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UM School of Medicine Launches New Pathway to Promotion for Non-Tenure Track Faculty; Policy will Specifically Benefit Clinician-Educators and Administrators

January 08, 2020

New Policy Heralded by UMSOM’s ‘Women in Medicine and Science’ for Addressing Equity in Promotion Disparities in Clinical Departments

UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that a new contemporary pathway to promotion has been created that will directly benefit faculty who are clinician-educators or clinician- administrators.  The new policy is based on a recent analysis of faculty promotions in UMSOM’s academic departments that revealed a gender disparity in promotion rates for some clinical faculty in clinical departments.

The Dean appointed a special committee to review the issue of equity in promotion and to recommend changes as appropriate. The Committee for Remodeling the Pathway to Promotion, was chaired by Mary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, and vice-chaired by Bennie Jeng, MD, Professor & Chair, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences.  The analysis conducted by the committee showed that faculty members in basic science departments and researchers in clinical departments did not exhibit gender disparity in promotion rates.  However, the analysis showed that clinical faculty in clinical departments did exhibit gender disparity in promotion rates.  Hence, the committee focused on what could be done to address this disparity in these departments. The Committe, working in consultation with leadership in the Dean's Office, developed this new contemporary pathway to promotion.

The new path, to be introduced in Fall of 2020, has been welcomed by faculty across both clinical and basic science departments as an exciting and significant step for the UMSOM in supporting excellence in education and in being responsive to the diversity of roles and contributions among faculty members.

Mary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MPH & Bennie Jeng, MDSpecifically, the new policy means that both the Tenure Track and Non-Tenure Track will each have two pathways for promotion.  Currently, the Tenure Track has two paths:  one for a scientist or physician/ scientist leading a research team, and one for other doctoral level experts in research methodology who are essential members of a large research team, such as a biostatistician, physicist, etc.  Similarly, the Non-Tenure Track will also have two paths: one for clinical or basic scientist faculty members who are substantially engaged in research, and one for a clinician-educator or clinician-administrator faculty who are engaged in patient care, education and administration.  In all cases, there must be excellence demonstrated in at least two mission areas, but the weighting will vary depending the track or path.

Similar to the equivalent path that exists for Tenure Track, the new path in the non-tenure track will add requirements that include “exceptionally strong teaching, service and/or clinical activity, with modified expectations for peer-reviewed publications, and a broader definition of scholarly contributions to knowledge.”

“This is a major breakthrough in the way that promotion is evaluated and administered for our faculty who choose to take this new path as a clinician-educator or clinician administrator,” said Dean Reece, who is also Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “The Committee has done outstanding work on this issue.  I am very pleased that the result is a specific policy change that directly addresses this critical disparity in faculty equity in promotion – one of the key goals of the UMSOM Culture Transformation Initiative.”

UMSOM Women in Medicine and Science Meeting

The new promotion policy and structure are outlined below:

Reaction to the new policy has been extraordinarily favorable.

Kimberly Lumpkins“One of the first initiatives of the newly created UMSOM Women in Medicine and Science organization was a survey of the promotion experience of women faculty,” said Kimberly Lumpkins, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Associate Program Director, General Surgery Residency, and President of UMSOM Women in Medicine and Science.  “An overwhelming 93 percent of surveyed faculty supported an expanded pathway to accommodate clinician-educators and others.  The new changes show that the voice of the faculty has been heard. Most importantly, the new pathway enhances the UMSOM’s ability to recognize and celebrate the diverse efforts of faculty who support every facet of UMSOM’s mission: education, research, patient care, and service,” Dr. Lumpkins said.

Mary-Claire RoghmannMary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MPH added:  “This guidance on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (APT) will drive promotion equity through rewarding excellence across all of our mission areas- research, education, clinical care and service. These guidelines will forge a pathway to promotion for all faculty members enhancing our national reputation as a top-tier medical school.”

James Kaper
James Kaper, PhD, the James & Carolyn Frenkil Distinguished Dean’s Professor, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, and Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, said: “We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of clinician-educators who are richly deserving of this new pathway to promotion”.

Other faculty and senior administrators applauded the new pathway, both for enhancing educational excellence as well as for its benefits for women faculty.

Susan WolfsthalSusan Wolfsthal, MD, The Celesete Lauve Woodward, MD Professor in Humanitarian and Ethical Medical Practice and Associate Chair, said that the new pathway “affirms our mission and will inspire faculty, and promote equity in promotion and recognition of faculty excellence in medical education, leadership, clinical work and administration – all vital components for the ongoing and future success of the UMSOM.”

Rose Viscardi“The new promotion pathway is a tremendous opportunity to recognize each faculty member's contributions to excellence in the UMSOM,” said Rose Marie Viscardi, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine.  “These changes will be welcomed by all faculty, but I think will be particularly helpful in eliminating the disparity in promotion rates for women faculty.”

Donna ParkerDonna Parker, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, added:  “The creation of this new pathway to promotion will affirm and reward the mission-critical work of training the next generation of UMSOM graduates in the art and science of medicine and will inspire a renewed interest among faculty in careers and leadership roles in medical education.”

“The impact of this new track on our faculty will be immeasurable, powerful and extremely uplifting,” she added.  “I look forward to supporting many of my colleagues as they move forward in this new pathway.”

Department Chairs have joined in welcoming the new policy.

Margaret McCarthyFrom the Department of Pharmacology, Margaret “Peg” McCarthy, PhD, who is the James & Carolyn Frenkil Dean’s Professor and Chair, said: “This is a great example of solution-based problem-solving. I would like to offer my congratulations to all involved, especially our clinician-educators.”

Bennie Jeng“This new pathway will allow for clinician-educators to be appropriately recognized for the valuable contributions that they make to the school and their professions,” said Department of Ophthalmology Chair Bennie Jeng, MD.

Steven Czinn“I can say that this will have enormous benefits for departments like Pediatrics,” said Steven Czinn, MD, the Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Endowed Professor and Chair.  “We are most appreciative of the efforts of Dean Reece and of this committee to recognize the importance of the contributions made to further excellence across our mission areas.”

Added Peter Rock, MD, MBA, The Martin Helrich Chair for Anesthesiology, “The new pathway is absolutely the right thing to do.  It will enhance the quality of our faculty and the overall reputation of the UMSOM.”



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