DOM Guiding Framework for Promotion and Tenure

Promotion and tenure are central tenets of an academic institution, recognizing and rewarding the accomplishments of faculty.  However, the structure, processes, and requirements for promotion and tenure can be confusing and sometimes indistinct. In an attempt to address the needs of our department, we have created a pragmatic guiding framework of largely quantifiable metrics that faculty, leadership, and the Department of Medicine (DOM) Appointments and Promotions Committee can use to assess readiness for consideration of promotion or tenure.

The metrics as defined are compliant with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (SOM) ‘Guidelines for Faculty Appointment and Promotion.’ The SOM guidelines provide a predominantly thematic approach to appointments and promotions, but where there are quantifiable metrics, they have been incorporated into the DOM guiding framework.

It is not the intent of the guiding framework to fulfill a prescriptive role in promotion and tenure.  Ultimately, the DOM and SOM Faculty Appointment and Promotion Committees will take a holistic view of the candidate that incorporates: letters of peer assessment; creation and sustainment of an intellectual environment; attainment of authoritative knowledge, skills and reputation; impact, originality, excellence and consistency of faculty members body of work in scholarly, teaching, and service activities.

However, it is the intent of the guiding framework to be aspirational and to demonstrate the many ways that faculty can contribute to the mission of the DOM, while building reputation, embracing leadership opportunities, achieving scholarly independence, and continually seeking ways to innovate.

A guiding framework is provided for the Tenure and Non-Tenure Track Investigator-Educator, Clinician-Investigator, and Clinician-Educator Pathways, in addition to the non-tenure Clinician-Leader Pathway and Research Prefix and Clinical Prefix appointments.  The criteria listed are neither exhaustive nor definitive, but necessarily limited to five categories on a single page.  The documents are viewed as organic in nature and feedback/suggestions are both welcomed and encouraged.

The DOM Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee is comprised of members from each Division of the DOM and serves a dual role: first, to advise the DOM Chair if a faculty member is ready to proceed to the SOM Tenured or Non-Tenured Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee; second, in a faculty development role, assessing and providing feedback to Assistant Professors in the Tenure Track.  After approval by the DOM Appointments and Promotions and the Chair, faculty candidates pass through several other committees that include the SOM, the Dean’s office, the Provost’s office, and Chancellor’s office and entire appointment, promotion, and tenure process may take longer than one year.

Links are provided for the SOM guidelines for appointments, promotion, and tenure; the committee approval process for appointments and for promotion and tenure; the ten-year tenure stream chart for physician faculty with clinical responsibilities; the seven-year tenure stream chart for Ph.D. (or equivalent) faculty and physician faculty without clinical responsibilities; and preparing a portfolio for appointment, promotion, or tenure.