2.5.G. Progression through the Ranks
1. Career Trajectory
At the time of reappointment, it is expected that an Assistant Professor (Research) will be on a career trajectory consistent with both Stanford standards and the standards of his or her discipline in scholarship 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.
Reflecting an upward trajectory, candidates for promotion from Associate Professor (Research) to Professor (Research) should have compiled a significant record of accomplishment since the time of the initial appointment or last reappointment and met the criteria for promotion to the higher rank.
2. Timing of the Reappointment Review
Under normal circumstances, reappointment reviews for Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and 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 for Academic Affairs, who will then need to endorse the timing of the review.
3. Timing of the Promotion Review
An Assistant Professor (Research) may spend a total of seven years in rank before being reviewed for promotion to Associate Professor (Research) or, with approved extensions, up to ten years. Typically, promotion reviews for Research Line 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, Research Line faculty who have made accelerated progress in scholarship and, if relevant, other activities (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. However, in rare cases 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.
Associate Professors (Research) are normally considered for promotion to Professor (Research) one year in advance of the appointment end date, that is, at the beginning of the fifth year of the appointment or reappointment term. However, promotions may be initiated at any time when there evidence that the faculty member has compiled a significant record of accomplishment since the time of the initial appointment or reappointment and that criteria for the higher rank have been met.