B. Ranks in the Clinical Instructional Track
Clinical instructional track faculty are appointed in the School of Dentistry at the ranks of clinical lecturer, clinical assistant professor, clinical associate professor and clinical professor. The official title (Assistant Professor, Clinical Track) is used on all appointment, promotional, human resources, and other official correspondence. Routine correspondence, e.g., patient correspondence, scholarly work, can use the shorter working title Assistant Professor without identifying the track. These titles are to be used for appointments of .5 FTE or greater within the School of Dentistry.
A clinical lecturer is fully trained to provide clinical care and is qualified to participate in educational programs at the School of Dentistry. Appointment to this rank requires evidence that the individual has received an appropriate dental or dental hygiene education, graduate education where appropriate, and documentation of clinical competence and licensure. Certification by the relevant professional board must be pending or completed recognizing that exceptions for some internationally trained dentists/dental hygienists may be granted by the School of Dentistry. Competence in clinical and didactic teaching is expected. Letters from individuals with firsthand knowledge of the candidate are helpful in documenting the candidate’s clinical competency, suitability for an academic dental environment, potential as a teacher and clinical role model, and potential for growth in clinical and scholarly areas. Scholarly activities such as publication in a candidate’s professional field are encouraged but not required.
Clinical lecturer appointments are made by the department Chair or unit head and reviewed by the School of Dentistry APT committee and approved by the School of Dentistry Executive Committee.
Clinical Assistant Professor
A clinical assistant professor has demonstrated ability in teaching and clinical practice. Ability and accomplishment in dental education are expected. Appointment or promotion to this rank requires evidence of clinical competence. Certification by a relevant professional board or the equivalent is a usual expectation at this rank, although this qualification may be in progress at the time of appointment according to the requirements of the relevant professional board. Letters, which may be from local sources, must attest to the quality of clinical practice. The candidate’s teaching and organizational service to his or her department (here or at another institution) in areas related to clinical care and education should be documented. Invited presentations as well as publication of articles in professional journals, chapters, reviews, abstracts, textbooks, videotapes, and other educational materials are evidence of scholarly engagement and are typical expectations of faculty at this rank. At times, documentation of exceptional teaching and service, e.g., awards, citations, speaking invitations, may support an appointment at this rank for an individual who may not yet have produced scholarly works.
Appointment, reappointment and promotion to clinical assistant professor are reviewed and recommended by the School of Dentistry APT Committee and approved by the School of Dentistry Executive Committee.
An initial three to seven year appointment is usual, with an appointment review completed by the end of the third year. If non-reappointment is suggested after the first review period, the Chair will send a letter of non-reappointment no later than the first quarter of the fourth year, a minimum nine month notice. Clinical instructional track reappointments at the level of assistant professor will be for additional terms of no more than four years each. Individuals at the clinical assistant professor rank are strongly encouraged to seek promotion before or during the seventh year after appointment.
In some instances, individuals at this rank may not meet the criteria for promotion but still make significant contributions to the teaching and service missions of the school; therefore, to maintain the rank of assistant professor on the clinical instructional track, individuals must continue to demonstrate teaching and service appropriate for their rank, and in addition should seek engagement in scholarly activity that may lead to promotion. Evidence may include (not listed in order of importance):
- favorable departmental evaluations of teaching and service contributions
- teaching portfolio with positive teaching evaluations by students and peer faculty
- receipt of teaching or service awards
- mentoring of dental students, dental hygiene students or graduate students
- service on department, School and/or University committees
- presentation of Continuing Education inside or outside of the University
- participation as a principal or co-investigator on established ongoing research projects
- attendance at national meetings
- development of novel teaching materials, e.g., clinic manuals, CDs, videos
- practice in DFA
- participation as a reviewer or as editorial board member for reputable journals
- service on an IRB
- performance of significant administrative duties
- publication of original research, case reports, critical reviews, book chapters, invited editorials, abstracts, or table clinics
- active participation in professional organizations, including committee assignments or leadership
- oral or poster presentations at regional, national or international meetings
Clinical Associate Professor
A clinical associate professor has demonstrated excellence in teaching and clinical service. Typically, the candidate should have produced scholarship that influences knowledge and/or clinical care. Appointment or promotion to this rank requires evidence that development as a clinician has progressed to the point of establishing broad interdepartmental and regional recognition by professional colleagues. Typically, a reputation of this sort is documented by letters from impartial external sources; administration or leadership in local, regional, or national organizations; presentations on clinical topics at local, regional, or national meetings; and articles in professional publications. Although years in rank alone neither compels nor precludes advancement to clinical associate professor, promotion after less than five years in rank is based on extraordinary accomplishment produced during those years in rank.
The clinical associate professor title signals the passage into dental academia’s senior rank. Individuals at this rank are expected to be role models of collegiality, integrity, scholarship, and excellence in their professions. A person promoted to this level is likely to have achieved an ongoing influence on quality of dental service. Examples include leadership in organization of clinical services, improvements in quality of care, measurements of outcomes of patient satisfaction, and involvement in utilization management activities. Contributions in these areas are documented by relevant peers.
Evidence of continued contribution to dental education is expected. This may be through customary teaching situations (lectures, clinical instruction of students and residents, mentorship pairing, or scholarly work with trainees) or through the preparation of educational materials, including educational brochures and learning aids, textbook chapters, reviews, videotapes, Web based learning, and other instructional interfaces. Administration and organization of teaching programs are also valued activities, and creativity in their execution can be documented by letters from appropriate knowledgeable faculty, students, and peers.
Evidence of excellence in clinical service or teaching may include favorable departmental evaluation, formal awards for performance, or invitations to speak at professional meetings or other institutions. In general, scholarship should be judged with the principle of peer evaluation and recognition, whether the products of the scholarly activity are papers, books or chapters, invited lectures, or some other mode of communicating results and ideas.
Appointment and promotion to clinical associate professor are reviewed and recommended by the School of Dentistry APT Committee, approved by the School of Dentistry Executive Committee, and endorsed by the Dean, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President of the University.
An initial three year appointment is usual, with an appointment review completed by the end of the third year. If non-reappointment is suggested after the first three year period, the Chair will send a letter of non-reappointment no later than the first quarter of the fourth year (minimum nine-month notice). Clinical instructional track re-appointments at the level of the associate professor will be for additional terms ranging from one to seven years in duration, with five years or seven years reappointment being the norm. Reappointments in the associate professor rank are made by the department chair and are approved by the Executive Committee.
Although there is no requirement for ascension in rank, individuals at the clinical associate professor rank are strongly encouraged to seek promotion by the seventh year following initial appointment to that rank.
A clinical professor performs teaching and clinical service as described for clinical associate professor, usually over an additional period of five-to ten-years and has attained further regional or national recognition for teaching and clinical expertise.
Typically, the same qualitative criteria used for the clinical associate professor apply with expected quantitative differences in the number and impact of achievements. Service in regional or national dental societies, associations or boards is typical. Faculty at this level often have substantial products of their scholarly activity that have been subjected to peer review and that have resulted in broad peer recognition in the area of clinical dentistry or dental education. Scholarship should be judged on the basis of peer evaluation and recognition, whether the products of the scholarly activity are papers, books or chapters, invited lectures, or other modes of communicating observations, investigations, results, and ideas.
Appointment and promotion to clinical professor are reviewed and recommended by the School of Dentistry APT Committee, approved by the School of Dentistry Executive Committee, and endorsed by the Dean, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President of the University.
An initial three year appointment is usual, with an appointment review completed by the end of the third year. If non-reappointment is suggested after the first three year period, the chair will send a letter of non-reappointment no later than the first quarter of the fourth year (minimum nine month notice). Clinical instructional track reappointments at the level of professor will be for additional terms of one to seven years in duration, with five years or seven years reappointment being the norm. Reappointments to the clinical professor rank are made by the department Chair and are approved by the Executive Committee.
C. Criteria for Appointment and Promotion in the Clinical Instructional Track
The criteria for appointment and promotion in the clinical instructional track will be applied with an emphasis on the impact of the nominee on his or her professional environment. This impact may be in the teaching arena, in professional activity usually manifested by clinical care, in service, e.g., organizational, administrative, community, volunteerism, or in scholarship. Supporting letters must specifically address how the nominee made an impact, with a detailed description of the work and its influence. Longevity in a rank or position is not sufficient evidence of accomplishment or merit for promotion.
In exceptional circumstances, for a faculty member who has had a profound effect on his or her environment in the role of clinician or educator, this alone may qualify the candidate for appointment or promotion, with such extraordinary service offsetting the usual expectation of some scholarly activity. In this case, letters of support must explain the individual’s impact with great detail and specificity.
Although tenure is not a facet of the School of Dentistry clinical instructional track, the University and the School of Dentistry envision parallelism between the clinical instructional track, the regular instructional track, and the research track in the mechanics of appointment and promotion. Long-term (up to seven years, renewable) commitments can be made in this track.
Faculty members are expected to be knowledgeable about the literature in their field of expertise. The faculty member should demonstrate the ability to assimilate and integrate this knowledge and the ability to teach such knowledge effectively. Successful teaching of dental students and residents is a cornerstone of the clinical instructional track.
Educational excellence may be demonstrated in a variety of settings. The educational roles of clinical faculty may involve a broad range of educational activities targeted at diverse audiences such as organizing or participating in local or regional Continuing Education activities or developing patient education tools, health profession education modules, or public health education programs. In addition to the usual peer sources, letters from former trainees or from colleagues may document educational impact.
The criteria for teaching effectiveness that will be considered in evaluation are quality, innovation, impact upon students, and level of responsibility. Evaluation will be made in all areas of the faculty member's assignments including classroom teaching, laboratory and clinical teaching, course coordination, seminar leadership, supervision of individual student projects, supervision of thesis or dissertation research, service on thesis or dissertation committees, and development of instructional materials. Inclusion of documentation of teaching effectiveness that highlights the development and improvement of teaching quality will be required at the time of the faculty member’s promotion review.
The foundation of excellent teaching is mastery of the subject, including an in-depth knowledge of the current literature in one’s discipline. Essential components of the teaching effort are use of appropriate methods of instruction, effective planning and organization, appropriate methods of evaluation, and adequate feedback to students. Teaching of superior quality may be characterized by:
- utilization of highly effective oral, visual, and written communication techniques
- stimulation of critical thinking and problem solving
- encouragement of conceptual comprehension as well as factual recall
- encouragement of students to raise questions and express ideas
- performance of duties with enthusiasm and energy
Teaching excellence includes some degree of innovative effort on the part of a faculty member. Examples of innovations in teaching are:
- utilization of new technology to improve teaching effectiveness
- development of new courses and programs or unique learning experiences
- use of educational research -- development of methods to evaluate individual teaching, courses, or curriculum
Impact Upon Students
Teaching should have a positive effect on students. The qualities of teaching that have positive influences on the student are numerous and may be difficult to measure. Some information regarding the qualities of teaching that are exhibited by a particular faculty member can be gained through informal observation, but a more complete appraisal may be obtained through formal evaluation of teaching. Examples of favorable student-faculty interaction are:
- student pursuing independent study as a result of interaction with the faculty member
- students providing unsolicited favorable evaluation of faculty
Desirable characteristics of teachers include, but are not limited to:
- presents an evidenced-based point of view
- treats students with respect
- is fair, reasonable, and timely, in evaluation of students
- monitors student progress in a timely fashion; guides and provides supportive activities when appropriate
- continually evaluates his/her own teaching
- promotes academic integrity and professional development
It must be emphasized that student input in faculty evaluation is essential, but is only a portion of the information considered. Such input must be balanced against the other measures of the quality of teaching.
Level of Responsibility
The level of responsibility assigned to the faculty member is a consideration in the promotion process. The extent to which the faculty member's responsibilities contribute to the teaching programs of the School is of importance, e.g., directing a course or having primary responsibilities for a teaching program.
Many organizational service activities are appropriate to faculty in the clinical instructional track, such as participation in committee work, IRB’s administrative tasks, counseling, and special training programs. Activities (such as leadership of or service on a quality assurance, risk management, or utilization review committee) also pertain to this type of service. In addition, the University also expects many of its staff to render extramural services to other schools, industry, governmental agencies, relevant professional organizations and the public at large. Examples include:
- memberships and offices held in professional societies
- public service activities that relate to the health of the general public
- continuing participation and leadership roles in medical/dental service organizations
- appointment as a section or symposium chairperson
A clinical instructional track faculty member’s work is usually dominated by clinical responsibilities and a high level of clinical competency is expected in all ranks. Clinical excellence may be documented by letters from University of Michigan faculty and current or former colleagues as well as former trainees. Letters typically attest that the nominee is considered by the dental community as a clinical resource, is sought out for clinical expertise, and has a strong referral base. By their nature these letters will often come from sources that have personal knowledge of the individual’s clinical skills and character. A clinician is a role model for dental students and must demonstrate collegiality, integrity, professional excellence, respect for diversity, engagement in community, and commitment to individual learning and scholarship.
Faculty members are expected to provide patient care both within the University and in the professional community. Patient care will be evaluated only when it is an assigned responsibility of the faculty member. Examples of activities relating to patient care include:
- certification by specialty board or achievement of Diplomate status
- awards that recognize clinical expertise
- consultation as requested by other faculty members
- membership on a specialty examining board
- service as a consultant on patient care, e.g., third-party payment groups, courts, health care organizations
- innovations to make clinical patient care more efficient and effective
Continuing education is a special responsibility of the School of Dentistry and its faculty members. The state, the profession, and the general public depend on the School for help in maintaining high standards of clinical practice in this area of health care delivery. Continuing education is both an instructional and public service activity that the School of Dentistry is uniquely qualified to provide. Continuing education, as a special responsibility, may not be applicable to all faculty members. This area will be evaluated when appropriate.
Scholarly engagement in relevant professional arenas is typical of senior level clinical instructional track faculty members. Research achievements, though not required of entry level clinical faculty members, are a welcome addition to their records. With rare exceptions (see page 12, section C., paragraph 2) promotion to the senior levels of the clinical instructional track requires scholarly engagement and productivity.
Scholarly activity is a central mission of a research university, therefore, all faculty members should engage in scholarly activity. The quality of any scholarly activity should be determined by peer review. Scholarship has two major components:
- the compilation, synthesis, and transferal of current knowledge, and
- the generation of new knowledge through original research and publication of the findings
Promotion to the senior levels of the clinical instructional track, with rare exception, requires scholarly engagement and productivity. Quality of scholarship or academic achievement is evidenced by:
- published and other creative work
- the range and variety of intellectual interests
- success in training graduate and professional students in scholarly methods
- participation and leadership in professional associations
- editing of professional journals
Compilation, Synthesis, and Transferal of Current Knowledge
All scholarly activity supports teaching and professional service. The compilation, synthesis, and transferal of current knowledge is one aspect of this activity that contributes to and advances scholarship. Such scholarly work might take many forms that may include:
- abstracts of oral or poster presentations at regional or national meetings
- the publication of textbooks
- book chapters, E-Books
- educational websites
- review articles
- case reports
- development and documentation of new technical and clinical procedures
- instructional materials (if published in peer-reviewed publication)
- documentation of standards of care or evidence-based practice
Original Research and Publication
Research is the generation of new knowledge, through use of the scientific method. Such research may be basic, applied, behavioral, clinical or in health services. It culminates as manuscript publication in refereed scientific journals. A reasonable and consistent level of research productivity is required; however, it is the quality of the investigative activity that is of primary importance in evaluation. In addition, the research should have a focus. Other evidence of a significant research record may include:
- invitations to present one’s research at other universities or major scientific meetings;
- receipt of awards or other special recognition for outstanding scholarly activity;
- a record as a productive independent investigator or collaborator
- a record of primary or senior author status on a significant number of publications and co-authorship on others; specific numbers of publications in each case are not as important as the quality and significance of the work
- publication of research abstracts