Academic Affairs  

Faculty Lines and Appointment Terms

Medical Center Line

The role of a Medical Center Line (MCL) faculty member is defined by engagement in clinical care, teaching, and scholarly activity that advances clinical medicine. 

The proportion of time and effort dedicated to the areas of clinical care, teaching and scholarship will depend upon the strategic goals and programmatic needs of the department and School, and will also take into consideration the interests and strengths of the faculty member.  Candidates for appointment, reappointment and promotion will be evaluated according to the apportionment of their efforts in each area.

Rank

Initial Appointment

Reappointment or Promotion

Assistant Professor (MCL)

Generally 4 years

Renewable generally for 6 years for a maximum of 10 years in rank

Associate Professor (MCL)

Generally 5 years

Renewable for an unlimited number of up to 5 year terms

Professor (MCL)

Generally 5 years

Continuing term unless otherwise expressly specified (for special circumstances for which an appointment for a term of years is appropriate)

In the MCL, appointments (and subsequent reappointments and promotions) are based upon a requirement of excellence in the overall mix of contributions in clinical care, teaching, and scholarship that advances clinical medicine.  In determining whether this standard has been met, reviewing bodies should be guided by the expectation that faculty members will nearly always be required to establish and maintain excellence in the area in which the highest proportion of their time and effort is dedicated; given the nature of the line, however, excellence in clinical care is required regardless of the proportion of commitment.

For further information on specific criteria for each rank, check the following:

University Tenure Line

Scholarship and teaching (and in some cases, clinical care activities) are the critical components of faculty appointments in the University Tenure Line (UTL).  Under normal circumstances, the proportion of time and effort dedicated to scholarship and teaching will be more than that devoted to clinical care.

Rank

Initial Appointment

Reappointment or Promotion

Assistant Professor

Normally 4 years

Normally 3 years; not to exceed a total of seven years without tenure

Associate Professor

With tenure, or for a term of generally 4 years

With tenure, or for a term of years not to exceed a total of seven years without tenure

Professor

With tenure, or for a term of up to 6 years when special circumstances warrant an appointment for a term of years

With tenure, or for a term of up to 6 years when special circumstances warrant an appointment for a term of years; not to exceed a total of seven years without tenure.

The first criterion for a UTL appointment at Stanford is that the candidate must have achieved (or, in the case of Assistant Professors, have the promise to achieve) true distinction in  scholarship.  For the Associate Professor rank, the scholarship must reveal that the candidate is not only among the best in his or her experience cohort in a broadly defined field, but is also likely to become one of the very best in that field.  At the rank of Professor, the scholarship must reveal that the candidate is one of the very best in the broadly defined field.   In short, the judgment is comparative and (for the Assistant and Associate Professor ranks) predictive.

The second criterion for a UTL appointment is promise – or a record demonstrating – that the candidate is capable of sustaining a first-rate teaching program during his or her career at Stanford.

For further information on specific criteria for each rank, check the following:

Non-Tenure Line (Research)

The Non-Tenure Line (Research), also known as the Research Line, is used for special programmatic needs that are not fulfilled by faculty in these other lines.  Appointments are made coterminous with continued salary or other support from sponsored projects.

Faculty appointed in the Research Line generally have special expertise in a relatively narrow field that is of particular benefit to a broader clinical or research program.  Typically, such special expertise expands the academic impact of strong clinical or other research programs ongoing in the School of Medicine. 

Rank

Initial Appointment

Reappointment or Promotion

Assistant Professor (Research)

Normally 4 years

Normally 3 years;  the total length of time spent in rank is not to exceed 7 years

Associate Professor (Research)

Normally 5 years

Renewable for an unlimited number of 5 year terms or for a continuing term

Professor (Research)

Normally 5 years

Renewable for an unlimited number of 5 year terms or for a continuing term

The overriding requirement for faculty appointment, reappointment and promotion in the Research Line is that the individual is one of the best scholars at his or her level of professional development in the relevant field.  The definition of the field may be narrower for faculty in the Research Line than in the University Tenure Line. The programmatic need (including financial viability) that contributes to the academic program of the department should be evaluated and must be established for each appointment, reappointment and promotion.

There should be evidence of outstanding performance (or, in the case of Assistant Professors, the promise of outstanding performance) as a supervisor of graduate students.

While there is no requirement for formal teaching or clinical care in the Research Line, there must be acceptable performance (or in the case of assistant professors, the promise of acceptable performance) in any teaching roles, as well as excellence in clinical care, appropriate to the programmatic need the individual is expected to fulfill.  Such programmatic need (including financial viability) that contributes to the academic program of the department should be evaluated and must be established for each appointment, reappointment and promotion.

For further information on specific criteria for each rank, check the following:

Non-Tenure Line (Teaching)

Faculty appointed in the Teaching Line generally have special expertise in teaching, broadly defined, that meets a specific departmental programmatic need.  Typically, such special expertise enhances or expands the academic impact of strong clinical or research programs ongoing in the School of Medicine.  Teaching Line faculty are expected to spend a large proportion of their time on teaching and pedagogical activities and, at the rank of Associate Professor, to have earned a regional reputation for these activities.  At the rank of Professor, faculty members should be recognized nationally for their efforts in teaching and pedagogical activities.

Since this faculty line is specifically designated for teaching, there is no formal research obligation. However, since teaching and scholarship are closely intertwined, there is an expectation that, in many cases, candidates will be strong scholarly contributors, though not necessarily leaders in the field.  The School of Medicine generally discourages significant clinical time commitments for faculty in this line.

The overriding requirement for faculty appointment, reappointment and promotion in the Teaching Line is excellence in teaching, broadly defined.

Rank

Initial Appointment

Reappointment or Promotion

Associate Professor (Teaching)

Generally 5 years

Renewable for an unlimited number of 5 year terms or for a continuing term

Professor (Teaching)

Generally 5 years

Renewable for a continuing term or for an unlimited number of 5 year terms.

For further information on specific criteria for each rank, check the following:

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: