February 17, 2003




Jeffrey Cox, Professor

President, University of Iowa Faculty Senate

The University of Iowa

109 SH

Iowa City, Iowa 52242


Professor Cox,


On 20 September 2002 you appointed a committee to review the draft Guidelines for Clinical Track Promotion Decision-making at the University of Iowa.  The members selected for this task included, in addition to myself as Chair:


Tanya Oyos, Medicine

Hazel Seaba, Pharmacy

Barbara Schwartz, Law

Malcolm Rohrbough, CLAS (History).


Attached herewith please find our committee report, presented as a revision of the draft guidelines provided by the Office of the Provost.  Our substantive revisions are presented in boldface type.  A complete understanding of the revisions will necessitate a direct comparison to the Provost’s document dated 31 March 2001.  The revisions we made to the document of this date also include the addition of the Overview of Promotion Decision-making Procedure (page 5) as well as Appendices D and E (pages 28-31).  Helpful to us as we worked on our task were the draft collegiate policies formulated by the colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Medicine.


Several of our recommendations deserve comment.  These include:


I. B. (3). (c) (ii) and (iii).  These sections separate, and therefore emphasize, the teaching which occurs as an integral part of the clinical track appointment from other teaching opportunities in which the faculty member participates.

I. B. (3). (e) (i).  This edit requires the candidate to separately comment upon “clinical” VS “other” service and will, we believe, better frame the context in which promotion will be considered.

I. C. (2).  The nature of the teaching provided by clinical track faculty members may differ in its accessibility for review when compared to tenure track faculty teaching.  Much of it, perhaps even all of it, may occur off-campus and/or in a privileged setting.  The suggestions of our committee in this section provide mechanisms for the peer review of teaching in these atypical circumstances while still protecting the quality of the review process.

I.  E. (2).  The nature of the clinical and other service provided by clinical track faculty requires similar amendments as those provided in I. C. (2).

I. F.  The addition of this section provides a mechanism for the external review process.

I. F. (2) (c).  Reviewers of the kinds of activities in which clinical track faculty members excel might appropriately be culled from reputable, discipline-specific organizations outside of those traditionally sampled for tenure track faculty reviews.

I. F. 2. (f) and (k) (v)   These sections address the fact that individuals whose academic strengths derive from the provision of clinical service may appropriately require external reviewers to have direct knowledge and contact with the individual whose dossier they are being asked to review.

I. H. (1).  The modifications in this section assure that faculty members with appropriate knowledge of the clinical discipline will participate in the promotion review.

It is our further belief that additional modification to the overall review process for clinical track faculty promotion deserves consideration, although we neither developed a consensus opinion on nor an endorsement of any of them. Nonetheless, such modifications might include: the establishment of mechanisms to assure that the procedures are accurately followed; elimination of repetition in and simplification of the internal letters and reports that supplement the dossier; increased emphasis on internal evaluation of the candidate’s performance and less reliance upon description: asking the candidate to acknowledge, in written form, the receipt of any promotion review material even if there is no reason to respond otherwise; elimination of the right of external reviewers to waive confidentiality.  We declined to address these ideas because of our strong belief that to include any of them as part of our recommendations for the clinical track promotions guidelines would demand a parallel change in the tenure track guidelines, a change our committee could neither legitimately contemplate nor propose.   However, should the recently charged review committee for the promotion and tenure guidelines, chaired by Professor Elizabeth Altmaier, desire discussion of these or other proposed modifications to both sets of promotions guidelines in detail, we would be happy to engage in joint debate.

Respectfully submitted,

Craig C. Porter, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine