UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: General Standards and Procedures Initial Appointments to the Ranks of Instructor Assistant Professor Associate Professor and Professor :: UTDPP1057 (v1)

General Standards and Procedures Initial Appointments to the Ranks of Instructor Assistant Professor Associate Professor and Professor - UTDPP1057

Policy Statement


The Standards and Procedures for initial appointments set forth herein are designed to promote and maintain excellence in the quality of the faculty at The University of Texas at Dallas.

The faculty is charged through the search committees and the Committee on Qualifications with the evaluation of the academic qualifications of faculty candidates for initial appointments. The President, acting on advice from the faculty and on other factors such as University needs and budgetary limitations, is responsible to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents for final decisions on initial appointments.


The University of Texas at Dallas is designed to be an institution where strong graduate programs thrive in concert with excellence in undergraduate instruction. The University intends to promote quality scholarship and artistic achievements as well as effective teaching and service to the wider community. A salutary climate for graduate and undergraduate instruction is promoted by the excitement of original investigation and exploration, whether scholarly or artistic.

To this end, the University recognizes three categories for standards for initial faculty appointments. They are (a) creative productivity and professional achievement; (b) teaching effectiveness; and (c) University citizenship, that amorphous blend of willingness to participate actively as citizens in the life of the University, and as collegial representatives of the University in extramural settings. These categories parallel the standards for internal promotion, reappointment and the awarding of tenure promulgated in UTDPP1077. All prospective tenured new faculty will be expected to have performed well in categories (a), (b), and (c) and to demonstrate excellence in at least (a) or (b). For all prospective tenure-track appointments it should be established that a candidate has the ability to perform well in categories (a), (b), and (c) and have the potential for excellence in at least (a) or (b).

Creative Productivity And Professional Achievement

The Dean and faculty of each School define standards for creative productivity and professional achievement. The detailed contents of the standards apply for the awarding of tenure at the level of Professor and Associate Professor. The identical standards will apply for initial appointments at those levels. For initial appointments at the level of Assistant Professor, the University requires that the candidate demonstrate the potential for meeting the standards for Associate Professor with tenure within the appropriate probationary period, and that the candidate's capability for achieving that rank is high.

Evidence of research and of scholarly or creative achievement should include publication in peer reviewed journals or refereed conference proceedings; monographs which contribute to advancing knowledge or its utilization in the resolution of societal problems; widely adopted clinical or educational techniques which advance the qualify of life; presentation at professional gatherings or visual or other artistic contributions in regional and national exhibitions or presentations.


Appointment to the faculty of The University of Texas at Dallas at any rank requires that initial appointments meet the standards of teaching effectiveness that are applied in internal faculty reappointments and promotion decisions. Evidence regarding teaching effectiveness may, for example, include prior performance in teaching situations, in public presentations at U.T. Dallas, or summary reports of student evaluations if such have been administered in such a way to preclude bias in the results. Evidence of the candidate's interest in curriculum development, prior experience in supervising junior coworkers, and ability to stimulate and encourage the intellectual growth of others should all be considered.

University Citizenship

The University expects that all faculty members will participate actively as citizens of the University, for example, by membership in governance bodies and committees of the Senate and University, fulfilling administrative responsibilities within Schools, Colleges, Departments, Programs, and other organizational units, and program planning and development. Other dimensions of this standard include, for example, the development of effective relationships with the community when advantageous to the fulfillment of the University's mission, active participation in national professional and/or scholarly organizations, the offering of one's expertise to assist the scholarly and artistic efforts of others, and willingness to participate in joint scholarly and other creative endeavors.

The Rank Of Instructor

The rank of Instructor is a probationary appointment and is reserved explicitly for those cases in which a faculty member's appointment is initiated prior to receipt of the highest professional degree in his/her field. It is otherwise equivalent to the rank of Assistant Professor and requires that the standards for that rank be met.


The procedures for the initial appointment of tenure track faculty members are intended to provide for a thorough and impartial review of the qualifications of each candidate in terms of the standards set forth above and in the School Guidelines.

The President's offer letter will notify a newly appointed nontenured faculty member of the number of year of prior service, if any, credited toward tenure at The University of Texas at Dallas. Credit for prior service will not exceed three years. Service credit at The University of Texas at Dallas begins on the first September 1 of the faculty member's full-time appointment.

Appointment Process

The appointment process is shown below. It should be followed strictly.

  1. Approval of academic positions by the Chief Academic Officer (Provost) at the request of the School Dean.
  2. Submission of search plan including documentation of compliance with affirmative action procedures to the Provost by the School Dean.
  3. Approval of the search plan by the Provost.
  4. Evaluation of applicants and identification of preferred candidates by the Search Committee.
  5. Interviews conducted with preferred candidates.
  6. Vote of the faculty of the concerned school or department(s) on the recommendation of the ad hoc committee.||The procedures for the vote should be established in the school bylaws. If not so established, the vote should follow the same procedures as for promotion and tenure recommendations, and the voting faculty should include all appropriate rank tenure-track in the school or department(s) in which the appointment will be made.
  7. Recommendation for appointment by the Search Committee and summary report of compliance with University affirmative action procedures added to candidate's file and file forwarded to the School Dean.
  8. Recommendation by the School Dean added to the candidate's file and file forwarded to the Committee on Qualifications (CQ).
  9. CQ forwards file including its recommendation to the Provost.

Because of the vicissitudes of the hiring process, alternate candidates may be recommended for appointment through the process outlined above.

If the Provost approves the recommended appointment, the candidate's file and request for appointment will be forwarded to the President.

Applicant Files

All applicant files will originate in the Office of the Provost. Applications sent directly to the Search Committee will be forwarded to the Office of the Provost for initial processing although the Search Committee may retain copies of pertinent information. After initial processing, the Office of the Provost will forward the applicant file to the Search Committee.

An applicant file will be created when a letter of interest or a curriculum vita has been received from an applicant. Copies of all correspondence between the Search Committee and the applicant, letters requesting recommendations, and responses must be part of the applicant's file. No one may remove items from the file. Search Committee recommendations regarding the applicant are to be based solely on information in the official file.

Search Committees

Search Committees are appointed by the School Dean with the approval of the Provost. The Search Committee should contain no fewer than three faculty members from the School within which the faculty appointment will be made. Should a School have fewer than three faculty members, the selection committee should be appointed at the discretion of the Provost. Faculty members from outside the School of the appointment may be appointed to the Search Committee at the discretion of the School Dean. No Search Committee may be appointed without the approval of the Provost.

The tasks of the Search Committee are to conduct a review of the files of all applicants for the position, determine and notify those candidates who are unqualified for the position, choose the candidate who is most qualified for the position (if any), document why the chosen candidate is preferred over other qualified individuals and provide a thorough review of the candidate's qualifications for appointment. With regard to the substance of the review, the Search Committee is asked to assess the qualifications of the candidate in relation to the nature of the position and in terms of the University's standards. Procedurally, the Search Committee should solicit information and opinion from whatever sources might be necessary to conduct a thorough review. Particular attention should be paid to eliciting the opinions of faculty in the areas in which the candidate will be active. For tenured appointments, the Search Committee should solicit at least five independent judgments of the candidate's qualifications (these may include, but must not be limited to, individuals recommended by the candidate). For non-tenured appointments, at least three independent judgments of the candidate's qualifications are required. Requests for evaluation of the candidate should state clearly that the candidate's file may be inspected by the candidate. Ad hoc committees should certify credentials of candidates using the University’s Certification of Credentials and Qualifications form for faculty positions.

Recommendations of the Search Committee, including minority reports and the attendant evidence, are to be forwarded to the School Dean for further review. Search Committees, in judging the merits of a candidate, should ignore entirely any anonymous material that may have been included in the candidate's file. This instruction applies to all anonymous materials whether letters of recommendation, written records or hearsay evidence; however, the latter should not be construed to preclude statistical summaries of student evaluation questionnaires if such are administered in a fashion to preclude biased response.


The Dean of the School is responsible for reviewing the reports of the Search Committees pertaining to candidates within his/her School and for making a recommendation to the Provost based on the file.

Committee On Qualifications

The Committee on Qualifications (CQ) is composed of twelve tenured faculty members, two from each School with the exception of General Studies, appointed by the President with the advice of the Academic Council. Administrators above the level of Department Chair or Program Head are not eligible to serve. The committee is advisory to the Provost and is responsible for certifying that the evidence in the file substantiates the recommendations of the Search Committee and the School Dean. The CQ may not solicit data on its own. The CQ forwards the file with its recommendation to the Provost. The report of the CQ should be signed by all committee members present at the discussion of that file.

Chief Academic Officer

The Provost is responsible for reviewing the files of the preferred candidates, and for making a recommendation to the President regarding each candidate selected by the above process for initial appointment. Before issuing a recommendation for or against a candidate selected by the above process which is contrary to the recommendation of a School Dean, the Committee on Qualifications, or the Search Committee, the Provost will first meet with the disagreeing School Dean or Committee and explore the reasons in the file leading to their recommendation. The Provost’s recommendation to the President must contain a summary of these discussions.


The President is responsible to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents for final decisions on initial appointments.

Post Decision Notifications

Following the President's decision, the President will inform the Provost, who will convey the President's decision to the candidate, the School Dean, the Chair of CQ, and the Chair of the Search Committee.

If the candidate rejects the offer, then each component of the review process, except for the CQ, shall be informed of the candidate's action.

If the candidate accepts the offer, the Search Committee will notify all other qualified applicants that the position is filled and return the files to the Office of the Provost through the School Dean.

Dual Appointments

In accord with Rule 31007, Section 7 of the Regents' Rules and Regulations, a person appointed to a faculty position with the title of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor at U.T. Dallas may not, during the term of such appointment, hold a tenured position on the faculty of another educational institution outside the U.T. System unless such a dual appointment is specifically authorized in the initial letter of appointment.

Policy History

  • Issued: 1981-09-01
  • Revised: 1982-02-25
  • Revised: 1983-04-08
  • Revised: 1999-04-12
  • Editorial Amendments: 2000-09-01
  • Editorial Amendments: 2006-06-07
  • Revised: 2006-11-14
  • Revised: 2007-06-04
  • Editorial Amendments: 2016-09-13