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6. Appointments Policies and Procedures for Academic Staff-Teaching

Last updated on: Friday, September 1, 2017


At Stanford, the non-professorial academic staff is composed of the Academic Staff-Teaching (persons holding the titles Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Artist-in-Residence) and the Academic Staff-Research (persons holding the titles Research Associate, Senior Research Scientist, Senior Research Engineer, and Senior Research Scholar). For policies and guidelines pertaining to the Academic Staff-Research, see the Research Policy Handbook, chapter 10

The following policies and guidelines pertain to the Academic Staff-Teaching. They shall be subject to revision by the Provost from time to time. Requests for exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Provost’s Office. 

All individuals who teach a course for credit at Stanford University must have a professorial appointment or an Academic Staff-Teaching or Other Teaching Staff appointment approved for the quarter or term in which the course is offered. This policy applies to other Stanford employees, such as administrators, who engage in teaching activities. For information about Other Teaching Staff appointments, see Chapter 9 of this handbook.

Individuals appointed as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Artist-in-Residence are not members of the Academic Council; they are, therefore, not normally eligible to act as principal investigators on sponsored research projects. (See the Research Policy Handbook, chapter 2 for information about principal investigatorship.) Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Artists-in-Residence are not eligible to take sabbatical leaves. Although they may apply as candidates for open faculty posts, they are not on a tenure line.

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6.1 Terms of Appointment 


6.1 Terms of Appointment 

1. These guidelines, and any modifications thereof, will be made available to all administrative personnel and academic staff members, and, upon request, to other members of the Stanford faculty and staff.

2. Academic staff appointments shall be made either:

a. For a stipulated length of time.

b. For a continuing term of appointment. The "continuing term" is not a tenured appointment. Rather, "continuing term of appointment" signifies that the individual will be terminated only for just cause, for lack of satisfactory performance, or for lack of programmatic need (including budgetary considerations).

c. For the duration of either an administrative appointment or a specific project.

Academic staff appointed for a stipulated length of time or for a continuing term of appointment are entitled to the notice provisions of Article III below. An academic staff appointment made for the duration of an administrative appointment or a specific project shall, unless otherwise expressly stipulated, be construed as terminating on the expiration of the administrative appointment or the project.

6.1.1 Lecturer Appointments 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.1.A

The title of Lecturer is used for individuals who perform a significant amount of the regular instruction with continuing programmatic need in departments and programs; for persons of special expertise or scholarly distinction either in the local community or on the non-teaching University staff who are asked on an occasional basis to give a course or part of a course in their special fields; and for individuals who are employed to meet specific departmental needs created by faculty leaves or unanticipated student load. In all of the above cases, the needed courses will be well-defined and the goals will be established by the faculty of the department or program.

Lecturers who serve in positions for which continuing programmatic need exists teach under supervision by or with guidance from one or more faculty members and/or Senior Lecturers. Faculty members in departments and programs are responsible for defining the intellectual goals of the program at the time the Lecturer position is requested and for continuing supervision and review/revision of goals.

Lecturer appointments are expected to be full-time to the extent possible, except that some part-time positions provide the flexibility needed to accommodate enrollment variation, and some other needs are only part-time in nature.

Initial appointments of Lecturers at 50 percent time or more are generally expected to be for one-year terms, and should be no more than two-year terms, with the possibility of reappointment after a review by the faculty and Senior Lecturer(s) responsible for the program for a term not to exceed five years of total service at 50 percent time or more. During the fifth year of employment at 50 percent time or more, Lecturers may be reviewed for possible reappointment to an additional five year term or, in those cases in which the needs of the program meet the criteria, for possible promotion to the rank of Senior Lecturer by a review committee of no more than six members, at least three of whom are Academic Council members. There is no limit on the number of five-year reappointments a Lecturer may be granted as long as there is an outstanding teaching record and continued programmatic need.

Lecturers should have annual conferences with department chairs or their designees to discuss their performance and department expectations.

Lecturers in positions of continuing programmatic need should be integrated into the governance of their departments, although they do not have Academic Council membership. Departments should not expect Lecturers to take on departmental administration and advisory roles beyond those associated with the specific programmatic need for which they were appointed.


6.1.2 Senior Lecturer Appointments 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.1.B

The title of Senior Lecturer is associated with a demonstrably higher level of responsibility and teaching excellence than that of a Lecturer, rather than with seniority or longevity; and there is normally only a limited number of Senior Lecturer positions in any program.

The primary evaluation of a Lecturer for appointment or promotion to Senior Lecturer is by a review committee appointed by the department, program, or school that consists of no more than six individuals, at least three of whom must be Academic Council members. Appointments at the rank of Senior Lecturer may be for a term of up to five years’ duration or for a  continuing term. Senior Lecturers should have annual meetings with department chairs or their designees to discuss performance and departmental expectations; and departments should carry out regular, in-depth evaluations of Senior Lecturers no more frequently than every three years and no less frequently than every five years.

Senior Lecturers in positions of continuing programmatic need should be integrated into the governance of their departments, although they do not have Academic Council membership. Departments should not expect Senior Lecturers to take on departmental administration and advisory roles beyond those associated with the specific programmatic need for which they were appointed.


6.1.3 Additional Comments on Continuing Term Appointments 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.1.C

A Senior Lecturer on continuing appointment is subject to termination for just cause, for lack of satisfactory performance, or for programmatic reasons (including budgetary considerations). Although a department or school may foresee a continuing programmatic need at the time of appointment or promotion to Senior Lecturer, that need may change. For example, the department or school may decide to phase out a particular area altogether. Or an area may simply be phased down, necessitating a decrease in the teaching staff. Alternately, a department or school may have had a small program in a specific field, with a few courses taught by a Senior Lecturer but no graduate training in the field. The decision might be made to build up the area into a graduate program or in other ways which would necessitate the appointment of faculty members rather than teaching staff. Appointment as a Senior Lecturer on a continuing appointment is, thus, not tenured. Rather, it is always subject to continuing programmatic need and satisfactory performance.


6.1.4 Artist-in-Residence Appointments 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.1.D

Artists-in-Residence, a rank established by the Provost in September, 1996, may be appointed at full or part-time for any term of up to five years, and, depending on programmatic need (including budgetary considerations) and performance, may be reappointed to an unlimited number of consecutive terms of up to five years. They may not be considered for continuing terms of appointment. Artists-in-Residence will have teaching and/or other responsibilities, such as performance, specified by their department. Artists-in-Residence will have annual conferences with their department chairpersons or their designees to discuss performance and department expectations.


6.2 Procedures for Appointments, Reappointments and Promotions 

Appointment recommendations for Lecturers and term appointments of Senior Lecturers are approved by the Provost or her designate. Promotions to or appointments of Senior Lecturers for continuing terms are reviewed by the Provost and the Chair of the Advisory Board and approved by the President. Appointments of Artists-in-Residence are approved by the Provost and reported to the Advisory Board and President.

The Appendix D form, “Recommendation for Teaching Appointment, Lecturers and Other Teaching Staff” should be used for teaching appointments of Lecturers; Visiting, Consulting, and Clinical Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors; Acting, Visiting and Clinical Instructors; and appointments (By courtesy). For appointments of Senior Lecturers or Artists-in-Residence, use the Appendix E form, “Recommendation for Appointment as Senior Lecturer or Artist-in-Resident.”

There are significant variations in the circumstances under which individuals qualify for and secure appointments in the Academic Staff-Teaching ranks. The length of term may vary from one quarter to continuing term; individuals may serve at part-time or full-time, with or without salary. The recommendation procedure and form are designed to insure that an appointee is qualified for his or her specific role, as well as to provide departments, schools, and the Provost with information concerning the specific circumstances which warrant the appointment, the courses to be taught by the appointee, etc. Recommendations submitted are reviewed in the Provost’s Office. Retroactive appointments are considered only in unusual circumstances; a person without a valid teaching appointment should not commence teaching responsibilities without approval of the Provost.


6.2.1 Search Procedures 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.2.A

When a department or school proposes the appointment, reappointment, or promotion of a salaried Lecturer or Senior Lecturer, the dean and department chair must be especially concerned with a careful evaluation of the department’s or school’s programmatic need for the position. The recommendation should include a brief statement outlining the programmatic reasons which warrant the appointment and describing the specific role that the candidate is expected to fill. 
Deans and department chairs must also be concerned with a careful evaluation of the candidate’s teaching ability. For appointments or reappointments of one year or less, the recommendation should briefly describe available evidence of the candidate’s teaching abilities. For appointments, reappointments, or promotions of durations greater than one year, the recommendation should specify the kinds of teaching expected of the candidate and provide specific evidence of teaching performance in those areas, including faculty and student evaluations. If the candidate is presently at Stanford, the evaluation should include a summary of teaching commitments for the period of time that the individual has taught at Stanford (up to three years) with course titles and numbers, units, and enrollments.
For new appointments as Lecturer or Senior Lecturer averaging half-time or more for one year or more, departments and schools are obligated to conduct a search for the position. The search range should be appropriate to the position and need not be national in every instance. The method of search should be briefly described on the recommendation form (e.g., names of institutions contacted, method and extent of advertising, if applicable). Outside sources consulted for information, and evaluation of possible candidates should be listed. Candidates seriously considered should be listed in order of priority. If the recommended candidate was not the first choice, the recommendation should include an explanation of the priority.

If the candidate is not a woman or a member of an ethnic minority included within the Affirmative Action program, or a veteran or a person with a disability, the recommendation should indicate which candidates do fall within the program and describe the affirmative action search followed with respect to the recommendation. Note that all letters and advertisements soliciting applications must include a statement such as: “Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University's research, teaching and clinical missions.” The sentence should be sufficiently strong so that applicants from these groups are encouraged to apply, but not so strong that individuals who are not members of these groups are discouraged from applying. It is desirable to notify female and minority group caucuses of the appropriate professional societies of the position. 

When the recommendation is for less than one year or averages less than half-time, the department or school should simply indicate how the candidate and his or her qualifications came to the notice of the department or school.


6.2.2 Appointment Percentage of Time Considerations 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.2.B

Academic Staff-Teaching are considered full-time when they work for 3 consecutive quarters (i.e., autumn, winter, spring) or 2 semesters with pay at 100% time in each quarter or semester. In this case, they are appointed from September 1 through August 31. Percentages of full time (e.g., 75%, 50%) for appointments which are made for the year are determined by the average percentage of time the Academic Staff-Teaching member works during autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

Members of the Academic Staff-Teaching who are appointed from September 1 through August 31 may elect to have their salary paid over a 12-month period and receive University contributions to benefits plans every month in accordance with their percent time of appointment. Those who choose to be paid over a 9-, 10-, or 12-month period receive University contributions to benefits plans every month in accordance with their percent time of appointment, but must make special arrangements with the University HR Service Team for the employee’s contribution during periods in which salary is not paid. Academic Staff-Teaching who are reappointed annually must have their next year’s appointment in place by July 1 of the current year in order to fall under this provision.

The Lecturer title may also be used for individuals who are on duty in non-sequential quarters during a single year and/or whose total service in any academic year averages to less than half-time. Departments and schools are encouraged to anticipate teaching needs for the year at the time of initial appointment and, if possible, to avoid quarter by quarter appointments. Departments and schools cannot always determine teaching needs in advance (e.g., last-minute enrollments may necessitate further teaching service, etc.). In such cases the department or school should recommend a Lecturer appointment for the minimum number of quarters and at the minimum percent time in each that can be foreseen as necessary at the time of the appointment. If additional teaching service is required, the percent time can be increased, or additional teaching personnel can be hired.


6.2.3 A Note on Visas 

Formerly Known As Policy Number:  6.2.C

To hire a person from another country is a significant action, and the responsibility undertaken should be fully understood. The limitations and procedures pertaining to immigrant visas should be reviewed before an offer of long-term employment is made to a non-United States citizen, whether now residing abroad or in the United States on a nonimigrant visa. The Director of the Bechtel International Center has been designated by the President to handle visa matters for foreign nationals, to advise in matters regarding immigration laws and regulations, and to execute visa petitions and other visa documents for the University. Before a preliminary offer of employment is made to a non-United States citizen and before the recommendation is forwarded to the Provost, the department chairperson or dean must contact the Director of the Bechtel International Center.


6.3 Prior notice of non-renewal and termination 

A. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Artists-in-Residence holding salaried appointments for a term of one year shall be notified of non-renewal not later than March 15. Those holding salaried appointments for terms of two or more years shall be notified of nonrenewal not later than December 1 of the final academic year of the appointment. Failure to give timely notice of nonrenewal shall entitle the individual to a special reappointment for an additional terminal year.

B. When a Senior Lecturer holding a salaried continuing term of appointment is terminated for reasons of programmatic need (including budgetary considerations) or lack of satisfactory performance, he or she shall be notified of termination not later than December 1 of the final academic year of the appointment. Failure to give timely notice of termination shall entitle the individual to a special reappointment for an additional terminal year. 

C. When a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, or Artist-in-Residence is terminated for just cause, including substantial and manifest incompetence or professional misconduct, he or she is entitled to 30 days’ written notice of termination. Such dismissals are reviewed by the Provost’s Office. In extreme cases, pay in lieu of notice may be given with the concurrence of the Provost’s Office.