Difference between Faculty and Staff

Key Difference: Faculty is a group of teachers, professors or people who impart knowledge. Staff is a group of people who are responsible for the administrative functions of an organization.

An educational institution plays an important part in the life of an individual as a major part of a person’s life is spent there from pre-school to Bachelors, Masters or Ph.D. A popular saying goes that learning is something that does not stop with age or graduation. It continues on till the person finally passes away. Education institutions hire two kinds of employees, which are divided among faculty and staff.

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Faculty also known as academic staff are the employees that are hired by the educational establishment to teach and provide knowledge to the students. The term is most commonly used in the United States and Canada, but is being adapted almost everywhere else. The term includes professors of various ranks including assistant professors, substitute teachers, associate professors, etc. Many of the university administration members such as deans, chairs, principles, etc. are also considered as members of the faculty. The term ‘faculty’ is also used to refer to a division within a university that comprises of one subject area or a number of related subjects. For example: Harvard has a business faculty as well as an arts and science faculty. These terms are more distinctly used in colleges and universities.

Staff is basically employees of any administration or organization. The general term ‘staff’ refers to a person that is has been contractually hired to work in an organization or institution. It can also refer to a people hired in a university. When associated with a university, it can be classified into two groups: academic staff and general staff. The academic staff is another word use for faculty, while general staff is the employees that are hired for administration purposes. This staff works inside an office and is responsible for all the things that happen in a university or institution. They take care of administrative tasks such as paperwork, admissions, security, secretarial duties, etc.

Dictionary.com defines ‘faculty’ as:

  • The entire teaching and administrative force of a university, college, or school.
  • One of the departments of learning, as theology, medicine, or law, in a university.
  • The teaching body, sometimes with the students, in any of these departments.

‘Staff’ is defined as:

  • A group of persons, as employees, charged with carrying out the work of an establishment or executing some undertaking.
  • A group of assistants to a manager, superintendent, or executive.
  • A member of a staff.

Faculty is actually a part of the staff. Faculty is mostly the teachers and anyone that is responsible for imparting knowledge to the students, while the administrative staff are the people behind the curtains and deal with the everyday running of the institution.

Image Courtesy: honorscarolina.unc.edu, lakeview.rothecreations.com

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Are cleaners, workers and security considered to be "staff"?

Yes, because they don't teach.

Then what would a librarian be? They sometimes impart knowledge but they also seem like ordinary staff. Please help ASAP

Librarians are considered faculty because they teach students how to find journals and databases to do research. They do it through one on one appointed lessons or a professor would request them to come to class to teach their students how to properly find resources for their papers.

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