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School of Medicine & Dentistry / Academic Affairs / Faculty Career Flexibility

Faculty Career Flexibility: Resources and Policies

The School of Medicine & Dentistry offers many policies and benefits to support faculty in their diverse career paths and in balancing work and personal/family lives. This page collates existing resources and policies, in most cases linking to the primary source material to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information available.

In response to faculty feedback, the SMD criteria for promotions and tenure were revised in 2014 to provide greater flexibility and to better recognize the breadth of our faculty members' activities and career paths. Detailed information is provided in the SMD Regulations of the Faculty.

There are two circumstances in which some faculty with academic appointments may extend their academic clock (in addition to the prorated clock based on part-time status as noted above):

Adding a child to the family: a full-time academic-appointed faculty member who adds a new child (or children) to the family is entitled to a one-year postponement of the decision for reappointment, promotion, or awarding of tenure, whichever of these next follows the child's birth or adoption. Please see the SMD Regulations of the Faculty for more details, including the need for the faculty member to ask the department to request the extension as soon as is reasonably possible after adding the child to the family.

Tenure deferral: the following applies only to those faculty under a “tenure clock,” i.e., untenured Associate Professors with activity in the component of Research. At the request of the Department Chair and subject to the approval of the Dean, tenure decisions for such faculty members may be deferred for one to three years by extending the pre-tenure appointment period; this process is intended for situations where there is reasonable expectation that the faculty member may be viewed favorably for the awarding of tenure at the end of the extension period, e.g., after obtaining new or additional external funding. The combined total of such tenure-deferral extensions should not exceed three years. This is described in the SMD Regulations of the Faculty.

Part-time appointments are described in the SMD Regulations of the Faculty. To summarize briefly here:

In order to accommodate responsibilities outside of work, or for other personal reasons, many faculty members may prefer to work part-time. Employed faculty members may, with the approval of their chair or center director, change their full-time faculty appointment to part-time, defined by the University as ≥50% effort (but <100% effort of course). Those with academic appointments (e.g., titles such as Assistant Professor) would have their “academic clock” prorated by the % effort, “clock” referring to the maximum time at the Assistant Professor level (seven years) or the tenure clocks at the Associate Professor level for those in the activity component of Research (five years for Research and Teaching only, 10 years for Research, Clinical, and Teaching). Also, please note that in general, tenure is available only to full-time faculty members (please see this excerpt from the SMD Regulations of the Faculty for more details).

Faculty members at <50% effort are, under University policies, considered to be TAR employees. TAR appointments are not considered to be academic appointments.

A summary of part-time and TAR benefits may be found on the HR benefits summary page. Please note that there may be important differences in the benefits for full-time vs. part-time vs. TAR faculty members. Please also see the Benefits tab for more information and resources.

There are several types of leaves available to faculty:

Academic leaves (“sabbaticals”): The University encourages applications for occasional leave for scholarly purposes when they can be arranged without unduly burdening the institution and the faculty member's colleagues. Support for such leaves is available to academic faculty, as described in the UR Faculty Handbook and the SMD Regulations of the Faculty. See here for more specifics about eligibility and procedures for applying, and here to apply.

Other types of leaves and absences: Information regarding personal leaves is found in the UR Faculty Handbook, while information regarding leaves that fall under the Family Medical Leave Act, and other types of leaves and absences, are described under HR policies that apply to faculty as well as staff.

For parental leaves, please see the UR Faculty Handbook and this document prepared by the Provost Office. For more information and resources for expecting or new parents, please see information provided by the Office of Human Resources.

The SMD recognizes that it may be desirable for some faculty to contribute to their discipline and to enhance the reputation of the School through private external consulting arrangements. External consulting for full-time faculty should not exceed an average of one day per week, should be undertaken with the knowledge and approval of the department chair, and is subject to UR policies, as described in the SMD Regulations of the Faculty, the UR Faculty Handbook, and other UR guidance.

The Benefits Office has many resources available online regarding a wide range of benefits available to eligible faculty. You may wish to begin with the following summary page, which also contains links to the specific benefits programs, as well as the Tools & Videos page:

The following links are to Plans-at-a-Glance documents for the following plans:

More information on Domestic Partner benefits:

The University of Rochester is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. Further, the University is committed to applying the strengths of its resources, talents, and ingenuity to maintain an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities. The University's affirmative action policy for individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans, is included in Policy 102, which can be found on the HR Policy 102 page.

As a major life transition, retirement is and must be a very personal decision, based on a variety of work, individual, family, financial, and other factors.

The Office of Human Resources Benefits Office offers a wealth of information and resources regarding Retirement Programs and Post-Retirement Benefits.


In addition to informal, but crucial, support offered by work colleagues and supervisors/mentors, and outside family members and friends, several other sources of help and support are available to eligible faculty members.

The UR HR wellness page describes programs including:

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Mental health resources through Behavioral Health Partners
  • The Healthy Living Program
  • The Return to Work Program
  • Well-U

Please see the links provided on the HR page for more details including who is eligible to participate in each of the above programs.

UR Physician Faculty Communication Coaching Program: This program provides individualized training on physician-patient communication for faculty, focused on behaviors that can be difficult to develop or sustain over time and shown to predict improved quality and patient satisfaction. The program also provides communication training for leaders, teams, and communication related to effective professional functioning. Contact: Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D.

General Advice for Faculty: Faculty are welcome to bring any questions or requests for career consultation to members of the dean's office, including:

Judith F. Baumhauer, M.D., M.P.H., Vice Dean for Academic Affairs

Adrienne L. Morgan, Ph.D., Associate VP and Senior Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion

Katherine Greenberg, MD, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion