What does "Associate Faculty" mean, as used for example in this job advert headlined


and this brochure from the Perimeter Institute in Canada:

In just 11 years since the Institute’s inception, PI has grown to include: - 16 full-time Faculty - 15 Associate Faculty

Given the adjective 'full time' above, perhaps 'Associate' just means 'part-time', but I've never heard that usage before.

  • Thanks Troy. I know what an associate professor is. So you're saying that under typical parlance, an associate professor is not "faculty", but only "associate faculty"? In the UK we don't have this distinction. – Jamie Vicary Jan 2 '17 at 16:22
  • I used to work for some HK university as a research associate. In my case, associate means NOT permanent or tenured. – Troy Woo Jan 2 '17 at 16:29
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    The two sense of "associate" are not related, at least in my observation in the U.S.: "associate faculty" (in dept X) may be full profs or assoc profs or assistant profs in some other department, and may or may not have tenure in that other dept. "Assoc profs" most often do have tenure (somewhere). – paul garrett Jan 2 '17 at 22:06
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    PI's associate faculty webpage says Perimeter Institute’s Associate Faculty members are jointly hired with a partnering university. So that's what they mean, but I think this usage is pretty non-standard in the US/Canada. – Robin Kothari Jan 2 '17 at 22:32

This usage of "Associate Faculty" may be fairly unique to the Perimeter Institute. They have a number of faculty with joint appointments at Canadian universities, who typically alternate between semesters with the usual teaching duties at the university and semesters at PI with no responsibilities except for research.

There is a list of such faculty here; you can see that they all have an additional affiliation outside of PI.

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The Perimeter Institute may have its own idiosyncratic usage, but generically "Affiliate" and "Associate" faculty refer to faculty who have separate home departments (or universities) where their FTE line resides.

To give an example: many smaller programs such as Ethnic Studies or LGBT studies may have only one or zero FTE lines, and only consist of associate or affiliate faculty. These faculty might have their home departments in English or Sociology. From an institutional perspective, they are effectively volunteering their time into these other programs.

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    volunteering as in working for free? – Michael Jan 2 '17 at 20:46
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    As in, their work in the other program isn't being compensated by that other program. – RoboKaren Jan 2 '17 at 20:48

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