4.1 Faculty Ranks and Titles

4.1.1 Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor Ranks
These ranks are assigned to tenured or tenure-track faculty members who are required to perform duties involving teaching, scholarship, and professional service.

4.1.2 Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

This paragraph provides a description of the basic characteristics of the faculty positions listed below. Specific details regarding the level of time commitment required, job duties, and the employment benefits associated with a particular position will be addressed in an employee's employment contract or employment offer letter.  A faculty member holding one of the ranks or titles listed below is not eligible for tenure while serving at that rank.

  1. Teaching Professor, Teaching Associate Professor and Teaching Assistant Professor Ranks
    These ranks are assigned to part-time and full-time instructional faculty members with assignments primarily devoted to teaching.  These positions are anticipated to be at least one full academic year in duration. Faculty members holding these titles are expected to remain current with developments in their fields so as to maintain the highest quality of instruction and are encouraged to attend and participate in department activities and shared governance in keeping with the normal practices of the academic unit(s) that form the locus of their positions.  They are required to fulfill all applicable requirements of the Faculty Handbook. Teaching faculty may serve as the co-advisor for graduate students and as the principal investigator on Mines proposals. They may request Graduate Faculty status (see Section 4.3) to serve as the primary advisor to graduate students. Teaching faculty are members of the Academic Faculty (Section 4.2).

    Teaching Faculty are initially hired on one-year renewable contracts. Entering a faculty member’s third year at Mines, Teaching Faculty contracts are extended to two-year contracts renewed annually. Non-renewal notification provisions for both types of contracts are defined in Section 9.2.1.
     
  2. Professor of Practice
    This position is appropriate for exceptional practitioners in fields aligned with Mines. Professors of Practice shall have terminal degrees in disciplines related to Mines’ programs or equivalent professional experience and shall have achieved exceptional distinction as practitioners in such disciplines.  Professors of Practice are selected on a year-to-year basis, contingent upon sufficient need and funding within the hiring department. Positions may be part-time or full-time. Professors of Practice are members of the Academic Faculty.

    Professors of Practice are generally expected to devote a substantial portion of their professional life to Mines. The Professor of Practice title is not appropriate for individuals whose external affiliation is or has been primarily academic.  A Professor of Practice may not hold active, full-time positions elsewhere. An individual, however, may be on leave from a non-academic position for the duration of the Mines position.

    Involvement by the Professor of Practice in institutional activities will vary according to programmatic needs. Duties and responsibilities may include teaching, research and service. Professors of Practice may have full responsibility for course instruction, be principal investigators on Mines proposals, and may request Graduate Faculty status enabling them to serve as the primary advisor to graduate students.
     
  3. Librarian, Associate Librarian, Assistant Librarian
    The title "Librarian" coupled with the appropriate faculty rank is used to describe faculty members whose duties involve rendering professional library service to the Mines community in the information fields. Library faculty also contribute professionally by conducting research and scholarship and by performing service to their profession and the Mines community. Library faculty are members of the Academic Faculty.
     
  4. Research Professor, Research Associate Professor, and Research Assistant Professor
    The title "research" coupled with the appropriate rank is used to describe faculty members whose primary responsibilities are obtaining research funding, performing research, and providing assistance in directing graduate student thesis projects.  When remunerated, these positions are funded through grant or contract sources. Research faculty may engage in teaching and service by mutual agreement with their department head. Research faculty may serve as the co-advisor for graduate students and as the principal investigator on Mines research proposals subject to Mines’ policy and guidelines of the Office of Research Administration and the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer. They may request Graduate Faculty status to serve as the primary advisor to graduate students. Research Faculty are members of the Academic Faculty.

  5. Other Research Related Titles
    Faculty members holding the titles listed below are primarily responsible for supporting the institution’s research enterprise by providing assistance and support to Academic Faculty in obtaining research funding, performing research, and directing graduate student thesis projects.  When remunerated, these positions are funded through grant or contract sources.
    1. Visiting Scholar
      This title is used to describe faculty members with positions at other universities who are temporarily associated with Mines. The primary responsibilities of visiting scholars involve performing research and providing assistance in directing graduate student thesis projects. When remunerated, their salaries are generally paid from non-State funds. Visiting Scholars may hold their positions for up to two years and may serve with or without remuneration. Visiting Scholars are ineligible for tenure.
    2. Postdoctoral Fellow
      This title is used to describe researchers who have a doctoral degree and who are expected to lead part of a project or research grant. The postdoctoral fellow may engage in teaching and provide assistance in directing graduate student thesis projects. The normal term of employment will be for up to two years, although the arrangement may be extended for a third year with the approval of the Dean and Provost.
    3. Research Associate
      This title is used to describe researchers who have already completed two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow or equivalent experience. Research Associates may lead a major part of a research grant, including serving as a co-principal investigator on proposals, and will typically have more specialized skills and more autonomy to implement their own ideas than a Postdoctoral Fellow. This is usually a fixed-term position but may be more open-ended depending on availability of research funds. Research Associates frequently work with the principal investigator to develop proposals and mentor graduate students.
    4. Research Support Staff (I-V)
      This title series is used to describe research support staff positions that are exempt from the State classified system based on the source of funding for the positions (grants, gifts, or revenues generated through auxiliary activities). They are typically not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. These positions will perform general administrative or technical lab support functions related to a research project, center, or department.
    5. Research Administrative Professional
      This title is used to describe a staff position that is both exempt from the State classified system based on the funding source the positions (grants, gifts, or revenues generated through auxiliary activities) and exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act based on the level of professional duties required of the position. A staff person in this position typically has director or managerial responsibilities.
    6. Research Technical Professional
      This title is used to describe a staff position that is both exempt from the State classified system based on the source of funding for the position (grants, gifts, or revenues generated through auxiliary activities) and exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act based on the level of professional duties required of the position A staff person in this position provides high-level technical expertise in a particular discipline and performs duties at a senior or managerial level.
    7. Affiliate Faculty
      This title is used to describe individuals with mutually beneficial ties to Mines that warrant such a position, such as individuals who are employed elsewhere or who are retired. This is not intended for retired Mines faculty, who are encouraged to use the standard Research Faculty track. Typically, these individuals are involved with university faculty members and their research programs. Affiliate Faculty may serve on thesis committees and as a co-advisor to graduate students. However, they are not permitted to serve as the primary advisor. Affiliate Faculty are not permitted to serve as the principal investigator on Mines proposals, but they may serve as a co-principal investigator.  Affiliate Faculty may hold their positions for up to two years, may be renewed, and may serve with or without remuneration. If the position is remunerated, the FTE assigned shall be no greater than 25 percent and remuneration must be approved by the employer and the appropriate Department Head and Dean at Mines.
    8. External Joint Faculty
      External Joint Faculty status is conferred upon a special category of Affiliate Faculty who have full or part-time positions elsewhere (e.g., NREL, NIST, or USGS) and who have strong collaborations with Mines and Mines faculty. At the request of a full-time academic faculty member at Mines and as approved by the Department Head, Joint Faculty may serve on thesis committees and are permitted to serve as co-advisors to graduate students. To serve as primary advisor, Joint Faculty must become members of the Graduate Faculty, and they must identify a co-advisor who has Graduate Faculty status and is not an External Joint Faculty member. Joint Faculty may serve as principal investigator on Mines research proposals with appropriate approvals from their employer and from Mines. The Joint Faculty member may also engage in teaching with appropriate approvals of the Mines Department Head and their employer. Joint Faculty may hold their appointment for up to three years with the possibility of renewal.
       
  6. Adjunct Titles
    The title "Adjunct Faculty" is used to describe temporary faculty members who are engaged on a semester-by-semester basis, contingent upon sufficient need and resources within the hiring department or division, to teach a course or conduct other needed activities in the department. With regard to non-remuneration adjuncts, the Provost may permit multiple semester positions. Adjunct faculty may serve as the co-advisor for graduate students, but may not serve as primary advisor, nor may they serve as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on Mines’ research proposals.
     
  7. Visiting Titles
    The title "visiting" coupled with the rank attained at their home institution is used to describe faculty members who by mutual agreement wish to associate themselves with Mines. Visiting faculty members may hold their positions for up to two years and may serve with or without remuneration. This title is normally reserved for faculty members who are serving at Mines while on leave from another academic institution.

4.1.3 Named Faculty Distinctions

Faculty positions (Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor) made possible through endowments and other gifts enable the school to attract and support outstanding educators and scholars. The following are the categories of distinctions that can be named in response to a donor's wishes. The naming and rotation of such distinctions is the sole prerogative of Mines. The granting of tenured status at Mines does not grant or imply tenure rights in any named distinction.

  1. Distinguished Endowed Chair
    A distinguished endowed chair signals the highest honor Mines can bestow upon a faculty member. Funding from the endowment, in combination with funds from other sources, will be used to support the chair holder’s compensation package and supply discretionary funds to support the teaching and scholarly activities of the chair. Although chairs are not normally rotated, circumstances may necessitate changing the holder of a chair, and Mines reserves the right to do so at any time for any reason.
  2. Endowed Chair
    An endowed chair recognizes teaching and research excellence of a Mines faculty member. Funding from the endowment, in combination with funds from other sources, will be used to support the chair holder’s compensation package and supply discretionary funds to support the teaching and scholarly activities of the chair. Although chairs are not normally rotated, circumstances may necessitate changing the holder of a chair, and Mines reserves the right to do so at any time for any reason.
  3. Endowed Professorship
    An endowed professorship is awarded to professors in recognition of their outstanding teaching, research, and service. Income from the endowment or gift will be used in combination with other funds to partially support the teaching and scholarly activities of the recipients. Endowed professorships may be renewed or rotated within a department or among several departments at Mines.
  4. Developmental Professorship
    Available to junior faculty members, a developmental professorship provides support for the teaching and scholarly activities of the recipients. Developmental professorships may be renewed or rotated within a department or among several departments at Mines.
  5. Teacher-Scholar
    A teacher-scholar award will be utilized to recognize excellence in scholarly achievements by faculty members. The award will provide support for teaching and scholarly activities, such as travel to technical or professional conferences, summer support, and professional advancement activities.

4.1.4 Transitional Faculty Positions

From time to time, Mines may enter into Transitional Faculty Agreements with tenured, teaching, or library faculty members who wish to retire. When both Mines and the retiring faculty member deem it mutually beneficial to do so, and contingent upon the approval of the Provost, the parties will negotiate a part-time position for a specific period of time, usually not in excess of three years, following the faculty member’s retirement date. The Transitional Faculty Agreement will specify the faculty member’s responsibilities and level of effort during the transitional position. Transitional positions do not confer tenure, but may provide the position holder eligibility for certain benefits during the semesters they are providing and compensated for services to Mines per the terms of Mines’ benefits plans and policies. In rare circumstances, transitional positions may be considered for administrative faculty. However, these positions are contingent upon the approval of the President.

4.1.5 Emeritus Faculty Status

Recipients of emeritus status shall receive special recognition at the annual April Awards Celebration. Additional privileges bestowed upon emeritus faculty members include the issuance of a permanent faculty identification card, a listing in the university catalog, and full continued use of library and athletic facilities. From time to time, Mines may make other facilities, services, or amenities available for the use of emeritus faculty members. However, emeritus status does not confer tenure.

At the time of their retirement, in recognition of their years of dedication and service to Mines, tenured, teaching, or library faculty members who have completed ten or more years of regular full-time service at Mines in a tenured/tenure track, teaching faculty, Professor of Practice, or library faculty position may be nominated to the Provost by their department head, in consultation with the department’s promotion and tenure committee (as constituted by the appropriate rank of emeritus status sought) and dean, for the title of “emeritus” coupled with their academic rank. The Provost’s recommendation regarding emeritus status shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

4.1.6 Administrative Faculty Positions

Administrative faculty positions apply to exempt employees who perform specialized professional duties and hold positions that are designated by function or title, not by academic rank.  Administrative faculty are ineligible for tenure. Tenured faculty members who assume administrative positions at Mines retain the right to resume their tenured faculty positions upon the termination of their administrative responsibilities.

4.1.7 Athletics Faculty Positions

Athletics faculty positions apply to faculty members who teach athletics department courses and/or coach varsity-level sports, and who hold positions that are designated by function or title, not by faculty rank. Athletics faculty members are ineligible for tenure.

4.1.8 Non-Remunerative Volunteer Positions

Upon the review and positive recommendation of the appropriately constituted Department Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Department Head, and the Dean, an individual may be nominated for a non-remunerative, volunteer faculty position at the appropriate rank. For non-remunerative positions not involving faculty rank (e.g., research assistant, research associate, etc.) nominations may be made upon the recommendation of the department head without the need for input from the Dean.

For non-remunerative positions in Academic Affairs, nominations are submitted to the Associate Provost for approval. For non-remunerative positions in Student Life, Finance and Administration, or in the President’s Office, nominations are submitted to the appropriate executive.

Non-remunerative positions are made for a maximum of two calendar years, though they are renewable. These positions must provide clearly defined value to the department/ division and Mines as well as to the individual, and specific responsibilities must be detailed. Like all other faculty, non-remunerative faculty are governed by the provisions of the Faculty Handbook. Non-remunerative faculty are ineligible to receive benefits with the exception of provisions set forth in section 5.2 of this Handbook.

Non-remuneration research faculty positions must follow the process described in section 4.8.1D.

4.1.9 Special Positions and Titles

  1. Distinguished University Professor
    Colorado School of Mines Distinguished University Professor is the highest honorific title that can be conferred on a tenured faculty member at Mines. It is granted selectively to faculty who have brought great recognition to Mines through the impact of their teaching, mentoring, discovery, innovation efforts, and international recognition. At any given time, the distinction of being named a “Distinguished University Professor” will be accorded to a maximum of 15 tenured faculty members. Once selected, a faculty member will generally hold this title until retirement, subject to the discretion of and revocation at any time by the President. Faculty shall not hold this title concurrently with an endowed chair distinction.

    Any Mines employee may submit a nomination. The Mines Distinguished University Professor Review Committee, which is formed and chaired by the Provost, will screen the nominations and identify the most competitive candidates. The Provost will recommend finalists to the President who has final authority to award these titles.

  2. Honorary Titles
    Special honorary titles may be conferred by the Provost in conjunction with non-remuneration positions on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Mines Presidential Faculty Fellow
    From time to time, the President may ask a faculty member to perform special duties in service to the institution and will recognize the faculty member’s broader institutional role by naming that faculty member a Mines Presidential Faculty Fellow for (descriptive title). Typically, such honorary titles are limited to three years, but may be extended at the discretion of the President. Such honorary title may come with appropriate service, teaching, and research relief as negotiated by the President, faculty member, and the faculty member’s Department Head.
  4. University Librarian
    The position of University Librarian is open to any candidate holding the rank Librarian. The University Librarian articulates a vision of the Library that promotes and supports the University’s mission, and implements a strategic plan to advance that vision. The University Librarian integrates diverse resources and technologies, seeks new opportunities, collaborates with university constituents, and cultivates a vibrant research and learning community. The University Librarian fosters an organizational and educational climate that promotes diversity and provides effective leadership to collectively achieve our strategic initiatives. Overseeing management of the Library’s virtual and physical space, the University Librarian collaborates with Library faculty, staff, students, and external entities to identify, evaluate, and implement programs that provide services and facilities, enhancing the quality of resources, and increase operational efficiency within the Library. Providing leadership and facilitating library-wide communication, the University Librarian functions as the chief fiscal officer of the Library providing transparent reporting on the budget, supporting a balance between the student-centered library, research support, and the traditional core functions of the Library for the Mines community.