment.  Tenured faculty members are required to participate in the Senior Faculty Development Forum (see below) roughly every ten years. 

Tenure-Track faculty members will normally undergo a formal review (described below) in the third year of their service to determine whether their contracts should be renewed. Those in the sixth year of an appointment will undergo a more intensive review (also described below) in that year to determine whether they should be awarded tenure. In addition, prior to the sixth year review, departmental chairs shall annually review and discuss with faculty members of their departments the latter's performance and professional development. The maximum pre-tenure period is seven years for an instructor or assistant professor and six years for an associate professor. Previous service elsewhere at a faculty rank is normally not recognized in these calculations at Carleton, although at the time of a particular appointment, the president may write into the contract letter recognition of a precise period of previous service.

Appointments in PEAR are made in a series of renewable contracts.  Since these positions are not tenurable, there is no maximum limit upon the number of years a faculty member may remain in such an appointment.  PEAR faculty members at the instructor and assistant professor ranks will have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities ascribed to tenure-track faculty elsewhere in this Handbook.  Associate and full professors in PEAR will enjoy the rights (other than tenure) and responsibilities herein ascribed to tenured faculty.  Review and promotion procedures for PEAR faculty members are described below.

Continuing (non-PEAR) appointments are also made in a series of renewable contracts.  Since these positions are not tenurable, there is no maximum limit upon the number of years a faculty member may remain in such an appointment.  If a faculty member in a continuing appointment is later granted a tenure-track appointment, his of her years of service in the former are not normally recognized in calculating the pre-tenure period.  Continuing faculty members are not required to advise students, to serve on faculty committees, or to take part in department obligations other than teaching one's assigned courses, unless such duties are designated in the contract.  Review and promotion procedures for continuing faculty members are described below.

Visiting appointments are normally made for one year or less to fill in for faculty leaves or to bring distinguished visitors to campus.  Visiting faculty members are not required to advise students, to serve on faculty committees, or to take part in department obligations other than teaching one's assigned courses, unless such duties are designated in the contract.

Applied music appointments are made on a yearly basis.  Applied music faculty members are not required to advise students, to serve on faculty committees, or to take part in department obligations other than teaching one's lessons, unless such duties are designated in the contract.  Review and promotion procedures for these faculty members are handled by the Department of Music; procedures for reviews can be found on the department's website.

Regulations for voting at faculty meetings and in faculty elections appear in Article II of the Bylaws of the Carleton College Faculty

Because Carleton is a residential college, faculty members will sometimes be expected to participate in evening and weekend activities. This should not be construed, however, as a directive to live in Northfield. The degree to which faculty members fulfill their professional obligations will be judged independently of their place of residence.

As soon as possible following the adoption of the subsequent year's budget by the College Council, faculty members will be notified in writing of any change in appointment, rank, or salary.

All personnel matters will be kept confidential by the College.

Revised and approved by the Board of Trustees October 25, 2014.

Last revised October 25, 2014
Keywords: appointment, reappointment

Last Reviewed: Oct 25th, 2014

Maintained by Dean of the College Office