The SOM Rules state that Assistant Professors must be reviewed for promotion by the beginning of their seventh year in rank. Faculty members who are not promoted by the end of their seventh year will be given one-year's notice that their appointment will not be renewed. However, there is built-in flexibility. First, the time-clock is routinely extended (pro-rated) to account for periods of part-time employment. And if the faculty member, department chair and Dean all concur, extensions may be granted; valid reasons include illness, family obligations, changes in career focus or assignments or other circumstances indicating that additional time is needed before promotion. Extensions may be granted for 1, 2 or 3 years.
There is one additional requirement: Before requesting an extension to the promotion time clock, the faculty member must undergo a formal evaluation of his or her academic progress and readiness for promotion. This review is typically conducted by the department's promotions committee.
Requests for extensions should come from the Department Chair and should include an explanation of why the additional time is needed and how the time will be used to prepare the faculty candidate for promotion.
The University of Colorado recognizes four types of faculty appointments
- Tenured appointments continue until resignation or retirement, or until termination (pursuant to applicable Regent laws and policies). Only faculty members who are employed by the University of Colorado in the regular ranks of Associate Professor or Professor are eligible for tenure. According to the Rules of the School of Medicine, tenure is reserved for faculty members “who are widely recognized as outstanding and influential teachers and scholars … [and] whose presence on the faculty enhances the prestige of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.” A faculty member at an affiliated institution who holds the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, and who has a record of outstanding accomplishments in teaching and scholarship, is eligible for consideration for the distinction of “tenure criteria.”
- Indeterminate appointments are made for an indefinite period of time. However, as stated in the faculty member’s letter-of-offer, continuance of the appointment is dependent upon inclusion in the approved budget and availability of salary support from specified grants, contracts or other sources. If funding from those sources ends, the appointment converts to at-will, without the requirement for advance notice to the faculty member. However, faculty members holding indeterminate appointments are entitled to notice (according to the schedule, below), if their appointment will not be continued for reasons other than available funding.
- Limited (term) appointments are for specified periods of time (from less than one year to four years). Limited appointments are the most common appointment types for School of Medicine faculty members, and they are especially appropriate for faculty members who have been promoted or who, in other ways, have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, clinical work or other appropriate areas. Except in the case of “dismissal for cause,” faculty members who hold limited appointments are entitled to advance notice before a chair or other administrative supervisor can end their appointment. One year's notice of non-reappointment is required for full-time faculty members after three or more years of service at the University. Three months' notice is required for faculty members in their first year of service at the University, and six months' notice is required for those in their second or third year of service.
- At-will appointments are made for an indefinite period of time; however, their continuance is at-will. By state law, non-tenure eligible faculty members (Instructors and Senior Instructors and faculty holding research associate or research professor titles) may only hold at-will appointments, with two important exceptions. First, any faculty member whose duties are at least 50 percent devoted to direct patient care may hold a limited (term) or indeterminate appointment. Second, due to a 2012 change in state law (HB 12-1144), Instructors and Senior Instructors holding .5 FTE or greater classroom teaching assignments, are eligible for term appointments not to exceed three years, with approval of the Dean and Chancellor.
Learn more about appointment types: Rules of the School of Medicine.
The University of Colorado Denver recently modified the schedule for providing notice of non-reappointment. These policies apply to non-tenured faculty members who hold limited or indeterminate appointments.
Limited Term Appointments
Effective July 1, 2012: One year’s notice of non-reappointment is required for full-time faculty members holding limited term appointments, after three or more years of service to the university. Three months’ notice is required for faculty members in their first year of service at the University, and six months’ notice is required for those in their second or third year of service. Written notice of a chair’s intent not to renew a faculty member’s appointment can be provided at any time.
Similar notice must be provided to faculty members holding indeterminate appointments if their appointment will not be continued for reasons other than availability of funding (as outlined in the letter-of-offer).
Faculty members holding at-will appointments may see their appointments end at any time, without notice (although certain constitutional protections apply). In addition, as outlined in the university policy, “as a courtesy, university administrators may provide advance notice of non-reappointment to at-will employees, when feasible.”
Faculty members holding limited or indeterminate appointments may not be re-assigned to at-will appointments unless proper notice is provided.
For more information about the differences among tenured, limited, indeterminate and at-will faculty appointments, see the FAQ section on the Faculty Affairs website.
Faculty members who are employees of the University of Colorado in the regular academic ranks of Associate professor or Professor are eligible for the award of tenure. Faculty members at affiliated institutions are not eligible for tenure but may be considered for the distinction of "tenure criteria." Details regarding tenure and tenure criteria may be found in the SOM Rules.
Tenure is handled in a different manner at the SOM, when compared with other colleges and campuses in the University system. At the SOM, promotion and tenure are separate processes, although they may occur concurrently. Furthermore, the standards for awarding tenure are higher in the SOM than elsewhere in the University system, and tenure awards are now infrequent at the SOM. For example, during the past three years (2002-2005), the School's Faculty Promotions Committee (FPC) approved 243 promotions to Associate professor or Professor. During this period there were only 39 applications for tenure; of these, 33 (85%) were approved. Currently (July, 2005), there are 295 University-paid Associate Professor; of these, just 36 (12%) are tenured. Among the 306 Professors, 70% hold tenure.
According to the SOM Rules, "The award of tenure is reserved for those faculty members who are among the best in the field of scholarly endeavor [and who are] widely recognized as outstanding and influential teachers . . . Excellence [the highest SOM standard] in both scholarship and teaching must be present before an award of tenure is made." In teaching, the faculty member must have "an outstanding record of demonstrated success in mentoring students, residents, fellows or less experienced faculty members."
The SOM employs a broad definition of scholarship, modeled after the work of Boyer. The School recognizes the scholarship of discovery, application, integration and teaching. To be considered for tenure, the candidate must demonstrate "excellence in scholarship, which has led to a national and international reputation." According to the SOM Rules, scholarship (in the context of tenure) means "the long, systematic study of phenomena or events . . . accuracy and skill in investigation . . . [and] the demonstration of powers of critical analysis in the interpretation of such knowledge."
At the SOM, the tenure salary obligation is limited to the "base salary." In accordance with the "Base-Supplement-Incentive" salary plan approved by the Board of Regents in 1995, the base salary is adjusted each year such that it equals 70% of the average salary during the prior year of all basic science faculty holding the rank.
After six years of full-time service to the School of Medicine, tenured and tenure-eligible faculty members are eligible for sabbatical assignment. Faculty members must have attained the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. All sabbatical assignments are subject to approval by the department chair, the Dean, the Chancellor, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Regents. Sabbaticals are also subject to the availability of adequate funding, which must be secured by the faculty member. Sabbatical assignments may not be granted more often than once every seven years. In accepting a sabbatical assignment, the faculty member must agree to return to the University for at least one year following completion of the sabbatical. Within 4 months after returning to regular duties, the faculty member must file with the dean a substantive report of his or her work and accomplishments during the sabbatical. The sabbatical plan and the post-sabbatical report are public documents.
Sabbatical assignments are considered academic and professional development tools, granted for the advancement of the teaching, service and research missions of the University. The University considers sabbaticals to be "a time for concentrated professional development." Faculty members seeking approval for a sabbatical must submit a specific plan outlining the academic objectives of the sabbatical. Sabbatical plans must contain detailed descriptions of the manner in which the sabbatical will enhance student learning and benefit the faculty member, the department and the School. The sabbatical application must also address how the faculty member's regular assignments and responsibilities will be covered.
In June, 1982 UPI was established and was designated as the University's agent to accomplish certain University purposes, including education, research and service. UPI was also designated as the exclusive billing agent for the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Under an Operating Agreement with the University of Colorado, UPI supports clinical activities and bills and collects for clinical services. UPI also provides managed care contracting, credentialing, hospital negotiations and professional support services for university physician members. In addition to collecting professional fees for patient services, UPI also bills and collects for medical-legal activities performed by faculty members and for scientific, clinical and other professional consulting not otherwise exempted by the Member Practice Agreement (MPA). A portion of the revenues that are collected are transferred to the University of Colorado Denver to support, in part, the faculty member's salary. The UPI Member Practice Agreement outlines the agreement between the faculty member and UPI, including assignment of income. UPI by-laws outline cash flow principles among UPI, departments and faculty, including incentive policy guidelines.
The University of Colorado Board of Regents requires that all School of Medicine faculty sign a MPA with UPI as a condition of employment by the School of Medicine. All School of Medicine faculty (including faculty in basic science departments) are required to sign one of the three different MPAs, based on the type of appointment they hold.
- Full Members: A School of Medicine faculty member must sign a Full MPA if he or she is employed full-time (> 0.5 FTE) by the University of Colorado and is a member of the SOM Executive Faculty (Professor, Research Professor, Associate Professor, Associate Research Professor, Assistant Professor, Assistant Research Professor, Senior Instructor, Instructor, Senior Research Instructor, and Research Instructor). Full members (regardless of percent FTE) are not allowed to have any independent or other health care practice. Full Members have all voting privileges and are eligible to serve as officers of UPI and serve on the Board of Directors of UPI.
- Associate Members are individuals who: (1) have a clinical faculty appointment in the SOM or a regular faculty appointment in the SOM through an affiliated institution which is their primary employer; and (2) are employed or paid less than 0.5 FTE by the University of Colorado. Associate Members have no voting privileges and are not eligible to serve on the Board of Directors of UPI.
- Affiliate Members: The Affiliate MPA is for Instructor-Fellows, Instructor-Chief Residents, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurse Anesthetists and other allied health professionals who have been granted a faculty appointment in the School of Medicine. Affiliate members have no voting privileges and are not eligible to serve as officers on the Board of Directors of UPI.
The Member Practice Agreement states that the Member will provide professional or clinical services only at UPI-designated sites of practice, and that all income will be assigned by the faculty member to UPI. An exception: Members are not required to assign income that is earned while they are employed and paid directly by an affiliated hospital (Veterans Administration Medical Center, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, National Jewish Hospital) or income earned while on an approved leave of absence.
The assignment of income policy applies to all income or other compensation or remuneration earned by a Member (unless an exception is applied for and approved), including:
- Fees, retainers or other compensation earned for performing patient care, administrative or consultative services.
- Fees, retainers or other forms of compensation or remuneration earned for services rendered as an expert witness or consultant in a legal manner.
- Fees and honoraria for teaching, lecturing or training.
Exceptions: The SOM has designated certain honoraria as exempt from the assignment-of-income policy, such as modest one-time payments for lectures, articles, visiting professorships, NIH study sections and service on certain non-profit boards.
When a faculty member terminates from the University, 100% of earned vacation leave is paid out, up to the maximum accrual of 44 days. The rules for sick leave are different. Upon retirement, 25% of accumulated sick leave is paid out, up to a maximum payment of 30 days. Other variables which may influence the maximum sick leave earned prior to May 1, 2001, are best dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Payment of leave accruals is made from a central pool of money maintained by the UCD campus. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.
Moonlighting is prohibited for all full-time School of Medicine faculty physicians. "Full-time" includes all University paid faculty whose employment status is .50 FTE or greater and who have regular faculty appointments. This prohibition, which is strictly enforced, derives from policies governing University Physicians, Inc. (UPI) as well as the University of Colorado Malpractice Trust. Both documents require School of Medicine faculty members to devote 100% of their professional time and effort to the University. Moonlighting, clinical consulting and locum tenens work are prohibited, even during vacations. Here is why:
- Every full-time faculty member, at the time of hire, must sign a Member Practice Agreement with UPI. This is mandated by the University of Colorado Board of Regents as a condition of faculty appointment. The Agreement is a binding contract that obligates each faculty member to assign all clinical practice and other professional income to UPI. This includes all earned income, even during weekends, nights and vacations. "Clinical practice and other professional income" is defined broadly in the Agreement; such income includes all work that relates to a faculty member's training, expertise and professional duties. Unrelated income -- for example, from a lawn care business or private music lessons -- is not restricted by this contract. There is also a narrow exception for certain types of academic honoraria. The University has strictly and vigorously enforced, in court, the prohibition against moonlighting.
- Moonlighting also violates the provisions of the Colorado Government Immunity Act (GIA) and jeopardizes a faculty member's malpractice protection. Regular, full-time (> .5 FTE) faculty members are considered "public employees" under the GIA, and their malpractice liability is limited to $150,000 per person and $600,000 per incident. But the "public employee" status -- and this malpractice insurance protection -- only apply if a faculty member has "no independent or other health care practice." A faculty member who moonlights may no longer be considered a public employee under Colorado law and may not be covered by the GIA and the University's self-insurance trust. A faculty member who moonlights jeopardizes not only his malpractice protection for the moonlighting work but also for clinical practice at the University and its affiliated hospitals. Thus, moonlighting can result in unlimited liability and no malpractice insurance coverage from the University of Colorado. Note that work for other public entities, such as Denver Health or the Veterans Administration, is not considered an "independent or other health care practice" and is permitted.
- Separate provisions apply to volunteer faculty members and to those who are paid on a part-time basis. Part-time, paid (<.50 FTE) faculty members sign an Associate UPI Member Practice Agreement that does not restrict their outside clinical or consulting practices. However, if they also have an outside health care practice: a) they are covered by the self-insurance trust only for injuries caused by a student, intern or resident under their supervision; and b) they are not covered by the self-insurance trust for their own acts or omissions and must maintain their own malpractice coverage for work performed within and outside the University.
- Volunteer faculty members, who receive no payment or compensation from any University sources are covered by the University self-insurance trust for those services that are volunteered.
- Part-time and volunteer physicians must have active clinical faculty appointments to receive coverage by the University of Colorado Malpractice Trust.
- Occasionally, an outside clinical practice is considered vital to a faculty member's work and to the School of Medicine. In these exceptional circumstances, UPI and the School of Medicine can structure contractual agreements to bring this outside work into a School of Medicine cost center, so that earned income can be provided as an incentive to the faculty member. When this is done properly, such outside clinical work is no longer considered moonlighting; rather, it becomes a component of the faculty member's work for the University, and the legal entanglements discussed above are avoided. In these unique circumstances, the faculty member and his or her department should work closely with UPI to structure an agreement that permits the faculty member to perform the activities in question.
As private citizens, School of Medicine faculty members are permitted to participate in election campaigns and advocate for public policies. However, most faculty members are also public employees, and state and Regent laws limit the manner in which they may use the name and resources of the University. Specifically:
- Under the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act (CRS 1-45-117), public money and university resources cannot be used to advocate for or against any candidate, ballot initiative or referred measure in any local, state or national election. This means that faculty members are prohibited, 24 hours per day, from using University computers, e-mail accounts, university web sites, faxes or other resources to influence an election. Faculty members also may not participate in any election activities during working hours; if they wish to do so, they must take personal (vacation) leave. Even if using personal time, faculty members may not use University resources and must clarify that their activities are being conducted on personal time and not on behalf of, or at the request of, the University.
- Under the Act, any person can complain to the secretary of state that a public entity or public employee has violated the campaign practices law.
- Certain campaign-related activities are allowed. For example, faculty members may provide information in response to questions posed in the ordinary course of their duties, even if the information provided relates to a ballot issue -- so long as the question was not solicited by a state employee.
- Separate rules and restrictions apply to students and student groups and to Regents and certain other officers of the University.
The Faculty Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) is a need-based housing assistance loan program that is available to full-time, tenured and tenure-eligible faculty on all campuses of the University of Colorado. It is jointly administered by the University and the University of Colorado Foundation. The program is designed to support junior faculty, including newly-recruited faculty members, who may have limited access to capital resources. Since its inception in 2001, 114 faculty members from the Boulder, Downtown Denver, Anschutz and Colorado Springs campuses have taken advantage of the program. More information is available by FHAP website or by calling the Office of the Treasurer at (303) 837-2182.
The old paperbound Faculty Handbook is gone. The new University of Colorado Faculty Handbook is now available only electronically. The Handbook still includes various policies, laws and procedures that apply to, and are of interest to, faculty members, including:
- Practices related to promotion and tenure
- Compensation and leave policies
- Policies governing retirement
- Insurance and other benefits
The University of Colorado tuition benefit program provides a waiver of tuition for up to 9 credit hours per year. The 9 credit hours can be used against tuition on a space-available basis, and registration must take place on the first day of classes for the tuition to be waived.
The tuition benefit is available only to faculty members and other eligible staff members who are employed by the University of Colorado and who hold full-time (at least 0.5 FTE) appointments. The tuition credit may be used for most undergraduate or graduate credit-granting courses. The tuition credit may not be used for Continuing Education, Extended Studies, or the Executive or 11-Month MBA programs.
Supervisor approval is not required to use the tuition benefit. Supervisor approval for class attendance during normal work hours is required (as for any absence), but class attendance does not have to be documented in HRMS or ISIS.
Employees may use the 9 credit hours on any University of Colorado campus.
Tuition Waiver for Dependents
mployees may distribute some or all the tuition credits to eligible dependents. However, dependents may only use the credit hours on the campus where the employee works, and only for undergraduate (1000-4000 level) credit-granting courses. Dependents of CU Denver employees can use the credits at either the Denver or Anschutz Medical Campus.
Faculty and staff members have pointed out repeatedly that the tuition benefit program still has too many restrictions and is not competitive with tuition benefits available at peer universities. For example, as noted above, faculty members and dependents can only use the tuition credit if they register on the first day of classes and only on a space-available basis. Also, undergraduate-level courses at CU Boulder are not available to dependents of Anschutz Medical Campus-based faculty members. The tuition benefit is even more limited for dependents of Boulder-based faculty. University of Colorado system officials, and various campus faculty and staff councils, are continuing to discuss options to strengthen the tuition benefit program.
Learn more and view step-by-step application instructions.
As private citizens, University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members are permitted to participate in election campaigns and advocate for public policies. However, most faculty members are also public employees, and the state and Board of Regents limit the manner in which employees may use the name and resources of the university. Specifically:
- Under the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act (CRS 1-45-117), public money and university resources cannot be used to advocate for or against any candidate, ballot initiative or referred measure in any local, state or national election. This means that faculty members are prohibited, 24 hours per day, from using university computers, email accounts, university websites, faxes, office supplies, or other resources to influence an election or to advocate for or against any candidate for office or any issue that is before the people.
- Faculty members may not use their university email accounts to send or forward any materials that urge electors to vote for or against a candidate, ballot initiative or other campaign issue that is before the people.
- Faculty members may not participate in any election activities during working hours; if they wish to do so, they must take personal (vacation) leave. Even if using personal time, faculty members may not use university resources and must clarify that their activities are being conducted on personal time and not on behalf of, or at the request of, the university.
- Under the Act, any person can complain to the secretary of state that a public entity or public employee has violated the campaign practices law.
- Certain campaign-related activities are allowed. For example, faculty members may provide information in response to questions posed in the ordinary course of their duties, even if the information provided relates to a ballot issue – so long as the question was not solicited by a state employee.
- Separate rules and restrictions apply to students and student groups and to regents and certain other officers of the university.