School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs

Tenured Faculty Promotions and Appointments (TFPA) Committee - Operating Procedures

The Tenured Faculty Promotions and Appointments (TFPA) Committee shall consist of at least 18 members with staggered terms of three years.  Membership will include tenured professors and associate professors. In conformity with our AAMC listing, Pathology will be considered a clinical department. Nomination for membership is by a ballot compiled by the Vice Dean with election by the Executive Committee. Actual service on the committee will begin in January.  Currently there is one meeting per month on the first Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. excluding August. The chair of the Committee is appointed by the Vice Dean.

The Committee shall be divided into subcommittees, consisting of three members each, who are assigned departmental appointment and promotion recommendations on a rotating basis.  These subcommittees will not be of fixed composition, but assembled to have a proper mix of members, excluding those from the candidate's department and those having close academic ties with the candidate.

The Committee is expected to work efficiently and diligently to complete its charge in a timely manner, with the goal of returning a final report in no more than three to four months. 

The following procedures will be followed for all proposals for tenured appointment or promotion, and conferral of tenure.

  1. Chair's letter of recommendation, candidate’s executive summary, research form, teaching form, curriculum vitae and bibliography (in the School’s format) is received from the department.The letter and Executive Summary should outline the basis for the recommendation, including the role of the candidate in research, teaching, and service, and the range and value of contributions being made.  All available department data which evaluates the candidate’s teaching should be provided.  Submission of papers representing the candidate’s best scholarly contributions is required.  Three to five papers should be submitted for promotion to associate professor and six to eight for promotion to professor. Only published papers or “pre-prints” will be accepted.  The department also submits a list of internal and external referee names with current email addresses who hold equivalent or senior rank relative to the proposed rank.  Finally, the department also submits copies of the candidate’s annual evaluations.  These evaluations are required by the Office of Provost and are not reviewed by the Committee.
  2. Each departmental proposal is assigned to a subcommittee, with a designated chairperson, for initial review.  The chairperson, with the help of the subcommittee members, may submit additional referees.  These individuals should hold equivalent or senior rank relative to the proposed rank.  The subcommittee chair is responsible for functions of the subcommittee.
  3. Letters to referees are generated by the Office of Faculty Affairs.  All consultants will be sent the candidate's executive summary, supplemental information form, curriculum vitae and bibliography, publications, and a copy of the School's current criteria for promotion and descriptive information on our School’s pathways for faculty promotion and appointment.
  4. All administrative support for the Committee is provided by the Office of Faculty Affairs and all files are maintained electronically.
  5. When letters of evaluation from the consultants have been received, the completed portfolio will be forwarded to the appropriate subcommittee members.
  6. The subcommittee chairperson arranges a meeting of the subcommittee, and may include the chair of the candidate's department if necessary. The subcommittee also may elect to meet with the candidate's chief of service, division head, etc.  It is imperative that at least two of the three subcommittee members attend this meeting. Subcommittee members not present are required to participate in the deliberations and recommendations of the subcommittee.  After this meeting the subcommittee confers and votes by written ballot.  The written report is prepared by the subcommittee chair and should be reviewed by each subcommittee member before presentation to the entire committee.  Regardless of the outcome of the subcommittee’s vote, the report of the subcommittee comes before the entire Committee at its next regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
  7. The responsible subcommittee submits its report and recommendation to the Committee as a whole for review and a decision is made by formal vote of the entire Committee on the proposal.  If time permits, a copy of the subcommittee's report should be sent to the Committee Coordinator, Ms. Barbara Good, M-246 Scaife Hall, prior to the meeting of the entire Committee.  Confidentiality must be maintained when using fax or e-mail to transmit reports and other information relative to the subcommittee’s deliberations.
  8. Members from the same department in which the candidate holds his/her primary appointment do not vote.  They also will absent themselves from the discussion and deliberations of the Committee.
  9. If the Committee feels more information is needed to make its decision, the proposal will be tabled and the subcommittee will be instructed to obtain additional information.  If necessary, the candidate's chair or representative may be invited to a meeting of the full Committee.
  10. Only professors will vote for professors; both professors and associate professors will vote for associate professors.  All decisions favorable or unfavorable are determined by a majority vote of the eligible voting members of the entire TFPA Committee.
  11. If a proposal does not receive a majority vote, it is presented again at the next Committee meeting.  At that time, if a majority vote cannot be obtained, a telephone poll of the members not in attendance will be initiated.
  12. The Committee chairperson forwards all recommendations to the Vice Dean.  Favorable reports will be presented to the Executive Committee of the School of Medicine. In cases of a negative recommendation, the appropriate department chair will receive written notice outlining the alternatives available to the candidate.
  13. Full reports will indicate reasons for the decision and recommendation and the exact results of the vote.
  14. Flow of Information.  After a departmental proposal is received, all communications to the Tenured Faculty Promotions and Appointments (TFPA) Committee and between the Committee and the department will be channeled through the Office of Faculty Affairs.
  15. Confidentiality. All information received by the TFPA, as well as all deliberations of the committee, must be confidential.  The use of fax or e-mail in transmitting information concerning outside referees, deliberations, and reports is permissible, but fax and e-mail communications should be utilized only when there is a high degree of certainty that confidentiality can be maintained (i.e. public fax machines should not be used, e-mail communication may include confidential labeling, etc.).
  16. Responsibilities of Committee Members.  Members shall attend monthly meetings of the Committee and actively participate in the work of their subcommittees.  This includes attendance at the subcommittee meetings and with the candidates' departmental chair. Contributions to these efforts are instrumental in achieving rigorous and meaningful evaluations of faculty and provide a valid method to ensure the appointment and promotion of high quality faculty members who, in turn, strengthen and enrich the programs of the School of Medicine.