Promotions on the Medical Campus

Promotion at Boston University recognizes significant additional accomplishments after a faculty member has been appointed or last promoted. The decision to pursue promotion may be initiated by the faculty member. No rigid schedule exists for promotion. Eligibility for promotion is open to all faculty members of Lecturer, Instructor or higher rank, including Research, Clinical, or of the Practice faculty. Promotion within the un-modified professorial ranks requires significant scholarly achievement since the last appointment or promotion.

A.  Promotion Standards

Each School shall define appropriate standards for promotion. These standards are subject to approval by the Medical Campus Provost and shall be made available to all faculty members in the School or College.

B. Promotion Procedures

  1. The first level of Promotion Review in the candidate’s department is conducted by full-time members holding a rank at least as high as that for which the candidate is considered. If the department committee approves the promotion, the department chair forwards the results of the faculty review as well as his/her own recommendation to the School’s office for appointments and promotions where it is processed as outlined in each School’s by-laws. After considering the recommendation of the faculty review process, the dean may approve promotions from instructor to unmodified assistant professor and all promotions for faculty holding modified titles. Recommendations for promotion of unmodified associate and full professors are forwarded to the Medical Campus Provost, and from the Medical Campus Provost to the University President. The decision of the President is final.
  2. Candidates, at theirrequest, shall be given copies of an appropriately redacted chair’s letter, and committee reports from each level of the promotion review process. Reports must be formulated or redacted to preserve the anonymity of participants to the extent possible while communicatingthe basis of the decisionsat each level. The candidate willnot receive the roster of faculty askedto provide individual evaluation letters, the letters themselves or direct quotations from evaluation letters which are submitted in confidence.

C. Appeals Process

  1. The candidate may appeal a negative recommendation at each step in the review process. Appeals based solely on claims that a level of review reached an erroneous negative decision based on the meritsof the case will be reviewed at the appropriate step as described in Table 1 or 2. All appeal decisions will be provided to the candidate in writing.

Table 1:  Appeal Path for Promotions of Faculty with Unmodified Professorial Titles on the Medical Campus

Level of Negative Recommendation Appeal Reviewer Outcome
Department School Promotions Committee Supports appeal  sends case to Dean and review resumes
Denies appeal  decision is final
School Promotions Committee Dean Supports appeal  sends case to Medical Campus Provost and review resumes
Denies appeal  decision is final
Dean Medical Campus Provost Supports appeal  sends case to the President and review resumes
Denies appeal  decision is final
Medical Campus Provost President Supports appeal  promotion is granted
Denies appeal  decision is final
President denies after positive recommendation by the Medical Campus Provost Reconsideration by the President Supports appeal  promotion is granted
Denies appeal  decision is final

 

Table 2:  Appeal Path for Promotions of Faculty with Modified Professorial Titles on the Medical Campus

Level of Negative Recommendation Appeal Reviewer Outcome
Department School Promotions Committee Supports appeal  sends case to Dean for review
Denies appeal  decision is final
School Promotions Committee Dean Supports appeal  promotion is granted
Denies appeal  decision is final
  1. The candidate must file an appeal within 30 calendar days of being notified in writing of the negative recommendation.
  2. Candidates must identify all grounds on which their appeals based, as they have only one opportunity to request a review of a negative recommendation. The appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:  (a) the candidate has met all criteria for promotion and the decision was erroneous on the merits (appeal review follows path in Table 1 or 2); (b) the promotion review process was marred by significant procedural errors that substantially affected the final decision; or (c) the promotion review process was affected by unlawful discrimination that substantially affected the final decision. If the appeal is based on the merits plus additional grounds (b and c), the additional grounds will be reviewed before the review on the basis of the merits of the case.  A review on the merits of the case is available, even when an appeal on the basis of b and c has been unsuccessful.
  3. If an appeal includes claims that:

(a) procedural errors or deviations from standard processes at the department, college, or University level that substantially affected the decision; or
(b) bias or discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other unlawful basis that substantially affected the decision

then the Medical Campus Provost will determine whether:

(a) the claims of procedural errors or unlawful discrimination, if ultimately supported by the evidence, would provide a basis to re-examine the negative promotion recommendation; and
(b) a formal review by a faculty committee would aid in determination of relevant facts.   

The Medical Provost’s decision on whether to proceed with committee review is final.

If the Medical Campus Provost determines that committee review is warranted, he/she will appoint an ad hoc faculty committee of three senior faculty (naming one as chair) and notify the candidate of their appointment. A candidate who believes that any of the ad hoc committee members cannot participate as an objective fact finder must inform the Medical Campus Provost within seven calendar days. The Medical Campus Provost will decide if an alternative committee member is needed.

The ad hoc committee should complete its review and provide a written report of its findings of fact to the Medical Campus Provost within 75 calendar days. The ad hoc committee’s review process may include review of documents, including the promotion dossier, as well as witness interviews and consultation with other University personnel including the Equal Opportunity Office, as appropriate. The witness will be given advanced notice as to the nature of the appeal prior to the interview. The candidate may select a faculty member advisor who may accompany the candidate to any appearance before the ad hoc committee for purposes of providing support, but who may not directly participate in the review.

This review process, including the identity of the members of the ad hoc committee, information obtained in the review process, and information disclosed to witnesses consulted by the committee should be kept confidential by all participants, including the candidate and witnesses. The ad hoc committee will not disclose to the candidate the identity of the external evaluators, individual evaluation letters, or direct quotations from evaluation letters which are submitted in confidence.

The Medical Campus Provost will review the ad hoc committee report, consult with others as needed, and make a final decision whether procedural errors or unlawful discrimination may have affected the outcome of the promotion recommendations. The department chair and the candidate will be informed of this decision in writing, and the decision is final.

If the Medical Campus Provost finds the outcome may have been affected by procedural errors or unlawful bias, the Medical Campus Provost will establish an internal mechanism to reconsider the decision.

 Last revised on June 12, 2018 by the University Council