Pathway to Tenure Program

UMMS invests most financially in the tenure-track faculty, individuals who are appointed with the expectation that they will achieve excellence in research and scholarly activity within a defined probationary period. The Pathway to Tenure program, sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA), is designed to support, complement and add value to the activities of chairs and department faculty in nurturing tenure track faculty. The program is based on the principles that all tenure-track faculty should:

  • know the tenure process, criteria and expectations
  • have access to high quality, effective mentors
  • complete and follow a career development plan
  • have their progress monitored and receive feedback
  • have the opportunity to engage as a cohort in areas of shared interest.

The program consists of the following elements:

Individual Consultation: Each tenure-track faculty member will be invited to meet regularly (at the end of years 1, 3, 5, and 7 on the tenure track) with an OFA faculty member to develop or review their career plan, monitor progress, and prepare for the tenure decision process. The needs of the tenure track faculty member for mentoring also will be discussed in the consultations. These meetings are voluntary and confidential.

Third Year Tenure Review: To provide faculty with earlier feedback on their progress the OFA has proposed that departmental tenure committees review each tenure-track faculty member at the end of their third year, using the same process as the current mini-tenure review conducted in the fifth year. Third year reviews have been piloted in several departments with good results.

Pathway to Tenure Discussions: The OFA sponsors a semi-annual meeting of all tenure track faculty to discuss issues relevant to the needs of tenure-track faculty. The first meeting was on September 11, 2013, and featured a panel discussion with Drs. Aronin and Davis, co-chairs of the Tenure Committee. A second meeting, planned for March 2014, will feature a discussion with recently tenured faculty.

Tenure Workshops: Workshops on the tenure process will continue to be held three times a year as part of the Preparing for Promotions Series.

Monitoring of Tenure Progress: Tenure track faculty receive annual feedback on their progress from their department chair through the Annual Performance Review (APR).

Facilitated Peer Mentoring: Tenure track women faculty meet monthly as a facilitated peer mentoring group.