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Titles and promotion criteria for certain Indiana University Health affiliate faculty have begun to change. Learn why, how we got here and who is affected.

Some faculty titles are changing. Here's why.

What’s happening?

Titles and promotion criteria for certain Indiana University Health affiliate faculty have begun to change.

Why is this happening?

For the past several years, the IU health system has been working to unite all IU Health provider groups into one unified practice plan: IU Health Medical Group. Unifying providers will allow IU School of Medicine and IU Health to leverage the strength and scale of both organizations, ultimately improving the health and wellness of Indiana and beyond. This is a key strategy included in the IU School of Medicine 2030 Strategic Plan.

A unified medical group will:

  • enhance the academic mission through statewide access to clinical trial enrollment and biobanking
  • expand clinical placements for students and residents
  • emphasize shared responsibility for the academic mission across the health system 
  • offer flexibility in employment

As the groups unify, it is important to establish clear expectations for faculty as well as recognize the important contributions of all members of the academic health system.

How did we get here?

In 2022, a work group with broad membership — department chairs, faculty affairs leaders, regional campus representatives, and faculty from IU Health Physicians and regional IU Health groups — began working toward greater clarity around roles and expectations for faculty physicians who are dually employed by IU Health and IU School of Medicine versus those who are in IU Health affiliate faculty positions (employed solely by the physician group).

The work group proposed a revision to promotion criteria as well as a new faculty title that better recognizes the important contributions IU Health affiliate faculty members make as part of the academic health system. In November 2023, the IU School of Medicine Faculty Steering Committee (the elected faculty governance body of the school) approved a revised affiliate faculty policy that includes a new title for affiliate faculty and revised criteria for promotion.

Who’s affected, and how?

New IU Health affiliate faculty members who are employed by the IU Health Medical Group community division will have titles designating them as professors of practice within their specialties (ex: assistant professor of pediatrics practice). Plans are under way to convert those with existing faculty appointments to the new title. All title changes should be in effect by July.

In addition, promotion in rank will now require documented evidence in support of the academic mission through activities such as teaching; enrolling patients in clinical trials; participating in biobanking; and practice improvement, innovation or leadership. This change will be phased in over the next two years, becoming effective in 2026.

These changes do not affect those employed by the Veterans’ Administration or Eskenazi Medical Group.

What’s next?

IU School of Medicine is excited about the launch of IU Health Medical Group — expected to officially take place on Jan. 1, 2025 — and is grateful for the ways our statewide faculty help us deliver on the goal to make Indiana one of the nation’s healthiest states.

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IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.