The Academic Professional’s primary role is to engage in professional activities that directly support Library activities and services, but which do not necessarily require an advanced degree or extensive experience in the field of library and information science. The duties of the AP may require an advanced degree or extensive experience in some other field. The shape of the position and the range of responsibilities are determined by the needs of the unit as defined by the supervisor. While academic professionals function with a degree of independence and autonomy and are encouraged to exercise their investigation time options (http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/exec/meeting2009_2010.html), their activities are directed toward providing key support for the services and policies instituted by the Library.
Academic Professional functions, organizational relationships and responsibilities are noted in Standard #49919 (http://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/pape/coord.pdf) and Standard #49920 (http://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/pdf/pape/special.pdf) by Academic Human Resources. The specialized body of knowledge that is expected of an academic professional is the hallmark of the position and is acquired through appropriate academic degrees and/or work experience of a depth sufficient to provide a foundation for expert knowledge and ability in a field. All academic professional staff are expected to meet the requirements and guidelines found in relevant Provost’s Office (http://www.provost.illinois.edu/communication/) as well as those found in the Academic Staff Handbook (http://www.ahr.illinois.edu/ahrhandbook/default.html).
Clinical Faculty members contribute specialized knowledge and skills gained through advanced degree work in combination with practical experiences in the field of library and information science and/or other pertinent disciplines. Clinical faculty focus is primarily on librarianship, although they may also engage in research and professional service to some degree. Unlike academic professional positions, clinical faculty have a clear progression for promotion opportunities.
Research Faculty members require advanced degrees in library and information science and/or other pertinent disciplines, along with a substantial track record of research and publication in the field of library and information science, along with the ability to attract external funding. Unlike clinical faculty who focus primarily on librarianship, research faculty focus primarily on the research mission of the Library.
Library Tenure-Track Faculty members bring advanced degrees in library and information science and/or other pertinent disciplines into their roles providing leadership and strategic direction to all library activities. Unlike clinical faculty, they both investigate and create best practices in the field through varying combinations of their librarianship, research, and service activities. They work within the overarching Library administrative structure and under the parameters set forth in their job description to design, implement, and support Library activities and services. Under these parameters, Library faculty function autonomously and independently within their positions while at the same time they work collegially and cooperatively to fulfill the mission of their unit, the Library, and campus. Library faculty members have a responsibility to work with members of their units to achieve the articulated goals for that unit and the Library as a whole.
A critical function of the Library faculty, both individually and as a whole, is to set policy within the Library and to help shape the larger academic policy on Campus.
Library faculty members define their own research agenda, including both theoretical and applied research. The Library provides basic support, including research time and a small travel budget, to enable the development of this research agenda, and faculty members are encouraged to seek additional support from University and external sources to fulfill their research responsibilities. In addition, Library faculty members engage in service work that benefits the Library, the campus, the community, and the profession. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members are expected to meet the requirements and guidelines found in relevant Communications from the Provost’s Office (http://www.provost.illinois.edu/communication/) as well as those found in the Academic Staff Handbook (http://www.ahr.illinois.edu/ahrhandbook/default.html).