Policy: Board of Regents Policy Manual Section 8.1.1 http://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/
Most people think of faculty in terms of those people hired within academic departments to teach courses and support academic programs. Faculty may be full-time or part-time; temporary or permanent; tenure-track or non-tenure track. But the general understanding is that it is the faculty who are responsible for curriculum and instruction. Full-time faculty are appointed with faculty rank. They are also referred to as the Corps of Instruction. This rank may be as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, or senior lecturer. Full-time faculty at the assistant, associate, or professor rank are eligible for tenure. The remaining faculty ranks (instructor, lecturer, senior lecturer) are not.
One of the many benefits associated with being a faculty member within the University System of Georgia is the option to select either the Teachers Retirement System (which has a 10-year vesting period) or the Optional Retirement Plan (which has an immediate vestment period). Only faculty and administrative officers with faculty status are eligible for the Optional Retirement Plan.
Faculty status may be assigned to a position by the President. Positions eligible for faculty status include only vice presidents and those positions that report directly to a vice president. Individuals holding positions with faculty status are eligible for the Optional Retirement Plan and may attend, speak, and vote at any University Faculty Meeting. They are not eligible to serve as elected University Senators but may be appointed by the President to the University Senate. Faculty status is independent of faculty rank. Faculty status does not imply faculty rank. Only individuals with faculty rank are assigned to an academic department and are eligible for tenure. Individuals with faculty status are not counted in our student/faculty ratio calculations. With respect to instruction, only those individuals who have met the SACS guidelines for post-graduate degrees and areas of specialty are eligible to teach courses.
In the past, positions other than those that report directly to the President or to a vice president had been granted faculty status. However, current practice is to limit the assignment of faculty status to those positions aligned with the instructional operation of the university. The intent is to maintain the integrity of what it means to be called "faculty."