Academic Affairs  

Acting Faculty

Acting appointments are no longer granted on a routine basis by the School of Medicine. Please do not submit an acting appointment request without prior approval from the Office of Academic Affairs.


Acting Faculty are individuals who are in the process of being appointed to positions in the Professoriate.  They are appointed to Acting Faculty positions (Acting Assistant Professor, Acting Associate Professor, Acting Professor) to allow them to begin work at Stanford during consideration of their Professoriate appointment. 

See Chapter 5 of the School of Medicine Faculty Handbook for a description of Acting Faculty ranks and policies.

Appointing Acting Faculty

This web page shows requirements for acting faculty appointments, the step by step process for submitting an appointment package, links to the required forms and documentation, and the appointment checklist.

Reappointing Acting Faculty

This web page shows the process for reappointing an acting faculty member (allowed only in exceptional circumstances), has links to required forms, and shows the reappointment checklist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an acting faculty member receive the faculty housing benefit?

No.  Acting faculty are classified as exempt staff; they are not eligible for faculty housing benefits until appointment to the professoriate.

"Acting faculty" are faculty, right?

While they have faculty titles, Acting faculty are classified as exempt staff, and belong in the category of Other Teaching Titles, along with Visiting and Consulting Faculty, Visiting Scholars, and Instructors.  These are separate from the Professoriate (University Tenure Line, Medical Center Line, and Non-Tenure Lines) and the Clinician/Educator Line.

Where is the acting faculty offer letter?

Acting faculty do not receive an offer letter or letter of invitation.  If a candidate for the professoriate is to be appointed to an acting faculty role, it should be noted in their faculty offer letter

My faculty candidate will only need the acting appointment for three months; why shouldn't I just appoint her for three months?

As exempt staff, acting faculty members must be appointed for at least six months (at a minimum of 50% FTE) in order to be benefits-eligible.  The acting appointment is superseded by the professoriate appointment, when it is approved; we recommend that you appoint acting faculty members for one year.

Do acting faculty automatically become members of the professoriate?

No.  There is no guarantee, express or implied, of a professoriate position.  The department, school, and university must approve the recommendation for appointment to the professoriate, and as this process can take some time, acting appointments are sometimes needed to allow candidates to take up clinical or other duties. However, such appointments do not imply that the candidate will certainly be approved at each level, and this should be made clear to the candidate before appointment.

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