Academic rank is important both during and after a military career. Faculty appointments in the Department of OB/GYN at USU are recognition of academic contributions and service to the mission of educating our students.
Faculty appointments at USUHS are governed by the University, following the very comprehensive USU Instruction 1100. What follows here is more "practical" information and an explanation of the OB/GYN Department’s process and instructions on how to apply.
Faculty ranks and general faculty status are listed as follows:
Fellow / Staff
Staff – Board Certified
Staff – Board Certified
Staff – Board Certified
For clinicians, Teaching Fellow appointments are typically provided for residents in training. While this is not technically an academic rank in the same way as others (Instructor / Assistant Professor / Associate Professor / Professor) it is an official recognition from USUHS of the outstanding teaching contributions of our dedicated residents to educate our medical students. Status as a Teaching Fellow continues until the date of your graduation from residency. After that, if you continue on as a medical educator, you can apply for an official faculty appointment in the SOM.
An "Instructor" appointment is typically provided to a physician after completion of residency but before achieving Board-certification. Once Board-certification is achieved, a physician is eligible for an Assistant Professor position. Associate and Professor appointments require demonstration of additional experience and contributions. For Ph.D. scientists, entry level rank is dependent on training and experience.
Progression from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, the generally accepted minimum time in rank is around 6 years. For promotion to Professor, it generally requires at least another 4 years, though there is not a firmly defined time period and it will depend on productivity and accomplishments.
Active duty faculty are all in a non-tenure track. Faculty appointments for non-tenure track positions are typically categorized into one of several available pathways:
Most clinicians will be categorized in the Clinician-Educator Pathway, while most of the Ph.D. faculty will follow the Research Pathway. As might be suspected, each of the pathways has different areas of focus and the criteria to be appointed and promoted will vary. For example, faculty in the investigator or research pathways will need to demonstrate accomplishments in scientific investigation and research, while the clinician-educator pathway emphasizes clinical and educational accomplishments.
The "Adjunct" prefix is typically provided to an individual performing important functions relative to the Department but is assigned to an institution or facility that is not a core clerkship site for USUHS students or a primary residency site for Obstetrics and Gynecology. An example may be a staff physician performing educational activities relative to the USUHS mission while assigned to Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. Fort Hood is not a core clerkship site for USUHS students, nor a primary residency site, but residents from the SAUSHEC (San Antonio) program rotate at Darnall and receive valuable education there. In these cases, the “Adjunct” prefix allows us to recognize the faculty’s important service to the University.
The "Clinical" prefix was implemented at USUHS to recognize the critically important educational and clinical activities of clinical faculty who may not be involved in research or other activities that serve as criteria for non-prefixed appointments. These are particularly used at the Associate Professor or Professor ranks. The University certainly recognizes the incredible demands placed on faculty with respect to clinical activities, and that they may not have the time to pursue scientific investigation/research but they provide phenomenal clinical service and education of students, residents, and fellows. Therefore these faculty now have the opportunity to become promoted as a clinical appointment.
The requirements for the appointment/promotion package to be forwarded for consideration of a "Clinical" prefix are generally less involved than for consideration of an unprefixed appointment, particularly pertaining to the number of required letters of support.
Other prefixes are also available (Distinguished, Visiting, and others) - details regarding these prefixes are contained in the USU 1100 Instruction.
The process for appointment and promotion are detailed in the Instruction, and are too extensive to comprehensively detail here. However, the following sections will hopefully prove beneficial in understanding the process and the "practical" aspects of the criteria evaluated.
Submit the following documents to the OB/GYN Department Administrator, Tracy Smith:
Curriculum Vitae (it does not have to be a specific format, but an example is included here)
-Example of CV format sample_cv.docx
Letter of support from Supervisor-Example Draft of Supervisor/Command Letter
Instructor or Assistant Professor:
This process is now automated and online. To complete this, go to the following website:
This site should look like this:
(*If you receive an error message – e-mail email@example.com.)
This will allow you to apply for a USU-SSO account. After this, or if you already have this type of account, you will go and upload your information at https://workflow.usuhs.edu
The initial screen looks like this and you will click on “Assistant Professor Workflow” (even if you are applying for Instructor)
The next screen will look like this:
Items you will need to upload include the following:
- CV (There is not a specific format that is required. Please make sure your CV indicates your involvement in “teaching USUHS medical students”)
Example of CV format sample_cv.docx
- USU Form 107
- USUHS Faculty Form
- Letter of Support/Command Letter – This letter is typically written by the Program Director or Department Chair. If this is your direct supervisor, then this is generally accepted as fulfilling the Command Letter requirement.
- *(Command Letter – Optional document to be submitted if the command endorsement is not included on the Letter of Support.)
- There is a general instructional document for these appointments on-line as well: Assistant Professor & Instructor Online Appointing System
Associate Professor and Professor:
For these appointments, there is not an online process at this time. The Associate and Professor appointments require a much more comprehensive review.
In general, this process begins by contacting Tracy Smith and sending a copy of your CV for review. After this, your information will be reviewed by Dr. Haffner and you will receive feedback and instructions on documents to send in to keep the process moving. At this time, we will request letters of recommendation and your application will be reviewed by the OB/GYN Department CAPT Committee, which is chaired by Dr. William Haffner and includes full Professors from the department. After this, the Department Chair will write a letter of endorsement and the packet is reviewed by the USU CAPT Committee and recommendations sent forward to the Dean’s Office. If approved, it is reviewed at the quarterly Board of Regents meeting and the decision sent back to the CHR office and notification made to the provider.
An overview of the process is shown in the following diagram:
For more information on qualifications and requirements for Associate / Professor level appointments, you can refer to the following documents:- Practical Interpretation of Promotion Criteria for Associate / Professor Level
- USU 1100
The process for Teaching Fellow, Instructor and Assistant Professor appointments is mostly administrative with the basic qualifications discussed previously and these may take as little as 2-3 months to complete. At the Associate Professor and Professor levels, the process is significantly more involved and one of the most common delays is receiving the required letters of recommendation. In addition, after they are received and reviewed by the USU CAPT committee, the Board of Regents (BOR) must sign off on these and they meet on a quarterly basis.
The Chair of the OB/GYN Departmental Committee on Academic Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure is William H. J. Haffner, MD, CAPT (ret), USPHS. Dr. Haffner, a former Program Director and USU Department Chair, provides incomparable service in the support of faculty to develop their careers and to review faculty accomplishments relative to the requirements for the specific ranks. Dr. Haffner has been invaluable in the career advancement of numerous faculty.
If you have any questions regarding the process or your current status / eligibility, we highly suggest you contact Dr. Haffner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civilian Human Resources (CHR) Process
The CHR Office maintains records and handles administration of faculty appointments and promotions. Faculty member rosters are reviewed on an annual basis and it is important to keep CHR informed of any changes in your location and assignments.
Academic appointments at USU are an important way to recognize your contributions to the educational mission of the University. While the process is sometimes challenging, we are committed to providing support to help make sure that it is as simple as possible and remove any obstacles. We recognize that our faculty are the most valuable resource we have and that we cannot accomplish the mission without you.