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Home > School of Medicine > Office of Faculty > JHM Faculty Policies > Johns Hopkins Faculty Gold Book
V. Contracts and Contract Periods
A. Letters of Appointment
The terms of the contract between the School of Medicine and a faculty member are set forth in an offer letter specifying the type and total period of the appointment, an academic plan, a financial plan, and the initial salary. The letter specifies any contingencies that must be met before the contract becomes effective, such as approval by the ABMF, the University’s Board of Trustees (if applicable), and appointment to the medical staff of The Johns Hopkins Hospital or any other clinical entity (if applicable). The faculty member will receive formal notification of the final acceptance of the contract in a letter from the Dean.
Each subsequent year (for contracts covering more than one year), a letter will be sent to the faculty member confirming the type and total period of the appointment and stating the salary for that year, if applicable.
Acceptance will mean the acceptance by both parties of all applicable rules and regulations of the School of Medicine as well as those of the University. The minimum duration of a contract will ordinarily be one year (except for those holding special faculty ranks, for whom contract periods may be for no more than one year and may be for less).
Letters of appointment must be signed by the faculty member and returned to the Dean's Office within 30 days of receipt.
B. Notice of Nonrenewal of Contracts
A minimum of six month's written notice of nonrenewal, with a copy to the Dean, shall be given to those holding special faculty ranks (Article III-A) who have served on the School of Medicine faculty for less than two years. All other faculty members shall receive a minimum of twelve month's written notice of nonrenewal, except (i) Instructors and Assistant Professors in their first year of appointment, who may be given six months notice, and (ii) Associate Professors who are being reviewed two years prior to the end of their contracts must be given two year's written notice.
Contracts are for one year, renewable twice. Under special circumstances, the Department Director may recommend an appointment beyond the third year. Any contract for an Instructor beyond the third year must be approved by the Instructor and Assistant Professor Reappointment Review Committee.
D. Assistant Professors
Contract periods will usually be for one year and may not exceed five years.
E. Associate Professors
Contracts are for a minimum of three years. If an Associate Professor's contract will not be renewed, written notice of nonrenewal, with a copy to the Dean, must be given before the final year of the contract. Exceptions are (i) terminal two- year contracts, (ii) one-year contracts at the time of the six year (or subsequent reviews) when the Associate Professor Reappointment Review Committee advises the Department Director to put the individual forward for promotion. Contracts beyond the nine-year review are for three to five years.
Professors will normally be given contracts to retirement following approval by the Board of Trustees. In special cases, contracts of shorter duration may be given, but such contracts will require the approval of the ABMF.
G. Termination of Contracts
A contract may be terminated by the faculty member by notifying the Department Director in writing six months, or less by mutual consent, prior to the scheduled date of termination. It is understood that just as the contract is legally binding on the University, it is also binding on the faculty member. The only circumstances under which the School of Medicine may terminate a contract with a faculty member are where just cause or financial exigency exists, or where the medical staff appointment of a clinical faculty member is terminated by The Johns Hopkins Hospital or the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, or any other clinical entity at which the faculty member’s practice contributes to the department’s clinical activities.
- Just Cause: Incompetence, neglect of duty, misconduct in office or academic misconduct including scientific misconduct as defined in the document entitled "Rules and Guidelines for Responsible Conduct of Research" shall constitute just cause for termination of the contract of a faculty member. Terminations for just cause shall be initiated by the Department Director in accordance with either the “Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Scientific Misconduct” or the "Procedures for Dealing with Issues of Professional Misconduct." If the ABMF finds that just cause for termination exists, the affected faculty member shall have the right to appeal to the Dean within ten days of receipt of the ABMF's decision. A decision by the ABMF to terminate the contract of a faculty member shall not take effect until the exhaustion of timely appeals.
- Financial Exigency: Financial exigency in the School of Medicine is defined as either an anticipated school-wide or departmental budgetary deficit so great that a reduction of faculty salaries or faculty positions must be contemplated. The state of exigency may be announced at any time by the Dean to the ABMF, the Medical School Council, and the Finance Committee of the ABMF. The Finance Committee shall determine, by consultation with the Dean, the magnitude of the financial exigency and the extent of reduction, if any, in the fiscal obligations of the School which must be effected in order to resolve the exigency. If the Finance Committee recommends to the Dean that no reduction in salary obligations or faculty positions is necessary, the ABMF and the Medical School Council shall be so notified. If the Finance Committee recommends to the Dean that the Medical School must reduce its existing salary obligations to the faculty, reduce the number of current faculty positions, or both, the faculty shall be notified in writing.
Thereupon, an Ad Hoc Committee of the faculty, consisting of the Dean, four members chosen by the ABMF, and four members chosen by the Medical School Council, including persons from the basic science and clinical departments, shall be created. No members of this Ad Hoc Committee except for the Dean may be members of the Finance Committee.
The Ad Hoc Committee shall recommend to the Dean, the President, and the Board of Trustees which members of the faculty are to have their contracts terminated prematurely or their salaries reduced. Following these actions, all remaining faculty contracts shall be reaffirmed by written communication to the entire faculty. However, the Dean, with the President and Board of Trustee's approval, shall have the final authority to make all decisions regarding which members of the faculty will have their contracts prematurely terminated or salaries reduced, and all such decisions shall be final.
3. Termination of Medical Staff Appointment: (a) All members of the Full-time faculty with clinical responsibilities are expected to apply for and be appointed to the medical staff of either The Johns Hopkins Hospital or the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (or other clinical entity agreed upon by the faculty member and the Department Director) and to maintain their medical staff appointments in good standing while they are members of the faculty of the School of Medicine. If (i) the Board of Trustees of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or other entity at which the faculty member practices takes disciplinary action pursuant to the applicable medical staff bylaws to terminate a faculty member’s medical staff appointment or to limit the faculty member’s clinical privileges to such an extent that the faculty member’s clinical practice is significantly reduced, or (ii) the faculty member voluntarily surrenders his or her privileges or agrees to a significant reduction in his or her privileges while under investigation pursuant to the applicable medical staff bylaws, his or her faculty appointment will terminate, subject to the approval of the Dean of the Medical Faculty, as of the date the medical staff appointment terminates or the clinical privileges are limited or surrendered.
(b) This provision shall not apply if (i) prior to the termination of the medical staff appointment or the reduction in or voluntary surrender/reduction of privileges, the Department Director and the faculty member have agreed in writing that the faculty member is to cease clinical practice and will engage in other responsibilities or is to continue clinical practice at the reduced level; (ii) the termination, reduction or voluntary surrender/reduction of privileges relates to a disability that limits the faculty member’s clinical practice; or (iii) a termination of privileges is the result of technical errors that the faculty member promptly resolves with full restoration of privileges.