[Skip to Content]
Voluntary Faculty

Voluntary Faculty

Voluntary faculty are vital to the work and missions of Upstate. Most voluntary faculty play an integral role in education (teaching) and many are also involved in clinical care, research and committee work.

If you are interested in volunteering and qualify to be a voluntary faculty member, we are thrilled and excited to welcome you. SUNY Upstate has many opportunities for voluntary faculty and we look forward to working with you to help educate the next generation of health professionals, physicians, and researchers.

Expand all


Opportunities to volunteer differ across colleges, clinical environments, postgraduate and degree programs.

  • Teaching: Voluntary faculty may provide foundational science and clinical teaching. Clinical teaching may occur on the Upstate campus, within affiliated hospitals, and at off-site locations in the community. Most voluntary faculty are serving in teaching roles. We rely on your support and appreciate the time and effort you give to help educate our learners.
  • Clinical: Upstate relies on and highly values voluntary faculty who provide a broad spectrum of diverse clinical experiences for our learners and patients at various sites, as described above.
  • Research: Voluntary faculty may participate in the research missions of Upstate on campus or offsite. Collaborators from other academic medical centers are encouraged and welcome. However, faculty appointments for research collaborations are not required.
  • Administrative: Voluntary faculty may serve on Upstate committees.

Voluntary Faculty Appointments

Voluntary faculty appointments may be granted in any of the Colleges at Upstate and in any of the academic departments.

Norton College of Medicine (NCOM) Voluntary Faculty Appointments

NCOM voluntary faculty appointments are granted in departments and faculty actively participate in and contribute to the academic missions of the college in departmentally-designated roles.

  • If you are interested in becoming a voluntary faculty member to teach or to volunteer for Upstate missions, start by contacting the Upstate department that best represents your specialty. Paperwork must be submitted by the department with approval of the chair, the NCOM Dean and the University President.
  • The application packet must be reviewed and signed prior to appointment and is provided by departments to voluntary faculty applicants. Documents include:

Applicants for voluntary faculty appointments will likely need assistance from the department in order to view some of the above internal links.

Voluntary faculty in the NCOM must use the assigned (clinical/teaching/research) qualifier in their titles. Other colleges may use only the voluntary title.

All voluntary faculty appointments are temporary and subject to renewal, requiring an active, continuing contribution to the academic missions of Upstate. 

Privileges and Resources for Voluntary Faculty

Voluntary faculty may be eligible to access certain Upstate resources depending upon the nature of their appointment.

Each of the privileges listed below will require applications and approvals as per Upstate procedures and will be granted as appropriate.

In some situations, voluntary faculty may require resources for teaching, such as resources purchased by departments to provide to students (computers, books, subscriptions). Other supports are determined on a case-by-case basis by department chairs and deans. Voluntary faculty may be eligible for:

  • Access to Upstate library services
  • A non-employee ID badge
  • With ID badge, access to Upstate campus buildings
  • Enrollment for and purchase of Campus Activities membership
  • Participation in departmental and Upstate faculty events
  • Participation as a non-voting member in shared governance as appropriate to role and agreed upon expectations

Norton COM Preceptor training


Promotion of Voluntary Faculty in the Norton College of Medicine

Voluntary faculty promotions in the NCOM follow the same procedure (but not criteria) as that of paid faculty. Promotion of voluntary faculty is not conferred with monetary compensation and does not infer ongoing appointment. For those faculty interested in promotion to senior ranks, please contact the department assistant within the department in which you are appointed for help with the process.

  • Departments review voluntary faculty to determine eligibility for promotion
  • Voluntary faculty may request a review and should review the criteria below
  • Updated Curriculum Vitae: Standard CV format suggested, including teaching and service as described in the criteria above.


  • Affirmation of up-to-date certifications and licenses: If applicable clinical preceptors should affirm their certification and licensure status. Additional documentation will be required for staff privileges.
  • Voluntary faculty should meet with chair or division director to review academic expectations prior to submitting promotion materials.

NCOM Voluntary Faculty Appointments and Promotion Policy

Responsibilities of Voluntary Faculty

Voluntary faculty are expected to review and understand the policies listed below.

At the time of appointment, all voluntary faculty members are expected to sign an attestation confirming they have read, understand, and agree to comply with these policies. Regular review of policy updates is expected:

All voluntary faculty members who will have access to one or more Upstate sites must complete all of the necessary steps outlined in the Approved Non-Employee Access and Orientation Policy.

NCOM Graduation Competencies should be reviewed by all teaching faculty.

As with paid faculty, and in addition to the policies listed above, NCOM voluntary faculty who teach and precept students are expected to review the following policies.

For Clinical teachers

For a complete listing of all NCOM policies, please see UME Policies and Procedures.