Professor of the Practice
Professional programs increasingly are required by accrediting bodies to provide students access to instruction from individuals active in practice. The non-tenure track faculty position Professor of the Practice enables the University of Kansas to meet the professional instruction required in professional programs. This title is used by several Research I universities as a means to provide students with progressive professional instruction from faculty with extensive experience in the profession. The appointment of professors of the practice will not be used to offset or reduce the number of tenured or tenure-track faculty, but rather to provide flexibility for the University to meet professional training requirements in professional programs.
All academic programs for which the Provost has approved the hiring of individuals as Professors of the Practice
The title Professor of the Practice (assistant professor of the practice, associate professor of the practice, professor of the practice) may be used by a University of Kansas academic program that requires instruction by experienced practitioners, normally for purposes of accreditation. “Professors of the Practice” are non-tenure track faculty who possess the expertise and achievements to provide professional instruction in a manner that brings distinction to the appointing School/College and the University. This title carries a responsibility for maintaining the quality and reputation of the University, including the obligation for departments and schools/college to scrutinize appointments and reappointments to professor of the practice positions with the same care and with the same fundamental principles and procedures as those pertaining to appointments of tenure-track faculty and unclassified academic staff.
Qualifications: A Professor of the Practice must hold the professional degree as required at the time of graduation in the applicable field as well as significant post-graduation experience and a distinguished record of achievement as a practitioner within the profession. A current license and/or certification in a designated area may also be required depending upon the profession. Given the requirement for extensive professional experience as a practitioner, it is expected that the majority of appointments will be at the rank of Professor of the Practice. However, units may utilize the complete range of ranks to meet specific educational needs within the professional discipline.
Responsibilities: Responsibilities of professors of the practice include teaching, engaging in service both within and outside the university, maintaining professional credentials, and/or other duties that the appointing dean determines are consistent with this definition. Research responsibilities are not included in the expectations for professors of the practice. Professors of the practice should have professional teaching and service responsibilities that are significantly heavier than those of tenured and tenure-track faculty. Professors of the practice shall adhere to the Code of Faculty Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
Initiation of Professor of the Practice Positions within a Unit: Approval from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development is required prior to initiation of searches for professors of the practice positions. The request for approval should contain a position description for professors of the practice and a rationale for such positions based on the professional training needs of the program. Units that use lecturers also should address how the duties and qualifications of professors of the practice are distinct from those of lecturers. Units that intend to use the full range of professor of the practice ranks should outline the qualifications for appointment at each rank. A record of significant professional achievement as a practitioner is a requirement even for appointment at the assistant professor of the practice rank.
Recruitment and Appointment Process: The recruitment and appointment process for professors of the practice should follow standard procedures for non-tenure track faculty searches.
Job Codes: Job codes vary based upon the level and rank of the position and whether the position includes any administrative duties in addition to teaching and service responsibilities. A full listing of available job codes is available on the HR Job Title Table.
Length of appointment: Initial appointments to professor of the practice positions will be for a fixed term not to exceed a period of three years, with the provision that a professor of the practice position does not lead to tenure or a tenure-track position.
FTE: Appointments may be either part-time or full-time as required by the needs of the unit.
Evaluation: Professors of the practice should be evaluated annually following the department or school/college faculty evaluation plan. All evaluations shall be based upon the appointee’s teaching, service and achievement in professional practice as defined by the academic programs.
Eligibility for merit: Professors of the practice on multi-term appointments are eligible to receive merit salary increases based on the outcome of annual evaluations.
Reappointment: There is no automatic renewal of a professor of the practice appointment at the end of the limited term period. If, upon evaluation by a department or school/college following Provost office procedures, it is determined that a professor of the practice has met all requirements and demonstrated potential for a future term appointment, the University may offer the individual a subsequent limited term appointment of no more than three years. Additional limited term appointments of up to three years may be offered by the University depending upon satisfactory comprehensive evaluations at the end of each appointment period.
Promotion in rank: Promotion in rank of assistant and associate professors of the practice may occur after two terms in the current rank and only at the time a new limited term appointment is offered after review by the department and college/school level and with the approval of the Provost.
Non-reappointment during an appointment period: Professors of the practice may be dismissed for poor performance, misconduct, budgetary reasons, program changes, enrollment declines, or because a unit determines that the position would be better filled by another individual. The termination of employment may occur prior to the end date of the limited term appointment. As non-tenure track, limited term faculty appointments, the University and Board of Regents regulations on advance notice of non-reappointment do not apply and the non-reappointment or dismissal is not appealable. Professor of the practice positions that are funded either partially or fully by external sources such as grants and contracts will be designated as contingent on funding and will end immediately upon loss of external funding. Regardless of funding source, the appointment may be subject to furlough and/or salary may be reduced during budgetary constraints.
Substitutions of required degree requirements may only be approved by the Vice Provost for Faculty Development.
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard
Strong Hall, Room 145
Lawrence, KS 66045
Professors of the Practice: non-tenure track faculty who possess the expertise and achievements to provide professional instruction in a manner that brings distinction to the appointing School/College and the University.
12/14/2022: Updated contact section.
05/30/2017: Fixed broken link.
09/23/2015: Revised Promotion in Rank wording.
09/04/2015: Updated the limited term appointment to 3 years in the Reappointment section requested by Laura Green and added the link to the Board of Regent's Policy on Non-Tenure Track Appointments
05/06/2015: Made changes to title, campus locations, added responsibilities section, and added related procedures links requested by Mary Lee Hummert, Vice Provost for Faculty Development.
01/13/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
08/28/2009: Addition of the Professor of the Practice Title to Non-Tenure Track Faculty Category approved by the Provost