Each candidate for promotion and/or tenure is reviewed at three levels: by their TIU, the College, and the University.
The basic foundation of the faculty promotion system is rigorous peer review. At each level of review the process is biphasic, which is initially evaluative and secondarily is advocative.
Phase I: Department-level review
The initial level of review is by the eligible faculty of the tenure-initiating unit. In each department the eligible faculty consists of faculty who are at or above the rank for which the candidate is being considered. By university rule, regular clinical track faculty members are not eligible to vote in the promotion considerations of faculty on the tenure track (tenure track faculty can vote on regular clinical track promotions).
The vote of the eligible faculty is forwarded to the TIU Head who makes an independent evaluation of the candidate. When the departmental evaluation concludes, (i.e. when the department chair’s recommendation is reached), the faculty member must be advised of this and that they have 10 days to provide comments about the decision. The comments process can address procedural errors or improper review, but cannot be based on a simple disagreement with the decision. The department chair has the opportunity to respond to comments that are submitted by the faculty member. There is only one round of comments and response. Any comments and/or response become part of the dossier, and included in subsequent phases of review.
Assuming that there is a positive evaluation by the peer-review group, the advocacy phase of the promotion process begins, whereby the TIU head presents an objective review of the candidate’s record of achievement to the College of Medicine’s Promotion and Tenure Committee.
Phase II: College-level review
There are two College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committees. One consists of 18 tenure track faculty at the rank of full professor and the other consists of 18 clinical track faculty at the rank of full professors. The membership of the committee is based on recommendations by the department chairs, and not all departments are represented. As may be expected, each committee is responsible for reviewing candidates within its track. The tenure track committee also reviews regular research track faculty candidates.
Each dossier that is considered by the College committee is assigned to three reviewers: Primary, Pro and Con. The primary reviewer is responsible for providing a thorough review and in leading the discussion before the entire committee. Each dossier also receives a Pro review, which is intended to highlight strengths of the dossier, and a Con review, which is intended to focus on weaknesses of the dossier.
After review by the College Committee, the recommendation of the College Committee is submitted to the Dean. The Dean may concur or disagree with the recommendation of the College Committee. After the Dean’s decision is reached, the faculty is advised that the College decision is concluded, and they again have 10 days to offer comments. The comments process at the College level is the same as the department level. When it concludes, the original dossier is sent to the University Office of Academic Affairs.
Phase III: University-level Review
The University’s Office of Academic Affairs screens each dossier that is submitted. Positive cases that pass screening do not go to the university-level committee, they are referred directly to the Board of Trustees for final approval. Dossiers that do not pass screening, or came to the university-level with a negative recommendation at any level along the way, are forwarded to the university-level committee.
Positive decisions at the university-level are then forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval and implementation. All promotions become effective on September 1.
(See University Rules 3335-6-04 and 3335-7-05)