Frequently Asked Questions
What does Tenure Track mean at School of Medicine?
- If a faculty member is placed on the tenure track, and they are successfully renewed through the end of their clock, they are guaranteed a formal review for tenure within the department. Only full-time faculty at the ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor can be placed on the tenure track.
- The length of the clock depends on what rank the faculty member is when placed on the tenure track.
- Nine years if initially appointed as an Assistant Professor.
- Four years if initially appointed as an Associate Professor or Professor.
- Once a tenure track faculty is renewed through the ninth or fourth year of his/her clock, there are several options at the point of formal review:
- Recommend promotion and the awarding of tenure.
- Recommend awarding of tenure only (Associate Professor and Professor ranks only).
- Recommend promotion and switch to non-tenure track.
- Recommend a switch to the non-tenure track remaining at the same rank.
- Notify faculty member of termination at end of tenth or fifth year (guaranteed terminal year).
- Under the School’s APT Policy, effective July 1, 1998, tenure track faculty can be promoted in rank prior to being reviewed for tenure. While the ranks can change, the initial tenure track clock (nine or four years) is not affected. Also, there is nothing to prevent a faculty member from being forwarded for tenure earlier in their clock; if denied, their clock is unaffected.
- Because tenure track reviews are so strictly dictated in the policy, formal notices are sent periodically directly from the Dean to the Chair regarding renewal/non-renewal and formal tenure reviews.
I'm a new Tenure-Track Assistant Professor. What's crucial?
- Clearly define and update annually with your Chief and Department Chair:
- Especially for clinicians, their expectations regarding your schedule of clinical duties. Be sure all three of you have the same understanding.
- Especially for research-intensive faculty members, the approximate percentage of your salary that you must earn yourself through non-clinical sources (funded research, contracts) to expect what definition of "protected time" for scholarship. How will this change after the first three years in rank?
- Resources that the Division and Department are prepared to provide you for your clinical, research, teaching, and administrative activities.
- Their vision as to your career development path.
- Delve into your scholarship interest. The Department expects all faculty members who desire consideration for promotion to participate in all areas that support the mission of the Department: citizenship/administration; education; and grant support/scholarly output. Research intensive physicians should be above average in academic recognition (publications and grant support) and educational activities, while participating as a “good citizen” in the Department and the SOM. If your scholarship is to be a clinician educator, establish an independent area of expertise in teaching or curriculum development. Clinicians should be above average to outstanding in their educational activities as well as publishing a number of peer-reviewed papers at or near the 25%ile for successful promotions to the desired rank as documented in the trailing three-year data published by the Dean’s Office of Academic Administration (see below). The Inventory or Activities (formerly the “Activity Matrix” is a useful tool that you should archive each year after your Annual Review meeting with the Chair. It will often point out one (or more) of the areas essential for promotion or award of Tenure (citizenship and administration; education; and grant support/scholarly output) that is underrepresented in your career.
- Your departmental Teaching Scores, Rank Comparison and Comments will be archived in ATLAS. Please solicit evaluations of your teaching after each discussion group, small- and large- group lecture (whether inside the Department, SOM, UMB or outside the institution). Archive these evaluations to document and build your teaching portfolio. You may also document education as your area by publication in peer-reviewed journals and contributions to related professional societies.
- Present your work within the institution as well as at national meetings. Speak with your mentors about which meetings to submit your work, and about other forums for presentation.
- Develop a national network within your field and lay the groundwork for building a national reputation for your scholarship. Seek and welcome advice of mentor(s), Chief, and Chair in this regard.
- Once again, week by week, capture and archive items for eventual academic portfolio. It is a document to gradually build, not one to try to piece together retroactively. This document will represent “you” in promotion or tenure eligibility reviews. Don’t underestimate its importance.
- Keep your CV updated in ATLAS. Many faculty members will output ATLAS-generated CV as a word document and keep a copy at home and at work.
Does my teaching portfolio document tenure eligibility? What should I emphasize?
Review criteria may include:
- Achievement of professional recognition acknowledged on the basis of clinical care, research, or teaching considered to be of high quality among peers nationally in your field of specialization.
- Especially for those who are research-intensive faculty members, it is crucial to have proven experience serving as principal investigator on funded national research grants. It is recognized that competition for grants is very stiff. It is also recognized that those who start early and persist eventually do win a grant. The size of the grant is not as important for scholarship assessment as the fact that the grant has been awarded in peer competition.
- Publication of a significant number of high quality publications in refereed journals. These will be reviewed based on the scientific or scholarly soundness of the work, its impact on the field, and the evidence of independent thought and action.
- Appointment or elected leadership in regional and national societies, specialty governing boards, or editorial boards.
- Demonstrated teaching effectiveness stemming from significant teaching responsibilities to medical students, residents, and postdoctoral trainees.
- Citizenship to the School and University through evidence of service such as involvement in task forces, committees, administrative leadership positions that span departmental boundaries.
I'm reappointed! Now what?
- Publish your work (first or senior authorship).
- Obtain external funding to support your scholarship when possible.
- Demonstrate a clear capacity for scientific productivity and for original and independent research.
- Present your work and make contributions to the field in national forums.
- Mentor students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty in a productive and collaborative manner. Demonstrate a strong interest in and capacity for teaching.
- Document your educational philosophy and quantify teaching activities.
- Document peer-reviewed awards, honors, and other indications that your scholarship is recognized nationally.
- Serve on national committees and study sections/review groups.
- Assume leadership roles in the Department, School, or nationally in your field of scholarship.
- Maintain network of colleagues for scholarly and collaborative interactions.
- Demonstrate commitment to excellent patient care with evidence of a high level of clinical competence.
- Instill “great expectations.”
- Know when your academic portfolio is due and what it needs to include. Keep chipping away at it as your career evolves.
- Meet regularly with your Chief, Chair, and mentor(s) about your career development.
What forms of publication "count" toward tenure?
- Beyond clinical topics, peer-reviewed publications may address quality, cost, and ethical issues that are related to education and health care delivery.
- Alternative forms of publication (abstracts, audiovisual materials, posters, exhibits, etc.) while also important in the overall evaluation for promotion cannot be substituted for the required publication benchmarks in highly-regarded journals.
I got promoted or awarded tenure! Now what?
- Clarify with Chief and Chair what having “tenure” means and does not mean.
- Assess your position in the Department and in your field of scholarship.
- Re-examine your long-term professional and personal goals.
- Provide leadership in the School of Medicine as well as to faculty as a mentor and role model within the University, nationally, and internationally.
- Share your perspective on scholarship, leadership, and career development with young (and old!) faculty, fellows, students, and colleagues.
- Prepare for post-tenure review.
How many papers do I need to be promoted?
- There is no specified number of papers to achieve promotion. Information released by the Dean’s Office for Academic Administration (and the SOM APT committee) profile the candidates who were successfully promoted to Associate and Full Professor: FY16-FY18 APT Analysis
- Although the impact factor of journal papers as well as H factor for each author it is considered by the APT committee, there are other influences.