Skip to main content

Academic Staff

Academic Staff assist in fulfilling the University’s core teaching, research, and service functions. There are four types of academic staff: Research Staff, Librarians, Instructors, and Academic Advisors. Policies pertaining to the appointment of academic staff are described in this section and in the University Staff Policy Manual.

Research Staff perform, direct, or supervise research; manage business operations related to a specific research project or group of research projects; and execute other related duties as required.

There are three categories of staff within this series: Research Assistant, Research Associate, and Senior Research Associate. Differences among categories are based on the complexity of duties and level of responsibility. Research Assistant positions may require specialized knowledge of a field or of a specific discipline. However, they do not require the ability to independently design, conduct, and interpret research as is required of Research Associates and Senior Research Associates.

Research Staff work under the supervision of one or more faculty. Research staff may assist in teaching activities by discussing research procedures with students, demonstrating research procedures, and providing technical supervision.

 

Research Assistant: Under the supervision of a more experienced researcher, Research Assistants perform research tasks and assist with research. Responsibilities may include conducting literature searches; collecting, preparing, or mounting specimens; running reactions or assays; conducting interviews; administering surveys; running experimental trials or simulations; recording and entering data; and preparing graphs or other summaries of data.

Research Assistants may be assigned limited management responsibility for a laboratory or project. This type of responsibility typically includes ordering supplies and equipment and ensuring proper operation and maintenance of laboratory equipment.

The minimum qualifications are a bachelor’s degree or higher; three to five years of research or equivalent experience including courses in a relevant discipline; and knowledge and abilities essential to successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

 

Research Associates conduct research, perform technical duties, and supervise students or staff in a research setting. Associates typically consult with academic supervisors on the nature and general plan of the research and may help design projects and proposals; coordinate the physical preparation for and scheduling of experiments; conduct research, experiments, and simulations; analyze data; and contribute to reports, journal articles, and presentations.

The minimum qualifications are a master’s degree or higher; three to five years of research or equivalent experience including courses in a relevant discipline; and knowledge and abilities essential to successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

The title of Senior Research Associate is typically reserved for those with a high degree of experience and training in research and who have demonstrated significant achievements in the form of publications, patents, or other measures of research accomplishment.

Senior Research Associates independently design and implement major or multi-disciplinary research projects. Senior Associates typically consult with an academic supervisor or other researchers on the nature and overall objectives of the research project; contribute significant original or innovative ideas of major methodological significance to the research; exercise independent judgment, initiative, and resourcefulness in making decisions about the research; and write articles for publication in scientific journals or for presentations at conferences or symposiums.

Additionally, Senior Research Associates may perform business management duties, such as preparing budget estimates; maintaining expenditure control over approved budgets; and directing the work of Research Assistants and related administrative staff. Senior Associates may participate in research facility planning and space utilization projects and may design or supervise the construction of complex and technical installations.

The minimum qualifications are a master’s degree or higher; five years of research or equivalent experience including courses in a relevant discipline; and knowledge and abilities essential to successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Librarians are academic staff whose primary responsibility is to provide library and information services in the libraries of the University. The ranks of librarian are Assistant Librarian, Senior Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, and Librarian. Policies pertaining to the appointment of librarians are described in the University Staff Policy Manual and the academic staff policies for librarians.

Instructional Staff engage in teaching and instruction in a laboratory, studio, field, clinical, or professional setting. These staff members may provide training in scientific, technical, or artistic methodologies or coordinate and supervise required practicums or internships. Instructors may assign grades that are an accurate and fair evaluation of student work. Instructional Staff work under the direction of the faculty of a department or program.

There are two categories of staff within this series: Instructor and Senior Instructor.

Differences among categories are based the complexity of duties, level of responsibility, and professional qualifications.

 

Instructors shall demonstrate competence in the subject matter of the appropriate academic discipline or professional field and superior abilities as an instructor. The minimum educational requirement is a master’s degree or higher. In certain disciplines, practical experience may serve as equivalent preparation.

 

Senior Instructors shall demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter of the appropriate academic discipline or professional field, superior abilities as an instructor, and an ability to work independently to develop and facilitate instructional activities. The minimum educational requirement is the doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree. In certain disciplines, practical experience may serve as equivalent preparation.

 

Academic Advisors assist students in understanding University academic policies and procedures. Advisors provide information and counsel related to the core curriculum, degree requirements, academic program policies, registration policies and procedures, academic credit and grading policies, academic integrity expectations, and other policies and procedures associated with a student’s program of study.

The minimum educational requirements are a master’s degree; three to five years of experience in an advising related capacity; and knowledge and abilities essential to successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

1 Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing Instructors in the School of Law are defined as Faculty in Chapter Three of the Faculty Handbook.