The university's faculty, broadly defined, consists of all full-time and part-time members of the teaching, research, or administrative staff who hold an academic title, including those on special faculty appointment. Academic titles include professor, research professor, visiting professor, associate professor, research associate professor, visiting associate professor, assistant professor, research assistant professor, visiting assistant professor, lecturer, senior lecturer, and special faculty members. Graduate students who hold the titles of teaching assistants and associates and research assistants and associates are also members of the university's faculty.
Tenured and tenure-eligible ranks are professor, associate professor, and assistant professor.
Adjunct and part-time members of the faculty do not receive benefits normally associated with full-time employment, nor does such service count toward the attainment of a tenured position.
Although the faculty includes both full-time and part-time employees, for voting purposes the Faculty Governance Document (Article I: The Faculty) defines "The Faculty" as "those persons employed full-time by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, or lecturer."
UNCW uses the term "adjunct" in a more restrictive sense than some other universities. Adjunct appointments with the appropriate title are made for persons invited to participate without pay in instructional or research programs on a renewable term basis. See the form for adjunct appointments.
Research faculty must have an affiliation with a department or academic unit but do not hold tenured or tenurable appointments, are not members of the voting faculty as defined in the Faculty Governance Document, and are not counted toward a department's representation in the Faculty Senate. Since 1998 library faculty have not been eligible for tenured or tenurable appointments; library faculty are voting faculty and are represented in the Faculty Senate.