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Appointments & Promotions

Basic Sciences, School of Medicine

Standards and Procedures for the
Appointment, Reappointment, and Promotion of Faculty

Vanderbilt University Basic Sciences, School of Medicine (Basic Sciences) employs multiple academic tracks for appointment of individuals to the full time faculty. These tracks are complementary in that they are designed to accommodate faculty who engage in the wide variety of activities supporting the School’s mission, including research, teaching, and administrative service. Significant accomplishments in any of these areas represent important contributions that warrant careful consideration in the evaluation of faculty nominated for appointment or promotion.

Appointment checklists and forms for recruitment, promotion, appointments, letters of recommendation, and references can be accessed from the lower side-bar on the right side of this page.

This page is under revision.

This page is under revision.

This page is under revision.

New Appointments: All Ranks
Reappointments: All Ranks
 

Click on the links below to view or download documents.

 

New Appointments - All Ranks

Origination of New Appointments

  • Initial Part-Time, Adjunct and Adjoint appointments are typically one-year appointments.  The appointment originates in the Department, and the Chair forwards the dossier to the Dean. If the Dean makes a positive decision, the Dean’s Office notifies the Department Chair of the decision.  The Department Chair communicates the decision to their faculty.

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Department to the Dean

  1. Letter from the Department Chair requesting the appointment.
  2. Candidate’s curriculum vitae in this format.
  3. Authorized confirmation of background check. Send a copy of the e-mail received from HR confirming the completion and passing of the Background Check.  Process:  Please send this link, (faculty candidate letter), to the faculty candidate to complete.  You MUST also copy HR, PEBC@vanderbilt.edu, on the email to the candidate in order for HR to know which department to send the background check confirmation to.  Admins will receive an e-mail from HR confirming the background check.  The confirmation e-mail from HR must be sent in with the appointment packet.
  4. Draft appointment letter.
  5. Faculty Information Form.

Appointment Process

  • All dossier documents should be submitted in both electronic (PDF) and hard copy forms to the Dean’s Office.
    • For part-time, adjunct, and voluntary appointments, the Dean is the final sign-off; demographic data are shared with the Provost’s Office for benchmarking purposes.
    • Following approval, the Dean’s Office informs the Department Chair who then sends the appointment letter to the candidate.
  • Once the process is complete, the Dean’s Office updates the information in the Faculty Information System (FIS).

Reappointments - All Ranks

Origination of Reappointments

  • Reappointments for Part-Time, Adjunct and Adjoint appointments are usually one-year appointments. The reappointment originates with the Department.  The Department Chair forwards the dossier to the Dean’s Office for administrative review.  Following positive review, the Dean’s Office notifies the Department Chair of the decision.  The Department Chair communicates the decision to their faculty.

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Department to the Dean

  1. Letter from the Department Chair requesting the reappointment.
  2. Candidate’s curriculum vitae in the School of Medicine format.

Reappointment Process

  • The Department Chair submits a request for reappointment and all required documents via the Faculty Appointment System (FAS) to the Dean for evaluation.
  • If the evaluation is positive, the reappointment is approved by the Dean.
  • Following approval, the Dean’s Office informs the Department Chair who then notifies the faculty member.
  • Once the process is complete, the Dean’s Office updates the information in the Faculty Information System (FIS). 

New Secondary Appointments – All Ranks

Requirements

  • Secondary appointments for non-tenure and tenure-track faculty can be for 1-3 year terms.
  • In general, secondary appointments should run concurrently with the primary appointment. 
  • Secondary appointments for tenured faculty generally have no end date; however, a department may choose to include end-dates and incorporate a renewal process within their department’s secondary criteria policy. 

NOTE: If a secondary faculty member, regardless of rank or tenure/non-tenure status, is not satisfying the commitment of their secondary appointment and every effort has been made by the secondary department to communicate and correct the actions of the faculty member, the secondary department has the right and ability to not renew the secondary faculty appointment by submitting a non-renewal through the Faculty Appointment System (FAS).

Origination

New secondary appointments originate in the secondary department. Each of the Basic Science Departments have their own secondary faculty criteria.  Once the departmental criteria have been met by a secondary candidate and the candidate has been approved at the department level, the secondary department will initiate the approval process for a new secondary appointment.

Minimum Required Documents for a New Secondary Appointment Provided by the Secondary Department to the Secondary Dean’s Office. 

  1. A letter from the secondary department chair, or chair designee, addressed to the primary department’s dean requesting the secondary appointment. The letter should have signature lines, indicating approval of the secondary appointment, for the following people:
    • Secondary dean or dean designee
    • Primary department chair or chair designee
    • Primary department dean or dean designee
  2. An updated curriculum vitae in the School of Medicine format.
  3. Any additional information the department deems relevant for the appointment.

Appointment Process for New Secondary Appointments

The Basic Sciences secondary department chair will submit a letter of request to the Basic Sciences dean’s office, along with the candidates CV for approval and signature.  Upon approval from the dean or associate dean designee, the letter and CV will be forwarded to the primary department chair, or chair designee for approval and signature.  Upon signature from the primary department, the letter and CV will be forwarded to the dean, or dean designee of the primary department for approval and signature. Upon final approval from the primary department dean, the primary department dean’s office will generate a secondary appointment letter and distribute the letter to the faculty member, the primary department, the secondary department and the secondary department dean’s office. Upon receiving the secondary appointment letter, the secondary department dean’s office staff will update the Faculty Information System (FIS). NOTE: The secondary department chair should feel free to send his/her own letter to the new secondary faculty member welcoming him/her into their department.

Secondary Reappointments

Requirements

  • Secondary faculty reappointments should be submitted and processed through the FAS.
  • Reappointments are typically for non-tenured faculty. 
  • Once tenured, there is no end date of an appointment, therefore, there is no option in FAS to reappoint.  However as noted above, within a department’s own secondary criteria policy, a term limit on tenured faculty can be incorporated and adapted. 

Origination of Reappointments 

  • Reappointments for Basic Science secondary faculty whose primary appointment is in VU, originate with the secondary department and are processed in FAS.
  • Reappointments for Basic Science secondary faculty whose primary appointment is in the School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), are automatically renewed when their primary reappointment in Medicine is renewed and processed through FAS by the Office of Academic Affairs, School of Medicine, VUMC, unless otherwise specified by the secondary department. NOTE: These reappointments will appear in FAS, but no action is required from the secondary department for reappointment.

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Secondary Department to the Secondary Dean for Reappointment

  1. A letter from the secondary department chair addressed to the secondary dean requesting the reappointment.  
  2. A copy of the primary department’s reappointment letter.
  3. An updated curriculum vitae in the School of Medicine format.
  4. Any additional information the secondary department deems relevant for reappointment.

Reappointment Process for VU Secondary Reappointments 

The secondary department communicates with the secondary faculty member to verify that he/she wants to continue as a secondary faculty member. The secondary department should receive, but may need to request, from the primary department, a copy of the faculty’s primary reappointment letter. The secondary department admin uploads all required documentation for reappointment into FAS for chair or their designee to review. The secondary department chair, or their designee then forwards the documentation to the dean’s office staff for an administrative review. After administrative review the reappointment is forwarded to the dean or dean designee for approval. Following the dean’s approval, the dean’s office staff completes the final approval process in FAS A secondary reappointment letter is generated in FAS and forwarded to the secondary department for distribution to the secondary faculty member and to the primary department. The dean’s office staff verifies that the FIS has been updated.

Reappointment Process for School of Medicine, VUMC Secondary Reappointments

The secondary department should communicate with the secondary faculty member to verify that he/she wants to continue as a secondary faculty member. The secondary department admin will be able to see the reappointment in the FAS, however, because the primary department is within the School of Medicine, no action from the secondary department is necessary at this time.  The reappointment will be processed within the FAS by the Office of Academic Affairs, SOM VUMC, unless otherwise specified by the secondary department. NOTE: If the secondary department determines that the secondary faculty should not be reappointed or if the secondary faculty member requests not to be reappointed the secondary department should end the secondary appointment in the FAS. If possible, the secondary department should inform the primary department of this action prior to the reappointment of the faculty member or as soon as a non-renewal decision has been made. The secondary department should receive, but may need to request, from the primary department or the primary dean’s office, a copy of the faculty’s primary reappointment letter which should also approve the secondary appointment. Upon receipt of the reappointment letter, the secondary department should send a copy of the reappointment letter to the dean’s office staff.  The dean’s office staff will verify that the secondary appointment has been updated in FIS.  NOTE:  If the dean’s office staff should  receive a copy of the secondary faculty’s reappointment letter, the dean’s office staff will forward a copy of the reappointment letter to the secondary department. 

Secondary Promotions

Origination of Promotions

Promotions originate in the primary department.  Ideally, at the time of a promotion, the primary department should check in the FIS to see if the faculty member has a secondary appointment in other departments. The primary department should contact the chair of the secondary department to inquire if the secondary department would also like to promote the secondary faculty in conjunction with the primary promotion. 

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Secondary Department for a Secondary Promotion to the Secondary Dean’s Office

  1. A letter from the secondary department chair, or chair designee, addressed to the primary department’s dean requesting the secondary promotion. The letter should have signature lines, indicating approval of the secondary appointment, for the following people:
    1. Secondary dean or dean designee
    2. Primary department chair or chair designee
    3. Primary department dean or dean designee

Promotion Process for Secondary Promotions – In conjunction with the primary promotion

The primary department should check in the FIS for any secondary appointment the faculty member being promoted may have.  The primary department should contact the secondary department to inform them of the upcoming promotion and allow the secondary department time to submit the necessary documentation to process the secondary promotion along with the primary promotion. If the secondary department chair, or chair designee approves of the promotion, the secondary department chair, or chair designee will initiate a letter, addressed to the primary department’s dean, requesting the promotion.  The secondary department sends the letter of request to the secondary dean or associate dean design for approval and signature.  The secondary dean’s office will forward the signed letter on to the chair of the primary department for approval and signature and to include the letter as part of the promotion dossier. Upon the approval of the primary department dean and the final promotion approval process, the primary department dean or the primary department chair should send a copy of the promotion letter to the secondary department and the secondary department dean’s office.  The secondary dean’s office staff will update FIS. 

Promotion Process for Secondary Promotions - For circumstances when a primary promotion of a secondary faculty has not been communicated to the secondary department at the time of promotion 

Origination

Promotions for secondary faculty whose promotion has already been completed in their primary department originates with the secondary department.  

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Secondary Department to the Secondary Dean for a Secondary Promotion

  1. A letter from the secondary department chair, or chair designee, addressed to the primary department’s dean requesting the secondary promotion. The letter should have signature lines approving the secondary appointment for the following people:
    • Secondary dean or dean designee
    • Primary department chair or chair designee
    • Primary department dean or dean designee
  2. An updated curriculum vitae in the School of Medicine format.
  3. A copy of the primary promotion letter.
  4. Any additional information the department deems relevant for the appointment.  

Promotion Process

Upon knowledge or notification of the primary promotion, the secondary department chair, or chair designee will generate a letter, addressed to the primary department’s dean, requesting the promotion. The secondary department sends the promotion request and documentation to the secondary dean or associate dean designee for approval and signature.  The secondary dean’s office will forward the signed promotion request and documentation to the primary chair, or chair designee for approval and signature.  Upon approval, the primary department will forward the promotion request and documentation to the primary dean for approval and signature.  Upon approval by the primary department dean, the primary department dean’s office will generate a secondary promotion letter to be distributed to the faculty member, the primary department, the secondary department and the secondary department dean’s office. Upon receiving the secondary promotion letter, the secondary department dean’s office staff will update FIS. NOTE: The secondary department chair should feel free to send his/her own letter to their secondary faculty member congratulating him/her on their promotion.

 

Click on the links below to view of download documents.

New Appointments - All Ranks

Origination of New Appointments

  • Initial appointments for Visiting Appointments originates in the Department, and the Chair forwards the dossier to the Dean’s Office for administrative review.   After the administrative review process, the dossier is sent on to the Dean for review.  Following positive review from the Dean, the Dean’s Office notifies the Department Chair of the decision.  The Department Chair communicates the decision to their faculty.

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Department to the Dean

  1. Letter from the Department Chair requesting the appointment. The Chair letter must include:
  • Information as to how this person will contribute to the mission of the Department and the SOM Basic Sciences
  • The lab or faculty responsible for mentorship.
  1. Letter from the home institution which must include:
  • Indication that Visiting Scholar has a faculty level appointment at their home institution.
  • Endorsement of the Visiting appointment.
  • Commitment to cover the salary of the individual, unless otherwise designated. 
  • International Visiting Appointments should provide proof of health insurance coverage for themselves and any family members who might accompany them to the US, unless otherwise designated. 
  1. Copy of the offer letter. 
  2. Identification of host, if not already stated in the Chair Letter.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.  These letters can be from individuals within or from outside Vanderbilt University.
  4. Documentation of Funding (download Excel version here) if not covered by home institution.
  5. Candidate’s curriculum vitae, in SOM format.
  6. Authorized confirmation of background check. Send a copy of the e-mail received from HR confirming the completion and passing of the Background Check.  Process:  Please send this link, (faculty candidate letter), to the faculty candidate to complete.  You MUST also copy HR, PEBC@vanderbilt.edu, on the email to the candidate in order for HR to know which department to send the background check confirmation to.  Admins will receive an e-mail from HR confirming the background check.  The confirmation e-mail from HR must be sent in with the appointment packet.
  7. Draft appointment letter.
  8. Faculty Information form (download Excel version here).

Appointment Process

  • The Department Chair forwards the dossier to the Dean’s Office for administrative review.
  • For non-institutional (grants) funded appointments, all dossier documents should be submitted in both electronic (PDF) and hard copy forms to the Dean’s Office. 
  • ONLY when using institutional funds, should materials be submitted to the Dean’s Office via the RedCap Request for New Faculty Appointment Site.  The Department Chair’s assistant enters the initial information and forwards the code number generated by RedCap to the Dean’s Office.  Hard copies of the documents should also be submitted to the Dean’s Office.
  • The Dean’s Office staff reviews the dossier and forwards it on to the Dean.
    • Following approval by the Dean, the Dean’s Office informs the Department Chair of the decision. 
    • The Department Chair sends out the Offer Letter to the candidate.
    • When the Dean’s Office receives a copy of the signed and dated Offer Letter, the Dean’s Office generates an Appointment Letter, which is sent to the Department for distribution.  NOTE:  In special cases, the Appointment Letter can be sent out prior to receiving the signed Offer Letter.
  • Once the signed and dated Offer Letter is received, the Dean’s Office updates the information in the Faculty Information System (FIS).

All Tracks and Designated Appointments

Origination of Departures/Non Renewals

  • Departures and Non-Renewals originate in the Department.  The Department Chair forwards the departure or non-renewal notice to the Dean’s Office for administrative review via the Faculty Appointment System (FAS).  The Dean’s approval in FAS acknowledges the receipt of the notice.   The Dean’s office updates the information in the Faculty Information System, FIS.

Required Documents Provided by the Department to the Dean

  1. Letter from the Department Chair stating the reason for the departure/non-renewal.
  2. Documentation of communication between the Department Chair and the faculty member confirming the dates of their departure or non-renewal.

Departure/Non-Renewal Process

  • The Department Chair submits documentation of the departure/non-renewal via the Faculty Appointment System (FAS) to the Dean’s Office.
  • The Dean’s Office conducts an administrative review.
  • The Associate Dean’s approval in FAS acknowledges the receipt of the notice.
  • The Dean’s Office updates the information in the Faculty Information System (FIS).

Appointment to Endowed Chairs

General Information

  • Members of the Executive Faculty (department chairs and center directors) may nominate an individual for an endowed chair.  The nomination should be provided in writing to the Dean, Basic Sciences.  The letter should provide not only the qualifications of the individual, but other circumstances impacting upon the recommendation, including matters of retention, recruitment, or promotion. In addition, any restrictions on the chair fund should be noted, and the qualifications of the individual to satisfy these restrictions should be mentioned.
  • Faculty at other institutions must be recruited to Vanderbilt before they can be nominated to occupy an endowed chair; however, for individuals under recruitment to Vanderbilt who will likely be nominated to occupy an endowed chair upon joining the faculty, letters of support obtained in the process of appointment to the faculty may be utilized also for the process of appointment to the endowed chair.
  • The nominator should recommend to the Dean the names of at least seven faculty members to serve on an endowed chair review committee. The Dean will consider these recommendations in appointing a committee of up to five members. The committee membership will usually comprise associate professors and full professors holding an endowed chair.  No more than two of the committee members may be from the nominator’s or the candidate’s primary department. It is desirable that committees should include women and underrepresented minorities, and faculty from both clinical and basic science departments. The Executive Faculty member nominating the individual will not serve on the review committee.
  • The Dean will name the committee chair and send a memorandum to the appointment committee members asking them to serve and providing the review committee’s charge.
  • The review committee will receive no fewer than five letters in support of the nominee from the nominator or will solicit such letters. No more than two of these letters may be from members of the Vanderbilt faculty. Any letter solicited in support of the candidate’s appointment to the Vanderbilt faculty or in support of promotion as a Vanderbilt faculty member may be utilized to endorse a nomination for an endowed chair so long as the letter was written within three years of the date upon which the endowed chair will become effective. Within three months of its appointment and charge, the committee will send a report to the Dean.

Minimum Required Documents Provided by the Committee to the Dean

  1. Summary information of the committee’s assessment of the nominee(s)
  2. In cases where there is more than one candidate nominated, a rank order of candidates with rationale for the ranking.

Appointment Process

  • The findings of the review committee will be evaluated by the Dean.  In the event that the review committee endorses the nomination and the Dean concurs, the Dean will send a memo to the Provost, summarizing the findings of the committee, and recommending a nominee for appointment to the endowed chair. If the final nominee chosen by the Dean differs from the recommendation of the review committee, an explanation must be provided.
  • The Provost’s Office forwards the recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations for verification of funds.  Once verification has been received, the recommendation is then sent to the Provost and the Chancellor for final approval.
  • The Dean’s Office informs the nominee of the appointment.
  • Once the process is complete, the information is updated in the Faculty Information System (FIS) by the Dean’s Office.
  • Typically holders of endowed chairs are reviewed every seven years at the discretion of the Dean. A current curriculum vitae and endorsement of the Department Chair should be submitted to the Dean for this purpose. 

 

Endowed Chair Reappointments

Origination of Reappointments

Appointments for Endowed Chairs in the SOM, Basic Sciences at Vanderbilt University are for 7-year terms.  The formal reappointment process is as follows:

  • The Department chair of the faculty member submits a letter requesting the reappointment.  The letter should include: Research focus and impact; current funding; recent publications; teaching/training/mentoring; other contributions to department, Basic Science, VU, and scientific community; awards or other forms of national recognition.  The CV of the faculty member should also be submitted. No outside letters are required.
  • An ad hoc committee will be appointed by the Dean to review the reappointment.
  • The committee can recommend reappointment for the full 7 years or may recommend against reappointment.
  • The Chair of the ad hoc committee will send a letter to the Dean summarizing the key elements of the committee’s decision.
  • The Dean will take into account these recommendations and make a final decision.

Endowed Chair Reappointment Process

  1. Each year, in January, The Associate Dean for Faculty Development of the Basic Sciences will email all faculty with Endowed Chair renewals (cc’ing the Department Admins), of the renewal process and their responsibility to the request.
  2. The Dean’s Office will send a separate email (informational only) to the Department Admin with a list of their faculty, if any, whose Endowed Chair needs to be renewed.
  3. The Department submits to the Dean’s Office all documentation for Endowed Chair Renewals by April 30th.
    1. Chair Letter, requesting the reappointment
    2. CV
  4. The Dean will assemble a committee to review the renewals, which will take place in May. 
  5. The Dean’s Office will review, endorse and submit the renewals to the Provost’s Office on or around June 1, giving the Provost’s Office ample time to process the request by July.

 

 

 

New Appointments - All Ranks

General Information

  • The status of “Emeritus/Emerita” recognizes tenured faculty who end full-time service to the University.
  • A tenured faculty member who has served the University with distinction for an extended period of time, and who remains on active status up to the time of retirement is eligible for Emeritus/Emerita status.
  • Appointment to Emeritus/Emerita status is initiated by the Department Chair, and approved by the Dean, Provost, Chancellor, and Board of Trust

Appointment Process

  • Awarding of Emeritus/Emerita Status is initiated by the Department Chair, who provides to the Dean a curriculum vitae for the candidate along with a 250-300 word biography outlining his/her contributions to the University and the academic world in teaching, scholarship, and service.
  • In general, these documents should be received prior to 5:00 P.M. on January 25th of the intended retirement year.
  • Upon approval, the Dean forwards the documentation to the Provost, who then conveys the request to the Chancellor, and the Board of Trust.
  • Upon approval of the Board of Trust, the Chancellor notifies the Dean, who informs the Department Chair and the candidate .
  • Public recognition of Emeritus/Emerita status is made at Commencement at the end of the academic year.
  • Once the process is complete, all updated information is entered into the Faculty Information System (FIS) by the Dean’s Office.

New Appointments - All Ranks

General Information

  • The title of “Retired Faculty” recognizes faculty who end full-time service to the University but do not qualify for Emeritus/Emerita status.
  • A faculty member who has served the University for an extended period of time, contributed to the mission of the institution, and is in good standing at the time of retirement is eligible for Retired status.
  • Appointment to Retired status is initiated by the Department Chair, and approved by the Dean and Provost.
  • Faculty, who have already retired may initiate the process by contacting the current Chair of the Department in which they served.
  • Faculty granted Emeritus/Emerita status may not be appointed to Retired status.

Appointment Process

  • Prior to the date of retirement, or in response to a request from an already retired faculty member, the Department Chair should submit a letter to the Dean requesting that the candidate faculty member receive the status of Retired. The letter should outline how the faculty member meets the specified criteria.
  • The Dean reviews the request, and if approved, forwards it to the Provost for approval.
  • Upon approval, the Dean notifies the Department Chair who then notifies the faculty member.
  •  Once the process is complete, all updated information is entered into the Faculty Information System (FIS) by the Dean’s Office.

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