2.3.G. Progression through the Ranks

1. Career Trajectory

At the time of reappointment, it is expected that an Assistant Professor will be on a career trajectory consistent with both Stanford standards and the standards of his or her discipline in clinical care, scholarship and teaching.  The reappointment process should include an evaluation of whether there is a realistic chance for promotion in the future on the basis of continuation of the candidate’s work.

Reflecting an upward trajectory, candidates for promotion from Associate Professor to Professor should have compiled a record of excellent clinical, scholarly or teaching accomplishment since the time of the initial appointment or last reappointment.

2. Timing of the Reappointment Review

Under normal circumstances, reappointment reviews for Assistant Professors and Associate Professors are initiated one year in advance of the appointment end date.  However, the timing of the initiation of the evaluation process at the departmental level is at the discretion of the department chair, taking into account factors including the end date of a current appointment, the possible start date for the reappointment if the outcome of the School and University process is favorable, and considerations relating to notice of non-renewal and possible terminal year requirements if the outcome is negative.  University policies regarding negative reappointment and promotion decisions and notice of non-renewal are found in the University Faculty Handbook at Chapters 2.8.3 and 4.4.5.

In cases where reappointment reviews are initiated more or less than one year in advance of the appointment end date, the department chair should inform the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will then need to endorse the timing of the review.

3. Timing of the Promotion Review

MCL Assistant Professors may spend a total of ten years in rank before being reviewed for promotion to Associate Professor. Typically, promotion reviews for Assistant Professors are initiated one year in advance of the appointment end date, that is, at the beginning of the tenth year in rank.   It is important to note, however, that promotions may be initiated at any time when there is unequivocal evidence that the quality of the faculty member’s contributions meets the criteria for promotion to the higher rank; in most cases, this will typically occur in one of the years following reappointment.  However, in rare cases promotion may be considered in lieu of reappointment (for example, in cases where a faculty member has had prior years of faculty experience at his or her current rank).    For many MCL Assistant Professors, promotion should be considered at the time of the mandatory annual counseling meeting during the sixth or seventh year in rank.

Associate Professors are normally considered for promotion one year in advance of the appointment end date, that is, at the beginning of the fifth year of the appointment or reappointment.  However, promotions may be initiated at any time when there is unequivocal evidence that the quality of the faculty member’s contributions meets the criteria for promotion to the higher rank.

Consultation between the department chair and the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs is essential in determining the timing of a promotion review that commences before the tenth year in rank for Assistant Professors or the fifth year of appointment or reappointment for Associate Professors.  Such actions at either rank can only be initiated with the consent of the candidate and approval by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

In cases where an “early” promotion is initiated (that is, prior to the beginning of the tenth year in rank for Assistant Professors or prior to the fifth year of the appointment or reappointment for Associate Professors) and subsequently fails, an unsuccessful candidate may be proposed again at a later time if that remains desirable to the candidate and the department.  However, in order to avoid potential awkwardness following a negative promotion decision, it is prudent to initiate a promotion review only when a positive outcome can be anticipated with reasonable confidence.