More than other professional organizations I am familiar with, the Association of American Medical Colleges produces frequent, relevant research reports. They benefit from a trove of data from member institutions and the services of statisticians. Occasionally their findings generate national headlines. Other times the intended audience is more insular.
In a recent analysis, AAMC researchers show that the preponderance of medical schools offer tenure for their clinical and basic science faculty. Boston University School of Medicine is one of just 7 (out of 126) LCME-accredited medical schools that do not offer any form of tenure. The others include the Mayo Medical School but also a few Caribbean-based schools. Newly accredited schools seem to be favoring the tenured/tenure-track model.
While the number of medical schools offering tenure to clinical faculty remains steady, the overall proportion of faculty who are tenured or tenure-track had declined. This is mostly attributable to the growth of “para-faculty” who are not eligible for tenure. Having multiple tiers of faculty invites feelings of second-class citizenry and risks slotting women and minority faculty in lower status positions. If a school allows for tenure, it should be offered uniformly. I’d like to read more about how the lack of tenure at a place like BU has affected recruitment and retention.