410 respondents answered the question:

“What is the faculty status of your professional employees? (Check all that apply)

  • Faculty, tenure-track
  • Faculty, non-tenure track
  • Non-faculty status, but with continuing appointment
  • Non-faculty status, no continuing appointment
  • I don’t know
  • Other (please explain)”

Faculty appointments were the most common, making up roughly 55.4% of the professional catalogers in the respondent’s cataloging unit.  Non-faculty status catalogers were found in 37.5% of respondent’s cataloging units.


Requirements to meet tenure or continuing appointment was common in 58.3% of respondent’s units, while non-tenure track or non-continuing appointment positions were found in 34.6% of respondent’s units.


6.2% of respondents indicated “other” in the survey, leaving comments such as “We currently have no professional catalogers” or  “Our faculty are tenure track but we do not have any tenure track faculty on the cataloging team.”  Most of the respondents to the “Other” category described a mixture of faculty status with varying levels of “tenure-like” or “renewing appointments” that did not clearly fall within traditional definitions of tenure.*  Many respondents to the “other” category also described being considered “Academic” or “Administrative/Professional” but not “Faculty”.  One respondent indicated that department members were “Faculty with multi-year contracts, we are a non-tenure institution.” Several respondents from outside of the U.S. indicated that the tenure system did not apply to institutions in their country.

Only 8% (34 responses) of the 410 respondents indicated that there was more than one classification of the professional staff in their units.  Most of the differences were between faculty who were tenure-track and non-tenure track, or non-faculty who were continuing appointment or did not have continuing appointments.  In only 4.4% of the overall responses, did respondents report that professionals had “mixed” status in their departments, with “mixed” status referring to some professional catalogers classed as faculty (either tenure or non-tenure) and others as non-faculty (either continuing appointment or not) in the same unit.  It appears to be very rare that there are professional catalogers classed as faculty serving alongside professional catalogers classed as non-faculty.

*Survey authors did not try to interpret the free text responses to fit them within the predetermined categories, but instead retained the respondent’s answers in the “other” category, with the exception of two entries which were clearly checked in order to provide commentary on the other selected categories.