Career-Track Faculty Resources

Colleges and units are in the process of making the Senate-approved transition in terminology from non-tenure to career-track faculty. Live links are available to view approved career-track criteria. See below. 

To update the documentation above, please contact Kim Rogan at

Frequently asked questions on the Titles of Non-tenure-Track and Career-Track Faculty

  • What is the definition of Career Track?

    • Career track is a term used for professors, lecturers, instructors, and other faculty members in non-tenure-eligible positions that do not have adjunct or visiting in their title and are expected to continue from year to year.
  • What is the difference between a career-track professor and a career-track lecturer?

    • According to chapter 3 in the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP), lecturers have more limited duties, generally teaching specified lower-division or clinical courses.  Consequently, a transition from a lecturer to a career-track professor position must be “justified by increased responsibilities such as expanded teaching or supervisory duties,” as noted in UHAP 3.3.03.E.
  • Are career-track faculty still considered non-tenure faculty?

    • Yes.  According to ABOR Policies, these faculty are considered non-tenure faculty, but the UA will use the term career track in titles for faculty in many non-tenure-eligible positions.
  • Will we still use the term non-tenure faculty?

    • Yes.  Faculty with adjunct and visiting in their titles are not defined as career track.  Part-time faculty (hourly or extra-help) and limited term adjuncts are not eligible for the career-track designation.
  • What title should we use if we are hiring an instructor or other faculty member for only one year and do not expect the position to continue?

    • Faculty members hired for one year or less will be assigned a non-tenure track title without the career-track designation; however, the title should change to career track if the individuals are reappointed beyond the one-year period.
  • What wording do we need to include in career-track postings?

    • Additional wording that needs to be included is: “This career-track appointment is not eligible for tenure.”
  • When will the career-track designation take effect?

    • The related sections in the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel have been revised to include career track references.  Colleges and departments have been asked by Provost Comrie to review and revise their procedures for appointments, annual reviews, and promotion reviews of career-track faculty by November 13.  Notices of Appointment will use the new language beginning July 1, 2018.
  • When will the offer letter templates be updated in the Human Resources website?

    • Updated offer letters are currently available.  Older versions will be phased between October 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.  The new offer template will be required as of January 1, 2018.
  • When will Notice of Appointments be updated?

    • Notice of Appointments will be revised to reflect the faculty career-track designation beginning July 1, 2018.
  • How will we transition faculty who currently have NT titles?

    • The Provost’s Office will collaborate with the college business representatives to identify NT faculty who are eligible for the career-track designation.
  • Do we have to change the titles of research and clinical professors to career-track?

    • Units have some latitude in adding the term career track to titles such as those in the clinical title sequence in the College of Medicine.  
  • How will we code secondary faculty titles?

    • Non-tenure will continue to be used in secondary titles for continuing-status professionals, administrators, and for courtesy appointments for tenure-track faculty.  Non-tenure will also be used in secondary titles of career-track faculty, including those involving split appointments.
  • What happens if a career-track faculty member assumes an interim or ongoing administrative appointment under UHAP Chapter 4 or Chapter 5?

    • In such a case, the faculty title would remain career track.
  • How should we categorize a .40 FTE Research Professor?

    • A faculty member generally needs to be benefits eligible to be considered career track.  Exceptions can be made with the approval of the Office of the Provost.
  • Will nontenure-track continue to be used for retired faculty?

    • Yes.

Since 2019, several committees have engaged in a shared governance process to organize and centralize best practices for contingent faculty across the University of Arizona. The reviews and recommendations made by these committees address matters related to career-track faculty status, promotion, and employee rights. 

As a result of the work of these committees, a set of titles has been recommended to reduce the proliferation of career-track titles which contributed to the ambiguity of roles and promotion opportunities for career-track faculty. Based on current University Handbook of Appointed Personnel definitions, the committees recommended using the following titles:

  • Instructor
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Principal Lecturer
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Clinical Professor
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Research Professor
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Practice

The current goal is to harmonize career-track faculty titles across all units to facilitate appropriate recognition of the contributions of career-track faculty, and to improve institutional culture.

Resources for Career-Track Title Harmonization 

  • Guidelines for Career-Track Title Harmonization 2021

This document includes instructions and a timeline for implementing the career-track title harmonization. It also includes more detail on the rationale for title harmonization and brief summaries and links to full reports from the shared governance committees. There are also FAQs provided. 

Read the Guidelines for Career-Track Title Harmonization 2021 | Career-Track Title Change Memo Template

View the slide presentation (pdf) of the Update to Deans Council.

View the slide presentation (pdf) by the Faculty Senate Ad hoc Committee.


  • Career-Track Faculty Related Reports

Career-Track Faculty Department Heads Task Force Report

A Career-Track Faculty Task Force was charged by Dr. Andrea Romero, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to develop a list of Best Practices for career-track faculty at the University of Arizona. 

Access the report in the Faculty Affairs Reports and Data website

Senate ad hoc Committee on Career-Track Faculty Research Report

The Senate ad hoc Committee on Career-Track Faculty Research Report addresses these guiding questions:

1. Where are there opportunities to regularize and clarify the data in our systems regarding career-track faculty, so that we can better support our business processes, institutional culture, and the University’s core values?

2. What are the crucial areas in which the University can improve our communication, both internally and externally, about the contributions and conditions of employment of Career-Track Faculty, especially with regard to opportunities to support some appropriate and equitable guidelines for supporting continuity of employment (i.e. via adoption, where feasible, of multiyear contracts).

Access the report in the Faculty Affairs Reports and Data website


  • "Understanding Career-Track" - Live Chat with UArizona Senior Vice President and Provost Liesl Folks

A presentation and discussion of career-track faculty current policies and definitions on February 11, 2021. Panelist: Andrea Romero, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Access the presentation materials.

Watch the recorded video. 


As units create or revise their criteria for supporting career-track faculty, the following are specific issues that they may consider addressing. Below each point are specific questions to consider and an example of one unit’s current offerings. Note that the questions below each point are illustrative, not exhaustive. 
PDF version

Issue #1: Criteria for appointment of career-track faculty

  • Which specific titles does the unit use, and how are they defined?
  • What qualifications are required for appointment to each title?
  • Are adjunct and visiting titles limited to part-time and short-term appointments?
  • What are the workload expectations for each title, in general?

Issue #2: Criteria and process for annual review of career-track faculty

  • What are the benchmarks for satisfactory performance for each title/rank?
  • How are those benchmarks measured/demonstrated?
  • How will evaluations be conducted, and by whom?
  • What materials will faculty be required to submit for their evaluation?
  • What is the evaluation timeline?
  • How will faculty be notified of their evaluation?

Issue #3: Criteria and process for promotion of career-track faculty

  • What are the benchmarks for promotion to a higher rank?
  • How are those benchmarks measured/demonstrated?
  • Do promotions to a higher rank reflect an expansion in duties?
  • When can a faculty member seek promotion?
  • What is the process of seeking evaluations/recommendations pertinent to promotion?

  • Multi-Year Appointments for Career-Track Faculty
    • Under UHAP 3.1.02a, multiple-year (MY) appointments of up to three (3) years may be offered to career-track faculty in lecturer and professorial titles prior to the beginning of a fiscal or academic year appointment. After final review and approval from the Provost, the requested appointment may be offered to the career-track faculty member.
    • Access this website for more information and requirements. 
  • Promotion for Career-Track faculty
    • Career-track faculty can consult with their supervisors about opportunities for promotion.  
    • Promotion workshops. Relevant recorded presentations and materials of the review process for career-track faculty promotion. 
  • Track Transfer
    • Career-Track Faculty can transfer within career-track appointments with the approval of the appropriate administrator, following recommendations by the designated committees and administrators.
    • Access this website for more information.

  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP) - Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in  U.S. Higher Education
    Read the report
  • The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success
    • Selected Research on Connections between Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Student Learning 
      Read more
    • The Imperative for Change. Fostering Understanding of the Necessity of Changing Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Policies and Practices
      Read the article
  • Contingent Faculty Reading List - A Selected List of Resources for Transforming Contingent Faculty Working Conditions
    View list
  • American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education - Equity for and Inclusion of Non-Tenure-Track Pharmacy Faculty with Academia
    Read the article
  • American Council on Education - Undoing Years of Affirmative Action: The Growth of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
    Read the essay