I have seen an ad from Columbia University for a "Junior Faculty" position. The ad had no details on whether it is a tenure-track position or not.

Are these tenure track positions? Is this term common in US universities? Is it equivalent to assistant professor?

1 Answer 1


Generally it would mean a tenure track assistant professor position. There might be exceptions, but for Columbia, I'd expect it to mean just that.

But they might even be willing to entertain a lower level (non tenure) or higher level (associate professor) position for the right person. I can't think of any other reason for a US university to be non-specific.

But even an associate professor offer would likely come with some probationary period prior to granting tenure. Probably two years or more, but less than seven.

Contrast it with "senior faculty" position. Here it would mean a full professor, even a distinguished full professor or someone able to take over a leadership role.

  • A couple of months ago, they posted an "Open Rank" ad, in which they specify that it can be in any rank (google.com/…). Would you say that the difference is now they're mostly aiming for assistant professor level candidates?
    – Jon D
    Nov 28, 2019 at 0:10
  • That is likely. But they might still be open. As a private university they can be pretty flexible for the right person. But maybe there were several positions and they have someone for the higher levels. Universities don't like, in general, to get too heavily weighted towards the upper end as it reduces flexibility and costs money.
    – Buffy
    Nov 28, 2019 at 0:12
  • 1
    Sometimes it takes a while for the higher administration to decide what levels of positions a department is allowed to hire at. So an early ad might not specify any level, but once the administrators impose limitations, a revised ad would include those limitations. Nov 28, 2019 at 5:17

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