Assistant Professor

Tenured and Tenure Track Appointments
Professorial Titles


The appointee shall have qualities suggesting a high level of teaching ability in the relevant academic field, and shall provide evidence of potential for superior research, scholarship, or artistic creativity in the field. Because this is a tenure-track position, the appointee shall at the time of appointment show promise of having, at such time as he or she is to be reviewed for tenure and promotion in accordance with paragraph I.C.3 of the University System of Maryland Policy and paragraph III.C.3 of the University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure of Faculty, the qualities described under "Associate Professor" in that policy. In most fields the doctorate shall be a requirement for appointment to an assistant professorship. Although the rank normally leads to review for tenure and promotion, persons appointed to the rank of Assistant Professor after the effective date of this policy shall not be granted tenure in this rank.

Hiring Procedures

After obtaining the permission of the dean for the appointment, an offer letter may be sent to the selected candidate. The faculty member and appropriate academic administrators must complete an Appointment Agreement. Appointments as Assistant Professor/Agent can be for an initial term of one to three years. 

At the time of appointment, each new tenure-track faculty member shall be given by the chair or dean a copy of the first level unit's Criteria for Tenure and/or Promotion. The chair or dean shall discuss the criteria with the faculty member. By the conclusion of the first semester, the first level unit shall assign senior faculty mentor(s) to all new tenure-track faculty members. Mentors should encourage, support, and assist these faculty members and be available for consultation on matters of professional development.

Appointment Term

Appointments as Assistant Professor/Agent can be for an initial term of one to three years. A formal review must occur prior to reappointment. Reappointment may be for one to three years. NOTE that reviews held in the third (and final) year of an appointment will require one year's notice and therefore an extension of their appointment is required. 

Faculty members with a 9-month appointment (22 pay periods) who wish to have their academic salaries paid over a 12-month period (26 pay periods) must complete appropriate documentation.


Appointments may be terminated. However, University policy stipulates specific dates of notice based on the length of service. For tenure track faculty, a term of service may be terminated by the appointee by resignation, but it is expressly agreed that no resignation shall become effective until the termination of the appointment period in which the resignation is offered except by mutual agreement between the appointee and the President.

For tenured and tenure track faculty, the President may terminate the appointment of a tenure-track appointee for moral turpitude, professional or scholarly misconduct, incompetence, or willful neglect of duty, provided that the charges be stated in writing, that the appointee be furnished a copy thereof, and that the appointee be given an opportunity prior to such termination to request a hearing by an impartial hearing officer appointed by the chief executive officer or a faculty board of review as provided for by the relevant institutional policy body. For additional information, see USM Policy II - 1.00 7 & 8. 

The University may terminate any appointment because of the discontinuance of the department, program, school or unit in which the appointment was made; or because of the lack of appropriations or other funds with which to support the appointment. Such decisions must be made in accordance with standards and procedures set forth in written institutional policies.

Appointments shall terminate upon the death of the appointee.


The first year of the initial appointment shall be a probationary year, and the appointment may be terminated at the end of that fiscal year if the appointee is so notified by March 1.

In the event that the initial appointment is for two years, the appointment may be terminated if the appointee is so notified by December 15 of the second year.

After the second year of the initial appointment, the appointee shall be given one full year's notice if it is the intention of the University not to renew the appointment. If the appointee does not receive timely notification of nonrenewal, the initial appointment shall be extended for one additional year.

Note that the formal intermediate review of tenure-track faculty often takes place in the third (and final) year of the initial appointment. Hence, in order to provide the required timely notification, the faculty member should be given a one year terminal appointment.