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Chapter Twelve: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Faculty

12.0 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) Faculty

Tenure track and tenured faculty members, see chapter three for policies pertaining to faculty members employed by Virginia Tech who are on the tenure track or tenured. “Employment Policies for Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty.”

Virginia Tech will grant tenure to faculty members with appointments in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine who are employed by the university through a department in the VTCSOM and whose promotion and tenure materials have been reviewed and found to meet the rigorous departmental, VTCSOM, and university standards.

VTCSOM faculty members are of two types: faculty employed by the university or faculty employed by other entities (in most cases the Carilion Clinic). At all times, regardless of employer, faculty members providing instruction, academic support, or performing academic duties or roles as a VTCSOM faculty member are governed by the university’s policies and procedures.

All faculty members employed by Virginia Tech, fully or in part, are subject to employment policies stipulated in the Faculty Handbook. Faculty members with assigned duties in the VTCSOM, but not employed by Virginia Tech, are subject to the employment policies of their employer(s), but the VTCSOM has sole responsibility for assigning duties, including discontinuation of assignment, in accordance with governance procedures stipulated in VTCSOM bylaws.

12.1 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Faculty Appointments

Regular* Faculty: A member of the faculty may have a primary appointment to the VTCSOM in a tenure-to-title track or non-tenure-to-title track. Ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, or professor.

Regular* Primary: A primary appointment includes a substantial commitment to the mission of the VTCSOM with regular engagement in teaching and service to the VTCSOM, and the pursuit of scholarship in medicine.

Instructional Faculty: Instructional faculty members have an appointment to the VTCSOM in the rank of adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor, adjunct professor, clinical preceptor, instructor, or senior instructor.

VTCSOM Faculty Appointments and Ranks

Regular* Appointment

Appointment Description


Tenure-to-Title Track

Primary appointment within the medical school on the tenure-to-title track; possess a substantial commitment to the mission of VTCSOM, regularly engage in teaching and service to VTCSOM, and pursue scholarly activities in medicine. 

Eligible for promotion as experience and accomplishment warrant to the following ranks: 

Assistant Professor 

Associate Professor 


Non-Tenure-to-Title Track

Primary appointment within the medical school on the non-tenure-to-title track; possess a substantial commitment to the mission of VTCSOM, regularly engage in teaching and service to VTCSOM, and pursue scholarly activities in medicine. 



Instructional Appointment

Appointment Description



Current or previous appointment with another academic institution; defined role in teaching or mentoring medical students. 

Assistant Adjunct Professor Associate Adjunct Professor Adjunct Professor 

Must possess a doctoral or other terminal degree. 

Appointments are typically for up to three years and may be renewed. Ineligible for tenure-to- title, but eligible for reappointment. 

Clinical Preceptor

Faculty members who teach medical students primarily in a clinical setting.  Clinical Preceptors are physicians with a MD, DO, MBBS, or equivalent degree. Appointments are typically for up to three years and may be renewed. Ineligible for tenure-to- title, but eligible for reappointment and promotion. 

The Clinical Preceptor title does not change, even with prolonged service, unless a promotion is granted. 

Instructors and Visiting Faculty

Instructors are faculty members who may not have doctoral level degrees but have instructional roles with students.  

Senior instructors are faculty members with doctoral degrees and have a significant instructional role with students. Ineligible for tenure-to-title, but eligible for reappointment and promotion.  

Visiting faculty members are individuals who are applying for a faculty position, but for whom the opportunity to instruct medical students is anticipated before the faculty appointment process is completed.  

Appointment as Senior Instructor or Instructor may be up to three years. The appointment as a Visiting Instructor is for no more than six months. Ineligible for tenure-to-title, but eligible for reappointment and promotion. 


Senior Instructor 

Visiting Instructor 

*Note: the term “regular” for VTCSOM faculty appointments is distinct from the use of the same term in chapter two of this handbook where it is used to distinguish faculty appointments with opportunity for renewal from those appointments that are “restricted” and that have an end date such as research faculty whose salaries are paid from external funding, visiting professorships or other temporarily available faculty positions.

12.2 Tenure-to-Title Track Faculty Appointments

Tenure-to-title is the conferring of permanent appointment to VTCSOM. Tenure-to-title is recognition by the VTCSOM of service and accomplishment of the faculty member and represents the expectation of continued exceptional service and accomplishment by the faculty member.

Tenure-to-title is awarded in recognition of a body of accomplishment in teaching, clinical care (if relevant), and scholarship, and in acknowledgment of service to the missions of VTCSOM. As the criteria for tenure-to-title are virtually identical to criteria for promotion, tenure-to-title typically is awarded at the time of promotion.

Tenure-to-title is granted at the discretion of the VTCSOM without any right to, interest in, or expectation of any compensation or guarantee for compensation or future employment and is granted only in the VTCSOM to individuals who are not employed by Virginia Tech.

Once conferred, tenure-to-title is subject to review by the department and school committees on appointment, retention, promotion, and tenure (to title) and can be rescinded for imposition of a severe sanction or dismissal for cause.

Each VTCSOM department shall establish and communicate written guidelines for promotion and tenure- to-title for all applicable categories of appointment. Departmental guidelines must be consistent with VTCSOM and all relevant university promotion guidelines.

12.3 Department and VTCSOM Evaluation for Tenure-to-Title and/or Promotion in Rank

The tenure-to-title and/or promotion in rank dossier is reviewed at three levels: (1) by an appropriately charged departmental committee and the department head or chair, (2) by an appropriately charged VTCSOM-level committee and the dean, and (3) by the provost. The department head or chair and dean make separate recommendations to the subsequent review levels. The provost reviews VTCSOM committee and dean recommendations and makes recommendations to the president. The Board of Visitors grants final approval.

Each department will establish a committee and process with appropriate faculty representation to evaluate candidates for promotion and/or tenure-to-title sent by the chair of the department. The department chair may chair the committee or remain separate from the committee’s deliberations and subsequently receive its recommendations. A faculty member may not participate in the evaluation of a spouse, family member, or other individual with whom the faculty member has a close personal relationship.

The VTCSOM committee reviews the candidates recommended by the departmental committee and/or chair. The VTCSOM committee makes a recommendation on each candidate to the dean. The division of the vote at both the departmental and VTCSOM levels is conveyed to the provost and remains confidential.

If requested by the dean, the VTCSOM committee reviews cases receiving negative recommendations by both the departmental committee and the head or chair. The purposes of the review are to verify that the recommendations are consistent with the evidence, reflect VTCSOM standards, and consider the goals, objectives, and programmatic priorities of the VTCSOM and university.

12.4 Conflicts of Commitment and Interest

In addition to university policies, VTCSOM faculty members are, as appropriate, subject to the Standards for Commercial Support as promulgated by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education (AACME).

12.5 Additional Policy Obligations

Individuals with appointment to the VTCSOM faculty are subject to all relevant and appropriate sections of the Virginia Tech Faculty Handbook and university policies. Including Faculty Handbook section 2.11, Professional Responsibilities and Conduct; and section 3.6, “Imposition of a Severe Sanction or Dismissal for Cause”.