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Tenure Track

  • 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.


A. Eligibility:

  1. All faculty members appointed or promoted to ranks below Assistant Professor, or employed part time, will be placed on the non-tenure track. There are no exceptions. These faculty members will be appointed on annually renewable term appointments and are not eligible for tenure.
  2. A faculty member appointed or promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor will be placed on the tenure track (i.e., expected to be reviewed for tenure according to the review schedule in Section V.E. of this document) unless the chairperson of the department and/or the appointee decide(s) that tenure is not an appropriate objective. In such a case, an appointee may be offered an appointment on the non-tenure track.
  3. A faculty member appointed to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor may be granted tenure upon appointment. Otherwise, the faculty member will be placed on the tenure track unless the chairperson of the department and/or the appointee decide(s) that tenure is not an appropriate objective. In such a case, the appointee will be placed on the non-tenure track. A faculty member on the tenure track who is promoted to Associate Professor or Professor does not acquire tenure upon promotion unless tenure is granted as the result of a review for tenure.
  4. A faculty member at the rank of Assistant Professor or above on the non-tenure track who has never before been placed on the tenure track may be transferred to the tenure track subject to the approval of the Department chairperson and the Dean, and any approval required by UMB policy for the tenure track appointment. A written request from the faculty member initiates consideration of the transfer request. A full-time faculty member in the tenure track may move to the non-tenure track upon agreement, in writing, between the faculty member and the chairperson. A copy of each such agreement will be provided to the Dean.
  5. A faculty member reviewed for and denied tenure, and subsequently placed on the non-tenure track on term contract, is ineligible to be reviewed for tenure again. It is recognized that there are highly exceptional circumstances where a faculty member may become a viable candidate for tenure at a subsequent time in his or her career. In such a case, the Department chairperson may request in writing to the Dean that an exception be made and that the candidate be reviewed for tenure a final time. This request may be granted at the discretion of the Dean, who shall document in writing the reason for granting the request.
  6. Except as noted in paragraph 7 below, a full-time faculty member with tenure or in the tenure track loses tenure or moves off the tenure track upon approval of a requested change to part-time status.
  7. Part-time and volunteer faculty are not eligible for tenure or tenure track status. However, in order to implement the goals of the Public-Private Partnership Act, and to provide reasonable accommodation for 4 disabilities or other extenuating circumstances, the Dean may approve temporary part-time status for tenured and tenure-track faculty. The Dean shall then specify in writing (a) the dates when part-time status shall begin and end and (b) the adjustments to the tenure review schedule (as provided in Section V.E.2).
  8. Tenure does not relate to administrative posts or responsibilities including, for example, deans, associate and assistant deans, chairpersons, program directors, division chiefs, laboratory directors, and center directors.

B. Qualifications:

The granting of tenure implies a long-term commitment by the School and the faculty member. It is one of the most important decisions made by the School. The paramount criterion for granting of tenure shall be evidence that the faculty member has made substantial original contributions to knowledge as demonstrated by the publication of a series of peer-reviewed articles based upon the faculty member’s independent academic activities. A member of the faculty who fulfills all of the following criteria, and who demonstrates potential to sustain performance at this level throughout an academic career, shall be eligible for tenure:

  1. A tenurable faculty member exhibits all the qualifications (teaching, basic research/clinical research, clinical activities (as appropriate), and service contributions) required for promotion or appointment to the rank of Associate Professor and either holds the rank of Associate Professor or Professor in the School, or is appointed or promoted to one of those ranks at the time tenure is awarded.
  2. A tenurable faculty member exhibits a consistent pattern of development and achievement in teaching, basic/clinical research, clinical activities (as appropriate), and service, and shows promise for continued achievement.
  3. A tenurable faculty member clearly demonstrates, with appropriate documentation, scholarly excellence recognized by the candidate’s peers as superior at the national level. Evidence of this level of scholarly attainment should include several of the following:
    1. Contributions to Knowledge:
      •   Publication of a series of peer-reviewed articles based on the candidate’s original basic/clinical research program.
      •   Sustained extramural research support from federal/national organizations.
      •   Development and/or refinement of an operative procedure, definition of a new clinical entity, or establishment of a new method of medical treatment. These advances must have been recognized as true advances in the literature and among physicians with expertise and/or other appropriate renowned experts.
      •    Awards and honors from national organizations.
      •    Invitations to present the individual's own scholarly contributions at major symposia.
      •    Invitations to present seminars, grand rounds, or other special lectures at other institutions of higher learning.
      •    Publication of invited reviews/summary articles.
    2. Teaching:
      •    Successful and effective mentoring of trainees.
      •    Development and dissemination of novel educational materials.
      •    Direction of a nationally funded program such as a training program.
    3. Service:
      •    Service on national study sections.
      •    Service on the editorial boards of major journals.
      •    Service as a committee chair or officer in national professional organizations.