Educator Track

The Basic Science Educator / Clinician Educator Track in the School of Medicine is appropriate for faculty members whose teaching and professional service contributions are essential to the academic mission of the school and whose appointments are renewable for specified periods of time. The Educator Track differs from the Investigator Track in that significant achievement in teaching and service form the major basis for appointment or promotion.

  • (Approved by VUSM Executive Faculty 12/17/03)

    Promotion to Associate Professor on the Basic Science Educator/Clinician Educator Track can be attained when the candidate performs in an exemplary fashion in one area (teaching or service) and is deemed competent in the other. The academic contributions of faculty promoted to the senior levels on the Educator Track must be pursued in a scholarly manner as evidence by publication of journal articles, reviews, book chapters or other appropriate media.

    1. Teaching
    Teaching takes numerous forms. It occurs in lecture rooms, small discussion groups and seminars; in the supervision of medical and graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, including residents and other professionals on the campus and in the community; in the laboratory research setting; and in the clinical care setting, within the hospital and ambulatory care clinics, in exam rooms, at the bedside, and during clinical rounds. To meet the standard for promotion to the senior ranks, candidates must demonstrate a high level of effectiveness in at least one of the numerous forms that teaching takes in our School of Medicine.

    The teaching requirements for appointment or promotion on the Basic Science Educator/Clinician Educator Track do not differ in substance from those described under tenure track appointments, and the information should be documented in similar fashion (See the Documentation of Teaching. While it is recognized that documentation of the level and degree of involvement of faculty in teaching does not necessarily indicate the effectiveness of performance, such information when collected over a period of time is a useful index of the interest, involvement, and competence of the individual as a teacher. The Documentation of Teaching Form will serve to guide faculty in the appropriate way to document and present the following information.

    For faculty proposed for Educator Track promotion with teaching as the primary basis for promotion, excellence may be demonstrated in several forms, including:

    A. Direct Teaching in both classroom and non-classroom settings where excellence can be demonstrated by:

    • Evidence of a scholarly approach to teaching evidenced by consistent use of accepted principles and standards and/or by publication and dissemination of materials describing the methods used
    • Excellent ratings on course evaluations or other evaluations from peers or trainees
    • Letters from participants that describe teaching excellence
    • Teaching awards
    • Invited presentations at other institutions/workshops related to medical or biomedical education methods and practices

    B. Curricular or Program Development where innovation and excellence can be demonstrated by:

    • Development of new or substantially revised courses, clerkships or other teaching instruments
    • Development of new manuals, textbooks, audiovisual aids or other educational media  
    • Evidence that curriculum or program development was undertaken in a scholarly manner
    • Measurement and objective description of the impact of new curriculum or program

    C. Advising and mentoring

    • Substantial influence on a number of advisees/mentees documented by letters requested from trainees by the Department
    • Current positions and accomplishments of advisees/mentees
    • Scholarly approach modeled for advisees/mentees
    • Development and implementation of innovative mentoring approaches
    • Committee service in the field related to mentoring and advising

    D. Educational administration or leadership

    • Course/program director
    • Specific contributions measured and described objectively
    • Scholarly approach taken to leadership
    • New initiatives developed
    • Measurable impact on program (accreditation, placement)
    • Invited presentations at other institutions/workshops to describe programs
    • Invitations to implement educational programs

    E. Educational research

    • Scholarly approach evidenced by publications related to teaching and learning or grants obtained related to educational research  
    • Participation in high quality research evaluating new courses/ programs
    • Product that is peer-reviewed and publicly available  
    • Invited presentations at other institutions/workshops related to medical or biomedical education research
    • Service on national committees

    2. Service
    Achievement in service sufficient for promotion on this track must be of such a nature as to make significant, special contributions to the missions of the school. Time in rank is not sufficient justification for promotion or appointment to senior ranks on this track. Such achievement might take the following forms:

    A. Provision of exemplary clinical care of such nature as to serve as an excellent role model for students and residents. Documentation might include:

    • Letters of evaluation from other recognized leaders in the field that cite the candidate's achievements and provide an explanation for the candidate's reputation.
    • Invited participation in clinical conferences, rounds, or seminars outside the institution.
    • Publication of case reports.
    • Evidence of influence on the practice of medicine not only within the institution but also at regional or national levels as reflected in the individual's clinical referral and consultative activities.

    B. Performance of patient care related activities in a manner that extends beyond routine management and is characteristic of the academic clinician. Documentation might include:

    • Publication of manuscripts, chapters, and/or books that integrate, synthesize and summarize the clinical literature for other clinicians. When these publications are co-authored by several individuals, the specific contribution of the faculty member being considered for promotion should be described in the promotion dossier by either the chair, senior author(s), or external correspondents. In addition, t he candidate can describe their role as middle authors in publications via the "Critical References Form" that must be included in the promotion dossier.
    • Introduction of innovative advances to clinical medicine that reflect the candidate's status as being on the "cutting edge" of clinical management.
    • Participation in establishing and maintaining regional and national standards of care and management as evidenced by membership on a specialty board, residency review committee, regional or national commissions, examination committees.
    • Successful participation in federal and industry-sponsored clinical trials.
    • Objectively measured achievements in quality and process improvement projects or programs that enhance efficiency, patient safety, and processes of care.

    C. Development of new programs or significant enhancements of established programs. Such programs may include not only clinical programs, but also programs of importance to other missions of the institution.

    D. Special contributions to the Medical School and University in such areas as internal governance, policy development, and University outreach beyond those customarily expected of faculty. Documentation might include:

    • Recognition by faculty peers, as reflected by selection for significant service on important policy-making committees of the Medical Center and University. Contributions to various departmental and other University committees that are customarily expected of the faculty do not fulfill this requirement.
    • Extramural consultation of a scientific and/or professional nature with governmental agencies, industry and other academic institutions, which enhances the goals and functions of the University and Medical School.
    • Service related to one's academic activities in community organizations that enhance the health and welfare of citizens in our region. Examples include establishing or teaching community-based educational programs. Participation and leadership in health-related community-based organizations and advisory boards, and participating in campus-community partnerships that serve community needs while providing learning experiences for our students, residents and postdoctoral trainees.

    Appointment and Promotion to Professor
    The standards applicable for promotion to full Professor on the Basic Science Educator/Clinician Educator Track are the same as those specified above for consideration for appointment to associate professor except that the indicators shall be substantially more developed. Time in position is not sufficient justification for promotion to Professor. The candidate's sustained contributions to teaching or service must be such that they have achieved recognition at the national or international level.

    Supporting Documentation

    1. Standardized Form of the Curriculum Vitae
    The Committee on Faculty Appointments and Promotions has developed a standard form of the curriculum vitae that must be used by faculty and departments in supporting recommendations for promotions and tenure. Use of the standard form will assure that all information needed by the committee is present and will expedite the review of recommendations.

    2. Documentation of Teaching Effectiveness
    It is required that the Documentation of Teaching be used to specify the teaching activities of the candidate on the Basic Science Educator/Clinician Educator Track (See Educator Portfolio within Faculty180). Specific assessments of the candidate's teaching effectiveness should be submitted in reference to the candidate's primary mode of teaching. Such assessments might include peer assessments by colleagues who have observed the teaching, or trainee assessments including student assessments as compiled by the Student Curriculum Committee, or those provided by individual trainees who have worked in a more direct relationship with the candidate (e.g. graduate students, residents, fellows).

    3. Critical References
    Promotion on the Educator track included identification of scholarly activity representing the candidate's most significant contributions.  The Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee developed the Critical Reference Form (PDF, MSWord, or Faculty180) on which to provide this information.  If the candidate is not first or last author, the specific contribution of the candidate to the referenced work should be described.

    For the dossier submitted for a proposed promotion to Professor on the Educator track, the selected references should be published during the time of Associate Professor rank.

    4. Letters of Evaluation
    Guidelines for Letters of Evaluation