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Office of Human Resources


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Development/Training - Professional Employment Selected Academic/Research Titles and Appointment Definitions

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.

Teaching Associate
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.

Faculty Associate
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.

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 Professor
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
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

Faculty may receive an appointment with funding and / or responsibilities in more than one department, division or other appropriate unit.  Such appointments shall be called Joint Appointments.  Faculty holding joint appointments shall, for the purpose of evaluation, reappointment, tenure and promotion and any other purpose provided for under this Agreement, be reviewed by a single peer committee. The composition of the peer committee for the unit member in a joint appointment shall reflect the
proportion of responsibilities assigned to the unit member in each department, division, or other appropriate unit.  For the purpose of evaluation, reappointment, promotion, tenure,, and any other purpose provided for under this Agreement there shall be a single recommendation from the peer committee.  A single set of evaluation criteria and procedures shall be employed.  The letter of appointment may also specify the mix of workload activities, teaching, research and service that may be performed. The total full-time workload of faculty holding joint appointments shall be comparable to that of a faculty member holding a single appointment.  Guidelines shall be developed by the departments, divisions or other appropriate units concerning joint appointments and composition of peer committees and provided to the chief academic officer at each
university for review and approval pursuant to Article 10 as well as to appropriate administrators, appropriate peer committees, affected unit members and the Association.

Second Department/College
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.

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Contact Information

Office of Human Resources
5717 Corbett Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207)581-1581E-mail: hr-um@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System