Promotion Process

Promotion Strategies

Promotion in faculty rank is given by the Medical School and University of Michigan only after a lengthy process of evaluation involving your academic department, external evaluators, committees within the Medical School, the Dean, and for higher levels of the faculty ladder, the EVPMA, the Provost, and the President. (Senior level promotions in the Instructional Track require further approval by the Board of Regents.) It is important to note that academic promotion is generally not a reward for services rendered, but the reward for scholarly work that adds significantly to your field, as well as for important contributions in clinical activities, teaching, and administration. At the highest levels of our faculty ladder (professor, clinical professor, research scientist, and research professor) the University expects our faculty to be the academic leaders in their fields.

Once you are familiar with the faculty structure and have defined your expectations, discuss your career path and timelines for promotion with your chair or the chair's delegate. Promotion is at the discretion of the chair. Usually, departmental committees meet in the spring for the next year's promotion cycle and review your promotion file.

Your CV should be up to date and conform to the Medical School guidelines. Collect all your teaching evaluations from students, residents, fellows or other groups, since your appointment or last promotion. These will be used to craft the educator's portfolio, which describes your teaching responsibilities and highlights one or two major educational accomplishments. During this process the Faculty Affairs Office is available to answer any questions.

To proceed with promotion your chair will need the following items for your file.

Your chair will select a minimum of five reviewers for an appraisal of you and your work. From promotion to associate or full professor 5 external, unbiased reviewers are necessary. For junior level promotions 3 to 5 internal or external reviewers are necessary. You can discuss this with the chair and offer some recommendations (pro and con) regarding evaluators.

Once all paperwork is assembled the promotion package is submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs by October 1. The Medical School promotion committees (jury of your peers) will discuss your work in detail, trying to reconcile your aspirations and productivity to the academic standards of the Medical School and University. If the promotion committees agree that promotion is justified, the Medical School Executive Committee undertakes a similar deliberation. The Dean and the EVPMA must then concur.

Your promotion file, including a final letter from the Dean, is then sent to the Office of the Provost by mid-February. The Provost reviews each package and may obtain broad consultation. Senior level promotions in the Instructional Track require further approval by the Board of Regents usually at their May meeting. If all goes well, promotions will be effective on September 1, at the beginning of an academic year.

Doctor with a patient