Qualified Academic Rank Titles

Qualified Academic Rank Titles

These titles are in the unclassified service and in the SUNY Professional Services Negotiating Unit. Appointments to these titles are made by the chief administative officer of the campus upon the recommendations of the appropriate academic committees and officers of the campus. The qualified academic rank offered to an appointee depends upon the type of campus, the appointee's qualifications, and the criteria established for each qualified rank by the department and campus in accordance with SUNY policies. Within SUNY policies appointments to these titles may be on the basis of temporary or term appointments but cannot be on the basis of continuing appointment.

Qualified academic ranks are not "tenure track" - service in these titles does not count for meeting service requirements for continuing appointment even if appointees are subsequently appointed to academic rank. Appointees to Qualified Academic Rank are generally Lecturers who fulfill basic curricular needs but may not be assigned the full range of duties normally associated with academic rank appointees, particuarly with regard to scholarship. They often have clinical assignments, have appointments supported by research grants, or are on visiting appointments with primary appointments at other colleges, universities, or campuses. By definition, Qualified Academic Rank is: "Rank held by those members of the academic staff having titles of lecturer, or titles of academic rank preceded by the designations "clinical" or "visiting" or other similar designations.

The paranthetic distinctions in these titles are primarily used to determine the particular salary table to which a title is assigned (e.g. a 10 month obligation or 12 month obligation title or a title assigned to a health science center or to a specialized salary schedule). GFT, HS, TCL and Leading suffixes are explained at the end of this description.

The levels of expertise and recognition in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service are factors in the determination of the qualified academic rank/title to which candidates are recommended for appointment.

Preferred Qualifications:

Qualifications for the different qualified academic ranks/titles are established at the local campus level and depend to some degree on the type of campus or program to which the appointment is being made. The best references for unique requirements are found either in vacancy announcements or in a department's or campus's guidelines for faculty promotion.

Within their own requirements, campus departments and campuses may apply the following SUNY recommended criteria in determining the rank/title for an academic rank appointment/promotion:

(a) Mastery of subject matter

(b) Effectiveness in teaching

(c) Scholarly ability

(d) Effectiveness of University service

(e) Continuing growth

[For qualified academic rank appointments, additional factors include the source of funding, the nature of assignment, the anticipated length of service, and the qualifications of the appointee, among other factors].


GFT = Geographic full-time
As defined by the Policies of the Board of Trustees, a "geographic full-time" faculty member is a person serving on the faculty of a medical center who "is not employed on a full-time basis for the purpose of fixing compensation payable by the State, but all of whose professional services and activities are conducted at the medical center or its affiliated hospitals and are available to the State on a full-time basis for clinical and instructional purposes."

HS = Health Science 
A title suffix which identifies the academic-ranked position as being in the health sciences and therefore subject to a different maximum than a basic faculty position in the same rank.

TCL = Total Compensation limit
A special suffix for health sciences positions, principally at Upstate Medical, where state salary and practice income are delivered in one State check. "TCL" staff are not allowed to retain any private practice income or to have other professional earnings in addition to the State Salary.

Leading Professors
These titles were established as a way to provide a higher salary maximum for outstanding Professors. It's not a "Distinguished" title and does not require approval by the Board of Trustees. A campus President can use these titles as he/she deems appropriate.

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