Dual Title Appointments

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Objective: to enhance the interactions between the faculty in MatSE and research faculty at other units such as ARL and MRL, and in particular, to allow them to supervise MATSE graduate students and to chair M.S. and Ph.D. thesis committees of MATSE students. 

The broad criterion for a dual title appointment: a research faculty who wants to be associated with MatSE department and advises MATSE graduate students and/or teaches MATSE courses, and/or actively collaborates with MATSE faculty in research.

Benefits for the person with a dual title appointment:

• have a suitable title1 in MatSE consistent with Penn State’s HR24. Following are examples of new titles: Research Associate at the Applied Research Laboratory and Department of Materials Science and Engineering or Research Associate at the Applied Research Laboratory and Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The exact title will depend on candidate’s accomplishments and job responsibilities.

• access to MATSE graduate student applicants pool

• included in our website and graduate recruiting brochure

• invited to MATSE faculty meetings and other department-wide activities

• chair Ph.D. and M.S. committees for MATSE students

Procedures for Making Dual Title Appointments:

• A letter requesting and justifying the dual title appointment from a MatSE faculty member on behalf of the outside person and a vitae of the person, submitted to the MatSE department head. The vitae should emphasize detailed scholarly accomplishments in research, and where applicable, teaching and professional service. The request must clearly state, in details, how the proposed appointment is intended to benefit the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 

• The scholarly accomplishments of the nominee in research, and where applicable in professional service and teaching, are the most important consideration for the initial appointment.

• The nominee is expected to contribute resources for the education of the students of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, either alone or jointly with other MatSE faculty. The word “resources” is to be interpreted broadly to mean intellect, scholarship, and other talents that significantly benefit the Department and its people.

• The P&T committee of the Department must approve the initial appointment of a nominee based on contemporary standards for a particular title and criteria described in the above two items.

• The senior faculty of the Department may provide input to the committee via the usual existing process.

• Upon approval by the P&T committee, the MatSE department head will meet with the candidate and then write a request letter to the Dean of EMS for the dual title appointment.

• The dean will write a request letter to the graduate school.

• The Dean will inform the person that he or she has been granted a suitable title in MatSE.

• Department should request an annual activity report that describes the following four items:

(a) a description of activities that benefited MatSE and contribution to the education of MatSE students,

(b) any joint publication/presentation with MatSE students,

(c) teaching activities in MatSE courses and

(d) any other scholarly activities that benefit the Department and its people. The report, in most cases, may not exceed a few pages.


• The Department Head should review the annual activity report, since the Head currently reviews the annual activity reports of all departmental faculty. The Department Head may terminate an appointment for noncompliance with the purpose of the appointment. In such a case, the Department Head should consult with the appropriate MatSE facultymember who nominated the faculty being evaluated.

• Any request for change in title shall be decided by the P&T committee consistent with University rules and Departmental interest. A promotion at the home unit may not necessarily mean an automatic change in title at MatSE.

• The Dean’s office should be notified of all terminations.

1. Penn State’s Policy HR24 on TEMPORARY PROFESSORIAL DUAL TITLES FOR RESEARCH RANK FACULTY. Click here for complete policy listing.