Put most simply, promotion in academic rank is an acknowledgement of the contributions members of the faculty have made to their niche within AAF, MUSC, and to their discipline. Tenure is the recognition of substantial contributions as well as a marker of long-term mutual commitment between a faculty member, AAF, and MUSC. Promotion and tenure are vital elements of academic progression, serving as both motivation and acknowledgement for persistent, high quality work.

The Academic Affairs Faculty Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure to describe the process, timeline, and criteria used to assess members of the faculty for promotion and tenure. The AAF Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee is charged to make recommendations to the Department Chair, who then forwards his/her recommendations to the appropriate University officials, depending upon the faculty member’s proposed rank and/or tenure status. In AAF, there are two promotion cycles each year, as outlined in the Guidelines.

The core advice for members of the faculty seeking promotion or tenure is to consult well in advance with their immediate supervisor. Upon that person’s recommendation, meet with the AAF Department Chair in order to discuss the necessary steps to take to give the candidate the best chance of success. For promotion or tenure, candidates must create a dossier whose contents are described in the Guidelines. This dossier is the critical means through which the Academic Affairs Faculty and University-level committees and decision makers will make their assessments. Please carefully review the expected dossier contents and the “checklist” provided in the guidelines.

Critically, a cover letter from the candidate serves as the primary articulation of a case in support of promotion or tenure. Take time with this letter to be sure that you explain the ways in which you meet the criteria for the rank sought. Moreover, because the AAF faculty includes such a diverse range of roles and disciplines, it is critical that the cover letter and dossier convey clearly and persuasively both the nature and the quality of the candidate’s contributions to unit, AAF, MUSC, and the discipline or area of practice.