Search Procedure for Professors, Full Time, Without Limit of Time (WLT) or Of Indefinite Duration (OID) and Associate Professors, Full Time, Without Limit of Time (WLT)
Financial Support of Professorships at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Procedures for Recommendation of a First Appointment as Assistant Professor (3-Year Term), Associate Professor (5-Year Term), Lecturer or Senior Lecturer (3-Year Term), Full Time or Academic Part Time
Search Process for Appointment as Professor
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(Last update August 2004)
Whereas the recruitment of academic personnel to Harvard affiliated institutions enhances the intellectual environment for all, and
Whereas academic recruitment is extremely resource intensive, and
Whereas resources for academic enrichment are constrained;
The following guidelines shall apply for full and part time faculty at Assistant Professor through Full Professor rank within Harvard Medical School:
- Faculty recruitment opportunities at Assistant Professor level or above that represent an academic or a professional advancement (i.e., new job description or increased responsibility) at one Harvard affiliated institution should be available to faculty at all Harvard affiliated institutions. The best candidate, whether from within or outside the Harvard Medical community, should be recruited. Whenever one Harvard institution selects an internal final candidate from another Harvard institution, and there is concern or disagreement within the Harvard medical community, the proposed recruitment will be reviewed by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Council of Academic Deans. The recruiting department head should provide to the Dean and Council documentation justifying the need to fill the position internally. The recruiting institution will consider the views of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Council of Academic Deans before making a final decision.
- Faculty recruitment at Assistant Professor or above which involves a lateral move (i.e. no change in academic position, job description, or responsibility) between Harvard institutions will be reviewed by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Council of Academic Deans when there is concern or disagreement within the Harvard Medical community about the recruitment. The recruiting institution will consider the views of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Council of Academic Deans before making the final decision.
- Recruitment for a faculty position at the Full Professor rank will be carried out through a search process in which the search committee is appointed by the Dean in accordance with the “Purple Book”. On occasion, recruitment may be initiated as a search for a candidate at a lower rank (which ordinarily does not require the Dean to appoint the search committee) but candidates are identified, either internal or external, who already hold a professorial rank or for whom a professorial rank will be proposed. In such instances, in accordance with the “Purple Book”, the chairperson of the committee must immediately notify the Office for Faculty Affairs, which will make a determination as to the appropriate procedures for continuation of the search. Such appropriate procedures may include the appointment of a search committee by the Dean. This requirement applies to both internal and external candidates and applies whether or not the candidate already has a professorial appointment.
(Last update August 2004)
(Permanent appointments at the Associate Professor level are an exception. Usually Associate Professors have a term appointment of five years.)
- 1. Search Initiation
- a. Department head or representative of the affiliated institution on behalf of the Board of Trustees, after consultation with the Dean (as appropriate), prepares a letter initiating the appointment. When a preclinical department head is to be sought, the Dean alone will prepare a letter. The letter should include the following items.
1) Nature of the job and the criteria by which the final candidates should be judged with regard to:
a) Research needs
b) Teaching needs
c) Role in affiliated institution (if any)
d) Administrative responsibilities (if any)
2) Qualifications needed
3) Composition, strengths, and weaknesses of the area and of the department
4) Implication of the appointment for the parent department, related departments, the institution, and the Medical School
5) Resources available (financial, space, human)
6) Plans for the search
7) List of individuals regarded by the department as suitable candidates for the position may be appended. Ordinarily, no action on the part of the department should be taken to establish the credentials of these individuals.
- b. For appointees in an affiliated institution a representative, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, prepares a separate letter to the Dean documenting whether or not tenure is to be granted.c. Dean reviews the proposal from the perspective of academic, institutional, and financial needs.d. Dean submits the proposal, after his approval, to the Preclinical Council (for proposals from preclinical departments), the Council of Social Science Departments (for proposals from social science departments), or the Council of Academic Deans (for proposals from clinical departments).
1) Council reviews the proposal with particular consideration of academic needs, institutional needs, and the job description.
2) Council recommends appropriate action.
3) Council suggests members for the search committee.
- e. Notice of all actions by the appropriate council is mailed to members of the Committee of Professors.
- 2. Search Process
- a. Search committee is named by the Dean after consultation with the Preclinical Council, Council of Social Science Departments, or Council of Academic Deans, as noted above, the department head, the institution director/president, and others.
1) Chairperson of the ad hoc committee is selected by the Dean; for affiliated-institution-based positions the selection is made with the institution director/president/academic dean.
2) Search committee members include:
a) Persons from the field in which the search will occur; may include persons outside the Medical School and Harvard University. If there is a strong internal candidate from the department for which the search is being conducted, neither the head nor a member of that department shall chair the search committee.
b) Persons from related fields
c) Director/president/trustee and/or academic dean of the affiliated institution (as appropriate)
d) Master of the academic society responsible for the teaching program in the field under consideration (if a department head search)
3) Up to half of the membership shall be recommended by the representative of the affiliated institution (if appropriate). No one likely to be a candidate should be a member of the search committee.
- b. Search committee holds initial meeting to:
1) Review the strengths and weaknesses of the field within the discipline, within the Medical School, and within the affiliated institution
2) Review the present composition of the department
3) Review the description of the position to be filled
4) Develop an advertisement for the position to submit to professional or specialty journal(s) (as appropriate)
5) Hear witnesses from inside and outside the department as necessary
6) Develop a list of persons in the field to be consulted about names of potential candidates, including women and minorities
7) Develop a list of names of potential women and minority candidates in the field
8) Consider the department head’s nominations of candidates from inside or outside Harvard Medical School
9) Collect the names of candidates developed from all these sources and create a long list of potential candidates
- c. Search committee reconvenes to consider the pool of candidates generated from these sources.
1) Long list is narrowed to an intermediate list or a short list of candidates from whom C.V.’s are requested.
2) Candidates may be invited to meet with the committee and the appropriate department, the affiliated institution, and school representatives.
- d. Search committee compares and ranks candidates based on the following information.
1) Final candidate(s) are invited to visit the department and/or the affiliated institution and to meet with the search committee.
2) Additional information may be solicited about any of the final candidates.
3)Letters are sent to outside experts in the field asking them to compare the leading candidates with respect to their strengths and weaknesses in their areas of expertise.
- e. Dean and the department head (also the director/president if an affiliated institution appointment) negotiate with the top-ranked candidates and determine interest in the position.
- f. Search committee prepares a final report documenting the above process and submits it to the Dean. A clear description of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the final candidates (with careful attention to any women or minorities) and an explanation of the final ranking are required.
- 3. Review Process
- a. Dean reviews the material from the search committee and may confer with the department head, other senior members of the department or other advisors as needed, and the affiliated institution representative (for appointees in clinical departments). After consideration of the evidence, a decision is made whether or not to proceed to a review.
- b. Ad hoc review committee members are named by the Dean. These include:
1) Dean or the Dean for Clinical and Academic Programs, as the chairperson
2) Member of the Subcommittee of Professors as the reporter
3) Two to three members of the Committee of Professors in the field or a related field
4) One outside reviewer in the field or a related field
5) Chairperson of the board of trustees or the president and/or the academic dean of the affiliated institution (if appropriate)
- c. Dean, or dean for clinical and academic programs convenes and chairs the ad hoc review committee to ascertain the thoroughness of the search and the adequacy of the short list of candidates, and to make a recommendation as to whether or not the qualifications of the final candidate best serve the institutions’ needs. Each member of the review committee is supplied with the initiating letter, the report of the search committee (including all letters received), copies of the final candidate’s ten best publications and descriptions of each that include the candidate’s roles in the genesis and execution of the work and its importance in the field. A complete report of the ad hoc review committee is prepared by the reporter, assisted by a member of the Dean’s Office.
- 4. Final Consideration
- a. Reporter of the ad hoc review committee presents a summary of the committee’s deliberations to the Subcommittee of Professors. The chair of the ad hoc search committee is also present to provide information. The subcommittee reviews the reports of the ad hoc search and review committees and recommends appropriate action to the Dean.
- b. Report of the subcommittee action, when approved by the Dean, is mailed to the Committee of Professors. Any member of the Committee of Professors may review the report in the Dean’s Office. If a petition with signatures of ten members of the Committee of Professors is received within two weeks of the announcement of the subcommittee action, a meeting of the full committee will be called to review the recommendation.c. Dean makes a final recommendation and transmits it to the President of Harvard University in a summary letter appended to the documentation of the search.d. Recommendation is considered by the President and the Provost on behalf of the Governing Boards of Harvard University. Final approval is rendered by the President and Provost.
(Last update August 2004)
- A. There are two categories of financial support for full professors, full time, and permanent associate professors, full time, appointed at Harvard Medical School: without limit of time (WLT) and of indefinite duration (OID). These two categories have both common features and differences.
- B. Common to both is the understanding that professors in either category are not subject to further academic review in the continuation of their appointments. Moreover, in keeping with the traditional concepts of academic freedom, persons appointed without limit of time or of indefinite duration cannot be separated from their appointments for disciplinary reasons other than for grave misconduct or neglect of duty. As is the case with other members of the faculty, they cannot be dismissed for holding controversial opinions, for proposing heretical viewpoints, or for espousing unpopular causes. They are all entitled to the classical protection of the academy in the pursuit of knowledge, in their teaching, and in the publication of findings and opinions.C. The two categories differ in the financial commitment that the university has made with regard to continuous support.
1. For appointments without limit of time (WLT), the university guarantees to the faculty member academic salary and its associated fringe benefits in the way that such a guarantee traditionally exists for tenure appointments. This guarantee is backed by (a) university resources including endowments and other funds, or (b) commitments to the university from other institutions including affiliated institutions, government, and private foundations.
Even when there is a guarantee of support by the university (with or without the backing of another institution), salary support for professors appointed without limit of time may come from several sources in addition to university or affiliated institution endowments, such as general funds, grants and contracts, patient-care payments. The proportions from these sources are decided by availability of specific funds and by negotiation, for example, among the department, the affiliated institution, and the Medical School, and may vary from time to time.
2. For appointments of indefinite duration (OID), the university has no obligation to provide continuing support of the faculty member’s salary. Instead, the hospital or other affiliated institution assumes responsibility for the stability of support. This limitation in the university’s financial commitment is characterized by the phrase “subject to the Third Statute of the University . . . , and to such terms, conditions and policies as are stipulated by the Faculty of Medicine, as these may be amended from time to time, and to the right of the Corporation to set a terminal date in the event that funds to support the appointment from sources outside the University are not available.” Appointments of indefinite duration will be made only when there is a high likelihood of continuing stable support from outside the university as determined by consultation among the department head, the director of the affiliated institution, and the Dean. This academic appointment will require a concomitant appointment to the staff of an affiliated institution.
3. For appointments of unspecified duration (OUD) to the rank of clinical professor on the Academic Part Time ladder, no commitment of continuous institutional support from the hospital or other affiliated institution is required or expected. Professors of unspecified duration (OUD) do not require reappointment. Although they will be reviewed by the department every five years their appointments automatically continue unless the determination is made that they have not demonstrated continuing contributions.
(Last update August 2004)
- 1. Search process must include the steps indicated below.
a. Department head or division chief identifies the need for a new faculty member.
b. Search committee is appointed from the faculty in the department and from other departments with related scientific/clinical interests. Four to six members are appropriate, including some women and/or minorities and the chairperson.
c. Search committee meets to refine the job description and to discuss plans for the search.
d. Search committee chairperson/representative submits to the department head within one week of the first meeting of the committee a plan for the search. This plan must contain the following items.
1) Job description, i.e., research, teaching, service, administrative responsibilities
2) List of search committee members with women and minority members identified
3) Methods to be used for soliciting candidates (record of such activity to be included in the final search report), e.g., advertisements (as appropriate); recruitment sessions at specialty meetings; letters and telephone calls to people in the field, such as department/division heads, training program directors, or laboratory directors
4) Specific steps to be taken to identify female and minority candidates, including separate, explicit inquiry regarding female and minority candidates in all communications; letters soliciting candidates (see above) specifically to women and minority leaders in the field; contact with national professional/specialty organizations; lists from the Faculty Roster of the Association of American Medical Colleges; personal calls to appropriate individuals around the country made by at least one member of the search committee
e. Department head approves the plan and forwards it to the Office for Faculty Affairs for review. At this time the office may make suggestions for enlarging the pool of candidates. Consultation between the office and the department will attempt to remedy any inadequacies before the search proceeds further.
f. Search committee takes steps described above to identify women and minority candidates.
g. Search committee makes a long list of possible candidates, obtains C.V.’s from potential candidates, and selects a short list of candidates to call for interviews. The short list should include women and minorities from the long list.
h. Chairperson of the search committee has the responsibility for ensuring that all female and minority candidates receive the fullest and fairest consideration.
i. Possible candidates are interviewed by several people and ranked according to their match with the job specifications.
j. Candidate is recruited.
k. Appointments in the Faculty of Medicine and the affiliated institutions are coordinated. Harvard appointments are not final until approved by the President and Provost on behalf of the Governing Boards of the University.
Note: Only candidates identified as part of a bona fide, approved search should be eligible for an HMS/HSDM term appointment. The search plan will become part of the new appointment dossier considered by the Promotions, Reappointments, and Appointments Committee and will be used as the standard against which the actual search is measured.
Note: If at any point in the search process the search committee identifies as a leading candidate an individual whose appointment would be at the full professor and not the term appointment level, the chairperson of the committee must immediately notify the Office for Faculty Affairs, which will make a determination as to the appropriate procedures for the continuation of the search. Such appropriate procedures may include the appointment of a search committee by the Dean. This requirement applies to both internal or external candidates and applies whether or not the candidate already has a full professor appointment.
- 2. Candidate must complete her/his curriculum vitae and bibliography using the format described in section XV.
Note: In keeping with Harvard Medical School guidelines, which recommend a maximum number of publications or scholarly communications on which appointments should be judged, the department head, in consultation with the appointee, should circle on a candidate’s bibliography two to five items for assistant professor and five to seven for associate professor. The candidate’s C.V. should be seen as a dossier of the individual’s activity; the items highlighted should be those considered as having a significant impact on the candidate’s field.
- 3. Department head prepares a letter of recommendation that includes the following items.
a. Description of the job to be filled including research, teaching, clinical or other service, and administrative responsibility (as appropriate).
b. Indication of the criteria by which candidate should be judged: Investigator, Clinician Teacher, or Academic Part Time.
c. Obligatory for ALL recommendations: A record of the search and the names of the final candidates must be included, either in the letter from the department head or in an attached report. In addition, the Affirmative Action Report for Term Appointments must be attached. This record should also be kept in the files of the department head. A clear description of the comparative merits of the final candidates in the areas enumerated below (as appropriate) with careful attention to any women and minorities and an explanation of the final ranking are required.
1) Teaching. Compare specific teaching or supervisory experience of all the leading candidates at both the local and national levels (e.g., medical student, graduate student, postgraduate student, or continuing education). Include summaries of any evaluation reports available. Indicate whether or not the candidate is a course organizer, lecturer, or section leader.
2) Research and Scholarly activities. Compare research of all the leading candidates; determine whether or not they are leaders of the team, originators of the ideas, principal investigators of funded research, or members but not leaders of the team. Note membership in organizations emphasizing excellence in research and any awards.
Comment on the quality of the leading candidates’ publications or teaching materials. Do they make a significant addition to the knowledge in the field? Do they summarize the state of the art? Do they analyze existing data to provide new insights? Do they describe current knowledge to make it available to a wider audience?
3) Clinical activities. Compare clinical skills and departmental responsibilities of the leading candidates. Cite any evidence for the recognition of clinical competence (e.g., invitations to participate in clinical activities at other medical schools and health care institutions, membership in professional organizations emphasizing excellence in clinical specialties).
4) Administration. Indicate any leadership roles in department, affiliated institution, or medical/dental school programs and committees. Do the leading candidates participate in any national organizations, professional societies, study sections, or policy-making/advisory groups?
- 4. Letter from the executive committee of the department is prepared if there are any dissents or abstentions. This letter includes the reasons for either dissents or abstentions. If there are none, signature of the chairperson or the secretary of the executive committee on the Form for Initiation of First Term Appointments and Promotions will be sufficient.5. Letters of evaluation are requested by the department head or the departmental search committee, not by the candidate. The department head comments on any significant issues raised in the letters of evaluation.
a. Assistant Professor and 3-year Lecturer
At least four letters of recommendation are required. At least two should be from previous colleagues, training directors, or supervisors, and at least one from a person in the field of the candidate who is not a former colleague, mentor, co-worker, or co-author of the candidate. (Click HERE for sample letter.)
Clinician Teacher Criteria
Four to six letters of evaluation are required, two to four letters from senior clinicians in the candidate’s clinical areas and/or in adjacent fields (including referring physicians if appropriate) and two to four letters from persons who can address teaching skills (co-teacher, course director, chief resident, etc). At least two letters should come from the originating institution, and at least one letter should be from someone who is not a former colleague, mentor, collaborator, or co-author of the candidate. (Click HERE for sample letter.)
b. Associate Professor
At least six letters of recommendation are required. Three should be from the candidate’s current university if an outside candidate; two should be from faculty in the candidate’s current department, and at least one from a person in the field of candidate who is not a former colleague, mentor, co-worker, or co-author of the candidate. (Click HERE for sample letter.)
Clinician Teacher Criteria
Six to eight letters of evaluation are required, two to four letters from senior clinicians in the candidate’s clinical areas and/or in adjacent fields (including referring physicians if appropriate), two to four letters from persons who can address her/his teaching skills (co-teacher, course director, chief resident, etc), and two letters from national figures in her/his clinical area. At least one outside letter should come from someone who is not a former colleague, mentor, collaborator, or co-author of the candidate. (Click HERE for sample letter.)
6. Copies of publications/scholarly communications on which the proposed appointment should be judged are provided.
a. Two copies each of two items for appointment to assistant professor
b. Two copies each of five items for appointment to associate professor
Attribution of credit on multiauthored papers: In those cases where the candidate has selected (as one of the two best papers to be reviewed for assistant professor or one of the five best papers to be reviewed for associate professor) a paper in which s/he is a middle author, the candidate must describe to the department head her/his contribution in one or more of the following terms cited in the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals”:
- conception, or design, or analysis and interpretation of data
- drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
- final approval of the version to be published
The candidate’s description may be included in the letter of the department head or attached as a separate submission.
If possible, the candidate should also annotate all the selected papers to indicate why the work is important and what impact it has had on the field.
7. Letter from the department head, addressed to the Dean, and accompanying documentation should be sent to: Office for Faculty Services, Gordon Hall, Room 010, Harvard Medical School.
8. Documents are checked in the Dean’s Office and distributed to members of the Promotions, Reappointments, and Appointments Committee. Two members of this committee review the documentation for appointment to assistant/associate professor. A departmental representative is present to respond. The committee deliberates and renders a recommendation to the Dean.
9. Dean makes a final recommendation and transmits it to the President of Harvard University in a summary letter appended to the documentation of the appointment process.
10. Recommendation is considered by the President and Provost on behalf of the Governing Boards of Harvard University. Final approval is rendered by the President and Provost.
(Last update August 2004)