C.5. Policies and Procedures for Members of the Faculty

C.5.a. Categories of Faculty

The Regular Faculty of the Middlebury Institute is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service to the Institute.

A “regular faculty member” is appointed to the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor as a result of a search conducted by a committee comprising current faculty and administrators. During the search process, input from students and alumni may be sought.

A regular faculty member is appointed to a renewable, three- or six-year term. A regular faculty member is eligible to apply for sabbaticals and faculty development grants.

A regular faculty member is appointed to either a full- or a part-time schedule each semester, as stipulated in the letter of appointment and performs such additional tasks as are normally expected of faculty at institutions of higher education. These duties include, but are not limited to, thesis direction and reading; directed study supervision; student advising; attendance at faculty meetings; committee membership and participation in instructional governance.

The regular faculty of each graduate school are responsible for curriculum development and are also expected to be on campus and available to meet with students and colleagues during the academic year and to maintain professional currency in their fields of expertise. The regular faculty members constitute the Faculty Assembly.

A Lecturer must fulfill all prerequisites to be appointed to a faculty position, except the terminal degree. Lecturers are subject to the regular contract renewal process, and are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave and development grants.

Lecturers must hold a Master’s degree in the field appropriate to their appointment, and must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the regular faculty, dean and VPAA, the potential for excellence in teaching, professional achievement, and service to the Institute. Having demonstrated such excellence, they may apply for promotion to the rank of Senior Lecturer, after at least five (5) years of experience in full-time teaching in institutions of higher education or equivalent professional service. Alternatively, having earned a doctorate in their field of specialization, lecturers may apply to change tracks and seek appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. This application will follow the procedures stipulated for requests for promotion in section C.6.g.

A Senior Lecturer must fulfill all prerequisites to be appointed to a faculty position, except the terminal degree. In addition, Senior Lecturers must have at least five (5) years of experience in full-time teaching in institutions of higher education or equivalent professional service. Senior Lecturers are subject to the regular contract renewal process, and are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave and development grants. Senior Lecturers must hold a Master’s degree in the field appropriate to their appointment and must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the regular faculty, dean and VPAA, the potential for excellence in teaching, professional achievement, and service to the Institute. Having demonstrated such excellence and having earned a doctorate in their field of specialization, they may apply to change tracks and seek appointment at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. This application will follow the procedures stipulated for requests for promotion in section C.6.g.

Professors of Professional Practice: Appointments to the rank of Professor of Professional Practice are made only to practitioners who have developed to the satisfaction of the regular faculty, relevant dean, and VPAA, a high level of expertise in fields of special importance to MIIS academic programs, and who also demonstrate a deep commitment to teaching and professional practice. Professors of Professional Practice shall normally hold at least a Master’s degree. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, teaching and conducting and supervising professional practice and research. Professors of Professional Practice are normally full time, regular faculty members and are appointed, following the procedures prescribed in section C.5.b, at the rank of Assistant, Associate or full Professor, according to relevant experience and qualifications. They are subject to regular evaluation procedures, with quality of teaching and professional practice as the principal criteria, provide service to the Institute, and are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave and development grants.

Affiliated Faculty of the Middlebury Institute are engaged in teaching and research. They are either full- or part-time employees each semester, as stipulated in their contracts, and perform such additional tasks as are normally expected of university-affiliated faculty. These may include, but are not limited to, student advising, directed study supervision, curriculum development; attendance at faculty meetings, and maintaining professional currency in their fields of expertise. Affiliated faculty fall into four categories:

i. Visiting professors offer expertise that expands the current offerings in the curriculum. For appointment as a visiting professor, a candidate normally must have earned a doctorate, or the highest degree available in the candidate’s field of specialization, or have exceptional experience in a professional field that fits the mission of the Institute. He or she must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the dean, outstanding teaching ability. Visiting professors are recruited by the administration (or relevant dean) in consultation with current faculty and are evaluated by the administration. Visiting professors are normally appointed for one- to three-year terms, after which they may be considered, through the regular recruitment and appointment process, for a regular faculty position. Continuing appointments of Visiting professors are strongly discouraged. Visiting faculty are not eligible to apply for sabbatical or faculty development grants, and are not required to contribute service to the Institute.

ii. Adjunct professors are appointed on an ad hoc basis to teach specific course(s) for which they have special expertise. For appointment as an Adjunct professor, a candidate normally must have earned a doctorate, or the highest degree available in the candidate’s field of specialization, or have exceptional experience, in a professional field that fits the mission of the Institute. Adjunct professors are recruited and appointed on a semester-to-semester basis by the administration (or relevant dean) in consultation with the Faculty. They must demonstrate outstanding teaching ability in order to be re-appointed. Adjunct professors are evaluated by the administration. Adjunct professors are not eligible to apply for sabbatical or faculty development grants, and are not required to contribute service to the Institute.

iii. Research professors are members of the staff, not of the faculty. They are appointed to and employed by a research center because of the distinctive contribution they can make to the research program of the Institute. They should have academic and/or professional qualifications comparable to those of faculty. Research professors enjoy staff status, but not regular faculty prerogatives such as voting privileges in the Faculty Assembly. The allowable or required level of participation in school faculty affairs shall be decided by the relevant school dean in consultation with the regular faculty.

iv. Professors emeritae/i are faculty members who have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the regular faculty, relevant dean, and VPAA, excellence in teaching during their tenure at MIIS, maintained professional stature in their field, and made significant contributions to their graduate school. To be eligible for emerita/us status, a faculty member must normally meet the following additional criteria: (a) a minimum of ten years full-time service (or equivalent) at the Institute; (b) a desire and intent, expressed in person or in writing to the Faculty Senate, to maintain contact with the Institute; and (c) confirmation, again expressed in person or in writing to the Faculty Senate, that the candidate will not take a full-time, long-term teaching position at another university after retiring from MIIS. A retiring faculty member is normally nominated for emerita/us status by one or more current faculty members; this nomination is submitted to the Faculty Senate. Once the Faculty Senate is satisfied that the criteria are met, the nomination is presented to the Faculty Assembly for approval. The recommendation then proceeds to the VPAA for final approval. Professors emeritae/i enjoy certain privileges including, but not limited to, library and parking privileges, access to a computer and free use of the Internet. Professors emeritae/i are not eligible to apply for sabbatical or faculty development grants, do not vote, and are not expected to contribute service to the Institute.

v. Instructors in Non-degree Programs are appointed to teach in specific non-degree programs for which they have relevant qualifications, experience and expertise. For appointment as an Instructor, a candidate must normally hold a Master’s degree and have a minimum of two years experience in the relevant field of specialization. Instructors are appointed to a one-year, renewable contract and are evaluated by the program supervisor. Instructors are not eligible to apply for sabbatical leave or faculty development grants, and do not serve on faculty committees.

C.5.b. Appointment to the Faculty

Appointments to the regular faculty of the Institute are made by the VPAA, after review of the advice of a faculty search committee and of the recommendations of the appropriate school dean. No appointment to regular faculty status is made without an open search and a competitive evaluation following best practices of the Institute, including rigorous interviews with multiple candidates.

Faculty appointments are subject to the approval of the Middlebury Board of Trustees through its consent agenda.

When there are vacancies for regular faculty within a school, deans follow the hiring guidelines included in the Employee Handbook, beginning with a discussion with the VPAA to determine whether and how the vacancy is to be filled.

Appointment of other categories of faculty proceeds as described below:

i. The substantive criteria for regular faculty members are also applied to the appointment of lecturers, senior lecturers, research professors, or visiting professors. All such appointments shall be made in consultation with the regular faculty of the school or schools in which the appointments are made, except in the case of emergencies when insufficient time is available to involve faculty in the decision. Nominees are referred to the VPAA for approval and appointment. Notification to the regular faculty of the school or schools of non-reappointment is not required.

ii. Each school shall develop files of available faculty who may be hired as adjuncts as needed. All such appointments are made by the school dean, who shall consult the school faculty.

iii. In consultation with appropriate faculty, the dean of one of the schools may propose that the VPAA bestow the title of research professor on staff members of research centers who meet the criteria set forth in defining this position, above.

In forming a judgment as to the record and the potential of candidates for appointment, primary consideration is given to the following criteria:

a. Teaching ability, as evidenced by appropriate references, student evaluations, and recommendations of peers.

b. Professional competence, as evidenced by the candidate's educational record; scholarly activities such as publications, research, and papers presented at professional meetings; and reputation among peers in the field of specialization.

c. Personal attributes, such as integrity, initiative, breadth and focus of intellectual interest, and willingness to advise and assist students and participate in Institute activities. This includes a judgment of the candidate’s ability to serve as a responsible Institute citizen, a quality colleague to faculty, a quality mentor to students, and a member of the Institute community who fosters its values and complies with its policies.

Appointments to the three ranks are based on review of the various judgments of the members of the committee, the committee, and the administrators, respectively, as to specific qualifications outlined below.

i. For appointment as a Professor, a candidate must have earned a doctorate in the relevant field of specialization. He or she must have demonstrated sustained high quality teaching, recognized scholarly and professional achievement (through a record of research, publication, and professional activities) and substantial service to the Institute, and must have at least ten (10) years of full-time teaching in institutions of higher education or equivalent professional service.

ii. For appointment as an Associate Professor, a candidate must have earned a doctorate in the relevant field of specialization. He or she must have demonstrated sustained high quality teaching, recognized scholarly and professional achievement (through a record of research, publication, and professional activities), and substantial service to the Institute, and must have at least five (5) years of full-time teaching in institutions of higher education or equivalent professional service.

iii. For appointment as an Assistant Professor, a candidate must have earned a doctorate in the relevant field of specialization. (Exceptions may be made for ABD candidates who will complete their doctorate by a stipulated date, normally not more than twelve (12) months from the date of appointment). He or she must demonstrate the potential for excellence in teaching, scholarly activities, professional achievement, and service to the Institute.

iv. Appointments to rank made before July 1, 2011 shall remain unaltered. That is, faculty members who hold an appointment prior to July 1, 2011 at one of the three ranks and do not meet the stipulated criterion in terms of the terminal degree shall retain that rank for the duration of their service at the Institute and may apply for promotion when all other conditions are met.

v. Under special circumstances, based on the recommendation of the school dean after consultation with the school faculty, the VPAA may approve appointment of faculty at any of the above stages and ranks.

In 1982-83, a system of contracts for regular faculty (assistant Professors and above) was instituted in place of tenure. Tenure arrangements contracted before 1982 continue unaltered. Under the contract system, the first and second regular faculty appointments at the Institute are normally for a period of three (3) years each. The third such appointment is normally for six (6) years. All subsequent such appointments are normally for a six-year period.

C.5.c. Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Quality in teaching is the first and most important responsibility of all Middlebury Institute faculty. Criteria for assessing if there is high teaching quality and other faculty responsibilities are described under Section 6 (Evaluation of the Faculty). Consistent with Institute policies, school faculty govern their school's academic programs and curriculum. Each school's faculty has the responsibility to organize itself for this purpose in a manner appropriate to the needs of the school’s professional graduate education.

Faculty have teaching autonomy, including evaluation of student work, selection of teaching methods, selection of material to be presented, and maintenance of a class atmosphere conducive to learning, all subject to the policies of the Institute.

The Institute encourages a close relationship between teacher and student in the learning process. Overall responsibility for academic advising rests with the dean of advising, career and student services, but the school deans and their faculties are expected to play an important role as collaborators in this vital function. Faculty are expected to advise students in terms of the relevant academic disciplines and the students’ chosen areas of specific focus. Students who require non-academic counseling should be referred to the director of student affairs, who is responsible for student welfare in the areas of housing, referral services, international student advisement, and other personal counseling as appropriate.

Regular faculty members are expected to participate meaningfully in events and activities that are essential to the Institute, the graduate schools, and the degree programs. These include, but are not limited to orientation, registration, convocation, commencement, committee work, and library development, as assigned.

Faculty members shall submit grades and other reports prior to established deadlines.

All faculty members are expected to hold regularly scheduled office hours each week, because these are deemed to be necessary to uphold their instructional and advising obligations. As a courtesy to students and others, faculty members should post notice of their office hours and inform the appropriate school dean's assistant(s) of their schedules each academic term. Faculty are expected to accommodate reasonable requests from students with scheduling conflicts for appointments outside regular office hours.

Regular faculty members with full-time appointments are expected to confine their outside consultancies and non-Institute professional activities to the equivalent of one (1) day a week during the academic year. They also may teach one course or its equivalent per term at another institution. Full-time faculty members who wish to teach for another institution must first obtain the consent of both the appropriate school dean and the VPAA. They may not teach any course that is, in the judgment of the dean and VPAA, in conflict with the interests of the Institute or in direct competition with the activities of the Institute.

Faculty appointments for the academic year normally do not include commitments to summer teaching. However, with the approval of her/his dean, a faculty member may teach during the summer term in lieu of equivalent teaching in one of the semesters of the regular academic year. Should a faculty member wish to teach during the summer in addition to teaching during regular terms, she/he may do so at salary and/or under other terms as agreed with his/her dean. Should any faculty member wish to teach or consult elsewhere during the summer, she/he may not teach any course that is, in the judgment of the dean and VPAA, in conflict with the interests of the Institute or in direct competition with the activities of the Institute, and she/he must provide advance notice as outlined above. Regular faculty in the relevant school should be consulted, if possible, before adjunct or visiting faculty are hired for summer teaching.

Faculty are expected to conduct their research with integrity and in line with standards of ethics that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. For the purpose of this document, we consider the term "research" to encompass both research and scholarship. Research misconduct means falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, retaliation of any kind against a person who in good faith reported or provided information about possible misconduct, or other actions that seriously deviate from commonly accepted standards of ethics. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Research involving human and animal subjects must first be reviewed by the Middlebury Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The IRB includes several representatives from MIIS. The committee's procedures and forms are available at http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/resources/irb. Further information may be obtained from the MIIS VPAA.

Faculty make recommendations regarding the awarding of degrees, in accordance with the Institute’s degree requirements. All earned academic degrees are conferred by the VPAA of the Middlebury Institute upon recommendation of the faculty and approval of the Institute Board of Overseers and the Middlebury Board of Trustees.

The honorary degree awarded by the Institute is the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa. It is awarded to individuals who meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • conspicuous contributions to international affairs;
  • conspicuous contributions to education and/or scholarship;
  • conspicuous contributions to the Institute.

Faculty members may propose candidates for honorary degrees to the Faculty Senate for recommendation to the VPAA and the president of Middlebury.