Policy for Professor of Practice Appointments in Arts & Sciences
Revisions approved by Faculty Council October 3, 2017.
Professors of Practice (POPs) in Arts & Sciences demonstrate superior mastery in the practice of their disciplines and are acknowledged experts and leaders in their fields. Only exceptional candidates will be considered for an appointment as a POP, and only a limited number of these appointments will be made. Candidates for POP appointments in the School of Arts & Sciences must be practicing professionals, who provide an invaluable educational experience to students in Arts & Sciences.
(An appointment at the level of POP should not be considered for the promotion of an excellent teacher, who may also have an exemplary departmental or University service record, to the next level above Senior Lecturer. The promotion path for a lecturer is described in the Fulltime Teaching Track policy. )
1. Appointments and terms:
1.1. POP are appointed at the discretion and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences upon the recommendation of the nominating Department or Program. See Appendix I for details. The dean may consult with advisers or seek counsel from others while evaluating a recommendation.
1.2. POP appointments are neither with tenure nor on the tenure-track, and are for predetermined durations as agreed upon by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences in consultation with the Chair or Program Director requesting the POP appointment. Typical appointments are expected to span from one to a maximum of five years, subject to satisfactory annual reviews.
1.3. A POP appointment may be part-time or full-time. Given that most practicing professionals pursue a career outside of academics, it is expected that most POP appointments will be part-time in nature and duties.
1.4. POP appointments will be made at the rank of full POP only, since these appointments are only for individuals who have demonstrated mastery in their practice or field.
1.5. Since any full-time faculty member who has both teaching and research responsibilities must, regardless of title, be either in probationary or tenured status, POP appointments are inappropriate as an alternative position for faculty members who are currently on the tenure track in Arts & Sciences.
1.6. A POP appointee shall hold the terminal professional degree in the field or earned equivalent stature by virtue of experience in their profession.
1.7. A candidate for a POP appointment should have attained regional or national prominence and, when appropriate, international recognition of outstanding achievement.
1.8. POPs will be reviewed regularly by their Department or Program, and the results of the review will be reported in writing to the individual. If a unit does not specify the frequency of the reviews, it is recommended that they should be reviewed at least once within the term of their appointment. Suggested minimum measures for review include one classroom observation and a review of the course evaluations for the period since the previous review. Performance will be evaluated during this review, with actions and recommendations made as appropriate.
1.9. POP appointments are subject to institutional criteria, such as the budgetary and teaching requirements of the Department or Program, Arts & Sciences, and the University.
1.10. Departmental service and participation may be components of the POP’s role in Arts & Sciences, especially for continuing, fulltime appointments.
1.11. POP duties do not include the expectation to conduct research or engage in scholarly publishing, but POPs should stay abreast of developments and changes in their disciplines.
The University’s rules for notice of non-renewal apply to POPs:
2.1. not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year;
2.2. not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year;
2.3. at least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service at the University.
2.4. The University normally shall notify faculty members of the terms and conditions of their renewals by March 31, but in no case shall such information be given later than April 15.
3. Graduate Dissertation and Oral Committees:
POPs may not be used in place of tenure-track members on Dissertation and Oral Defense Committees for students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. When recommended by the Major Department or Program and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School, POPs may be added to supplement the normal number of tenure-track faculty, except that these POP may not serve as chairs of such committees.
4. Voting Rights:
Voting in meetings of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences shall be determined in accordance with the Manual of Procedures: Washington University in Saint Louis Faculty of Arts & Sciences, full-time POPs are voting members of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences.
Individual Departments shall determine whether and to what extent full-time or part-time POPs shall be permitted to vote on Departmental issues; however, POPs will not vote on matters of tenure or promotion within the tenure track. Control of the Departmental curriculum and other academic governance issues of Departments must remain the responsibility of the tenured and tenure-track faculty, subject to the oversight of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. However, departments are encouraged to consult POPs and to take advantage of their expertise in content as well as teaching theory and method when fashioning curriculum.
A candidate recommended by a Department or Program for consideration of an appointment at the level of POP undergoes review by the Dean of the Faculty The materials to support this review constitute the candidate’s dossier, which is forwarded by the Chair or Program Director to the office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences no later than March 1st prior to the academic year of the proposed initial appointment. the candidate’s dossier should include:
(1) The Chair’s or Program Director’s letter of recommendation. This letter should:
a) Describe how the POP appointment serves the needs of the Department or Program, how it fits in with the Department’s or Program’s future development, and why it is appropriate to make the appointment at the POP rank. This section should explain the funding for this role and whether the POP will assume existing or new duties.
b) Summarize the discussion of the POP candidate undertaken at the Departmental or Program level.
c) Justify the exceptional attributes of the POP candidate that will strengthen the Department or Program.
d) Clearly state the duration of the appointment to POP.
e) List the proposed teaching and Departmental or Program duties expected of the POP.
(2) The candidate’s full curriculum vitae.
(3) A summary of the candidate’s professional practice - a description of the 4 candidate’s professional history and major accomplishments that will provide a reviewer, who may not be in the same field or discipline, an overall sense of the POP candidate’s strengths and accomplishments.
(4) Four to six solicited evaluation letters received from external or internal experts. (Please include a short CV for each reference.)
(5) Samples of the candidate’s work selected by the Chair or Program Director in consultation with the POP candidate.
(6) Teaching evaluations, if available, or any other documentary materials that may be considered helpful in the evaluation process.
The evaluation process is expected to vary between disciplines, and a Department or Program should develop measures for evaluating professional excellence prior to evaluating a POP dossier. Since POPs are expected to be experts and leaders in their fields, Departments and Programs are encouraged to seek and to provide letters of evaluation written by both internal and external evaluators of the POP. External referees should be asked to provide analytical evaluations of the candidate’s contributions to and standing in his/her field.