Officers of Instruction


This section describes the academic title system for Officers of Instruction. There are four ranks: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. In addition to rank, titles are also classified by “tracks”. Officers of Instruction may be on a tenure or non-tenure track. For non-tenure track faculty the University title system distinguishes between faculty who are Columbia benefits eligible (termed “full time”) and those who are not (termed “part-time”). Tenured titles are unmodified (e.g. Professor of Psychiatry). Full time non-tenured appointments carry the descriptive “at Columbia University Irving Medical Center" (e.g., Associate Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at CUMC). Part-time  non-tenure track faculty have a “clinical” prefix or suffix modifier (e.g. Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry or Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience), depending on career focus.

Areas of Scholarly Focus: All non-tenured faculty are also required to apply for promotion with a concentration in one of three areas of scholarly focus: Educational Scholarship and Leadership, Applied Health Care and Public Health Intervention, or Investigator. A faculty member may also designate two or three foci (e.g. major and two minors) if this provides a better fit to their professional activities. Each focus has a different set of guidelines for appointment and promotion.

Deciding on an area or areas of focus in which to apply for promotion is an important part of your initial discussions with your Divisional Chief/Supervisor or mentor. The CUIMC Office of Academic Affairs has also developed an Area of Focus Self-Assessment Tool for CUMC Faculty which may be helpful.