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Academic Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

To clarify needs for faculty, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development would like to offer some guidance.

The Medical College Assembly Faculty Affairs Committee, reviewed the 2019 Faculty Standpoint Survey and identified some common myths, addressed in the FAQs below.

If you have any suggestions for FAQs or questions, please submit to Jayne Charlamb, MD, Chair, Medical College Assembly Faculty Affairs Committee, [email protected].

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Is there an automatic raise for promotion or tenure for SUNY Upstate faculty?

Faculty who are awarded a continuing appointment receive a "one-time advance to basic annual salary of $500". This is included in the UUP contract, Article 20, section 20.14a (page 31)  https://uupinfo.org/contract/pdf/20162022NYSUUPAgreement.pdf

When approval is obtained from the Chancellor’s office, the Office of Faculty Affairs processes the $500 increase along with the change in status to continuing (tenured).  

“§20.14 a. Full-time employees who have been granted permanent or continuing appointment by the Chancellor, at the campus at which they are currently employed, or a second five-year term appointment, at the campus at which they are currently employed in titles listed in Article Xl, Appendix A of the Policies, shall receive a one-time advance to basic annual salary of $500. Employees who have completed seven consecutive years of full-time service at the campus at which they are currently employed in the title of Lecturer or in any of the titles listed in Article XI, Appendix B, Section 4—Division III Sports, or Article XI, Appendix C shall receive a one-time advance to basic annual salary of $500.”  

At Upstate, further raises with promotion are at the discretion of the department or program chair, with approval of the dean and may be based upon individual departmental or program policies.

There are currently no standard raises with promotion other than meeting minimum base salaries for rank. 

What is the role and involvement of part time faculty at Upstate?

There are over 200 part-time faculty in the College of Medicine who make meaningful and significant contributions to Upstate in clinical, research, educational, and administrative roles.

Faculty Governance: Part-time faculty are full, voting members of the faculty.

Tenure and Promotion: Per SUNY policy, part-time status is considered “Qualified Academic Rank” and such service does not count toward tenure. Therefore, part-time faculty at Upstate are unable to be placed in “tenure-track” positions. However, part-time faculty at Upstate are eligible for and highly encouraged to seek promotion, and the Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee will take an individual’s FTE level into account when evaluating the merit of promotion portfolios from part-time faculty. Tenured faculty may change to part-time status (decrease in effort), based on various needs and reasons, and will still maintain their tenure appointment. Only upon separation can someone lose their tenure.  

Benefits: Benefits are dependent upon terms and conditions of employment, including negotiated agreement between the state and UUP. More information may be obtained from the Upstate UUP Chapter

For information on changing to part-time status, speak to your department chair.

What is the ratio of administrators to faculty at Upstate and is this comparable to other similar institutions?

Our faculty to administration ratio is lower than our peer institutions. The AAMC Standpoint Survey considers Albany Medical College (AMC), Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), and University of Mississippi School of Medicine our peer institutions. Our faculty to administration ratio is 8:1, while AMC is 4:1 and TJU is 3:1. While not technically considered a peer institution by the AAMC, SUNY-Downstate has a ratio of 4:1 (see Table 1). 

In fact, SUNY-Upstate Medical University College of Medicine is conducting our academic and clinical work with fewer administrators than our peers.

Table 1: Numbers of staff, faculty, and administration at peer institutions.

Institution Name Total FTE staff Instructional FTE Management FTE
Albany Medical College 1997 591 146
SUNY Downstate Medical Center 1412 441 115
Thomas Jefferson University 3976 1684 521
Upstate Medical University 1429 573 70

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System IPEDS datacenter courtesy of Lauren Germain, PhD, Director of Evaluation, Assessment, and Research and Assistant Professor of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.

Is faculty recruitment and hiring affected by COVID-19? What are the guidelines for hiring faculty?

To reduce spread of COVID-19, physical distancing measures are required for recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes. The dean’s office offers recruitment guidance and provides an outline of requirements for hiring of new faculty during this time. The details and forms for hiring can be found on the administrative documents pages.

Please see Upstate’s Hiring Guide

I am on a tenure clock and, due to a COVID-19 related delay in my work, am concerned I will not be able to meet criteria for tenure. What can I do?

The COVID-19 crisis may have affected your ability to complete research projects, submit and publish scholarship in a timely manner, and/or complete grant funding applications. A SUNY-UUP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) titled “Possible Adjustments to Tenure Clock Timelines and Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Review Materials” was recently released, and you may have received this via email. Our office will update individual tenure dates and notify all faculty to whom the tenure extension pertains. For COM faculty with questions regarding tenure, please contact Dr. Botash, [email protected].

UUP identified key points from the MOU:

 Due to the unprecedented and extraordinary interruptions in research, scholarship and service activities as well as telecommuting and the transition to remote teaching during the COVID-19 crisis, adjustments need to be made to time toward eligibility for continuing or permanent appointment. In addition, special consideration needs to be made at the campus level regarding the submission and evaluation of materials included in a dossier or personnel file for review.

 Academics who are currently serving in tenure-track academic positions who have not yet been permanently appointed and who are not currently up for review will receive an automatic one-year extension of their time to continuing appointment (also referred to as their tenure clock). Tenure-track academics who do not wish to have their tenure clocks extended may elect to opt out of the automatic one-year extension and be considered for tenure on their original schedule. This extension will not require a change in current academic rank.

 Any employee (whether full or part-time) who taught or provided educational support such as tutoring or counseling during the Spring 2020 semester may elect not to include Spring 2020 student evaluations, peer teaching observations, and/or curricular materials from this semester in future reappointment, promotion, or continuing appointment/permanent appointment review materials. The agreement provides that the exclusion of these materials shall not reflect negatively on the individual's review.

UUP Coronavirus Q&A further addresses this here: https://uupinfo.org/resources/covid19/pdf/UUP_COVID19_QA.pdf

For COM faculty, for more information regarding tenure and stop-the-clock: https://www.upstate.edu/facultydev/promotion-tenure/tenure-stop-clock.php

I am planning to submit my materials for promotion soon. Is there assistance available?

Several  “Path to Promotion Workshops” will be held throughout the 20-21 year. These are currently scheduled for noon - 1pm on Tuesdays:

October 6 - Educator portfolio

November 3 - Dossier for associate professor promotion

December 1 - Dossier for professor promotion

January 5 - Clinical portfolio

February 2 - Letters of support and evaluation

March 2 - Overview of preparing documentation for promotion

April 6 - Dossier for associate professor promotion

May 4 - Dossier for professor promotion

Please keep an eye on our website or watch for emails with updates.

Dr. Steve Taffet and Dr. Ann Botash continue to be available for one-to-one meetings (plan to use WebEx or Zoom) to assist you with your promotion needs.

My research was accepted to a national/regional meeting and the meeting was canceled. How can I document this on my CV and will this “count” towards my scholarship for promotion?

If you have accepted presentations/posters (peer-reviewed) and you are no longer able to disseminate them as intended due to conference cancellations related to COVID-19, there are options. In some cases, the conference planners may produce a formal publication of peer reviewed accepted abstracts and this may be cited in your curriculum vitae (CV). Check with conference planners for possible outlets. There are also some sites available for you to upload your posters and presentations, such as https://www.researchgate.net/

In your CV, list the citation as you normally would for something that was accepted (for example in APA style), and add the highlighted content with the link to where it has been disseminated.

Gaspard S, Stewart T, Race J, Botash AS. (accepted). Program Evaluation: Identifying hymen abnormalities and associated risks. Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2020 Meeting, May 2-5, 2020, Philadelphia, PA.  Session: Child Abuse and Neglect Posters. Due to COVID-19 related conference cancellation, this peer reviewed abstract was (or may add here that it was not) disseminated on 05/04/2020 to https://www.researchgate.net/ (or other site).

Include your updated CV and conference acceptance email/letter in your promotion packet.