Faculty Track Transfers: Guidelines and Processes

This KB provides information on the types of faculty track transfer transactions that can occur, what documents are needed, and the guidelines and approval processes that the HR Business Partner (HRBP), SMPH Faculty Promotions team (SMPH FPT), and Faculty HR follow for these transactions.

Assistant Professors on the CHS, CT, and tenure track can request a track transfer within the first 3 years of their initial appointment start date. Any track transfer request should be based on the best interests of the faculty member’s career focus. Transfers should not be made based solely on resource considerations.

For movement to the Research Professor or Teaching Professor track, the department chair or center director must discuss the recommendation with the SMPH Dean (RP) or the SMPH Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (TP), therefore these tracks are not included in the process below.

For more information on the faculty tracks we use at SMPH, see the SMPH Faculty Tracks KB and our appointment and promotion guidelines.

Guidelines for track transfers

As of January 1, 2023, the Dean’s office will require a deadline for all faculty track transfer packet submissions. All completed faculty track transfer packages must be submitted no later than November 1, for a January A payroll effective date, and May 1, for a July A payroll effective date.

Below are guidelines to keep in mind when considering a track transfer for a faculty member:

1. The individual must request the transfer in writing

2. There must be clear evidence of a change in the individual’s duties, activities, or career goals and expectations from those specified in the initial appointment letter

3. The executive committee must have reviewed the request and voted in favor of making a recommendation to move forward. The executive committee must base its recommendation on an assessment that the individual’s future activities will conform to the proposed track guidelines and UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures

4. The individual must not have been formally recommended by the departmental executive committee for promotion to the rank of associate professor on their initial track

5. For transfer from tenure track to CHS track only: In accordance with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures, such lateral transfers may not be made for the purpose of circumventing a decision between promotion and non-retention (FPP 7.06.c) and, following the SMPH dean’s approval, must be forwarded to the University Committee and the provost for approval

6. SMPH and University policies do not allow for subsequent track transfers

Required documentation for track transfer requests

The department will submit the following required documentation for the transfer request to the SMPH Faculty Promotions Team (FPT). Checklists with this information are also located on the SMPH Policies and Resources intranet page.

1. Letter from the faculty member to the SMPH dean requesting the track transfer

2. Letter of support from the department chair. The letter should include:

    1. Reason for the request and rationale for the track transfer (a change in the individual’s duties, activities, or career goals and expectations from those specified in the initial appointment letter).
    2. The total tenure and CHS track probationary period remaining when an individual transfers must be clearly stated in the chair’s letter
    3. Summary of executive committee vote including:
      1. Date of vote
      2. The number of eligible voters on the department’s executive committee during the semester of the decision and the exact vote, including absences or abstentions
      3. The percentage of votes required for acceptance by the department’s executive committee

3. Letter of support for the transfer from the candidate’s mentor/oversight committee

4. Curriculum vitae of the candidate

5. For transfers from CT to CHS track or from CHS to tenure track, a completed track transfer compensation attestation form must be submitted

Important notes

1. For all track transfers, we are required to know if the candidate is on a visa, as a title change could have visa implications. Please notify the FPT if applicable

2. For transfers from the tenure track to the CHS track, counting prior clock years at this or another institution (up to a maximum of three years) is at the discretion of the department. If the department chooses to forgo applying prior clock years, the faculty will start in clock year zero of their promotion clock/probationary period. 

3. For transfer from the CHS track to the tenure track, counting prior service at this or another institution is at the discretion of the department. In the extraordinary event that the transfer occurs more than three years after hire on the CHS track, any length of CHS service in excess of three years must be counted in determining the amount of time remaining on the probationary tenure clock

    • For situations where applying prior service is at the discretion of the department, a prior service review form must be submitted for any prior service to count towards the faculty member’s new probationary clock

4. The maximum probationary period in the CHS track is nine years of full-time equivalent service (which includes a twelve-month notice year)

5. The maximum probationary period in the tenure track is the equivalent of seven years of full-time service (which includes a twelve-month notice year)

6. For faculty transferring to the tenure track who will have clinical responsibilities, SMPH policy allows for a one-year clinical clock extension (when clinical duties are 20% or more of the candidate’s workload), or a two-year clinical clock extension (when clinical duties are 40% of the candidate’s workload). Clinical clock extensions are optional but must be considered and requested at the time of the transfer.

7. Final approval of track transfers is within the SMPH Dean’s office, except for transfers from the tenure track. These conversions of a Faculty appointment (tenure track) to an Academic Staff appointment (CHS or CT track) need to be approved by the University Committee

Processes for HRBP, FPT & Faculty HR

Requests are typically submitted by the department’s leadership team or departmental faculty promotions specialist (if applicable), to the SMPH FPT. The steps below begin once a track transfer has been officially approved by the Dean’s office.


  • Send email to the department chair and cc the departmental faculty promotions specialist and HRBP with the following:
    • Approval memo from Dean Golden (or the Provost if the University Committee was involved – see last bullet point above in "Important Notes" section)
    • Faculty members revised probationary clock timeline (if applicable)
    • A link to the appropriate track transfer letter template
    • Confirmation that there is or is not a TBA for the faculty member. If applicable, the HRBP will be instructed to STOP a TBA prior to processing the PVL waiver or Rate/Title change. Once the transfer is approved in HRS, the HRBP will RESTART the TBA
    • If the transfer involves movement between the CHS and tenure tracks, due to the difference of AS and FA, the position number will change.  If there is a pay plan to be uploaded on or near the date of the track transfer, make sure to include in your communication for the HRBP to check – the pay plan increase may need to be added manually after the transfer is done. 


  • Draft the track transfer approval letter, noting the following:
    • These letters mirror our offer letter templates, since the result of a track transfer is a new appointment and contract.
    • The job description should be updated and accurate to show what they will be doing in the new position/track (don’t copy/paste duties from the original offer letter)
  • Send draft letter to the SMPH FPT who will send to Faculty HR and the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development for review
  • Once the letter is approved, the SMPH FPT will return the letter to the HRBP for signatures
  • Once the letter has been circulated for all necessary signatures, the HRBP will forward the final signed copy to the SMPH FPT.

Note: obtaining signatures on the track transfer approval letter and processing the PVL Waiver or Rate/Title change (mentioned below) can happen simultaneously


  • Upload the final track transfer packet to ImageNow
  • Distribute the track transfer letter to the following:
    • Secretary of the Faculty (tenure track only)
    • Faculty HR

Faculty HR

  • For dual employed faculty only, forward the letter to UWMF and Med Staff
  • Enter the new contract in HRS


Process the track transfer. If applicable, stop the faculty member's current TBA prior to processing the PVL waiver or Rate/Title change. Once the transfer has been processed/approved, the HRBP will restart the faculty member's TBA.

  • For track transfers from CHS to tenure or tenure to CHS ONLY (AS to FA/FA to AS), a PVL waiver must be processed. The HRBP will department approve the PVL waiver. Their AD will division approve the waiver to campus for final approval.
    • Submit a position request through PoRT
    • The FPT will forward the Dean’s memo of approval to SMPH Recruitment to expedite the approval of the PoRT request
    • Note: for track transfers done via PVL Waiver for a faculty member moving from CHS to tenure track ONLY, an Institutional Reference Check (IRC) must be completed. Visit the PVL Waiver KB - Step 1, 9. for further instruction on that process.
  • For track transfers from CHS to CT or CT to CHS (AS to AS), a Rate/Title change must be processed. The HRBP will department approve the R&T and will send an email to SMPH Compensation notifying them that the transaction is ready for division approval. The SMPH compensation team will division approve the transaction.
    • These transactions do not require PoRT submission

For details on what to include within the PVL Waiver or Rate/Title change entry, see Compensation Guide: Track Transfers KB

Once the track transfer has been processed:

  • If the employee has a partial VA leave and will continue working at the VA after their transfer, the leave will have to be entered on the new position in HRS. For more information, see VA Leave Without Pay.
  • If applicable, update faculty member’s new title on departmental org chart
  • If applicable, update Reports To field in HRS for individuals supervised by the faculty member
  • If applicable, connect with your HR Operations Coordinator to see if there will be any update to the faculty member's Position of Trust status

Keywordstrack, transfer, faculty   Doc ID122480
OwnerFaculty PromotionsGroupSMPH Human Resources
Created2022-11-14 12:02:23Updated2024-06-20 12:12:35
SitesSMPH Human Resources
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