The Abridged Edition: Tenure Track Guidelines

The KU School of Medicine provides the faculty with numerous online resources regarding Promotion and Tenure (P&T). The purpose of this section is to provide an abridged version of the documents found online so that a faculty member can see at a glance the highlights of expectations detailed in the official SOM guidelines document for promotion from their current Rank and Track. This abridged version is offered as a helpful tool for planning ahead, however, when a faculty member is in the process of submitting their information and going up for promotion (with or without tenure), it is imperative that the official Guidelines For Academic Promotion and the Award of Tenure document, as well as the SOM Promotion and Tenure website are followed closely as they are the definitive resources.


Mandatory Tenure Review occurs prior to the sixth year of the probationary period (five years plus three months)


Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review

In addition to regular annual review, all Tenure Track faculty members are required to complete a formal Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review (evaluation). This is a mandatory review of progress toward tenure and is conducted during the third year of appointment. The timing of the Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review is adjusted as appropriate for individuals who have received credit for years in grade prior to the current appointment and the date of that review must be specified in the offer letter and letter of appointment to the faculty member. For individuals receiving an extension to the tenure clock, the Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review should be conducted as designated in the offer letter.

The purpose of the Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review is to provide constructive recommendations to the faculty member and department chair (or equivalent unit director) regarding the anticipated application for tenure. Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review is not required of Non-Tenure Track faculty members.

The Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review is conducted by the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee. The outcome is forwarded to the Executive Dean (or Dean of the Wichita Campus) for inclusion in the subsequent application for tenure. The review is based upon the following documents:

  • the required KU School of Medicine Curriculum Vitae (CV) used in academic promotion
  • a written summary evaluation by the department chair
  • copies of each annual review
  • other appropriate evidence of progress toward tenure and academic promotion.

The conclusions of the Mid-Cycle Comprehensive Review must be provided in writing to the faculty member undergoing evaluation and the contents reviewed in person with the department chair. It also must be included in any subsequent application for promotion and/or tenure.

Consideration for tenure usually occurs with the promotion to associate professor on the tenure track. In rare cases, the award of tenure is considered independently. An exceptionally early application for promotion (less than six years in grade) must unequivocally document attainment of all applicable criteria -- an achievement that requires exceptional merit given a relatively short period of time to complete demanding requirements.


Award of Tenure only
to Associate Professors or Professors on the Tenure Track

In contrast to promotion in rank, which is based on documentation of academic achievements, decisions about tenure depend on the mutual benefits of a long-term commitment between the School of Medicine and the faculty member. Recommendations for the award of tenure are based on the applicant's potential for sustained contributions to the core missions of the School of Medicine and/or leadership of essential programs. Those who are primarily researchers are reviewed principally on their ability to function as independent investigators and/or lead major collaborative programs. Faculty members whose primary roles are in education and/or clinical services are reviewed on their actual or potential leadership of core clinical and/or educational programs. Each application for tenure by an associate professor or professor is reviewed on its merits and no single set of quantitative criteria could apply to all cases.  For tenure, faculty members should perform beyond the specified scope of their duties to demonstrate leadership and innovation, especially in activities that enhance the reputation of the institution for scholarship, patient care or education.

Last modified: Aug 23, 2012
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