Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

C.1. Faculty Ranks [Operating Procedures]

There are four Faculty ranks at Hendrix College: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. In the case of Faculty librarians, the title "professor" is replaced with "librarian." The College normally distinguishes among its Faculty according to rank and type of appointment in the following manner:

An Instructor is a Faculty member who has not received a doctoral or highest terminal degree in the field of appointment. Upon completion of the necessary degree, the Faculty member is usually raised to the rank of Assistant Professor. Any such agreement appears in the initial letter of appointment. The rank of instructor is used in a different sense in some special appointments such as senior fellows and post-doctoral fellows with teaching assignments who have not been informed differently in the initial letter of appointment. This usage is unusual and saved for special situations or externally-funded short-term positions.

An Assistant Professor is a Faculty member who has an earned doctorate or the highest terminal degree in the field of appointment with normally fewer than six years of recognized full-time service at this level at any academic institution of higher education.

An Associate Professor is a Faculty member who has an earned doctorate or the highest terminal degree in the field of appointment with normally at least six years of recognized full-time service at appropriate levels at any academic institution of higher education.

A Professor is a Faculty member who has an earned doctorate or the highest terminal degree in the field of appointment, with normally six years of service as an Associate Professor. Promotion to Professor is one of the highest honors that Hendrix can bestow upon Faculty.

Three additional titles are used with a Faculty member's rank.

Distinguished Professorships. A small number of the College’s Faculty hold distinguished professorships. This distinction recognizes exemplary achievement as a teacher/scholar as well as sustained and noteworthy service to higher education, including Hendrix College.

Establishment. Distinguished professorships shall be established only by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The minimum donation necessary to establish a distinguished professorship shall be set by the Board of Trustees.

    The President, after becoming aware of the possibility of the establishment of a new distinguished professorship and proposed criteria, informs the Committee on Faculty. The Committee discusses the professorship and proposed criteria before making appropriate recommendations to the President.

    After the President is satisfied with the proposed contractual arrangements, the President submits the proposal to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for its approval.

    Distinguished professorships may be limited to an academic discipline or area although efforts are made to minimize such limitations.

Appointment of Distinguished Professors. After consulting with the Faculty, the Committee on Faculty nominates to the President an appropriate Faculty member. Qualifications such as teaching ability, scholarly research or production, character, and commitment to the ideals of the College shall be considered by the Committee on Faculty in making its recommendations. Eligibility is limited to full-time tenured Faculty who are teaching at least one-half of a full load at the time of installation. Distinguished Professors who subsequently accept administrative appointments that reduce their teaching loads below this limit are not required to relinquish their Professorships. If the President approves the nomination, the appointment is made only with the consent of the designated Faculty member.

    Faculty appointed to distinguished professorships receive a significant increase in their base salary, beginning August 1 of the year following being named to the professorship. In addition, they also have access to a professional development fund, with the understanding that they are not eligible to apply for additional funding through the faculty grants process. They are, however, eligible to hold Odyssey Professorships and receive additional funding from that source.

    The professional development fund is available starting at the beginning of the fiscal year following the Faculty member’s being named to the professorship. By September 1 of each year, the Distinguished Professor submits a brief annual report to the Committee on Faculty accounting for expenditures from their professional development fund for the previous year and a plan for the expenditure of the available professional development funds for the coming year. Except in unusual circumstances, and with the Provost’s approval, unspent funds from one year may not carry over to the next year. In any case, such carryover is subject to a two-year limit. 

    Holders of Distinguished Professorships continue to be formally evaluated according to the regular five-year rotation.

Other Provisions. Appropriate plaques are displayed with the title of the distinguished professorship and the individual plates naming the occupants and the years of occupancy. In formal academic procession, distinguished professors shall be ranked before other Faculty.

Hendrix Odyssey Professorships. Hendrix Odyssey Professorships have been established to encourage and support Faculty members who demonstrate a passion for the value of engaged learning in the liberal arts. This program provides financial resources for selected Faculty members to develop academic courses and engaged learning experiences that further enrich the experience of Hendrix students. This program also provides resources for Faculty members to continue their own professional development in ways that complement their work with students.

    Hendrix Odyssey Professors are named by the President of the College on recommendation of the Provost and the Committee on Faculty, in consultation with the Associate Provost for Engaged Learning and the director of the Odyssey Program. All full-time tenured and tenure-track members of the Hendrix Faculty are eligible to apply. Faculty members who wish to be considered for an Odyssey Professorship submit proposals for periods of one to three years, with the possibility of extending their grants for as much as two additional years. Proposals should outline activities to be funded by the professorship and the benefits of those activities to Hendrix students and to the professional development of the Faculty member. Budgets should be developed with the understanding that Odyssey professors will not be eligible to apply for additional funding through Faculty project grants. Successful Odyssey Professorship applicants should expect that for the duration of their professorship, funding for Faculty travel grants and Odyssey projects will be restricted to those activities that are not related to the activities involved in the proposed professorship projects. 

    Recipients are selected based on the strength of their proposals and the potential for expanding engaged learning opportunities for Hendrix students in one or more of the Hendrix Odyssey Program project categories and for the quality of the Faculty member’s planned program of professional development during the grant period. Proposals must clearly articulate the anticipated outcomes that the recipient expects to achieve through the support of the award. Recipients are required to submit an annual report detailing their progress toward their anticipated outcomes to the Committee on Faculty and to meet periodically as a group with the Associate Provost of Engaged Learning to report on the progress of their project; to discuss ways to enhance the Odyssey Program, including the Odyssey Professorships; to consider ways in which they can serve as role models in their dedication to pursuing their interests beyond the traditional classroom setting and mentoring students seeking to do the same; and to create mechanisms that allow them to work together as models and mentors to other Faculty, and to serve as resources for students planning Odyssey projects.

    Faculty members may include in their proposals course development and individual professional development opportunities that are relevant to developing engaged learning experiences within their discipline and to their ongoing research. Faculty members are encouraged to develop courses or other engaged learning experiences for students and Faculty that may include travel to professional conferences, international or cross-cultural travel and study experiences, artistic endeavors, or special projects that ultimately stimulate additional student participation in the Hendrix Odyssey Program. Proposals that involve more than one Faculty member are welcome. 

Emeritus or Emerita. This is given to Faculty members who have retired from an appointment to the Faculty at Hendrix College.