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Challenges And Opportunities In Visiting And Tenure Track Positions

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade Inside the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.290.1 - 8.290.8



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Paper Authors

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Maher Murad

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Jerry Samples

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2375

Challenges and Opportunities in Visiting and Tenure Track Positions

Maher M. Murad, Jerry Samples

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


There are challenges and opportunities in both visiting and tenure track positions. Many faculty members start their teaching career in visiting positions and end up in the tenure stream. In that case the faculty member would be faced with somewhat different set of challenges and opportunities, the subject of this paper. The transition from a visiting position to tenure-track position is a process. For this process to succeed, it requires time management and efforts including a solid long-term plan that starts during the visiting position as well as an effective mentoring program. This paper attempts to address issues related to both visiting and tenure positions including ways a visiting position can best serve a faculty in transition and the importance of a successful mentoring program in ensuring a smooth transition from visiting to tenure and ultimately gaining tenure. The paper also provides suggestions and advice for success to new faculty joining either visiting or tenure track positions.


This paper addresses issues related to visiting and tenure track positions in primarily undergraduate institutions that put excellence in teaching first. In particular, the paper discusses the situation where a faculty member starts in a visiting position with the intention to continue to a tenure-track position.

Visiting positions are temporary in nature and could be full-time or part-time employment. They are usually offered for sabbatical replacements or hiring transition periods. These temporary positions tend to attract new graduates who wish to start a career in higher education and get teaching experience. Tenure track positions, on the other hand, are established for longer commitments and upon tenure the faculty is likely to become a permanent member of the university.

Teaching is the primary assignment in visiting positions, yet many programs do not facilitate student evaluations or program feedback to the visiting faculty due to the short employment durations. In addition, most teaching visiting positions have little or no requirement for scholarship or service. The case is almost the opposite with tenure track positions where teaching excellence is emphasized and monitored using feedback from students and supervising faculty. In the tenure stream, even at teaching institutions, the faculty member is expected to perform research and engage in college and university service activities.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Murad, M., & Samples, J. (2003, June), Challenges And Opportunities In Visiting And Tenure Track Positions Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12082

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