Current P&T Policy

PROMOTION AND TENURE POLICY

The assignment of academic rank and the award of tenure safeguard the University’s intellectual standards, its academic integrity, and its academic freedom.  This document concerns faculty that report to the Dean of the School of Medicine and who have been appointed by the Board of Visitors.  It applies to faculty on the tenure ineligible and tenure eligible tracks and addresses the awarding of tenure and promotions up to and including the rank of professor.

Tenure eligible track elections are “with term” if there is a specified number of years for which the appointment extends under the employment agreement between the faculty member and the University entered into at the time of initial hiring or on a “with term” renewal.  The phrase “without term” is used to denote the award of “tenure.”  Both faculty “with term” and “without term” appointments are subject to annual evaluations, a system of merit pay, and to appropriate sanctions, including suspension or termination of employment, in the event of unacceptable performance of duties.

Faculty Tracks within the School of Medicine

Faculty on all tracks contribute to the School of Medicine mission of research, medical education and patient care.  The Dean’s letter of appointment includes detailed performance expectations in the relevant domains.  The three tenure eligible appointment designations are academic investigator (AI), clinician investigator (CI) and clinician educator (CE).  The School of Medicine has established three tenure ineligible designations within the academic general faculty: clinical faculty (CF), research faculty (RF), and instructional faculty (IF).  Appointment to one of the tenure eligible (te) or tenure ineligible (ti) faculty tracks is made according to the major focus of faculty effort as specified in the initial or modified letter of appointment and a job description with time allocations.  The criteria for assistant, associate and professor appointments to the three tenure ineligible tracks and the three tenure eligible tracks can be found within the detailed descriptions of each track (link).

Definition of Scholarship

Demonstration of scholarship requires:  dissemination of original ideas and findings to colleagues who critically evaluate the substance and implications of the scholarly work and its impact on the profession.  In the School of Medicine, concepts of scholarship have been defined as follows [1]:

  • Scholarship of Discovery contributes not only to the inventory of human knowledge, but also the intellectual climate of the school.
  • Scholarship of Integration seeks to interpret, draw together and bring new insight to bear on original research.  Scholarship of Integration synthesizes facts into new perspective.
  • Scholarship of Application is the application of knowledge to deal with consequential problems.  In clinical medicine, application of scholarship is tied directly to one’s special field of knowledge and relates to, and flows directly out of this professional activity.  Scholarship of application is serious, demanding work, requiring the rigor and the accountability associated with research activities.
  • Scholarship of Teaching transmits knowledge, transforms and extends knowledge.  Teaching both educates and stimulates future scholarship.
  • Scholarship of Engagement connects any of the above dimensions of scholarship to the understanding and solving of pressing social, civic, and ethical problems.

Criteria for Promotion and Tenure: Tenure Eligible Tracks

Criteria for appointing faculty as tenure-eligible assistant professors can be found within the individual track descriptions (link).

Promotion to associate professor on the tenure eligible faculty tracks requires documentation of excellence in one domain (basic or clinical research, teaching or patient care), scholarship, and regional reputation.  The award of tenure requires documented excellence in two domains (basic or clinical research, teaching or patient care), scholarship and emerging national reputation.  Promotion to professor requires sustained excellence in two domains, scholarship, and national/international reputation.

Faculty on the tenure eligible track must achieve promotion to associate professor by the end of six years in rank as an assistant professor.  If the faculty member has been promoted to associate professor by the end of the six-year probationary period for promotion, but is not also awarded tenure, he/she will be reappointed for a total of four years of tenure eligibility.  All tenure eligible faculty must achieve the award of tenure by the end of four years after their promotion to associate professor.  Tenure eligible faculty appointed at the associate professor level must achieve the award of tenure by the end of four years in rank as an associate professor at the University of Virginia.  Faculty who do not achieve the award of tenure within the specified period become ineligible for tenure.  Faculty may apply for tenure before the end of eligibility.  The application for tenure may occur concurrent with the application for promotion or in any of the three years following promotion.  However, faculty may only apply for tenure once, i.e., the tenure decision is “up-or-out.”  Tenure eligibility is lost upon recommendation against the award of tenure by the Dean of the School of Medicine with agreement by the provost. If, after departmental review and before the dean provides a recommendation regarding the application, the department believes that the application for tenure will not be successful, faculty with time remaining in the probationary period, regardless of track, may withdraw their application from consideration. If, after departmental review and before the dean provides a recommendation regarding the application, the department believes that the application for tenure will not be successful, faculty at the end of the probationary period on the CI or CE tracks may withdraw their application from consideration and transfer to the tenure-ineligible CF track.  A change of appointment track requires the development of an updated job description and effort allocation, as well as approval by the Dean of the School of Medicine.  As per University policy, faculty on the AI track may not transfer to a tenure ineligible track faculty position if the Dean of the School of Medicine recommends against the award of tenure with agreement by the provost.

The Probationary Period on the Tenure Track

The University’s policy on Promotion and Tenure (link) governs the probationary period for tenure eligible faculty, including notices of non-renewal and requests to extend the probationary period.

Criteria for Promotion of Academic General Faculty Members (Tenure Ineligible)

Criteria for appointing Academic General Faculty members (tenure ineligible) as assistant professors can be found within the individual track descriptions (link).

Academic General Faculty members who hold professorial rank are eligible for promotion upon completing the sixth year of their appointment.

Promotion to associate professor on the tenure ineligible CF, RF or IF tracks requires excellence in one domain and meeting expectations of the position statement.  Promotion to professor on the tenure ineligible CF, RF or IF tracks requires sustained excellence in one domain, the demonstration of substantial scholarship, and achievement of national/ international reputation.  Notice of termination will be consistent with University policy governing tenure ineligible positions (link).

Academic General Faculty members at the rank of assistant or associate professor on the tenure ineligible CF, RF, or IF tracks are eligible to transfer to the tenure eligible CE or CI tracks.  A change of appointment track requires the development of an updated job description and effort allocation, as well as approval by the Dean of the School of Medicine.  As per University policy, Academic General Faculty members may not transfer to the tenure eligible AI track. A change to the tenure-eligible AI track requires application to an open search.

The Promotion and Tenure Review Process

All faculty within the School of Medicine must have an annual review with their department chair or the chair’s delegate.  For all faculty below the rank of professor, this review should include a discussion of progress toward academic advancement. Faculty who wish to seek advancement in an upcoming promotion and tenure cycle should consult with their department chair and designated promotion and tenure (P&T) administrative contact regarding internal and Dean’s Office deadlines, and consult the P&T website for supplemental documents (link).

The Dean’s Office solicits all letters from internal and external referees to maintain confidentiality.  Neither the candidate nor the department should have any contact with selected referees after the list has been submitted to the Dean’s Office.

Peer review by the School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee requires review at the departmental level with recommendations by the Chair.  Departmental P&T committees are advisory to the department chair.  Guidelines for departmental P&T committees are on the P&T website (link).

The School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee completes their evaluation of all candidates with individual summary reports to the Dean early in January.  Department chairs may appeal the decisions of the School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee, but only on the basis of new information not previously available to the Committee.  In February, the Dean will report to the provost in writing on the School of Medicine’s promotion and tenure recommendations.  The report of the Dean must include the Dean’s affirmative or negative recommendation on each candidate.  The Provost’s Promotion and Tenure Committee, with representation from experienced School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee members, will review all actions for all candidates.  All positive actions are submitted to the Board of Visitors for final approval.

School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee

The Promotion and Tenure Committee will consist of 18 members, all at the rank of professor.  Three tenure-ineligible Professors will be appointed by the Dean and will, to the extent possible, represent the three tenure-ineligible tracks.  15 members of the committee will be tenured.  Of these 15 members, five will come from basic science departments and the balance will come from clinical departments.  Members will be elected for a three-year term, with the option to renew once.  Department chairs may be invited to serve a one-year term on the committee, to familiarize themselves with the process.  The committee will be led by a Chair and Vice Chair, each serving a two-year term.  The Vice Chair will be selected by the current Chair, the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development, and the School of Medicine Coordinator of Academic Achievement, from within the current members of the Committee.  Unless otherwise arranged, the Vice Chair will assume the role of Chair at the end of their two-year term.  The positions of Chair and Vice Chair will alternate between members on the AI, CI, and CE tracks.

One-half of the tenured members will be appointed by the Dean.  The remaining tenured members will be voted upon by the School of Medicine members of the Faculty Senate.

Committee proceedings are strictly confidential.  Members must absent themselves from the discussion of candidates within their own primary or secondary departments, and from the discussion of candidates with whom there is a stated or unstated conflict of interest.

School of Medicine New Hires Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee

The New Hires Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee reviews (1) all faculty candidates seeking initial appointment at the rank of tenured associate Professor or Professor, with or without tenure and (2) off-cycle promotion and tenure requests as part of retention actions.

Members are recruited from the pool of current and former School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee members and appointed by the Dean.  The Chair Emeritus of the School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee assumes leadership of the New Hires Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee, for a two-year term.  The Chair of the New Hires Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee reviews all faculty candidates for proposed appointments to the rank of associate Professor or above, with or without tenure before a rank is preliminarily identified in a letter of offer.  This preliminary review does not replace a full review by the New Hires Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee at the time of the hire.

 

Contacts:

David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine
James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science

Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
sps2s@virginia.edu

Francis H. Shen, MD
Chair, Promotion and Tenure Committee
fhs2g@virginia.edu

Robert K. Nakamoto, PhD
School of Medicine Coordinator of Academic Achievement
rkn3c@virginia.edu

Marie-Louise Hammarskjold, MD, PhD
Chair, New Hires Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Subcommittee
mh7g@virginia.edu

 

[1]      Ref adapted from Ernest L. Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton University Press, 1990): 15625.

Updated 16 May 2018