Policy on Visiting Faculty Appointments

Policy Number: 200

Academic and Faculty Affairs

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy200/

I. Purpose and Scope


Visiting faculty appointments allow the university to benefit temporarily from the expertise or special skills of individuals who hold faculty positions at other institutions and wish to take a leave or other hiatus from their home institution or other employer, or who may be retired or have no current employer. Visiting faculty appointments may also be given to cover a temporary faculty need (e.g., medical leave).

This policy applies to visiting faculty whether their home institution is in the U.S. or outside the U.S., and to both paid and unpaid appointments

II. Definitions

Visiting Professor (Assistant, Associate, Full)

This category is reserved for individuals who currently hold academic rank elsewhere (or who have recently retired and hold academic rank emeritus, or who are hired for a temporary position due to an unforeseen need, who hold academic credentials appropriate to the academic rank assigned, and who will be engaged in a combination of research and/or teaching commensurate with that of the comparable professional ranks of faculty at Northeastern.

The title “Visiting (Assistant, Associate, Full) Professor” will be used at Northeastern University irrespective of the visitor’s title at the professor’s home institution

III. Policy


A.     Duration of Appointments


Visiting faculty appointments (full or part-time, paid or unpaid) are fixed-term appointments for at least one full academic quarter/semester up to one academic year and are usually renewable for an additional academic year. Exceptions to the two-year limit must be approved in advance by the Office of the Provost via a request in writing with a rationale for the request.


B.     Visiting Appointment Requirements and Considerations for Future Positions


1)  Visiting faculty appointments are exempt from the university’s posting requirements and related affirmative action procedures. However, the university will not waive posting requirements for visiting faculty who seek continuing employment with the university after the visiting assignment ends.


2)  If a tenure-track position becomes available in the unit sponsoring the visiting appointment, the visitor may apply for the position.

 a)  The unit must conduct a broad, national search, and if it seeks to appoint the visitor to the vacant position, it must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Provost and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion both the sufficiency of the search and that the visitor is the best candidate for the appointment.

b)  All appointments offers extended to visiting faculty members must notify the visiting faculty member that the member’s time of service as a visiting faculty member will not count in any future tenure consideration.


3)  The terms and conditions of the visiting appointment will be detailed in an appointment letter.


4)  If a visiting professor appointment is to be extended to an individual who needs an employment-based visa, the hiring authority must confer with the Office of the General Counsel at the onset of the hiring process at least three months prior to the start date.

a)  Additional time may be needed for visa processing.

b)  Any prospective employee in need of work authorization cannot begin employment until the work authorization is approved. 

IV. Additional Information


Although not covered by this policy, additional information on the process for review and approval for all international visitors, whether students, scholars, or faculty, can be found at https://provost.northeastern.edu/resources/faculty/.

V. Contact Information


Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost (617) 373-2170

Responsible Office/Department(s)

Office of the Provost

Related Policies

Faculty Handbook

Related Procedures





Visiting Faculty; Temporary Faculty Appointment

Version History

Last Revision Date: 2022-09-30

Issued: 2013-03-18