The Graduate Assistant
Graduate assistants are graduate students employed on a part-time basis (no greater than half-time) to assist in teaching, laboratory instruction, and/or research. Graduate assistants are appointed on an annual basis and are not eligible for tenure. Minimum stipend levels for graduate assistants are set by the Graduate School.
The teaching associate has at least a bachelor’s degree, is considered to be a professional employee, and is not currently being considered for future appointment at an instructor or higher rank. Teaching associates are not eligible for tenure.
A faculty associate contributes significant services to a college or department in the form of limited instruction, or other assistance. Faculty associates usually hold a paid appointment outside the University. However, they may in some cases receive nominal pay for their services, for example, for supervising student interns. They are not eligible to vote in faculty meetings nor to earn tenure. Appointment is normally on an annual basis. Do not confuse with teaching associate or research assistant/associate.
A research assistant/associate is a professional employee and actively participates in University research on more than a half-time basis and has at least a bachelor’s degree. This position is not eligible for tenure, but may be considered for appointment at a higher rank. Persons holding this rank should be able to accept responsibility for conducting a research project, although they may lack the sophistication or seniority to function as a principal investigator.
Research professors typically pursue their research independently. While they may serve as co-principal investigators with other faculty, they would normally have exclusive interest and primary responsibility for a particular research area. They are to be included as voting participants in departmental faculty meetings and are eligible for the same committee assignments as academic faculty.
Research professors are members of the faculty bargaining unit and are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between AFUM and the University of Maine System. In accordance with this agreement such faculty are to be evaluated and recommended for reappointment by the departmental peer committee convened for this process using the department’s approved faculty evaluation criteria.
Cooperating professor (also cooperating assistant professor or cooperating associate professor) is a title used to identify a person holding a professional appointment at UM in a cooperating office or agency or at another campus of the University system. The academic title is granted by a college as a courtesy. Cooperating professors are expected to meet normal academic criteria (usually an earned doctorate) and participate in the normal activities of the department, including research, public service, teaching in the instructional program, advising students, participating in program development, and other appropriate committees, and attending faculty meetings in which they may vote unless the appointing unit decides otherwise.
The cooperating professor may be budgeted solely by the home unit; however, the college in which the person has academic standing will expect him or her to contribute to its programs in a significant way and to be accountable in accordance with its criteria for rank and promotions. Cooperating professors may be reappointed annually. Cooperating professorships do not carry tenure.
Faculty Joint Appointments
A faculty member who has a joint appointment (where the salary is split between two units) should be evaluated by a single peer committee. Joint appointments may be split between two departments or between a department and another unit, such as Quaternary Institute, the Sea Grant Program, or the Cooperative Extension. Please note that a cooperating (unsalaried) appointment is not a joint appointment. Faculty with cooperating appointments should be evaluated by the primary department; i.e., the department which pays the salary.
The following guidelines should be used for joint appointments except in unusual circumstances where there is an agreement by all parties involved including the dean and vice president:
Department or college who contributes to an employee’s base salary on a continuing basis. For faculty this would indicate the department in which the individual holds a joint appointment.