Honorary titles are awarded to, and withdrawn from, faculty at the pleasure of the President in consultation with the appropriate Dean.
Rice University recognizes the four tenure-track faculty ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, and University Professor, the two non-tenure-track faculty ranks of Instructor and Lecturer, and the three non-tenure-track research faculty ranks of Faculty Fellow, Senior Faculty Fellow and Distinguished Faculty Fellow. These positions are governed by Rice Policies 201-03, 214-03, and 327-90. Additional non-tenure-track academic or professional research staff titles are identified in Rice policies or the General Announcements.
Faculty in the above-cited ranks may on occasion be awarded additional honorary titles by the President based on past performance and with the expectation of future performance that meets expectations for such honorary titles. Such titles are often referred to as endowed chairs and are typically entitled as the "[Funding Source] [Rank] in [Program]" such as the "J.S. Abercrombie Professor in Engineering".
The decision to award such honors will involve the Dean of the school in which the honor is expected to be awarded and/or is currently held. In addition, the Dean of each school should appoint an Honorary Title Committee selected from among tenured faculty holding honorary titles. For awarding new honors the Dean should consult with that committee for its recommendation of a faculty member to be suggested to the President.
When an honorary titleholder is perceived to be deficient in his or her level of performance, the cognizant Dean shall have the school's Honorary Title Committee review the performance and prepare a report to the Dean. If a deficiency is identified, the committee should suggest a way for the honor holder to remove the deficiency and, if feasible, set a reasonable date by which to accomplish that change. The Dean should so inform the titleholder of such negative findings. If, at the end of any such remediation period, the Dean deems the performance still to be deficient, the President shall be informed in writing. If the President then decides to withdraw the honor, the honorary titleholder shall then be so informed.
If the honorary titleholder feels that his or her academic freedom has been infringed or has procedural objections, then that faculty member has 30 days in which to request the Convener of the Appeals and Grievances Committee Faculty Council to form a review committee. That committee shall consist of three tenured members of the faculty, holding honorary titles, selected by the Convener. That committee shall carry out an inquiry and submit its confidential recommendations to the President, with copies to the grievant and to the Convener and Speaker of Faculty Council. The President will then inform the faculty member of the final disposition of the honorary title.
Feb. 3, 2003