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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

I. A. Tenured Ranks

Purpose of the Ranks
Librarians holding salaried appointments in the Libraries or the Florida Center for Library Automation are assigned to a faculty rank; however, not all are appointed to the tenure track. The letter of appointment clearly designates whether the appointment is to the tenure track, non-tenure track or is a "time-limited time" appointment.

The academic ranks provide a fair and objective structure for recognizing levels of professional responsibilities, complexity of assignments and implemented library programs, and quality service, scholarship, and professional accomplishments. The minimum years of experience required for appointment at each rank indicate that research librarians are not generally able to reach the degree of knowledge and development expected of members of the rank in fewer than the years outlined. In a requirement that parallels the academic faculty, promotion to the Associate University Librarian or University Librarian ranks is dependent upon national recognition that the candidate demonstrates professional expertise equivalent to librarians of like rank at other universities similar to the University of Florida.

Description of Ranks
Most library faculty members hold an academic rank and are assigned to a position. Rank exists outside the consideration of position and measures individual achievement within the entire group of faculty. Position is the work assignment within the library organization. Examples of positions include titles such as Slavic Cataloger or Humanities Bibliographer. Theoretically, a librarian of any rank can occupy these positions. Graduate or professional degrees may be required for positions within a particular area of librarianship such as law, classics, etc.

In any tenure decision, it is important to remember the distinction between rank and position. Individuals are not tenured within a position, but are tenured within a department. Within the Libraries, it is not uncommon for tenured or tenure earning librarians to be assigned administrative duties. This type of assignment does not affect the person’s rank. If a tenured faculty member is appointed to an administrative assignment, he/she retains tenure and rank in the original department. Department chairs are an example. The difference between faculty and administration at the director or dean’s level is clear, however, department chairs are hired or appointed from the faculty, they vote on tenure and promotion issues and participate in faculty benefits (e.g. professional development leaves).

Each case for appointment or promotion is assessed individually and is based on the criteria established for that rank. Library faculty, department chairs, search and screen committee members, and Tenure and Promotion Committee members are expected to have a shared understanding of these standards.


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