What is faculty?

A category of employees at a college, faculty members have primary responsibility for the curriculum and degree programs; they also usually have input on college policies. Many people think of faculty as teachers or class instructors, and that is an important part of their work.

Faculty also conduct research and engage in service to the college and often to the community. (Also, some classes are taught by teaching assistants who are not faculty members.)

Some colleges have different types of faculty; some examples of this are listed below.

  • Tenure-track vs. non-tenure-track faculty
  • Field-service faculty (who often oversee practical training, like internships)
  • Administrative faculty (who have managerial duties, like department chairs or deans)
  • Professional faculty (who have graduate degrees and work in specialized fields other than teaching, such as library faculty or counselors)

Being designated as a faculty member is considered a mark of honor and may carry rights to give input on academic topics. Faculty members typically have rank, as well.

The typical faculty title is “professor,” and rank is added before that. Ranks start with “assistant professor” (the lowest), move to “associate professor,” then to just “professor” (often called “full professor”).