Glossary of Relevant Terms
Adjunct (part-time or non-salary): Faculty who hold a primary appointment at another institution or organization and remain based at that institution or organization but who contribute to the academic mission of the medical school will be appointed as adjunct faculty. Faculty on this track will be titled as Adjunct Instructor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, or Adjunct Professor (typically determined by the rank of their primary appointment). This is a non-tenure-eligible track.
Associate: Discontinued rank for new appointments, similar to Instructor. Associates hired prior to 1988 have been allowed to keep this rank until they are proposed for promotion.
Clinical: Modifier added to the rank of contributed service faculty (e.g. Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology). Note: a few contributed service faculty who joined FSM prior to 1985 may not have clinical in their title.
Clinician-Educator Track, 80% Clinical-20% Education/Administration/Research/Service: This track is for faculty who contribute to the clinical, educational, and/or research missions of the medical school but whose major effort is in the areas of clinical practice, practice-related activities, and/or education. Clinical faculty who spend the majority of their time in clinical practice or practice-related activities, but also perform some clinical research, should also be appointed in this track. Faculty whose research and area of expertise is in clinical epidemiology/trials, clinical biostatistics, or biomedical informatics may be appointed in this track, particularly if their research is related to work on clinical studies, patient-oriented clinical outcomes, or population-based research that does not lend itself to independent grant funding as a principal investigator. Typically such faculty provide expertise to a broad array of research teams as a co-investigator and contribute to the educational mission of the medical school. This is a non-tenure track.
Domains on the Clinician-Educator track:
- Clinical domain: Officially "clinical impact and recognition," this is a career development dimension for regular faculty on the Clinician-Educator track which represents activities/accomplishments that are important for promotion and should be included in one's academic portfolio. Examples of promotable work products and professional service for the clinical domain include publication of case reports, reviews, editorials, and book chapters; leadership activity in professional organizations; and mentorship of junior faculty, fellows, and residents.
- Education domain: Officially "teaching and education," this is a career development dimension for regular faculty on the Clinician-Educator track which represents activities/accomplishments that are important for promotion and should be included in one's academic portfolio. Examples of promotable work products and professional service for the education domain include development of new approaches to teaching (e.g., audiovisual, web-based, texts, manuals, curriculum development, and student assessment and educational/programmatic evaluation); leadership in national organizations whose primary focus is education; and educational service contributions to medical school or University.
- Health service domain: Officially "health services and management," this is a career development dimension for regular faculty on the Clinician-Educator track which represents activities/accomplishments that are important for promotion and should be included in one's academic portfolio. Examples of promotable work products and professional service for the health service domain include scholarly evaluation of health care delivery with publication of findings regarding the effects of administrative interventions, administrative leadership activity in the medical center, medical school, or University; and participation in administration of medical school departments and centers.
- Research domain: Officially "original research," this is a career development dimension for regular faculty on the Clinician-Educator track which represents activities/accomplishments that are important for promotion and should be included in one's academic portfolio. Examples of promotable work products and professional service for the research domain include Principal investigator of multicenter studies or collaborations; editorial activities for biomedical journals; and teaching research methods through courses and seminars.
Contributed Service (CNT): Appointment to the contributed services faculty is for clinical practitioners who typically are in the private practice of medicine and practice within the McGaw Medical Center. Contributed services faculty members contribute to the academic mission of the medical school without compensation by teaching medical students, residents and fellows and other activities. Departments provide expectations for contributions to the academic mission by contributed services faculty. This is a non-tenure-eligible track; contributed services faculty members are also appointed to the Clinician-Educator track. The "clinical" modifier is added to their faculty title (e.g. Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics).
Coterminous: A courtesy faculty appointment, requested by a Department Chair and usually at the rank of instructor, for an individual who holds a training position as a Fellow or Chief Resident in the McGaw Medical GME Programs or holds a limited term professional staff appointment in the VA or selected clinics outside the McGaw Medical Center. When the controlling position (Fellowship, Chief Residency) ends, the faculty appointment automatically ends. When appropriate, a Department Chair might request a coterminous faculty appointment for an individual holding a staff position at the medical school or an affiliated institution. When the controlling staff position ends, the faculty appointment automatically ends.
Early-start: Tenure-eligible faculty with an initial appointment start date between January 1st and August 31st are considered "early-start" by the Provost. The initial appointment will be non-tenure-eligible through August 31st'; as of September 1st the appointment will change to tenure-eligible + proposed rank (Assistant or Associate Professor). This ensures the tenure clock begins September 1st for all tenure-eligible faculty members.
Emeritus: A senior faculty who retires after reaching age 55 and who has a minimum of 10 years continuous service to Northwestern University may be eligible for emeritus status, subject to Department Chair request and approval by Faculty Affairs, the Provost and the University Board of Trustees. Significant service to the Institution must be demonstrated. Emeritus faculty may return to work part-time and be paid an NU salary for a limited term
Full-time (FT): Individuals who receive 100 percent of their professional compensation for all professional and academic service from the University or any combination of entities approved by the medical school and University and who work a minimum of thirty-five hours per week are considered full-time faculty. These approved entities include Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Children's Memorial Hospital and its related faculty practice plans, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Stroger Cook County Hospital, and the VA. Full-time appointments also require that an authorized University faculty search process identifies the appointee or that the University approves a waiver of search.
Health System Clinician, 100% Clinical: Faculty appointed in this track are full time clinical practitioners who contribute to Northwestern Medicine. Such faculty typically practice in geographic areas separate from McGaw Medical Center locations, sometimes participate in student or resident teaching programs of the medical school in small and variable amounts, and may be employees of affiliated clinical entities such as the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, Pediatric Faculty Foundation, and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. This is a non-tenure-eligible, rankless track.
Scientist pathway, PhDs 80-90% Research-10-20% Education/Service
Physician-Scientist pathway, 80% Research-20% Clinical/Education/Service
Faculty who spend the majority of their time in extramural-funded research with the intent to develop independent research programs are assigned to the Investigator Track and appointed with the intention of promotion to Associate Professor or Professor with tenure according to School policy. Faculty in this track will be titled as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. This is a tenure track and faculty recruited for appointment at the level of Associate Professor or Professor will normally have tenure at their current institution. Occasionally, based on unique circumstances, appointments of recruited faculty at the level of Associate Professor are made without tenure, allowing for tenure conversion at a later date.
Non-tenure-eligible (NTE): Faculty on the Clinician-Educator and Research career tracks are considered NTE and will be given term-limited appointments dependent on rank. All faculty appointed as Instructors, Lecturers and Health System Clinicians are automatically NTE.
Tenure-track: Refers to tenure-eligible (TE) faculty and tenured faculty. TE status begins at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor, and are given a tenure probationary period (often referred to as tenure clock) by the Provost to be approved for the award of tenure. This clock is generally 6-9 years (9 years if initial appointment is at the rank of Assistant Professor; 6 years if initial appointment at rank of Associate Professor) Tenured faculty have been awarded tenure and have an indefinite appointment.
Part-time (PT-G, PT-L): Faculty appointments for individuals who receive a portion of their total professional compensation from the University or an entity approved by the University and medical school are classified as part-time appointments. Individuals who receive all their professional compensation from the University or approved entities and who work less than 35 hours per week also are classified as part time.
Phased Retirement: Available to faculty 60 years of age or over who have at least 15 years of service and wish to retire at an age agreeable both to the faculty member and to the administration. Faculty who select this option are assigned 50 percent of their normal academic responsibilities and receive 60 percent of their normal academic year salary. University contributions to benefits treat the faculty member as full-time but are based on the reduced salary.
Research Track/PhD or MD, 95-100% Research: Faculty without clinical or substantial teaching responsibilities in the laboratory, who spend most of their time in research activities, will be appointed to the Research track. Faculty in this track typically support research efforts of investigators on the Investigator and Clinician-Educator tracks or play a leadership role in the operations of core facilities. Faculty in this track will be titled as Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor. This is a non-tenure track.
Visiting: Faculty who hold a primary appointment at another institution or organization, but are based at Northwestern for a limited period of time. The Provost limits these appointments to a total of 2 years.
This page last updated Mar 15, 2012