Faculty Policies


UMB Policy on Appointment, Rank, and Tenure of Faculty

Faculty   |   Approved July 7, 2014

Responsible VP/AVP

Roger Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA

Applies to Faculty

Revision History

Effective August 1, 2011; Revised July 7, 2014.

Policy Statement

I. Policy Statement

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a constituent institution of the University System of Maryland (USM). In matters of faculty appointment, rank, promotion and tenure, UMB and the schools at UMB are subject to USM Policy II 1.00 University System Policy on Appointment, Rank, and Tenure of Faculty (USM Policy) and other relevant USM policies.

USM Policy requires each USM institution to have written criteria and procedures governing faculty appointment, rank, promotion, and tenure. This policy (UMB Policy) is UMB’s policy satisfying that USM requirement. This Policy is not intended to be a complete statement of appointment, rank, promotion and tenure policies for the faculty at UMB. It will be supplemented by policies of the individual schools that comprise UMB, by other UMB policies pertaining to specific categories of faculty appointments (e.g., UMB Policy II 1.00 (F) Criteria and Procedures Relating to Appointment, Promotion, and Permanent Status for Library Faculty - UMB), and by other UMB policies and the USM Policy where applicable.

This UMB Policy and related policies of the Schools (each, a School Policy) shall be interpreted to be consistent with the USM Policy's requirements. Each School Policy must be consistent with the USM Policy, the UMB Policy, and related UMB procedures concerning faculty appointment, promotion, rank and tenure. Each School Policy is subject to the approval of the President of UMB and any additional approvals at the USM level that are required by the USM Policy.

II. Definitions

  • “Appointment” means an appointment to the faculty of a UMB School.
  • “Change of Track” means transfer of an appointee from tenure track to non-tenure track.
  • “Dean” means the Dean of a UMB School.
  • “Full-time appointment” means (a) a faculty appointment that will be reflected in a UMB payroll entry as 1.0 FTE or (b) a geographic full-time appointment to the faculty of the School of Medicine as defined in the Medical Service Plan of the School.
  • “HRS” means UMB Human Resource Services
  • “Non-tenure track” means the category of UMB term faculty appointments; faculty in these appointments have no expectation of consideration for award of tenure. 
  • “President” means the President of UMB.
  • “Promotion” means (a) an increase in academic rank within the faculty of a School, or (b) a transfer from non-tenure track to tenure track, whether or not accompanied by a change in rank. (For example, a move from assistant professor non tenure track to assistant professor tenure track is a promotion.)
  • “Provost” means the Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at UMB.
  • “School” means one of the following schools at UMB: Dentistry, Graduate, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work.
  • "School Policy" means a policy on faculty appointment, rank, promotion and tenure adopted by a School with the approvals required by the UMB Policy and the USM Policy.
  • “Tenure track” is the category of full-time UMB academic ranks which may lead to consideration for tenure, and full-time ranks that can be held by appointees who have been granted tenure.
  • “USM Policy”, “UMB Policy”, and “School Policy” have the meanings set out above in I. Policy Statement.

III. Appointments 

  1. Each UMB faculty member must have a primary appointment to the faculty of one of the UMB Schools. Each faculty appointment shall be made to a designated academic rank and shall be effective on a specific date.  Decisions about a faculty member's appointment, reappointment, rank, promotion and tenure will be made with reference to the appropriate School Policy as well as the UMB Policy and the USM Policy.
  2. A faculty member with a primary appointment in a School may have one or more secondary appointments to the faculty of other Schools.  Generally secondary appointments are uncompensated.  If compensation by more than one School at UMB is an expectation of the appointee and the Schools where the faculty member has appointments, this must be clearly specified in writing at the time of the secondary appointment.  If the faculty member will be tenure track, only the School where the faculty member has a primary appointment may be the tenure home for the faculty member.  If tenure is granted, the School making the primary appointment is solely responsible for ongoing financial commitments resulting from tenure unless the other School has committed to provide support throughout the faculty member's career at UMB.
  3. The tenure track academic ranks that may lead to consideration for tenure are full time appointments as assistant professor, associate professor, and professor.

IV. Criteria and Procedures for Faculty Appointment, Promotion, Rank, and Tenure

A. In the USM Policy the general criteria for faculty appointment, promotion, rank and tenure are: (1) teaching effectiveness, including student advising; (2) research, scholarship, and, in appropriate areas, creative activities or other activities that result in the generation and application of intellectual property through technology transfer; and (3) relevant service to  the community, profession, and institution. Detailed criteria and the relative weight of the criteria are determined by the USM institutions. At UMB, each School, rather than the  institution, determines the specific criteria for appointment, promotion, rank and tenure of that School's faculty. Each School's criteria and procedures for appointment, promotion and tenure review are stated in its School Policy.


B. A School Policy must require appropriate review of credentials before all appointments and promotions and before recommendations to grant tenure.  

  1. External review of credentials is required as part of the evaluation of candidates for tenure and candidates for appointment or promotion to full time positions, tenure track or non-tenure track, at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. A School Policy must establish appropriate guidance for selection of senior scholars in the discipline of the School who will provide external reviews of the candidate. A School Policy must specify the required credentials of external reviewers and define the permitted affiliations of external reviewers, addressing whether they may be employed by the candidate's School.
  2. For tenure actions and appointments and promotions to professor, external reviewers may not be appointed in the candidate's School.
  3. For appointments and promotions to the ranks of assistant professor, external letters of support received during a search process may be relied upon as external evaluations if the letters of support were received from qualified senior scholars and are sufficiently detailed to be relied upon to evaluate the candidate for academic rank.


C. Promotion and tenure decisions, as well as decisions to hire and reappoint faculty, involve subjective evaluations about a person's abilities and past and potential contributions to a School and UMB. Meeting minimum criteria stated in the USM Policy or in a School Policy does not entitle a faculty member to promotion and/or tenure.

D. Evaluations for reappointment, promotion and tenure are conducted annually, using current criteria as stated in School Policy and taking into account faculty personnel and  academic program requirements. 

E. The promotion and tenure criteria set forth in each School Policy must be freely available to the faculty of the School. In response to the needs of society and the expectations of accrediting agencies of UMB, priorities and needs of UMB and its Schools change over time. As a result, the criteria set forth in School Policy for promotion and tenure may change over time. Criteria should be reviewed regularly and updated as appropriate. Any changes in criteria set forth in each a School Policy should be promptly communicated to the School's faculty.

F. Tenure is awarded only to full-time faculty at the ranks of associate professor and  professor. Tenure is granted only after an affirmative decision based upon a formal review specifically to evaluate a candidate for tenure.


V. Authorities and Responsibilities of President, Provost and Deans

Policy Administration:  The President delegates to the Provost responsibility for administration of the USM Policy and other related USM policies at UMB.  Also, the Provost is responsible for administration of the UMB Policy and School Policies.  In consultation with USM and the Schools, the Provost will resolve any questions that arise as to the application of (a) the USM Policy or other USM policies relating to academic appointment matters, or (b) the UMB Policy and School Policies.

President's Responsibility:  Full-time appointments and promotions to the rank of associate professor and professor, tenure track and non-tenure track, are made by the President upon recommendation of a Dean.  The President delegates appointment and promotion authority for other ranks and appointments to the Provost and the Deans, as specified below.

Tenure may be granted only by the President, upon recommendation of a Dean. 

The President will consider and decide an appeal from an appointment, promotion or tenure decision only where the appeal is from an action taken by an official to whom the President has delegated appointment or promotion authority.

Provost's Responsibility:  Full-time appointments to the rank of assistant professor, tenure track or non-tenure track, are made by the Provost upon recommendation of a Dean.  

A promotion from full-time assistant professor, non-tenure track, to assistant professor, tenure track requires approval of the Provost.

A change of track from tenure track (full time) to non-tenure track (full time or part time) requires approval of the Provost.

Dean's Responsibility:  Any appointment below the rank of assistant professor (i.e., appointments to the rank of clinical instructor or research associate) and any part-time, adjunct, secondary, affiliate and volunteer appointment is made by a Dean.  The Dean's authority may not be sub-delegated.

VI.  School Policies

  1. Each School must have one or more School Policies, approved by the President, concerning faculty searches and concerning appointment, rank, promotion and tenure of faculty.  The School Policy must include:
  2. Written procedures describing the School's search process for identifying new full-time faculty and any other faculty who will hold positions for which a search is required by affirmative action policies.  The procedures must address interaction between the School and Human Resource Services concerning affirmative action search requirements.
  3. A list of academic ranks authorized by USM and used by the School for faculty appointments.  A School which proposes to use an academic rank not listed in II.C of the USM Policy or which proposes to use a listed academic rank in a manner not described in II.C, or authorized by the Chancellor as provided in II.C, must seek the prior approval of the President and, through the President, the Board of Regents or its designee.  Requests to use academic ranks other than as provided in II.C must be initiated with the Provost.
  4. A statement of criteria upon which reviews for appointment, promotion or tenure will be based, and guidelines for appointment or promotion to each academic rank, tenure track and non-tenure track, used by the School.  The criteria should distinguish between expectations for tenure track and non-tenure track faculty ranks.
  5. A statement whether in that School a tenured appointment is specific to an academic department, or is an appointment within the School faculty as a whole.
  6. A statement of circumstances justifying a change of track from tenure track to non-tenure track; a statement that a faculty member who makes such a change has no expectation of subsequent review for tenure or return to tenure track; and the procedure for making a request for approval of change to non-tenure track.
  7. A statement of promotion and tenure review procedures, including the participants, documentation, degree of confidentiality, schedule of the annual cycle for reviews, and authority for final approval.
  8. A statement of the right of a faculty member to appeal a promotion and tenure decision, the grounds for appeals, and a description of appeal procedures. School promotion and tenure appeals procedures must be consistent with requirements of the USM Policy, UMB Policy and School Policies.

VII. Searches and Promotions

School Policies must incorporate the following requirements:

A. Faculty searches are intended to fulfill two objectives:

  1. The School's interest in making its faculty opportunities broadly known in order to identify highly qualified prospective faculty.
  2. The requirement that UMB and the Schools build and maintain diversity among the faculty.

School Policies must specify search procedures that address both objectives, harmonizing the School's academic interests with the search, diversity and affirmative action policies of UMB as adopted through HRS and approved by the President.

B. The appointment of a new faculty member at .5 FTE or greater, in any professorial rank (assistant professor, associate professor, or full professor), tenure track or non tenure track, must follow a search to identify the new faculty appointee.

C. The requirements of scope and advertising for a specific search will vary depending upon the appointment being filled, the anticipated difficulty of identifying strong candidates, time available for recruitment and evaluation of candidates, availability of strong internal candidates, and UMB's diversity record in similar faculty ranks in the School. Regional or national searches are required in most cases for appointment of .8 FTE and above in the professorial ranks (assistant professor, associate professor, or professor).

D. A School's policy may provide a procedure for promotion of current faculty following a credentials review appropriate to the promotion being sought.  For promotions to the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor or professor, the review of credentials must be consistent with the evaluation that would be undertaken in the case of search for a new faculty member.

E. A full-time non tenure track faculty member who became non-tenure track through change of track may not return to tenure track.

F. The Provost may make an exception to a requirement of Part VII when a School recommends the exception and HRS concurs that the action is consistent with affirmative action obligations of UMB.


VIII. UMB Procedures for Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure

A. School's Responsibility to Track Appointments

It is the responsibility of the School to track the terms of faculty appointments and ensure that appointments are reviewed at appropriate times so that reviews and decisions concerning appointment, promotion, and grant of tenure can be made on a timely basis.  It is also the School's responsibility to make timely decisions concerning non-renewal, renewal and reappointment, and provide appropriate notices to faculty as required by USM Policy.

B. Appointments

A complete dossier requesting an appointment that requires approval of the Provost or the President must be submitted to the Office of the Provost for consideration well in advance of the requested appointment date.

In addition to the basic material required in the dossier, a request for appointment must also include the report of the search committee and a copy of the Faculty Appointment Information Sheet that will be included in the faculty appointment letter.(See UMB Policy on Faculty Appointment Letters, Policy II-1.00(B).)

After receiving approval from the President or Provost, it is the responsibility of the Dean to prepare and issue an appropriate appointment letter, compliant with the UMB Policy on Faculty Appointment Letters, to the prospective appointee.  If the standard form used by UMB for faculty appointment letters is not expected to be used, a proposed form of appointment letter also must be provided with the dossier. 

C. Promotions and Requests for Tenure

Dossiers concerning recommendations for promotion and/or tenure requiring Provost or President's approval must be submitted to the Office of the Provost no later than May 1 to be considered for status changes effective the next July 1.

Documents to be Included in Dossiers concerning Recommendation for Appointment or Promotion or Tenure

  • All dossiers submitted to the President or the Provost in support of recommendations for appointment, promotion, or tenure must contain the following:
  • A signed dated copy of the curriculum vitae, which the faculty member has certified to be complete and accurate. This is to certify that my curriculum vitae is a current and accurate statement of my professional record.
  • A letter from the Dean recommending the action - appointment, promotion, or granting of tenure including the Dean's assessment of the role and contribution of the faculty member in the School's academic program.
  • A detailed statement of the School faculty appointment/promotion committee's evaluation of the candidate and the committee's action on the candidate, including the vote of the committee.  This must be in the form of a letter from the committee chair to the Dean.
  • 3-5 external evaluations from appropriate senior scholars who fulfill the requirements of the School Policy regarding external evaluations.  If an exception to policy concerning senior scholar participation is requested by a School, the request must be made to the Provost before the external evaluators are named. 
  • All external evaluations must be included in the dossier.  In addition to the external evaluations, the dossier must contain a succinct statement of the reason each external reviewer is qualified to evaluate the candidate.   Curriculum vitae of external reviewers should not be included in the dossier.
  • In those Schools with a departmental structure, there must be a letter to the Dean from the Department Chair stating the Chair's position on the appointment or promotion or granting of tenure, and the recommendation of the Departmental Review Committee, where appropriate.


All materials generated in consideration of candidates for appointment, promotion or tenure, shall be considered confidential and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be disclosed to the candidate or to persons having no role in the administration of appointment, promotion and tenure policies of the School, UMB, and USM.

APPROVED: Jay A. Perman, President


Key Related Policies:

  • Section II - 1.00(F) Criteria and Procedures Relating to Appointment, Promotion, and Permanent Status for Library Faculty University of Maryland Baltimore Health Sciences and Human Services Library and Thurgood Marshall
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