2.4.I. Application of the Criteria

 1. Scholarship

In assessing whether a candidate has met the criteria of being one of the best scholars at his or her level of professional development in a broadly field, and of having achieved – or (in the case of Assistant Professors) having the promise to achieve – true distinction in scholarship, judgments should be informed by such considerations as whether the candidate is performing the kind of innovative, cutting-edge research on important questions in the field that breaks new ground, changes the way the field is viewed, broadens our understanding of the field, or opens up new methods or new areas of investigation, and thereby has (or is likely to have) the fundamental impact on the field that is expected from the very best scholars in the field.

Factors considered in assessing research performance or promise include (but are not limited to) the following: scholarly activity and productivity; impact, innovation and creativity; recognition in the field; ability to work effectively as part of a research team (if applicable); effective communication with colleagues, staff and students; and professionalism, institutional compliance and ethics.

Investigative independence (or, for Assistant Professors, the promise of investigative independence) is expected since it can be a useful marker of substantive scholarly contributions.  It is anticipated that, in many cases, faculty members appointed or reappointed as or promoted to Associate Professor or Professor will have a record of external funding, which is often viewed as an indicator of how the work is regarded in the field and may likewise be relevant to an assessment of the ability of a faculty member to carry out an excellent program of scholarly activity.

Uniqueness of function is not, in and of itself, a primary criterion for an appointment, reappointment or promotion.  The fact that a candidate is the only individual teaching in a specific area or doing scholarship on a certain subject, for example, is not relevant to the process of judging the quality of teaching and scholarship and is not determinative in the decision to appoint, reappoint or promote the candidate.

Moreover, a department’s faculty and/or the dean (and, similarly, the Provost, University Advisory Board and/or President) may on occasion decide that a candidate does not warrant an appointment, reappointment or promotion even though that person may be the best within a field.  That is, the reviewing group or individual may decide that the best candidate in a weak or overly narrow professional field, for example, should not be appointed, reappointed or promoted to a position at Stanford.

Deans and department chairs must try to avoid such situations by ensuring that initial searches and appointments are made in areas in which the quality of scholarship is relatively strong, and in which the subject area is sufficiently broad.  If teaching needs exist in potentially weak areas, then non-faculty appointments should be considered until that field improves or a strong candidate in it emerges.

2. Teaching

A UTL candidate should show promise — or have a record demonstrating — that he or she is capable of sustaining a first-rate teaching program during his or her career at Stanford.

Teaching is broadly defined to include:  the classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting; advising; mentoring; program building; and curricular innovation.  Teaching may include undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, residents, postdoctoral fellows and in postgraduate and continuing medical education.  It is recognized that many UTL faculty in clinical departments teach in small group sessions or with individual trainees.

Factors considered in assessing teaching performance or promise include (but are not limited to) the following: knowledge of the material; clarity of exposition; style of interaction with students; availability; professionalism, institutional compliance and ethics; effective communication skills; helpfulness in learning; and ability to stimulate further education; and ability to work effectively as part of the teaching team.

3. Clinical Care

Excellence in clinical practice or clinical care is a requirement for those faculty members whose duties include such practice.  Under normal circumstances, the proportion of time and effort dedicated to clinical care will be less than that devoted to scholarship and teaching.  (For those faculty whose primary commitment is to clinical care, appointment in the Medical Center Line [MCL] is normally more appropriate.)

UTL faculty in the clinical departments may assume responsibilities for the care of patients to create the conditions necessary for medical research and for the teaching of medicine.  Although the development and nurturing of the clinical skills necessary for patient care places demands on the time and the attention of the faculty who provide that care, appointments, reappointments and promotions will still be made primarily on the basis of scholarship and teaching.

Factors considered in assessing clinical performance may include (but are not limited to) the following:

General Clinical Proficiency:  maintains up-to-date knowledge base appropriate to scope of practice; maintains current technical/procedural proficiency; applies sound diagnostic reasoning and judgment; applies sound therapeutic reasoning and judgment; applies evidence from relevant scientific studies; seeks consultation from other care providers when appropriate; maintains appropriate clinical productivity; and demonstrates reliability in meeting clinical commitments.

Communication:  communicates effectively with patients and their families, physician peers, trainees, and other members of the health care team (for example, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, pharmacists); and maintains appropriate medical documentation.

Professionalism: treats patients with compassion and respect; serves as patient advocate (puts the patient first); shows sensitivity to cultural issues; treats physician peers, trainees, and other members of the health care team (for example, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, pharmacists) with respect; is available to colleagues; responds in a timely manner; and respects patient confidentiality.

Systems-Based Practice:  effectively coordinates patient care within the health care system; appropriately considers cost of care in medical decision-making; participates in quality improvement activities; and demonstrates leadership in clinical program development and administration.

The UTL may include faculty members who contribute indirectly to patient care in clinical environments that heavily emphasize technology and/or a multidisciplinary approach.  For example, a radiation physicist may play an integral role in treatment planning for individual oncology patients or a biomedical engineer may work closely with a surgeon or interventional cardiologist to develop and implement new treatment strategies.  In such cases, factors considered in assessing clinical performance may include (but are not limited to) the applicable factors described above.

4. Respectful Workplace

The School of Medicine is committed to providing a work environment that is conducive to teaching and learning, research, the practice of medicine and patient care.  Stanford’s special purposes in this regard depend on a shared commitment among all members of the community to respect each person’s worth and dignity.  Because of their roles within the School of Medicine, faculty members, in particular, are expected to treat all members of the Stanford Community with civility, respect and courtesy and with an awareness of the potential impact of their behavior on staff, students, patients and other faculty members.

As detailed earlier in this section, application of criteria for evaluating the quality of scholarship, teaching and clinical care include specific expectations regarding a faculty member’s professional behavior in the workplace.  They are reiterated here to emphasize their importance as factors in appointment, reappointment and promotion actions.

In scholarly activities, such factors relevant to whether the standards for scholarship have been met may include: the ability to work effectively as part of a research team; effective communication with colleagues, staff and students; and professionalism, institutional compliance and ethics

In teaching activities, such factors relevant to whether the standards for teaching have been met may include: a positive style of interaction with students; availability; professionalism; institutional compliance and ethics; effective communication skills; helpfulness in learning; and ability to work effectively as part of the teaching team.

In clinical care activities, such factors relevant to evaluation of whether the standards for clinical performance have been met may include:  professionalism, institutional compliance and ethics; humanism; ability to work effectively as part of the health care team; and effective communication with colleagues, staff, students and patients.

Results from the distribution of clinical excellence and teaching evaluation forms, as well as from referee letters, will aid reviewing bodies in assessing a faculty member’s performance in the workplace.