Terms and Definitions


The Association of American Universities (AAU) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that comprises 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of U.S. research universities, AAU today focuses on issues that are important to research-intensive universities, such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education.

Academic Professional
Scientists, scholars, libraries, and other research professionals involved in a wide range of intellectual investigation, departments, libraries, and projects on campus. Academic Professionals include Professional Researchers, Professional Specialists, and Professional Librarians.

Academic Review
The means by which academic departments and programs can engage in periodic self-evaluation, assess program quality and effectiveness, review strategies for development and improvement, and plan for the future. Academic reviews are scheduled every five to seven years or as needed.

Additional Pay
All additional salary payments (in addition to the regular monthly salary) to DOF appointments must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty.  Approval can be requested by completing the additional pay form and submitting required supporting documents.

Academic Research Manager
The academic research manager ranks are reserved for individuals with a wide breadth of expertise spanning multiple aspects of leadership in academic research. This rank is intended for those who can thrive in completing complex tasks including leading academic research projects, research project/team management, developing methodology, analyzing data, and communicating academic/scientific research findings to the broader scientific community.

Advisory Council
Consisting of persons such as faculty members at other institutions, experts and major figures in the field, alumni/ae of the University, or friends of the department, the Councils meet regularly in Princeton, typically every two years, for the purpose of advising the departments or of being of use to them in other ways. The Councils can be effective instruments for sampling the opinions of students or junior faculty members, for conveying opinions and concerns to the central administration, for serving as conduits in communicating with friends and alumni/ae, or for developing resources and generating support for the departments and their various activities. They are viewed as being under the authority and for the use of the departments and for the purposes of aiding them in whatever ways individual departments find most appropriate and helpful, especially in the areas of development and fundraising.

AI Hours
AI hours are assigned to support graduate students who are teaching courses in which they serve as teaching assistants, laboratory assistants, and occasionally as graders. For more information about how to enter AI hours, click here.

Appointment End Date
End dates for appointments are effective the day after the last day worked. Faculty and staff members will be terminated on this date unless a reappointment or other action is taken prior to the date.

Appointment Start Date
This date reflects the beginning of the appointment, reappointment, or other job change. Most faculty should have a start date of September 1st unless they are receiving summer salary; most faculty reappointments should have an effective date of July 1st so that their benefits coverage is not discontinued over the summer months.

Assistant in Instruction (AI)
Assistantships in Instruction (AI) are teaching assignments awarded to graduate students by their departments. Most Ph.D. programs require some teaching during a graduate student’s enrollment period, often in specific years of study.


Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities
Howard T. Behrman Awards for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities established by a gift from Dr. Howard T. Behrman. To be awarded annually to selected faculty members of Princeton's humanities departments, in recognition of research, publication, teaching, or other distinguished service to the University community.


Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements (C3)  advises the President on the appointment of Professors, the appointment and promotion of Associate Professors, the reappointment and promotion of Assistant Professors, the reappointment of Senior Lecturers, and on the salaries of these members of the Faculty.

The Library Committee for the Promotion, Continuing Appointment and Review of Librarians.

The Committee on Appointments and Advancement for the Professional Researchers and Professional Specialists.

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements in the Lecturer Ranks.

Chart String
The chart string represents how one codes a financial transaction. It is composed of values for key chartfields, including account, fund, and department.

Clerk of the Faculty
The Clerk of the Faculty's duty is to keep the minutes of all Faculty meetings, to give notification to the Faculty of special meetings and important matters proposed for action at any meeting, and to perform the duties appropriate to the recording secretary of a deliberative body. The Clerk also serves as Secretary of the Committee on Committees.

The set of reporting tools used in the Information Warehouse to define and generate queries and standard reporting.

Committee on Committees
The Committee on Committees nominates candidates for the various Faculty committees and consists of the President as chair and normally one tenured and one non-tenured member of the Faculty from each of the four divisions of the University (Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering and Applied Science). The Committee has responsibility for ensuring adequate representation of non-tenured Faculty and of the four divisions of the Faculty on all Faculty committees for which it makes nominations.

Committee on Conference and Faculty Appeal
If a case arises involving the dismissal or the suspension of a member of the Faculty, or any question of unfair treatment in relation to the appointment, reappointment, or academic duties or privileges of a member of the Faculty or anyone to whom an offer of a Faculty appointment has been made, the Committee on Conference and Faculty Appeal may be called upon to act as a board of review. The Committee on Conference and Faculty Appeal is also available for consultation in similar cases involving other persons on academic appointments.

Conflict of Interest in Research
All faculty, librarians, and professional researchers are required to disclose their research and outside activities on an annual basis to determine any conflicts of commitment, conflicts of resources, and/or financial conflicts of interest.

Council of the Princeton University Community
In May 1969, a Special Committee on the Structure of the University, chaired by Professor Stanley Kelley Jr., proposed the establishment of a Council of the Princeton University Community as “a permanent conference of the representatives of all major groups of the University” where “they could each raise problems that concern them and … be exposed to each other’s views.” Meetings usually occur six times a year. Council membership includes faculty, students, staff, and alumni representatives, but meetings are open to all in the University community.


An operating unit of the University.

Department Chair or Head
An individual who is a department chair, department head, or office head.

Dependent Child Care Fund
The Dependent Child Care Fund provides dependent child care assistance for professorial rank faculty members and senior lecturers attending professional development events such as academic conferences. Awards from the fund may be used by recipients for dependent care at a conference or at an alternative location (including at home), and may include those expenses incurred in transporting a caregiver (other than the faculty member and/or spouse/partner). Eligible members of the faculty may submit more than one request (and receive more than one grant) within a given fiscal year, up to a maximum of $2,000 in funding per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty, responsible for the academic staff.

A document exchange area where departments can drop folders with forms and documents for DOF.

Duty Time
The percentage of time the employee works.


Emeritus Faculty
Upon retirement, it is customary for the University, through its Board of Trustees, to approve the transfer of tenured professors in the ranks of Professor or Associate Professor to emeritus status. The University reserves the right to deny transfer to emeritus status.

Empl ID
Unique Princeton ID number assigned to each member of the Princeton community. For new faculty and staff, an EMPLID is assigned upon receipt of the appointment recommendation by the DOF.  For all paperwork submitted to the DOF regarding a faculty member or academic professional, please include the Empl ID when possible.

Employee Child Care Assistance Program
The ECCAP provides assistance to eligible faculty and staff with pre-kindergarten children to help them meet the cost of child care. The awards are based on household income and can be used to pay for a wide range of possible arrangements, from in-home care to licensed day-care centers. The maximum award for one eligible child is $5,000; an additional $1,000 award is available for a second eligible child. Only one award is available per eligible family. For tax purposes, these awards are treated as additional income and may be subject to state and federal tax.


F-1 Form
Faculty New Appointment Recommendation Form. For recommendations of all new appointments of regular and visiting faculty.

F-2 Form
Faculty reappointment/promotion recommendation form used for all recommendations of reappointments and promotions of regular and visiting faculty.

F-3 Form
Faculty salary recommendation form used for annual recommendations of salaries for members of the faculty.

F-4 Form
Form used for recommending sabbatical leaves for regular faculty and leave accounting designations.

Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy
The Advisory Committee on Policy meets with the President at her or his request, at the request of the Faculty, or on its own motion to afford advisory consultation on matters of University-wide policy of concern to the Faculty and not primarily within the jurisdiction of other established committees. The Advisory Committee on Policy consists of the six members of the Faculty elected by the Faculty to represent it on the Executive Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community.

Faculty Computer Program
A program that provides full and associate professors, as well as other select members of the faculty (such as research scholars and senior research scholars), with a new desktop or laptop computer on a periodic basis (currently, a four-year cycle).

Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) regulates minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor laws for employers and employees covered by the law.

Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
Law guaranteeing 12 weeks of unpaid leave to most employees to care for newborn or newly adopted children, or to deal with a serious injury or illness suffered by an employee or an ailing child, spouse, or parent of the employee. For more information on FMLA click here.

Fiscal Year
The 12-month period used for Princeton financial reporting beginning July 1 and ending June 30.

FS-1 Form
Form used for recommending a new appointment for a summer-only faculty member.

The amount of effort corresponding to full-time employment by an individual for one year. For faculty, 1.0 FTE represents full-time duty for the academic year.

FTE Salary
The annual rate of salary/stipend that would be paid to a regular employee or appointee based on a full-time schedule of 100 percent duty time; 9 months for faculty and 12 months for academic professionals.


Guidebook for Chairs and Managers
A resource for academic chairs, program directors, and department managers in administering and supporting faculty, researchers, specialists, and librarians.

Guidelines are recommended practices intended to streamline a common process. They are not policies in that they allow some discretion in interpretation, implementation, or use.


H1-B Temporary Worker
Individuals appointed to a DOF employment rank may be eligible for H-1B visa status. The individual must be employed in a position that requires a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification for entry into the profession; if a higher degree is required, the individual must have the degree to be eligible for H-1B status (i.e., appointment as an Assistant Professor requires the Ph.D.; thus, one must possess the Ph.D. for an H-1B to be filed). Individuals must be employees and must be paid by Princeton. Those with outside fellowships/scholarships(even if paid through Princeton) are not eligible for H-1B status through Princeton.

Human Resources
The office of Human Resources, responsible for the University's administrative staff and benefits of the faculty and staff.

Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund
Humanities & Social Sciences Research Fund provides a minimum of $5,000 per year in research funds for faculty members (full, associate, and assistant professors) in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


The I-9 form is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment, including citizens and non-citizens.  The I-9 must be filled out in person at the time of hire. Princeton University cannot process payment or allow work to begin until the verification process has been completed.

Information Warehouse
Information repository that integrates data from various systems and applications for easy unified reporting. The Information Warehouse is the University's newer version of its data warehouse; it has been slowly replacing the older version, known as the DataMall. Data  in the Information Warehouse is usually 24 hours old as it is loaded nightly from the various systems.

Institutional Payment
When Princeton University pays the salary of visiting professors to the home institution rather than directly to the individual appointee, with the exception of the Princeton-Rutgers Exchange.

In most departments, the teaching rank of instructor is limited to those appointees at the rank of assistant professor who are still completing the requirements for their doctorates, after which they are promoted to the rank of assistant professor. In a few departments, primarily in the sciences, the rank of instructor is used as a first faculty appointment, having a role somewhat akin to that of postdoctoral appointments in other science departments. Instructors serve a maximum of three years in rank, either full-time or part-time. After having served three years, they may be recommended for one final terminal year of appointment in this rank.


J-1 Exchange Visitor
Exchange visitors in J-1 status come to the U.S. to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. It is the most common visa for international scholars at Princeton. Princeton University has been authorized by the U.S. Department of State as an exchange visitor sponsor program for individuals in the following categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Short term Scholar, Specialist (and Student).

J-1 Student with Practical or Academic Training
All J-1 students who have academic training (AT) available to them are encouraged to use their academic training to begin their appointment at Princeton. AT is granted to doctoral students for up to 36 months in 18-month installments; and for bachelor’s and master’s degree students for up to 18 months total. A graduating student should apply for AT through the international student advisor at their previous F-1 school sponsor. AT can be used for Princeton appointments as Assistant Professor, Instructor, Lecturer, Associate Research Scholar, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate, and Associate Professional Specialist.


Many courses in the sciences and engineering feature laboratory work. Laboratory meetings provide an opportunity for the interchange of ideas between the students and the instructor. Working in small groups and under faculty supervision, students investigate the underlying principles of the subject they are studying and gain firsthand experimental knowledge of scientific methods.

Labor Accounting
The computer application that allocates salary expenses to specific project grants based on information from the PeopleSoft HR system and departmental input.

Learned Society Fund
The Learned Society Fund supports travel to attend conferences in which the participant is presenting a peer-reviewed scholarly work to an open audience of members of the academic discipline. The fund provides reimbursement of certain transportation and hotel expenses for eligible participants who meet specific criteria.

The teaching rank of lecturer is accorded to individuals participating in instructional programs of the University on either a part-time or full-time basis for whom appointment in one of the four regular faculty ranks (professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor) is inappropriate. Members of the Princeton professional or HR staffs who are assigned teaching duties are designated with the additional title of lecturer while holding a teaching assignment.

A professional providing access to information in a library who holds a degree from a library school such as an MLIS.

Since its founding more than 250 years ago, the library system at Princeton has grown from a collection of 474 volumes in one room of Nassau Hall to holdings in more than a dozen buildings throughout the campus. The collections total more than 7 million printed works, 5 million manuscripts, and 2 million non-print items including archival materials, maps, prints, coins, and incunabula. Extensive digital holdings are represented by primary sources, data, images, electronic databases, e-books and journals, music and audio files, and video.


Office of Information Technology
A central administrative service department at Princeton that delivers information technology products and services to the Princeton community.

Office of Research and Project Administration
All government grants and contracts are administered through this Princeton University office up to the point at which the sponsored award is created in the Princeton financial system. Post-award administration is primarily handled by the sponsored research accounting section of the Office of Finance and Treasury.

Enterprise software dedicated to the storage and organization of document images and files indexed and searchable by keyword values.

One-In-Six Leave
An assistant professor in the humanities or social sciences is granted one semester's leave at full salary or one year's leave at half salary during his/her first three-year term for the purpose of research and scholarly pursuits.

Open Access Policy
A faculty-approved policy that is intended to make the faculty’s scholarly articles, published in journals and conference proceedings, available to a wider public. Under this policy, faculty members grant to The Trustees of Princeton University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, whether now known or later invented, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same.


A statement of basic principles communicated to direct activities toward institutional goals (the "what"), including a concise statement of why the policy is important to the institution (the "why"). The scope defines who the policy applies to and under what conditions.

The postdoctoral researcher ranks are used for appointments for a limited number of years to enable recent Ph.D. recipients to develop professional maturity, judgment, and experience through close association with the faculty, more senior researchers, and professional specialists on research projects. Normally, researchers who serve in these ranks should have received the Ph.D. degree not more than three years (five in the life sciences) prior to appointment.

Most social science and humanities courses feature two hours of class lectures and an hour-long precept each week. The weekly precept supplements the lectures and is intended to provide an opportunity for wide-ranging exploration of the subject matter of the course in a small-group setting.

Preceptorships, small in number and awarded competitively, are additional appointments offered to assistant professors. A few preceptorships are restricted to assistant professors in specified departments or fields; most are open to all assistant professors in the appropriate divisions. They carry annual research funds for each year of appointment as preceptor and a paid leave of absence during the term of appointment as preceptor.

Presidents Award for Distinguished Teaching
Since 1991 the President has given annual awards to four faculty members who have shown sustained records of distinguished achievement in undergraduate and/or graduate teaching. The awards normally go to two senior and  two junior faculty members each year, although the distribution may vary from year to year.

The managers of the University's endowment.

A sequential, step-by-step process (a "how to") that takes the user through all necessary actions to comply with a policy. It should include links to necessary forms and templates. Procedures should be referenced in policy documents, with the step-by-step instructions attached or hyperlinked. If a procedure is very brief and straightforward, it might be included as part of a policy document.

Professional Researcher
The professional researcher ranks reflect increasing attainment and distinction in research scholarship, independence of research activities, and ability to guide and direct others in programs of research. A doctoral degree or its equivalent in the appropriate field is a necessary qualification for membership in these ranks.

Professional Specialist
Those serving in this rank do so because of their technical expertise and have advanced professional knowledge and skills. They are expected to solve problems that require the extension of conventional theories or practices or the development of new techniques. They are normally given determinant responsibility for technical aspects of projects or parts of projects.

The University has more than 160 professorships and lectureships supported by endowed and term funds. These chairs have been made available by gifts and bequests of alumni and friends of Princeton. Many distinguished Princeton names are associated with these professorships in the persons of the founders, of those honored by the founding, and of the scholars and teachers who have occupied them.


Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities
Rights, Rules, Responsibilities is an online document that provides a concise reference and guide for all members of the Princeton University community. Included here are brief statements of University policies most likely to be applicable to and of interest to all University constituencies.

RSL-1 Form
New appointment recommendation form for regular and visiting ranks of the Professional Researchers, Specialists, and Librarians excluding Visiting Fellows, Postdoctoral Research Fellows, and Visiting Research Collaborators.


Science Fund
A central fund, controlled by the Provost's Office, that supports research costs of faculty members and academic departments not only in the sciences but also in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering. Typical expenses include startup packages and required cost-sharing on grant proposals. Depending on the category of need, Science Fund monies are administered by the Provost, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the School of Engineering, or the Director of ORPA.

Search Officer
Each department is required to have a search officer who is charged with the responsibility for stressing and safeguarding the University’s commitment to affirmative action. The chair should appoint a senior faculty member to this post and submit the name to the Dean of the Faculty at the beginning of each academic year.

Senior Lecturer
The designation of Senior Lecturer is accorded to individuals with a record of significant professional accomplishment and experience who participate in instructional programs on a full-time basis and for whom appointment in one of the three professorial ranks or as Instructor is judged to be inappropriate. The initial appointment of a Senior Lecturer shall normally be for a three-year period; subsequent appointments are typically for three- or five-year periods.


Teaching Budget
The total of the FTEs of those faculty members who are actively teaching, who are on leave of absence with pay from the University, or who are being paid by University-restricted funds for particular academic purposes. The teaching budget excludes all summer salaries. It also excludes leaves without pay, sponsored research supported on external or internal funds, and administrative assignments outside the academic departments (e.g., the masters of the residential colleges and the clerk of the faculty).

Termination Date
The day after the last day worked. Vacation time owed at termination for academic professionals should be indicated in hours based on a 36.25-hour week. Individuals appointed to the visiting ranks do not accrue vacation time.


A committee chaired by the Dean of the Faculty whose purpose it is to provide funds for faculty research projects in the humanities and social sciences.


V-1 Form
The form used to submit recommendations of all new appointments and reappointments for Visiting Fellows and Visiting Research Collaborators.

Visiting Fellow
A faculty member visiting from another academic institution, having no specific responsibilities in either teaching or research and do not receive stipends or salaries from the University.

Visiting Lecturer
Those appointed to the rank of visiting lecturer are teaching faculty that do not hold professorial titles elsewhere but have primary appointments to which they will return, such as government posts, etc. In very special cases, on the recommendation of a department and with the permission of the Dean, a visiting lecturer who has achieved significant distinction in his or her field, such as election to the National Academy of Sciences or the American Academy of Arts and Science, may be given the additional designation “with the rank of professor.”

Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching
This program, one of the University’s Presidential Teaching Initiatives, is funded by generous gifts to the Anniversary Campaign for Princeton. The program supports a number of visiting faculty members each year across all divisions of the University.

Visiting Researcher
Scholars who hold faculty or professional research positions at other institutions and who will, for a limited period, be associated with a research project at the University, normally with salary, may be appointment to a visiting rank equivalent to the regular rank for which they would be qualified.


Workload Relief
Workload relief allows for the release of teaching and some other duties at full salary due to the demands of being a primary care-giver for an infant on newly adopted pre-school child.  The policy permits one semester of workload relief from classroom teaching and administrative committee work or two semesters of half-relief from such duties.