Section 5 Faculty Ranks, Classifications of Appointments, and Promotion
5.1 Faculty Ranks, Titles, and Guidelines for Appointment
At UTHSC criteria for appointment to the several faculty ranks are complex. They reflect the rigorous preparation necessary for university teaching, research, service, and, if applicable, patient care; the varied expectations directed to the faculty of a major university; and the diversity of missions performed by academic units at a health science center. Each faculty position has its own distinctive requirements, but UTHSC has established basic guidelines common to all colleges. Deficiencies in some aspect(s) may be counterbalanced by superiority in others. In certain fields of endeavor, some of these guidelines may be replaced by others.
5.1.1 Basic Guidelines for the Rank of Professor
Depending on the distinctive requirements contained in the letter of appointment (Section 4.6.2), a faculty member with the rank of Professor is expected
- To hold the doctorate or other terminal degree of the discipline or have equivalent training and experience appropriate to the particular appointment;
- To have an established reputation as an excellent teacher, based on both peer group and student evaluation;
- To have an established record of excellence in research and/or scholarly or professional attainment, based primarily on peer group evaluation;
- d. To have a record of effective participation in professional activities other than teaching and research;
- To have demonstrated ability to relate effectively to students and professional colleagues; and
- To have held the rank of Associate Professor at UTHSC or other reputable academic institutions for at least five years.
5.1.2 Basic Guidelines for the Rank of Associate Professor
Depending on the distinctive requirements contained in the letter of appointment (Section 4.6.2), a faculty member with the rank of Associate Professor is expected
- To hold the doctorate or other terminal degree of the discipline or equivalent training and experience appropriate to the particular appointment;
- To have a reputation as an effective teacher, based on both peer group and student evaluation;
- To have a good record in research and/or scholarly or professional attainment, based primarily on peer group evaluation;
- To have interest and participation in professional activities other than teaching and research;
- To have demonstrated ability to relate effectively to students and professional colleagues; and
- To have held the rank of Assistant Professor at UTHSC or other reputable academic institutions for at least four years.
5.1.3 Basic Guidelines for the Rank of Assistant Professor
Depending on the distinctive requirements contained in the letter of appointment (Section 4.6.2), a faculty member with the rank of Assistant Professor is expected
- To hold the doctorate or other terminal degree of the discipline or equivalent training and experience appropriate to the particular appointment;
- To show promise as a teacher, based on peer group or student evaluation;
- To show evidence of ability in research and/or scholarly or professional promise, based primarily on peer group evaluation;
- To have interest and participation in professional activities other than teaching and research; and
- To have demonstrated ability to relate effectively to students or professional colleagues.
5.1.4 Basic Guidelines for the Rank of Instructor
Depending on the distinctive requirements contained in the letter of appointment (Section 4.6.2), a faculty member with the rank of Instructor is expected
- To have appropriate education and experience as specified by the academic unit in which the appointment is to be made;
- To show interest in teaching;
- To have interest in scholarly activity or professional endeavors other than teaching and research;
- To have an excellent scholastic record as a student; and
- To demonstrate evidence of ability to relate effectively to students or professional colleagues.
5.2 Classification of Faculty Appointments
All faculty members are appointed and promoted through the normal channels, according to the processes contained in Sections 4.6 and 5.9, respectively. Appointees are assigned standard faculty rank based on their qualifications and experience (Section 5.1). In performing their assigned duties, faculty members have the rights, responsibilities, and privileges described in this Faculty Handbook. Differences among the various classifications of faculty appointments in no way entail a distinction between those with academic freedom and those without it; nor do the classifications entail a distinction between persons who are entitled to due process and those who are not.
5.2.1 Regular Full-Time Appointments
Regular full-time appointments are for those faculty members who devote one hundred percent (100%) of their academic or professional efforts to the mission and programs of UTHSC; All regular full-time appointments are either tenured or tenure-track and are the only faculty appointments that have tenure eligibility (Section 4.4); The base salary is the only portion of a faculty member's salary that is protected by tenure. There are two types of full-time appointments - strict and geographical.
- Strict Regular Appointment. The total salary of the faculty member is paid from UTHSC funds with outside compensation permitted as specified in the initial appointment letter (Section 4.6.2) and Appendix F; Appointees are eligible for participation in group insurance, retirement plans, and other standard University benefits.
- Geographical Regular Appointment. Only a portion of the faculty member's income is paid from UTHSC funds, but UTHSC has knowledge and control over the faculty member's total income received for academic and professional activities; A Professional Activity Allowance Agreement is executed between the faculty member and The University as specified in the initial appointment letter (Section 4.6.2); Appointees are eligible for participation in standard University benefits with such benefits being calculated on the faculty member's UTHSC salary only.
5.2.2 Limited-Term Full-Time Appointments
Limited-term full-time appointments are for those faculty members who devote one-hundred percent (100%) of their academic or professional efforts to the mission and programs of UTHSC, but whose appointments are limited by time or by source of funding; Limited-term faculty members are eligible for University benefits but are not eligible for tenure (Section 4.4); As with regular full-time appointments, limited-term appointments may be either strict or geographical; Generally, each limited-term faculty member meets annually with the Chair for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review (Section 4.14.3 and Appendix J); There are two versions of limited-term appointments - time-limited and funding-limited.
- Time-Limited Term Appointment is for a period of at least one month, but not more than one year. Time-limited appointments may be renewed, but the total length of the initial appointment plus re-appointments cannot exceed three years. A faculty member who has held a time-limited appointment for three years is usually not eligible for an additional time-limited appointment; at the end of the appointment term, the faculty member's employment will be discontinued, if the appointment has not been renewed.
- Funding-Limited Term Appointment; The appointment is contingent upon salary funding for the position being obtained from a source that is not controlled by The University, e.g., grants, contracts, etc.; Funding-limited appointments usually cannot be made if 30% or more of the faculty member's salary is funded from University-controlled sources; When the funding for the position expires, the faculty member's employment will be discontinued; If the funding-limited faculty member is later appointed to the regular full-time faculty (Section 4.7.2), all Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action requirements must be fulfilled prior to offering a regular appointment to this faculty member; Affirmative Action must be met as this will be considered a new position for affirmative action purposes; In addition, if the regular appointment is proposed at a higher rank than the current appointment, it is considered a promotion and must be processed as such within the college.
5.2.3 Part-Time Appointments
Part-time appointments are for those faculty members who devote less than one hundred percent (100%) of their academic or professional efforts to the mission and programs of UTHSC. There are two versions of part-time appointments - regular and limited-term. Part-time faculty members are not eligible for tenure (Section 4.4). Appointees may be either salaried for routinely recurring service or receive special payments for services performed on an irregular basis. Part-time faculty members may be eligible for some University benefits, depending on their percentage of effort. Each part-time faculty member meets annually with the Chair for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review (Section 4.14.3 and Appendix J). At the end of the appointment term, the faculty member's employment will be discontinued, if the appointment has not been renewed.
5.2.4 Administrative Appointments
Administrative appointments are for those individuals who are primarily employed by The University as non-faculty members of the UTHSC executive, administrative, or professional staff, but who also devote a portion of their effort to service on the UTHSC faculty. Appointees must be qualified to hold academic rank based on their qualifications and experience (Section 5.1). Appointees are eligible for University benefits based on their non-faculty positions and are not eligible for tenure (Section 4.4). Individuals with administrative appointments are entitled to the rights and privileges of faculty members only with respect to their faculty activities but not with respect to their non-faculty activities. This faculty appointment is evaluated annually. At the end of the appointment term, the faculty appointment will be discontinued, unless it is renewed.
5.2.5 Affiliated Appointments
Affiliated appointments are for those faculty members who are employed by an institution that has a formal UTHSC affiliation but who devote a portion of their effort to service on the UTHSC faculty, generally without monetary compensation from UTHSC. Appointees receive group insurance, retirement plans, or other standard benefits through the affiliated institution. Appointees are not eligible for tenure (Section 4.4). Appointees are assigned standard faculty rank based on their qualifications and experience (Section 5.1). If a staff member of an affiliated institution is awarded a faculty appointment at UTHSC, that individual is responsible to the Chair of the appointing department for his or her activities as a faculty member in that department, whether those activities are carried out in the affiliated institution or elsewhere. Each affiliated faculty member is evaluated and reappointed every three years relative to his or her continuing role in the department. If the faculty appointment is not renewed, the appointment will be discontinued at the end of the appointment term.
5.2.6 Volunteer Appointments
Volunteer appointments are for faculty members who devote a portion of their effort to serve on the UTHSC faculty without monetary compensation or benefits from UTHSC or from an affiliated institution.; Appointees are not eligible for tenure (Section 4.4). Appointees are assigned standard faculty ranks based on their qualifications and experience (Section 5.1). Their faculty titles have a prefix of adjunct or clinical. Adjunct (e.g., Adjunct Professor) designates an appointee whose contribution is non-clinical. Clinical (e.g., Clinical Assistant Professor) designates an appointee whose contribution includes clinical activities (e.g., patient care). If an individual is awarded a volunteer faculty appointment at UTHSC, that individual is responsible to the Chair of the appointing department for his or her activities as a faculty member in that department. Each volunteer faculty member is evaluated and reappointed every three years relative to his or her continuing role in the department. If the faculty appointment is not renewed, the appointment will be discontinued at the end of the appointment term.
5.2.7 Emeritus Appointments
UTHSC may award emeritus status to faculty members at the time of retirement. A faculty member with emeritus status holds an honorary faculty appointment at a specified rank. Emeritus status is granted to those individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to UTHSC and who have received recognition for their academic contributions. The status is not granted automatically upon retirement of a faculty member but rather upon the recommendation of the faculty member's Chair, with the endorsement of the Dean, and subsequent approval of the Chancellor. The status is usually reserved for individuals retiring at the rank of full professor and such individuals are designated as Emeritus Professor. An administrator retiring with the rank of dean or above usually is designated Dean Emeritus, etc. An individual retiring at a lower rank may be granted the status of emeritus at that rank, this award being based on the length and quality of service to UTHSC.
5.3 Joint Appointments
5.3.1 Interdepartmental or Intercollegiate Joint Appointments
Joint appointments involve the faculty member's participation in the activities of two or more departments. The "base" department is the principal department to which the faculty member is attached. The "primary" appointment is the appointment to the base department. Any appointment in another department or academic unit is called a "secondary" appointment. Thus, a faculty member may have faculty appointments in two or more departments; collectively, these appointments are called "joint" appointments. On personnel matters for a faculty member with joint appointments, there must be appropriate consultation between the base department and the Chair(s) and faculty of the secondary academic unit(s). In the unusual situation where joint appointments involve equal time divided between two or more departments, the faculty member must elect one of the departments to be the base department.
In the case of joint appointments, the faculty member who is to receive joint appointments should have documented credentials in the discipline of each department. In addition, the joint appointee should have a documented bona fide role in each department. The Chairs of the departments involved have joint responsibilities to reach an agreement on the joint appointments and to make joint recommendations to the Dean(s) concerning such appointments, with the agreement of the faculty member involved. The academic rank need not be the same in each department and, if different, generally is higher in the base department. In considering joint appointments, each Chair should bear in mind the value of the faculty member's contribution to UTHSC or the college, not just his or her own department. An individual, holding joint appointments in two or more departments, should be evaluated regularly by the respective Chairs for his or her contributions to each respective department, with the frequency of such evaluations depending on the classification of the joint appointments (Section 5.2).
5.3.2 Intercampus Joint Appointments
Intercampus academic appointments are joint faculty appointments, involving UTHSC and either another UT campus or a non-UT college or university. Intercampus academic appointments are sometimes authorized when faculty members at one university campus have expertise that qualifies them for participating in the work of a department on another university campus and when the other department has need of their services. The definition and extent of such intercampus participation is determined by mutual agreement among the faculty member, the Department Chairs in consultation with appropriate faculty of the academic units involved, and the respective deans or other campus officers. In such cases, the following guidelines are observed:
- The appointment is usually without salary or tenure in the cooperating or second department (i.e., the unit awarding the intercampus appointment), and tenure status (if any) and salary continue to be linked with the base department.
- In the cooperating department on the other campus, the title of the faculty member is determined by mutual agreement between that Department Chair and the faculty member, subject to approval by the appropriate campus officers.
- Following informal discussion or negotiation, the Department Chair of the base department recommends the intercampus appointment to the Department Chair of the cooperating department.
- The appointment is made by the cooperating department, subject to the standard approvals of the other campus.
5.4 Adjunct Appointments at Other Institutions
A UTHSC faculty member may accept an adjunct or volunteer faculty appointment in a non-UT college or university. An adjunct appointment must be approved by the faculty member's Chair.
5.5 Graduate Faculty Appointments
The Graduate Faculty is composed of faculty members at UTHSC who direct graduate courses, serve on graduate advisory committees, or direct master's theses or doctoral dissertations in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. The criteria and appointment process for a faculty member to join the graduate faculty are available on the Internet home page of the College of Graduate Health Sciences.
5.6 Visiting Professors
- A Visiting Professor is an individual whose appointment is necessary in a specific college because of exceptional professional qualifications. Visiting Professor appointments are handled as limited-term faculty appointments. The term of appointment may not be less than one month and, generally, does not exceed one year in duration.
- Distinguished Visiting Professorships are created in accordance with stipulations set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement establishing an endowment fund for that purpose. Thus, a Distinguished Visiting Professor is an individual appointed to a designated professorship in accordance with the respective Memorandum of Agreement and administrative provisions. Such professorships involve a minimum stay of two days by the visiting professional and publication of the lecture delivered by the visiting scholar.
5.7 University Professors
A University Professor is a post-service faculty appointment. The purpose of this type of appointment is to allow The University continued benefit from the abilities and experience of those who have served for an extended period of time in upper-level administrative positions after they leave such positions. Individuals who meet the following criteria may be considered for appointments to University Professor: those who have served The University for at least 10 years as President, Chancellor, Vice President, Legal Counsel, and Executive Assistant to the President; and who wish to continue active university service in a non-administrative role. Eligible individuals are designated to University Professorships by the Board upon the recommendation of the President. If an individual currently serving as President is under consideration for a University Professorship, the Board establishes an ad hoc committee to make recommendations concerning such an appointment.
A University Professor is assigned to UTHSC by the President with the concurrence of the Chancellor. The University Professor's duties may include assignment to an appropriate department, with the mutual agreement of the individual, the Chancellor, and the department involved; or the Professor may be assigned, by the Chancellor, special duties, commensurate with the position. Notwithstanding the above, a University Professor, because of special qualifications, may be assigned to the university-wide Administration. In such case, the individual reports to and is directed by the President or Executive Vice President. University Professors are appointed with tenure at the campus to which they are assigned.
5.8 Guidelines for Promotion in Rank
Promotion in rank is not only a recognition of past achievement but also a recognition of promise and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater responsibilities. The policy of UTHSC is to grant promotions objectively, equitably, impartially, and as a recognition of merit.
In general, the guidelines for promotion in rank are the same as those for appointment to the various ranks (Section 5.1). Generally, these guidelines are assigned varying degrees of weight. Deficiencies in some aspect may be counterbalanced adequately by superiority in others; in certain fields of endeavor, some of these guidelines may be replaced by others. Thus, promotion from one rank to the next will depend on the distinctive requirements contained in the Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews for the period under consideration. A minimum period of service in rank is normally required before consideration for promotion to the next rank. Colleges may establish more specific criteria for promotion to various ranks; these criteria must be consistent with the UTHSC guidelines and be published in the collegiate bylaws (Section 4.3.3). If a department establishes any more-specific criteria for promotion than those of UTHSC or the department's college, these must be published in the department's bylaws, after approval by the Dean (Section 4.3.2).
5.9 Process for Effecting Promotions
The process for reviewing candidates and making recommendations for promotion is similar to that for the award of tenure; the absence of mandatory reviews of negative departmental recommendations at higher levels is the major difference. Each college may establish and implement a process for effecting promotions in rank, provided that process is consistent with the UTHSC process described below and the procedure contained in Appendix N.
5.9.1 Departmental Faculty's Recommendation
Recommendations for promotion are usually initiated by the Chair, followed by a review of the candidate's qualifications and achievements by departmental faculty peer reviewers (Section 4.3.2). In the case of a faculty member who holds joint appointments in two or more departments, promotion may take place in one department without its occurrence in the other department(s). In the case of a Chair's promotion, the recommendation is initiated by the Dean, followed by a review of the candidate's qualifications and achievements by the CPT Committee (Section 5.9.3). Bylaws of colleges or departments should limit peer reviewers to members of the faculty holding rank(s) equal or superior to that to which the candidate is seeking promotion (Sections 4.3.2). In addition, bylaws of colleges or departments may permit faculty members with limited-term, part-time, affiliated, or volunteer appointments in that department to serve as reviewers on promotions (in addition to the tenured departmental faculty, if any) (Section 4.3.2).
Generally, a faculty member's preparation for this review begins in September. Each candidate will prepare a dossier, containing the documents required for this review by the departmental faculty reviewers. The contents of the dossier will vary depending on whether the faculty member's appointment is (a) probationary for tenure with or without a concurrent request for the award of tenure, (b) tenured, or (c) non-tenure-track. For tenure-track and tenured appointments the faculty member's dossier must include at least the following items: current Curriculum Vitae, in the form required by UTHSC (Appendix I); relevant annual accomplishments and goals, written by the faculty member; and summaries of relevant Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews, written by the Chair and the faculty member's responses, if any. The word relevant connotes the period of time related to this promotion, a period generally not longer than five years. For non-tenure-track appointments the faculty member's dossier must include at least a current Curriculum Vitae, in the form required by UT Memphis (Appendix I).
The faculty member, usually in consultation with the Chair, may request that a maximum of six peers submit letters of evaluation to the Chair. This limit pertains even in the case of a faculty member's concurrent candidacy for the award of tenure and promotion. Particular attention should be given to identifying individuals, either on or off campus, qualified to judge the faculty member's most important contributions over the period. Colleges may establish more specific criteria for identifying such individuals. However, within a department the number and nature of required letters should be uniformly applied to every faculty member. Section 4.10.2 contains additional, relevant information, pertaining to letters of evaluation.
External review of the dossier may be permitted in any case and required when sufficient expertise is lacking among the departmental faculty reviewers. The departmental faculty reviewers make a thorough review of the dossier and a recommendation to award or not award promotion to the faculty member. Following the review of each candidate's dossier, the departmental faculty reviewers will record a formal vote on the recommendation to award promotion and will write a report to the faculty member's Chair. This report shall contain the following: a list of the faculty members in attendance, the majority and minority views, if relevant, and the summary vote. A copy of this report must accompany a request for promotion forwarded to the collegiate academic officer, CPT Committee, Dean, UTHSC Chief Academic Officer, and Chancellor.
5.9.2 Department Chair's Recommendation
The Chair reviews the dossier(s) and considers the recommendation(s) of the departmental faculty reviewers. Then, the Chair makes a recommendation on each faculty member under consideration. If the departmental faculty reviewers and the Chair recommend the candidate for promotion, the Chair prepares a letter of nomination to the Dean; the format for a letter of nomination is described in collegiate guidelines related to promotion in rank. If the Chair recommends an individual for promotion in contrast to a negative recommendation of the departmental faculty reviewers, this fact must be noted in the Chair's nominating letter and the reason(s) for the Chair's action must be explained. If recommendation of the Chair is negative, the Chair does not send a letter to the Dean; however, the Chair must inform the candidate in writing of the decision, stating that the faculty member may appeal a negative decision to the Dean. In any case in which the recommendation of the Chair differs from that of the departmental faculty reviewers, the Chair will notify the departmental faculty reviewers of reasons for a decision contrary to their recommendation. In addition, UTHSC requires a record of the name, sex, and race of any candidate not recommended by the Chair to the Dean for promotion; explanations must be provided, if requested. In the case of a faculty member who holds joint appointments in two or more departments, nominations must be submitted, either individually or jointly, by the Chairs of all departments in which a promotion is requested.
5.9.3 Recommendation of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee
All required documents of candidates for promotion must be forwarded to the collegiate academic officer. The Dean will request the advice of the CPT Committee on all recommendations for promotion. Recommendations and supporting documents for a candidate for promotion will be presented by the collegiate academic officer to the CPT Committee. College bylaws specify what documents are required by the Dean and the CPT Committee. The committee will vote on each candidate, thereby making a positive or a negative recommendation on each candidate to the Dean. This summary vote must be included with the supporting documents and forwarded to the Dean, the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer, and the Chancellor. If the CPT Committee renders a negative recommendation, the Departmental Chair will be informed in writing of the reason(s) for the recommendation. The Chair may appeal to the Dean before the decision at the college level is made.
5.9.4 Dean's Recommendation
The Dean will make a decision on each recommendation based on the advice of the CPT Committee, the Departmental Chair, and the departmental faculty reviewers and on the basis of other circumstances, including personal knowledge of individuals. In the case of a positive decision by the Dean, he or she will advise the Chair. In a case of any negative decision by the Dean, the Dean will provide the individual faculty member and the Chair with written notice of the decision, stating that the faculty member may appeal a negative decision through the Faculty Senate in accordance with provisions in Section 6.3.
5.9.5 Recommendation of the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer
All recommendations and required supporting documents must be forwarded to the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer. The UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the Chancellor, will specify what documents are required. The UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the Chancellor, evaluates the college recommendations in light of general knowledge of individuals. During March and April, the Office of the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer prepares a consolidated report.
5.9.6 Chancellor's Recommendation
All recommendations for promotion by the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer are reviewed by the Chancellor, who forwards positive recommendations to the President by the beginning of May. Summary information on each faculty member being considered for promotion should be sent to the Office of the Senior Vice President.
5.9.7 The President's Recommendation and Action by the Board of Trustees
The President forwards his recommendations for promotions to the Board for final action. The Chancellor and Dean are responsible for notifying the Chair and faculty member in writing of action taken on a recommendation for promotion by the Board.
5.10 Discontinuance of an Appointment by the Faculty Member
A full-time or part-time faculty member's employment may be discontinued by (a) resignation, (b) retirement, or (c) death. Pay due on resignation is calculated according to University policy pertaining to classification of appointment (Personnel Policies and Procedures, §305 and §380). Generally, a regular full-time faculty member will receive pay for accumulated annual leave, up to a maximum of 42 days, upon resignation. Policies and procedures governing retirement, including disability retirement, are found in Personnel Policies and Procedures (§305, §375, §380, §385, §390, and §397). Payment for services rendered by a full-time or part-time faculty member in active pay status whose appointment is terminated by death is made according to University policy (Personnel Policies and Procedures, §307). In the case in which the deceased is a regular full-time faculty member, the beneficiary or the administrator of the estate shall receive the faculty member's regular pay earned to the date of death, plus payment for the accrued annual leave up to a maximum of 42 days, plus one calendar month's pay, plus payment for all accrued unused sick leave.
Faculty Senate President Office
Martin E. Donaldson, PhD
62 South Dunlap Rm 212
Memphis, TN 38163