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Faculty Appointments at Community Colleges :

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Policies

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges


The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process regarding faculty appointments at community colleges governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  1. Introduction
    1. The following faculty appointments may be made in Tennessee Board of Regents’ community colleges: 
      1. Temporary,
      2. Term,
      3. Tenure-track, and
      4. Tenure appointments.
  2. Types of Appointments
    1. Temporary Appointments cannot carry tenure.  Temporary Appointments are appointments for a specific purpose for a time appropriate to that purpose or for an unspecified period.
      1. Temporary appointments may be terminated according to the terms of the contract of employment or appointment.
      2. Temporary appointments should ordinarily only be used to replace regular faculty on leave of absence, to employ faculty pursuant to grants, or for projects funded in whole or in part by non-appropriated funds.
      3. In addition, temporary appointments may be used for faculty employed on the basis of state appropriated funds in departments, divisions, or other academic units where a permanent and continued need for the position has not been established, provided that such appointments normally should not exceed three academic years. 
      4. Faculty in temporary appointments are appointed in rank but are not eligible for promotion in rank.
      5. Temporary appointments may not be converted to term, tenure-track, or tenure appointments.
      6. Appointments of faculty members supported more than fifty percent (50%) by grant funds, or other soft money sources, may be approved by the community college presidents for periods in excess of three academic years.
      7. Temporary instructional faculty at instructor rank may be appointed to a three-year contract. Such a contract may be renewed after any satisfactory performance review.
      8. All extensions of temporary appointments for periods in excess of three academic years require the approval of the Chancellor.
    2. Term Appointments cannot carry tenure.  Term Appointments are appointments in a traditional rank (e.g., instructor, assistant professor) for a fixed period of no more than one year that may be renewed with no presumed maximum number of re-appointments.
      1. Faculty should be placed on term appointments only when one or more of the following employment conditions is present:
        1. As a means for addressing staffing needs when a projected need is more than temporary but less than long term;
        2. To staff programs projected to phase out in a fixed period; or
        3. When the size of a staffing cohort is projected to extend beyond the normal period for a temporary appointment but is not of sufficient length to warrant a tenure-track or tenured appointment.
      2. Since it is not intended that term appointments be used to meet long-term staffing needs, a faculty member should not remain in a term appointment for more than six years.
        1. If it is determined that a position is warranted beyond the maximum six-year period, a new tenure-track position shall be sought to replace it.
        2. The holder of the term appointment may apply and be considered for the tenure-track appointment, and the institution may award up to three years’ credit for prior service.
        3. Other term appointment holders may also apply for the new position and receive service credit.
        4. The amount of credit awarded is left to the discretion of the president and is determined based upon the recommendation of the chief academic officer.
        5. Exceptions to the six-year maximum may be granted annually if it is:
          1. Requested by the affected faculty member and his/her supervisor;
          2. Recommended by the appropriate dean and chief academic officer; and
          3. Approved by the college president.
      3. Faculty in term appointments are eligible for promotion.
    3. Tenure-track Appointments are appointments for full-time faculty with academic rank and may be for the academic or fiscal year.
      1. Tenure-track appointments are for faculty who are employed in a probationary period of employment preliminary to consideration for tenure.
      2. Tenure-track appointments shall not include any right to permanent or continuous employment, shall not create any manner of legal right, interest, or expectancy of renewal or any other type of appointment and shall be subject to annual renewal by the institution.
      3. A tenure-track appointment may not be converted to a term appointment as a means for continuing employment of tenure-track faculty when a negative tenure decision has been made.
    4. Tenure Appointments are appointments of full-time faculty who have been awarded tenure by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this policy.
      1. Tenure appointments include the assurance of continued employment for the academic or fiscal year for an indefinite period, subject to expiration, relinquishment, or termination of tenure as provided in TBR policy.
      2. Such appointments do not include assurance of continued employment at any specified salary or position or employment during summer sessions or inter-sessions.
  3. Conversion of Appointments
    1. A temporary appointment may not be converted to a tenure-track appointment.
    2. The conversion of a term appointment to a tenure-track appointment is allowed, and each college should define the process in its institutional policy.
    3. The holder of the term appointment converted to a tenure-track appointment may be awarded up to three years credit for prior service.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


April 2, 2004 TBR Board Meeting; Board Meeting June 20, 2014; Revised September 19 & 20, 2019 Board Meeting.

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