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Embedded throughout our faculty personnel business processes is the concept of “rank” or “appointment” which is the basic mechanism used to track faculty positions. The faculty rank structure for UNC – Chapel Hill is defined by our Trustee Policies and Regulations Governing Academic Tenure, often referred to as the “tenure regulations.” Generally, the term “faculty appointment” refers to a formal employment agreement between the university and an individual, designating that individual as a member of the faculty.  Each rank represents a different type of faculty appointment and has associated with it various policies and procedures which may govern compensation, reappointment, performance evaluation, and end of appointment.


In addition, the university has three main academic career tracks for faculty – tenure-track, fixed-term, and variable track.  The faculty track typically involves a series of promotions and advancements based on the faculty member’s performance, contributions, and achievements in the areas of teaching, research, and service. The purpose of the faculty track is to provide a structured framework for professional growth and development within the university.

Working Title

To reflect a working title in the university directory, ConnectCarolina provides the ability to assign a “UNC Long Title” for each job. The UNC Long Title can be used to more specifically reflect the duties of the employee beyond what the Job Code or rank provides. For example, a professor’s UNC Long Title can be “Kenan Distinguished Professor” or an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition can have a UNC Long Title of “Associate Professor of Nutrition” to more explicitly reflect the duties of the position.  Additionally, academic units that wish not to use rank modifiers for fixed-term faculty can update the UNC Long Title to reflect the faculty member’s rank only (for example, “professor” instead of “clinical professor”).

Service Period

Faculty members are appointed to perform research, teaching, or service on either a nine or twelve-month basis which is referred to as the “service period.” Faculty appointments must be classified as either a nine or twelve-month appointment, but may not be both. In either case, salary is paid and benefits are provided all twelve months of the calendar year both to provide a consistent monthly income and to enable the provision of University benefits across the full calendar year. Certain faculty employment policies differ depending on whether an individual holds a nine or twelve-month appointment and, in such cases, the relevant policies will often stipulate which benefits or privileges apply to nine-month faculty, twelve-month faculty, or both.


For specific policy provisions regarding either nine or twelve-month faculty members, refer to the Tenure Code or the detailed text of the relevant personnel policy.

Learn more about service period
Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Full-Time Equivalent or FTE is a unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker and represents a primary schedule of 40 hours per week, while an FTE of 0.5 signals half of a full workload.

Less than Full-Time Work Schedules

Reduction in hours for tenured and tenure track faculty

Secondary and Joint Appointments

A faculty member may hold more than one academic appointment at the University, but there may be only one “home” or primary appointment in a department. An additional fixed term rank added in addition to the primary professorial rank in a different department is referred to as joint/secondary appointments and may be salaried or non-salaried. The need for an additional appointment may be contributed to a faculty member teaching in more than one department or collaborating on research activities with colleagues in other departments. Specific terms and conditions of the secondary/joint appointment are negotiated between the two department heads and defined in a written appointment letter.

Secondary appointments may also be administrative appointments in the “home” or primary department or a different unit, e.g., department chair, director, or assistant director where supplemental funds are added for increased duties and responsibilities. Lump sum payments are not the mechanism for remuneration for these additional assignments.

Learn more about secondary and joint appointments
Instructor Qualifications

Policy on Qualifications of Course Instructors
This policy is designed to ensure that faculty and other instructors of credit-bearing courses are qualified to teach according to the University’s standards of quality and the Principles of Accreditation established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It defines the academic degrees and disciplinary requirements instructors must meet to teach courses at specific levels and within appropriate content areas, describes procedures for obtaining approval for exceptions, and identifies the credentials the University requires to document individual instructor qualifications.

Minimum Credentials Requirement for Instructors