2.4.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 scholarship, teaching and (if applicable) other activities. 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.
Evidence for reappointment as or promotion to Associate Professor without tenure must show that the faculty member is on a career trajectory consistent with both Stanford standards and the standards of his or her discipline in scholarship, teaching and (if applicable) other activities. Candidates should have compiled a record of excellent scholarly accomplishment since the time of the initial appointment or reappointment. There must be a realistic chance for reappointment or promotion with tenure in the future on the basis of continuation of the candidate’s work. Evidence for non-tenured promotions must show that the candidate’s performance, including scholarly work and teaching, has been sufficiently strong to justify advancement in rank.
Reflecting an upward trajectory, candidates for promotion from tenured Associate Professor to Professor should have compiled a significant record of accomplishment since the time of the tenure review and met the criteria for the higher rank.
2. Timing of the Reappointment Review
Under normal circumstances, reappointment reviews for Assistant Professors (and, if applicable, for untenured 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 Chapter 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 Vice Dean, who will then need to endorse the timing of the review.
3. Timing of the Promotion Review
UTL Assistant Professors may spend a total of seven years in rank before promotion to Associate Professor (or, with approved extensions, up to ten years). Typically, promotion reviews for Assistant Professors are initiated one year in advance of the appointment end date, that is, at the beginning of the seventh year in rank.
Under certain circumstances, however, UTL faculty who have made accelerated progress in scholarship, teaching and, if relevant, clinical care (or who have had prior years of faculty experience at their current rank) may be proposed for early promotion. In most cases, this will typically occur in one of the years following reappointment. In rare instances, promotion may be considered in lieu of reappointment.
Since, in many cases, the University is being asked to evaluate a person who may have a shorter track record, there should be unequivocal evidence that the quality of the faculty member’s contributions meets the criteria for promotion to the higher rank. When this standard is met, time in rank at another institution or a retention scenario may be cited as additional support for early promotion consideration.
Consultation between the department chair and the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs is essential prior to initiating a review process leading toward early promotion. The process can only be initiated with the consent of the candidate and with the approval of the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.
Unsuccessful candidates for early promotion may be proposed again at the normal 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 an early promotion review only when a positive outcome can be anticipated with reasonable confidence based on the available evidence.
There is no formal timeline for promotion from tenured Associate Professor to Professor. Candidates should be brought forward for consideration for promotion when there is evidence that they have compiled a significant record of accomplishment since the time of the tenure review and that criteria for the higher rank have been met.