2.3.B. Billet and Other Resource Allocations
1. Billet Authorization
Appointments to the Medical Center Line are initiated by departmental or joint departmental action. Although appointments may also be initiated by one of the School’s five institutes, the appointment must be made in a department. A department chair must present the case for a new faculty position to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and obtain formal authorization from the Dean before a search can be launched. A billet number (representing a previously approved commitment) must accompany each search request.
Departmental leadership and the School administration must regard every search authorization as a potential long-term commitment. The Dean’s search authorization is based upon the availability of resources (including a billet commitment and, in many cases, funding to cover protected time for scholarship), an assessment of the department’s present and predicted future needs in clinical, research and teaching activities, and the specific programmatic need for the requested search; it reflects priority judgments both within the department and between departments. Contributions to interdisciplinary institutes may also play a role in assigning search authorizations to departments.
2. Business Plan
As a first step in initiating a search, a department, in consultation with the School’s Office of Budget and/or Office of Faculty Compensation, should develop a detailed financial feasibility plan and compensation program to cover the initial term of appointment for faculty in the Medical Center Line. The level of detailed financial analysis required will be determined by whether the appointment represents a new line of practice, an urgent clinical need, a replacement or planned program growth.
3. Funding of Protected Time for Scholarship
Because scholarly activity is a requirement for appointment, reappointment and promotion of MCL faculty, departments must allocate and protect time for scholarly pursuits. There must be an explicit written plan for such academic time; this is typically formalized initially at the time of the job offer and should in general be reconfirmed at the faculty member’s annual meeting with the department chair (or designate). The minimum protected time set aside for scholarship should be approximately 20% FTE. For further information on Scholarship Proportionality, see Sections 2.3.I. and 2.3.J.
For faculty who do not devote the highest proportion of their time and effort to scholarship, departments are expected to provide funding for the minimum protected time (that is, approximately 20% FTE) for the duration of each appointment, regardless of rank. While there is no requirement to do so, for a variety of reasons (including receipt of NIH Career Development Awards [K Awards] or as a means to establish regional or national recognition), some faculty members may choose to pursue external funding for this protected scholarship time. Departments may encourage (but not require) them to pursue such opportunities.