P&T Eligibility and Key Terms
Promotion and Tenure Eligibility
SOM tenure eligible (TE) faculty have a maximum of 6 years to achieve promotion to associate professor and an additional 4 years after the promotion to attain tenure.
SOM faculty on tenure ineligible (TI) faculty tracks will be considered for promotion in rank within seven years in the assistant or associate professor rank. Within SOM, they are typically considered in their sixth year. The faculty member’s department chair and the faculty member may agree that they are ready to be considered for early promotion based on exceptional performance or prior experience.
For both TE and TI faculty, promotion (and/or tenure for eligible faculty) may be requested earlier if criteria have been achieved at the time of application and with the support of their primary department, as described below.
Counting Years in Rank
In the School of Medicine, the ‘year’ for counting years in rank always begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Regardless of the faculty position start date within a calendar year, the years in rank are counted from July 1 of that calendar year. The preparation, submission and review of promotion materials begins one and a half years prior to the intended promotion or tenure date (see the P&T homepage for the candidate process and timeline).
Tenure-Ineligible (TI) faculty who hold professorial rank (assistant or associate professor) are eligible for promotion within seven years in rank. Within SOM, TI promotions are typically considered within the sixth year.
Because TI faculty do not have probationary end dates by which they must be promoted (i.e., there is no maximum time on rank for TI faculty), they may apply for promotion earlier or later than six years. TI faculty are allowed to apply for promotion earlier than the six years if they and their department feel that they have met the criteria for promotion. The decision to apply for promotion must be made in consultation with the department chair and/or division chief and nominations for promotion must be made by the department chair. Please see the P&T homepage for the candidate process and timeline.
TE faculty have a maximum of 6 years to achieve promotion to associate and an additional 4 years after the promotion to attain tenure. The tenure track is governed by the SOM P&T Policy and Provost Policy 017 – Promotion & Tenure.
- TE assistant professor for 6 years (two 3-year terms).
- Probationary end date is the date by which they must be promoted to associate professor.
- TE associate professor for 4 years.
- Probationary end date is the date by which they must attain tenure.
- Upon successfully attaining tenure, the faculty member becomes an “associate professor without term.” There is no probationary end date for this rank.
- The faculty member’s rank is still associate professor.
- The only remaining P&T action is promotion to professor. There is no probationary end date for this action.
Applying for promotion and tenure with eligibility remaining
Tenure track faculty are given probationary end dates, which are the deadlines for achieving promotion to associate professor and then tenure. However, faculty can begin the P&T process before the end of their eligibility. They are not required to wait until their last year of eligibility to complete P&T for either promotion to associate or tenure.
TE faculty may apply for promotion and tenure separately, or at the same time. If applying for promotion and tenure, the criteria and expectations are for the award of tenure. The tenure criteria are based on the faculty track.
“Time off the Clock”
Off-the-clock requests or clock stops provide faculty on the tenure-track with an additional year of time to either be promoted to associate professor or achieve tenure. They are requested in one-year increments. Each request, if approved, provides one additional year of time.
Typically, clock stops are granted for these reasons: (1) engagement in important public or University service, (2) maternity or family parenting, and (3) serious personal or family illness. Faculty may request and receive multiple clock stops. A leave of absence from the University does not extend the probationary period on the tenure track without an approved clock stop.
All tenure-eligible faculty hired or promoted to associate professor with term on or before April 1, 2021 automatically received a one-year extension of the probationary period because of the COIVD-19 pandemic. Please see the Provost’s memo for full details.
Academic Rank – Rank refers to a faculty member’s professorial title – Assistant, Associate, or Professor. Their rank does not change when they attain tenure.
Academic Track – Faculty appointments each have a faculty “track.” There are seven tracks in SOM; three are tenure eligible (TE) and four are tenure ineligible (TI).
- Tenure tracks: Academic Investigator, Clinician Educator, and Clinician Investigator
- Non-tenure tracks: Clinical Faculty, Instructional Faculty, Research Faculty-Independent Research, and Research Faculty-Research Support
Clock Stop – Off-the-clock requests or clock stops provide faculty on the tenure-track with one additional year of time to either be promoted to associate professor or attain tenure.
Out-Of-Cycle Promotion – an expedited promotion not during the annual process in a P&T class. Typically undertaken for retention.
P&T Class – The group of faculty for which the requests for promotion or tenure are submitted. Each department finalizes their members in the class in April. Stated in year format (2023-24, 2024-25 etc.).
Tenure Eligible – A faculty member who is on a tenure track and has a tenure eligible appointment with term, meaning that it has a start and end date. They are not yet tenured.
Tenured – A faculty member on a tenure track who has an appointment without term, meaning that there is no end date or term. Reappointment letters are no longer needed for their primary appointment.
Tenure Probationary End Date or simply Probationary End Date – The date by which tenure eligible faculty must attain promotion to associate or tenure. This is detailed in the Provost’s Promotion and Tenure policy.
- In SOM, probationary end dates are all 6/30/YEAR because SOM P&T actions are officially effective on 7/1. The Board of Visitors approval makes P&T actions official.
- For TE Assistant Professors – This date is when they must attain promotion to associate professor. The date resets after their promotion is official.
- Example: A TE assistant professor with a probationary end date of June 30, 2023 would be in the 2022-23 P&T class. They must be promoted to associate by July 1, 2023. After promotion, their probationary end date moves forward four years to June 30, 2027.
- For TE Associate Professors – This date is when they must attain tenure.
- Example: A TE associate professor with a probationary end date of June 30, 2023 would be in the 2022-23 P&T class. They must attain tenure by July 1, 2023.
Track change – Track changes allow faculty members to move from one faculty track to a different track. The main reason for a track change is to better align a faculty member’s work with their track.