Faculty Position Classification

Faculty positions are exempt from the State Universities Civil Service System and are classified in accordance with Board of Trustee Regulations.

Tenure/Tenure Track

A tenure/tenure track faculty member holds rank within a department and follows University policies regarding promotion and tenure. These are considered regular appointments, provided it is a position classified as tenured faculty, faculty serving in probationary status on tenure track, or other faculty designated as regular appointments.

Visiting Faculty

The Regulations of the Board of Trustees recognizes three professorial ranks - Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. Individuals who meet board and department criteria for appointment at one of these ranks may be appointed to a non-tenure-track position in any of these ranks in a "visiting" capacity. Individuals who receive visiting appointments must possess the appropriate terminal degree for the discipline (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., M.F.A., M.M.). A visiting appointment is appropriate when an individual is hired to replace a specific regular faculty member who is on leave or temporarily unable to teach, when a scholar with special expertise is brought to campus to make that expertise available to NIU students, or when the short-term filling of a vacant tenure-track position is necessary pending the initiation and completion of regular search procedures. Visiting appointments will often include research, graduate training/supervision, and/or service expectations normally associated with ranked faculty workloads. Visiting appointments are always temporary, with the anticipated term of appointment to be one year or less.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty appointments are authorized in accordance with Board of Trustees regulations.  Adjunct appointees shall enjoy the normal benefits and working conditions of the faculty with the following exceptions: They will be appointed on an annual or semester basis and will not be eligible for tenure.

Appointees may be utilized in teaching duties, on thesis and dissertation committees, as consultants for or as codirectors of research projects or public service programs, and in other activities in support of university programs. Adjunct appointments for teaching credit courses shall be less than 50% FTE.


Temporary instructional faculty may be appointed with the title of "Instructor." Ordinarily, positions filled by instructors require an appropriate baccalaureate or master's degree but do not require the doctorate. Each temporary appointment is a separate, non-continuous appointment, and there shall be no presumption of renewal or extension. The terms and conditions of employment for individuals appointed under this title are governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

Your Human Resource Service Team is available to assist you with any of your human resource needs, call the HRS Service Center at 815-753-6000.