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Changing Tracks

The faculty system is designed to be flexible and to appreciate that a faculty member’s interests may change or evolve over time. Therefore it is possible for a faculty member to move between tracks. The specific details, requirements, expectations, and approvals required for these transitions are described below. 

Tenure-Track to Clinical Faculty

A faculty member may transfer from the tenure-track to the clinical faculty at any time. If it becomes clear that a faculty member’s pattern of accomplishment and activity is not well suited to the tenure-track, it is in everyone’s interest to re-deploy that faculty member as soon as possible to a track that is better suited to their interests and strengths.   

A Department may not unilaterally transfer a faculty member from the tenure-track to the clinical faculty. In some cases the decision to transfer to the clinical faculty is the result of feedback from the department regarding the faculty member’s progress. The ability to transfer to the clinical faculty is dependent upon the Department having a clinical faculty position available. In all cases the request to transfer to the clinical faculty is initiated by the faculty member. The faculty member must write a letter requesting the transfer, and must acknowledge that by doing so they understand that they are relinquishing their eligibility for tenure. The request must also clearly state how the faculty member’s career goals and activities have changed. The request for the transfer requires approval by the Department Chairperson, College Dean, and Executive Vice President and Provost.  (See University Rule 3335-7-09)

Transfer to the clinical faculty entails a new position, and therefore a new letter of offer is required. Since the pattern of responsibilities and expectations for clinical faculty and tenure-track are different, it is essential that the new letter of offer clearly describe the expectations regarding the clinical faculty appointment. Any years of probationary service on the tenure-track do not count toward the probationary period for a new clinical faculty appointment.

Tenure-Track to Research Faculty

A faculty member may transfer from the tenure-track to the research faculty at any time during the probationary period.  If it becomes clear that a faculty member’s pattern of accomplishment and activity is not well suited to the tenure-track, it is in everyone’s interest to re-deploy that faculty member as soon as possible to a track that is better suited to their interests and strengths. 

Transfer to the research faculty is not appropriate for a faculty member who has been unsuccessful in meeting research expectations as a tenure-track faculty member. Transfer to the research faculty to avoid a negative tenure decision is not permitted.

A Department may not unilaterally transfer a faculty member from the tenure-track to the research faculty. In some cases the decision to transfer to the research faculty is the result of feedback from the department regarding the faculty member’s progress. The ability to transfer to the research faculty is dependent on the Department having a research faculty position available. In all cases the request to transfer to the research faculty is initiated by the faculty member. The faculty member must write a letter requesting the transfer, and must acknowledge that by doing so they understand that they are relinquishing their eligibility for tenure. The request must also clearly state how the faculty member’s career goals and activities have changed. The request for the transfer requires approval by the Department Chairperson, College Dean, and Executive Vice President and Provost. (See University Rule 3335-7-38)

Transfer to the research faculty entails a new position, and therefore a new letter of offer is required.  Since the pattern of responsibilities and expectations for research faculty and tenure-track are different, it is essential that the new letter of offer clearly describe the expectations regarding the research faculty appointment. Any years of probationary service on the tenure track do not count toward the probationary period for a new research track appointment.   

Clinical Faculty, Research Faculty, or Associated Faculty to Tenure-Track

Transfer from either the clinical faculty, research faculty, or the associated faculty is not permitted. However, faculty members who hold positions on these tracks are eligible to apply for tenure-track positions that become available, and must compete for these positions in the context of a national search. (See university Rule 3335-7-10 and 3335-7-39) ​​​