Modified faculty are defined in the Faculty Handbook, under section 4.02. Modifiers to Faculty Ranks. There are four types of modified faculty:
Although modified faculty definitions are given in the Handbook, each College has its own faculty guidelines that affect faculty. This is explicitly set forward in the Handbook, under section 6. Faculty Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Policies.
Differences between modified and un-modified faculty
- Different criteria for appointment (for example, number and sources of recommendation letters; qualifications for academic role)
- Different criteria for promotion
- Modified faculty are not eligible for tenure (see Note 1 below)
- Modified faculty are excluded from the minimum salary clause in the faculty contract; see Note 2 below.
- Modified faculty have a narrower focus of effort (e.g., mostly/exclusively research, clinical, or teaching). This is explicitly set out under faculty definitions in the Handbook, and in some of the faculty guidelines of the Colleges. By contrast, “Faculty members on the tenure track will be afforded protected time for academic pursuits” (Faculty Handbook, section 6).
Note 1: For the College of Medicine, all un-modified faculty (faculty without a rank modifier) are eligible for tenure. Other Colleges however have un-modified faculty who are not eligible for tenure. For all Colleges, modified faculty are not eligible for tenure.
Note 2: Non-tenure track un-modified faculty are included in the minimum salary clause of the faculty contract.
MUSC Faculty Senate Recommendations Regarding Modified Faculty
The MUSC Faculty Senate adopted the following position regarding modified faculty:
- The Senate acknowledges the administrative utility of modified faculty definitions and guidelines.
- At the time of hiring, the expectations and career implications of the position must be outlined. Reasons for hiring on modified instead of a tenure-track rank must be provided.
- A mentoring plan must be provided for each modified faculty. The plan and the faculty’s progress must be reviewed at least every three years. The plan must specify:
a. mentor assigned to the faculty member
b. The responsibilities and role of the faculty member
c. Yearly goals that advance the faculty member’s career
- Yearly evaluations of modified faculty must be based on the specified yearly goals (per 3c).
- The criteria for promotion of modified faculty must be consistent with the specified responsibilities and role (per 3b).
- The possibility (or lack thereof) for switching to a tenure-track position must be specified within the letter of appointment at the time of hiring and as part of the mentoring plan. If applicable, the process and the criteria for switching to tenure-track must be specified.The Senate urges Departments, whenever possible, to compensate modified faculty at least at the minimum salary level of the respective unmodified rank.