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Faculty Titles

Background

The prefix “visiting” has been used to designate faculty members who are visiting the University for a period of time but also to indicate those faculty members who have joined the faculty ranks but whose appointments have not been processed through the academic promotion and appointment system of the University. While such appointments make it easier to appoint qualified individuals for responsible positions at the University, the prefix “visiting” also gives the impression of an appointment that can be rescinded at any time. Several senior visiting faculty members find it awkward to be visiting for so many years and yet also find it even more awkward to go through the promotion process.

In addition, there are professionals who are distinguished in their fields and whose experiences as teachers in the classroom or studios are invaluable. However, the academic promotion system is not designed to recognize their professional accomplishments and appoint them at the regular faculty ranks. For such individuals, there is a need to recognize their accomplishments and show appreciation through appropriate titles that are consistent with the regulations under which universities operate and the values our university upholds.

A committee was formed in 2014 to review the cases in each Faculty and School that fall within the above descriptions, review commonly used titles elsewhere in the world, and make recommendations. The following is a subset of these recommendations for immediate implementation. The recommendations do not propose any changes to the current ranks specified by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE) that the University uses, including Research Fellow and Specialist, except to clarify research faculty appointments and promotions.

Additional New Titles

a) Emeriti Professors. A professor following retirement may be appointed as professor emeritus or professor emerita. Appointments to the rank of professor emeritus are without salary, health insurance, or other benefits. Professor Emeriti can have access to University facilities such as library and office space, if available, and report outside activities annually to the Dean’s Office.

Appointment Process

The candidate’s Department, Faculty or the University may initiate the process by submitting the nomination to the Provost’s Office with material that outlines the candidate’s professional accomplishments and planned scholarly or artistic work. The Promotions and Appointment Committee of the University will review and make a recommendation to the Rector who upon approval forwards the recommendation to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

b) Courtesy Appointments indicate affiliation of a faculty member with a department other than his/her primary department or program at Bilkent. Consistent with the CoHE rules, Courtesy faculty may supervise MS and PhD students and teach classes in both departments/programs. Such appointments require the approval and support of chairs or directors of both departments or programs and their respective deans and the Provost’s Office. [In accordance with a recent CoHE ruling, a faculty member in a department can supervise graduate students only in his/her own department and in an interdisciplinary program (other than own department)]

c) Visiting Faculty members are those who come to the University to spend a predetermined period of time, not to exceed two years. Visiting faculty titles may be awarded to those individuals who wish to spend sabbatical leaves to conduct research or assist in teaching or artistic performance. An exception to the two-year limit could be made in cases when the promotion process of a new faculty takes longer than two years. Since visiting faculty members are expected to stay for a limited period, a promotion within the rank is not considered except for new faculty hires described above and previous cases that had been agreed upon.

Appointment Process

The rank of the visiting faculty member will be consistent with the current rank that the individual holds at his/her institution and compatible with the corresponding Bilkent rank. The appointment process is initiated by the Department, using the same process for hiring new faculty but indicating the duties of and expectations from the candidate, with supporting letters from the Dean of the Faculty. Process is completed after review by the Provost’s Office, and approval by the Rector. In case of ranks above Assistant Professor, the dossier is forwarded to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

d) Professor-in-Residence describes faculty members who have qualified for the academic title of Professor at another recognized university but have elected, by mutual consent, to not follow the promotion process at Bilkent. These appointments are at the Professor level only and available primarily at the Law School.

Appointment Process

The appointment process is initiated by the Department, using the same process for hiring new faculty but indicating the duties of and expectations from the candidate, with supporting letters from the Dean of the Faculty. After review by the Provost’s Office, and by the Rector, the dossier is forwarded to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

e) (Expert/Professional)-in-Residence titles may be accorded to those individuals with professional experience but without the traditional academic record necessary for regular academic appointments. Such titles may be modified to suit the needs of the profession such as Architect-in-Residence, Artist-in-Residence, Designer-in-Residence, Writer-in-Residence, and others. These appointments may be full-time or part-time. A PhD degree is not a requirement for (Expert/Professional)-in-Residence.

Appointment Process

These appointments require and reflect the experience and professional accomplishments of the individual. Examples would be prizes awarded for their practice, laudatory critiques for their work, and other similar professional recognitions.  The appointment process is initiated by the Department, using the same process for hiring new faculty but indicating the duties of and expectations from the candidate, with supporting letters from the Dean of the Faculty. After review by the Provost’s Office, the dossier is forwarded to the Rector’s Office for consideration and approval.

f) (Assistant, Associate) Professor of (Profession) Practice titles are accorded to those individuals who have made significant contributions to their professions through their professional practice who also satisfy the CoHE requirements. Examples of such appointments may be Associate Professor of Communication Practice, Professor of Design Practice. Promotion in the rank may be possible depending on their professional accomplishments. Appointments may be made up to 3 years and are renewable. Positions that are in-residence and of practice do not have sabbatical leaves associated with them.

Appointment Process

These appointments require and reflect the experience and professional accomplishments of the individual. Examples would be prizes awarded for their practice, laudatory critiques for their work, and other similar professional recognitions. Promotion to the next rank relies on their professional practice and accomplishments rather than traditional academic work. Process is completed after review by the Provost’s Office, and approval by the Rector. In case of ranks above Assistant Professor, the dossier is forwarded to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

g) Adjunct Faculty is one who normally has a regular position elsewhere but whose academic association with the University is desirable. Such associations can involve teaching, research or performance. The title of Adjunct (Assistant, Associate) Professor may be accorded according to the academic accomplishments of the individual. Adjunct appointments are normally part-time positions and may be made for up to 3 years and may be renewed upon recommendation by the Dean of the Faculty.

Appointment Process

These appointments require and reflect the experience and professional accomplishments of the individual. The appointment process is initiated by the Department, using the same process for hiring new faculty, supported by the Dean of the Faculty, and after review by the Provost’s Office, concluded with the approval of the Rector.

h) Research Faculty titles are accorded to the individuals whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and acquire research funding to support their research. Research faculty is normally supported by research funds and not by the regular university funds. Research faculty titles also follow the Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Professor ranks; the lower ranks can also be promoted following university promotion processes. Expectations from research faculty largely focus on research accomplishments and funding record. Research faculty position should not be viewed as a path to faculty appointments in the departments. However, research faculty can compete for open positions at the University.

Appointment Process

These appointments are intended to strengthen the University’s research enterprise and provide faculty members an environment in which to perform high-impact research and acquire funds to support it. All research faculty appointments are initiated by either a Department or an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, upon request by one or more faculty members or a research group and supported by the Dean of the Faculty or the Director of Graduate Institute, respectively. Appointment process follows the same steps as that for faculty hiring. In the case of Research Assistant Professor appointments, upon favorable review by the Provost’s office, Rector approves the appointment. In the case of Associate and Full Research Professor appointments, the Promotion and Appointment Committee of the University reviews the dossier. Upon a favorable decision, the Rector forwards the decision to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

i) Teaching Track Faculty members make significant contributions to the education provided by the University. Lecturer track faculty ranks are Instructor, Lecturer, and Senior Lecturer. Expectations for promotion in this track are based on in-class teaching, educational innovations, as well as publications leading to the advancement if his/her teaching practices.

Appointment Process

Appointment is initiated by the Department and supported by the Dean of the Faculty.  Following a review by the Provost’s Office, the Rector makes the appointment.

j) Research Staff are increasingly becoming essential to the research enterprise at the University. They are supported by research projects and bring expertise to the projects. There is a need to recognize their accomplishments and experience, as they continue often beyond a postdoctoral position. Research staff can be at the levels of Research Associate, Research Scientist, Senior Research Scientist, and Visiting Scientist.

  • Research Associate
    Research Associate positions are sponsored through fellowships, grants or projects and are term-appointments. Research Associates are expected to conduct post-doctoral research with the goal of further developing their scholarly competence under the supervision of one or more faculty members at the University.
    The Research Associate appointment is not intended as a long-term, indefinite, or a career appointment. Such appointments are made to academic departments or laboratories/centers upon the recommendation of the Sponsoring Supervisor(s) and require the approval of the Department Chair or laboratory/center director and the Dean.
    Research Associates do not have teaching responsibilities. They may not consult or be Principal Investigators in projects.
  • Research Scientist
    Research Scientist positions are sponsored through projects and may be longer-term research positions and may be renewed indefinitely, constituting a career path.Research Scientist positions may be awarded to researchers holding an advanced degree (normally a Ph.D. degree) and a demonstrated high level academic performance as well as capacity for conducting a partially independent research program. Research Scientists can be co-Principal Investigators in grants and projects, with the written approval of the Sponsoring Supervisor(s).While all Research Scientist appointments are affiliated with Sponsoring Supervisors, their supervisors should allow a degree of academic independence commensurate with their experience and seniority.Research Scientists may not act as academic advisors but can assist in directing student research in collaboration with academic advisors.Research Scientists do not have teaching responsibilities and may not consult.
  • Senior Research Scientist
    Senior Research Scientist positions are similar to Research Scientist positions but with a higher degree of autonomy and responsibility.Senior Research Scientists have nearly complete independence from the supervising faculty member(s) in terms research activities. They are expected to provide funds for their research and staff.Senior Research Scientists may direct the research activities of all those supported by their projects but may not act as Academic Advisors. Senior Research Scientists do not have teaching responsibilities and may not consult, although they may do so upon the approval of the Provost’s Office following recommendation of the sponsoring supervisor to the chair/director and the dean.Appointment to a Senior Research Scientist position requires demonstration of competence and expertise comparable to that of a faculty member at the rank of associate or full professor in terms of significant scholarly recognition, excellence in the leadership of technical projects, or other significant research impact.

    Appointments/promotions to this rank normally require successful completion of a minimum of five years in the position of a Research Scientist at the University or a comparable position at another institution.

    In all of the appointments, regardless of the duration of the appointment, there is a mandatory one-year notice of termination, the funding of which must be guaranteed by the supervising faculty member and/or the department or laboratory/center that is the home of the appointment. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

    Appointment Processes for Research Staff
    Appointments are initiated by the sponsoring faculty member(s), with the support of the Department Chair or Center Director and the Dean of the Faculty, and are appointed upon favorable review by the Provost’s Office. Required documentation includes funding sources, task description, and term of appointment as well as CV and recommendation letters.

k) Visiting Scientist

Visiting Scientist title designates visitors working at the University for a specified period ranging from one week to one year. The position can be renewed on an annual basis. The Visiting Scientist title is reserved for visitors who have been holding non-faculty positions prior to the commencement of their stay at the University.

Appointment Process

Appointment request is initiated by the Department upon request by one or more faculty members or research groups, supported by the Dean of the Faculty. Upon favorable review by the Provost’s Office, the Rector makes the appointment. Total length of the appointment may not exceed two years.

Non-academic Appointments

a) Research Engineer

Research Engineer positions are sponsored positions for those who conduct research and/or perform technical services in support of specific research projects at the University. Research Engineers are temporarily employed, funded from a grant or project, with the goal of performing research and/or technical functionalities in service of ongoing research activities. Research Engineers work under the direct supervision of the Principal Investigator(s) of the sponsoring project(s)/grant(s). Research Engineers are normally expected to hold at least a BS degree.

The Research Engineer appointments are for a finite duration, usually limited by the duration of the sponsoring project/grant, but can be renewed indefinitely. Research Engineer appointments are made by the sponsoring Principal Investigator(s), subject to approval of the Provost’s Office.

Research Engineers are not degree candidates. Research Engineers are not allowed to teach any course, be a Principal Investigator of any project and enjoy consultancy privileges under any circumstances. An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.

b) Senior Research Engineer

Senior Research Engineer positions are sponsored positions for those who conduct research or perform technical services for research projects at the University. Senior Research Engineers have similar privileges, responsibilities and meet the minimum qualifications as required from Research Engineers. They are distinguished from Research Engineers in that they must have successfully served in the capacity of a Research Engineer at the University or a similar position at another institution for a minimum duration of five years. Exception to the five-year rule can be made in rare cases based on extraordinary technical expertise.

Senior Research Engineer appointments are awarded upon the nomination of their sponsoring Principal Investigator(s) and require explicit approval of the Provost’s Office. Such positions are awarded based on technical excellence, rarity of accumulated experience and/or potential for leading one or more Research Engineers in performing their duties, while remaining fully under the supervision of their sponsoring Principal Investigators.

Senior Research Engineer appointments further differ from Research Engineer appointments in that, regardless of the duration of the appointment, there is a mandatory one-year notice of termination, the funding of which must be guaranteed by the sponsoring Principal Investigator(s). An appointment may be terminated for cause at any time.