Appointments, Terms and Reappointments1

The terms and conditions of every appointment to the full-time2 faculty shall be confirmed in writing, and a copy supplied to the faculty member.

  1. Tenured and tenure-track faculty

    With the exception of appointments clearly limited to a brief association with the institution, and reappointments of retired faculty members under special conditions, all full-time tenured/tenure-track appointments to the rank of assistant professor or higher are of two kinds: (1) appointments with continuous tenure and (2) tenure-track probationary appointments. Tenure-track faculty shall be informed each year in writing of his or her appointment, the number of probationary years remaining, and the year of tenure consideration.

    NOTICE OF NON-REAPPOINTMENT

    Regardless of the stated term or other provisions of any appointments, written notice that an appointment is not to be renewed shall be given to the faculty member in advance of the expiration of his or her appointment, as follows:

    1. For faculty in this classification in their first academic year of service,
      1. If the appointment expires at the end of that academic year, written notice shall be given no later than March 1 of the first academic year of service;
      2. If the appointment ends during the academic year or at the end of a calendar year, written notice shall be given at least three months before the end of that year.
    2. For faculty in this classification in their second academic year of service,
      1. If the appointment expires at the end of that academic year, written notice shall be given no later than December 15 of the second academic year of service;
      2. If the appointment ends during the academic year or at the end of a calendar year, written notice shall be given at least three months before the end of that year.
    3. At least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after a period of service exceeding two years. 3
  2. Full-time non-tenure-track faculty4

    Faculty in this classification are appointed to the rank commensurate with their experience and credentials. Appointments are made by the dean on the basis of the recommendation of the full-time faculty and the department chair (or equivalent) in the relevant unit. A faculty member appointed in this classification must hold the doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in the field. A faculty member not holding the terminal degree may be appointed only with the prior approval of the Provost.

    Faculty appointments in this classification are renewable, contingent upon several factors at the sole discretion of the University, including satisfactory performance, external funding if appropriate, and unit and university need. Renewals of appointments are made by the college dean on the basis of the recommendation of the full-time faculty and the department chair (or unit head equivalent) in the relevant unit. The renewable terms are as follows:

    1. First level/rank (e.g., Assistant Teaching Professor) is one year;
    2. Second level/rank (e.g., Associate Clinical Professor) is three years; and
    3. Third level/rank (e.g., [Full] Teaching Professor) is five years.

    All appointments and reappointments are contingent upon faculty in this classification maintaining the appropriate visa status and work authorization. Upon promotion, the new contract will reflect the appropriate term length (e.g., when promoted from Assistant to Associate, the new contract term will be three years).

    NOTICE OF NON-REAPPOINTMENT

    No non-tenure-track faculty appointment, reappointment, or promotion carries a guarantee of future re-appointments or promotions. Non-reappointment of a faculty member in this classification may be based on several factors in the sole discretion of the university, including but not limited to insufficient funding or lack of need, unsatisfactory performance, or for cause. Northeastern University will provide faculty members with written notice of the university’s intent not to renew within the following guidelines:

    1. For faculty in this classification in their first academic year of service,
      1. If the appointment expires at the end of that academic year, written notice shall be given no later than March 1 of the first academic year of service;
      2. If the appointment ends during the academic year or at the end of a calendar year, written notice shall be given at least three months before the end of that year.
    2. For faculty in this classification in their second academic year of service,
      1. If the appointment expires at the end of that academic year, written notice shall be given no later than December 15 of the second academic year of service;;
      2. If the appointment ends during the academic year or at the end of a calendar year, written notice shall be given at least three months before the end of that year.
    3. For faculty in this classification beyond their second academic year of service, written notice shall be given at least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment.

    Where deadlines on notification with respect to the issuance of a terminal contract have been missed by reason of inadvertence, mistake, or misunderstanding, the university shall provide to the faculty member involved a contract extension equal to the time between the missed deadline and the issuance of the corrected contract.


  1. Approved by the Faculty Senate 4/5/17, 29-0-0; approved by the Board of Trustees 6/7/17
  2. Full-time shall mean an academic appointment, which includes teaching and/or research in a faculty rank for two semesters in an academic year or not less than a full assignment for the academic year or any portion thereof.  Without limiting other sections of this Handbook with respect to Conflict of Interest and Commitment, it is understood that full-time faculty are prohibited from holding full-time faculty or teaching appointments at other educational institutions. For a description of the positions covered by the term full-time, see The General University Faculty and Bylaws.
  3. Where deadlines on notification concerning denial of tenure or with respect to the issuance of a terminal contract have been missed by reason of inadvertence, mistake, or misunderstanding, the institution shall provide to the faculty member involved a contract extension equal to the time between the missed deadline and the appropriate notification or the issuance of the corrected contract, which the case may be. (Approved by the Board of Trustees, June 18, 1982.)
  4. Full-time Non-tenure-track faculty titles may be found on the website of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.