Issue: Faculty appointments for heads of ROTC programs are required by law

Instances of this issue: During a Columbia University Senate meeting on ROTC, one senator brought up this concern.

Facts: Under the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964:

No unit may be established or maintained at an institution unless the senior commissioned officer of the armed force concerned who is assigned to the program at that institution is given the academic rank of professor.

The faculty appointment issue has been solved well at top universities.  At MIT, ROTC leaders are designated as “visiting professors”.  At Princeton, ROTC professors are assigned "a rank equivalent to the senior academic rank of professor".  Both these formulations satisfy the law without undermining the status of regular tenured professors. 

According to one claim, the 1964 law:

required that military instructors be given the status of professor, without the instructors or course material being subject to review by the faculty or any other university body

This is wrong; many universities retain the right to veto an appointment. As an example, the 1972 Army-Princeton agreement (still in effect) specifies that:

It is mutually understood and agreed as follows: ... That no officer shall be assigned to the Army ROTC program without prior approval of the authorities of this institution, and no Army officer will be continued on duty after the authorities have requested his relief for cause.

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