Rights and responsibilities for all full-time faculty
A university’s faculty is the core of an institution that must contribute to the good of society in ways that go beyond just the advancement of individual faculty members’ interests. Full-time faculty contribute to the university’s purpose of transmitting, evaluating, and extending knowledge for the greater good of society, actively engaging in research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development, as well as participating in service to the university, the community, and the profession.
Faculty members’ employment relationships and roles with the university vary according to position. Faculty members carry special and varying responsibilities with respect to the creation and maintenance of high quality curricula, scholarship, nurture of students in the educational process, and overall governance of the institution.
Faculty members enjoy academic freedom – the right to teach, study, and engage in research toward the end of transmitting, evaluating and extending knowledge, under conditions permitting independence of thought and expression.
Academic units shall have clearly defined voting and other governance rights and responsibilities in their bylaws for full-time faculty, including tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track.2
Faculty members must adhere to professional standards of conduct. No faculty member shall make any representations to, or enter into any agreement with, or act toward any student or other person in any manner which is not in conformity with established university policies, practices and procedures, including those contained in the Faculty Handbook, student handbooks, and university catalogues.
Rights and responsibilities for tenured and tenure-track faculty3
In this community of scholars, tenure is designed (paraphrasing the words of the AAUP’s “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” and “1982 Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure”) to ensure that the university remains a marketplace of ideas that cannot require conformity with any orthodoxy of content or method in fulfilling its purpose of transmitting, evaluating and extending knowledge for the greater good of society. Tenure is established as a means to maintain freedom of teaching, research, scholarship, creative activities, and service. Tenure at Northeastern University is defined in the tenure module of the Faculty Handbook.
With the right of academic freedom, tenured and tenure-track faculty members also assume its responsibilities. According to the AAUP “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” “College and University teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the Community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.”
Northeastern expects that tenure-track faculty members will ordinarily launch their careers with a dual focus on effective teaching and on establishing a mature research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development agenda capable of carrying them to tenure and beyond. Service expectations for tenure-track faculty members at the beginning of their careers will generally be lighter than those for faculty members who are tenured or are close to a tenure decision and are geared not only toward the needs of the unit, but toward introducing tenure-track faculty members to the life of the university.
The attainment of tenure is accompanied by greater responsibility to the university. Tenured faculty members have greater latitude and responsibility in shaping their careers within the mission of Northeastern. While continuing to focus on the application of their knowledge to teaching and on the expansion of their research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development agenda, tenured faculty members are expected to provide support and guidance to their junior colleagues and to become increasingly involved in the life and governance of the university. This includes taking on a greater service load and mentoring tenure-track faculty members toward success in their fields and in their quest for tenure.
Rights and responsibilities for full-time non tenure-track faculty4
Northeastern expects that full-time non-tenure-track faculty members will engage in some combination of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and/or professional development, and service as designated by their appointment letters, discipline and assignments. Professional development and service expectations for full-time non-tenure-track faculty members are focused toward the needs of the unit, the college, and the university.
The attainment of promotion is accompanied by greater responsibility to the university. Promoted full-time non-tenure-track faculty members have greater latitude and responsibility in shaping their careers within the mission of the university. While continuing to focus on the application of their knowledge to their responsibilities, promoted full-time non-tenure-track faculty members may be expected to provide support and guidance to their junior colleagues and to become increasingly involved in the life and governance of the university.
- Approved by the Faculty Senate on 11/06/19, by the Provost on 11/07/19 and by the Board of Trustees on 12/06/19.
- Approved by the Faculty Senate on 3/01/17, by the Provost on 3/13/17 and by the Board of Trustees on 4/14/17.
- Faculty members holding the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor are considered members of the Northeastern tenure-track and tenured faculty.
- A complete list of non-tenure-track faculty titles is found on the website of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.