Tenure Under Scrutiny
For many clinicians at the School of Medicine, today's healthcare market means increasing patient loads and teaching-and, they worry, less time for research and a shot at tenure.
In part to address such concerns, Dean Edward Miller last winter convened a committee of medical faculty to clarify how faculty who primarily do clinical work and teaching (as opposed to research) get promoted. In a recent draft report, the committee reassured faculty that excellence in education and patient care, as well as research, still forms the basis for promotion.
The committee recommended that the school broaden its definition of scholarship. Producing instructional materials for teaching or clinical care, or writing book chapters, is just as much evidence of scholarship as is being published in leading research journals, it concluded. It also noted that administrative research (such as studying the effectiveness of patient care) should count at promotion time.
Also recommended: Affirmation of an extended tenure clock, so that faculty with heavier clinical loads can have more time to produce the scholarly work required for promotion to tenure. Under the new guidelines scheduled to go before the Medical School Council, a clinician or clinician/educator might require longer than the usual 7-13 years to be promoted to full professor.
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