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Answers to Academic Faculty Questions in the Time of COVID-19

As College of Medicine faculty prepare to go up for promotion in rank under these unusual circumstances, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development would like to offer some guidance.

As new resources for faculty become available, we will update this site. Please feel free to email our office with any questions or concerns. Updated August 3, 2020.

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Since they are a requirement for new faculty, will the BEST workshops be available?

BEST workshops will be offered in the fall, 2020, from 8AM-10AM on October 8th and October 15th. These classes fill quickly. If the sessions are full, please sign up for the waitlist or consider signing up for spring 2021 sessions. Topics include:

  • Creating a positive learning environment
  • Delivering an effective presentation
  • Providing effective feedback
  • The basics of group facilitation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and May 2020 BEST cancelation, the COM requirement to complete the BEST workshops within two years is extended to three years. 


Will the Faculty Educator Development sessions or other supports for educators be offered online?

We will be offering some Zoom and WebEx conferences based on need during this time. If you have a specific teaching need, please email Dr. Botash, botasha@upstate.edu. Consider logging in to view a previous FED conference

Don’t forget to sign-in, upper right corner!

The Academy of Upstate Educators (AUE) offers coaching and can assist you with development of new coursework. 

AUE is intensifying efforts to support faculty educators through two AUE coaching strategies. AUE offerings supplement the outstanding centralized support and work of our colleagues in Ed Comm who have been tirelessly providing resources and office hours for our faculty. For information on tools for remote teaching, please visit the EdComm's Remote Teaching site.

  1. Coaching for remote teaching: 

The AUE is offering coaching support for brainstorming, review, and/or observation of online teaching strategies and models and would like to encourage faculty to reach out using our online AUE Coaches Consultations Services web request form. The form is available on an off-campus link (sign-in to iPage) and can be found at the bottom of the menu on the Academy of Upstate Educators page. https://www.upstate.edu/facultydev/fac_dev/academy/index.php 

  1. Creative Educational Ideas:

The AUE offers informal brainstorming sessions with Academy members. We are offering these sessions via Zoom and can accommodate many participants. Please use the form (link above) to apply to present your educational challenge.

See below for additional, non-Upstate, teaching resources.

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 would like to complete my Annual Academic Expectations (AAEs).Do I need to have a face-to-face meeting with my chair?

Please resume faculty 1:1 meetings with department chair or other supervisor such as division chief to review the Annual Academic Expectation.  These can be held remotely via Webex, Zoom, by phone, or in-person if physically distant with masks. AAEs have moved to an electronic format and are available in self-serve. Please notify Dr. Botash if you have an urgent need for signature. The 2020 AAEs are in full swing and the faculty affairs office tracks annual completion status for departments. Contact JoAnne Race, racej@upstate.edu with any AAE questions. 

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, botasha@upstate.edu.

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

Will College of Medicine promotion and tenure meetings be taking place?

The COMFAPC meetings are taking place via Zoom. The next meeting is scheduled for September 10th, with materials due on August 10th. Please see the Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee page for deadlines and upcoming COMFAPC meetings.

An online portal for promotion document submission was recently launched and all completed packets are being reviewed. This portal is only available for COMFAPC members and department administrators at this time. We will inform individual candidates if there are any delays. Departmental P&T committees can contact our office for support.

We recognize it may be challenging to obtain extramural letters at this time. Please contact Dr. Botash if you are facing difficulties meeting deadlines due to the need for extramural letters.


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.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 specific

  • AAMC Coronavirus resources for the academic community. Find information and updates from AAMC on this emerging global health concern. 
  • Academic Medicine Collection of COVID-19 articles. This collection features articles and thought pieces on the novel coronavirus, its impact on medical education, and medical education’s response to it.

  • The Society for Simulation in Healthcare comprehensive resources for general and COVID-19 related simulation. Includes resources from corporate roundtable members and SSH affiliates. 
  • Clinical Teaching and Learning Experiences without Physical Patient Contact. This resource collection was built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s significant impact on the teaching and learning of health professionals. Designed by diverse educators, this working collection features clinical learning experiences, which can be readily used or easily adapted for specific, local settings, without the need for physical patient contact. 
  • ACGME Response to Pandemic Crisis - circumstances of teaching hospitals. 
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) has compiled web based resources to help family medicine faculty continue to provide quality education to residents and students, while at the same time being attentive to patients and communities. The topics include distance learning, telemedicine, supervision, faculty resources, US and world trackers, and wellness.

  • A new resource guide from Upstate Health Sciences Library

  • COVID-19 Resources for Healthcare Providers, Families, and Leadership. By Med-Ed Web, Well-Being Index team, made up of thought leaders, healthcare associates, technology experts, and content creators dedicated to improving well-being by equipping organizations with the tools and data needed to go beyond burnout.

  • UUP has set up a COVID-19 resource page for members. Members will find important benefits information and announcements from UUP President Fred Kowal, as well as links to a number of health resources, including the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Remote curriculum development and content

  • MedED Portal Virtual Learning resources: Self-directed modules that can be used to supplement clinical and pre-clinical teaching and learning; Interactive Sessions and standardized patient cases that can be conducted via videoconference.
  • National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. The Resource Center is a digital library of interprofessional practice and education-related content. Anyone with a registered account can contribute to the resource center and comment on a resource’s usefulness.
  • Stanford University’s guide provides suggested actions to take quickly when making the shift from teaching in a classroom to teaching anywhere.
  • Powtoon.com —Create “Awesome videos and presentations.” Free version available. This was used to create the promotion and educator portfolio videos on our website. 
  • Upstate Educational Communicationsproviding the Upstate Medical University community with a broad range of educational technology and media services.
  • The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) has compiled web resources for educators including innovative and fascinating new methods of teaching, learning and assessment, many of which can be found on their websites and social media platforms.

Professional development

  • Upstate is working collaboratively with University of Central Florida and can now provide access to several online faculty modules. Free CME with registration.

    The updated "Giving Effective Feedback" Advancing Clinical Teachers (ACT) Module

    Additional modules here

  • PodCasts

    The Faculty Factory is a faculty development community that shares tools to build academic leaders. Faculty Factory snippets are now available and specifically designed for faculty members. Episodes are brief (averaging less than 20 minutes) and are easily accessed through the Faculty Factory website, YouTube Channel and your favorite podcast app. New episodes drop every Friday and topics have included: tips for dealing with uncertainty in uncertain times; guided meditation; time management; finance basics; proactive mentorship; career & time management; finishing the paper; self-determination theory; bringing joy to the workplace; education competencies; and difficult conversations.

  • COVID-19 Scholarship Opportunities for publication, as posted on DR ED: AN ELECTRONIC DISCUSSION GROUP FOR MEDICAL EDUCATORS

    "MESRE (AAMC Medical Education Scholarship Research and Evaluation) is pleased to share a special COVID-19 edition of our annotated bibliography.  Each journal listed in the guide either have special calls for articles or are accepting COVID-19 related pieces and highlighting them on specially curated pages.  We hope you find this useful as you discover/explore new opportunities amidst this pandemic."

  • Journal reviewer opportunity with Wiley. Getting involved in the peer review process can be a highly rewarding experience that can also improve your own research and help to further your career. Here is a nice summary regarding journal reviews. 
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine the Faculty Factory to support faculty during this time.
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has issued a call for COVID-19 content as a means to share knowledge on ideas and innovations relating to the vast transformation of health care and family medicine.