Faculty Development


The “rainbow folders” accompany the memo outlining the areas of accomplishment recognized by the University. Rainbow folders refers to the multi-colored dividers that have been used to organize printed dossiers:

  • The scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • The scholarship of research and creative accomplishment.
  • Patient care activities.
  • Service and the scholarship of service to the University, society and the profession.

The specific activities that are to be legitimately considered part of each of these areas of accomplishment are clearly listed on the rainbow folders:

  • For the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, it is important to list contact hours, number of students, provide yearly student teaching evaluations and yearly peer teaching evaluations. If this area of accomplishment is considered one of your two priorities, it is important to identify innovations in teaching you have made, with appropriate assessments by students and faculty.
  • For the Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments:
    • You must separate peer-reviewed publications, with the most recent being first, from non-peer-reviewed publications such as editorials or book chapters. There are sections for publications in press, for which you need the letter of acceptance from the editor and those in preparation. There is no particular number of publications that the various promotion and tenure committees require, however, the expectations for those in the tenure track are greater than those who hold fixed term appointments. Your role in the design, implementation and writing of the manuscript should be identified. Emphasis is on quality. For those in the tenure track, you will be asked to provide the Dean’s Office with five of your seminal publications to be sent out with the letters to external reviewers. For clinicians on the tenure track, one or two publications per years are a reasonable expectation whereas for those fixed term faculty members, one publication per year may be adequate. These are not “hard numbers” or “minimums” for publications and achieving these numbers does not guarantee promotion or tenure. If you produce no publications, promotion is unlikely to occur. For basic scientists, the publication expectation is likely to be more stringent, as evaluated by the various promotion and tenure committees. It is anticipated that basic scientists on the tenure track should publish two to three manuscripts per year whereas those fixed term basic scientist would be expected to publish one to two publications per year. Patent applications and awards may be considered in this category.
    • Grant support for research should also be listed in this section, active grants listed before inactive grants. The granting agency (intramural vs. extramural), inclusive dates, your role (Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator) and amount of the grant should be listed. For basic scientists it would be anticipated that they would be the Principal Investigator on at least one extramural grant, with at least 50% salary support coming from that grant. Active renewal of that grant would be expected. For clinicians, intramural grants are easier to obtain than extramural grants. Any grant support on which a clinical faculty member is.
    • Principal Investigator will add to the strength of the dossier.
  • For the Scholarship of Patient Care it is important the you list:
    • Annually the number of cases
    • Annually the number of new and return clinic visits
    • Annually the number of RVUs you generate and stratified for the percent clinical effort you are expending, between what percentile you fall (0-25th, 25th-50th, 50th-75th, 75th-100th) in accordance with published benchmarks used by the institution (AAMC or AHC guidelines). The Department of Surgery Operations Manger will be able to assist you in obtaining this information.
    • Annually your patient satisfaction evaluations.
    • Clearly define any new or novel clinical programs you have developed with information regarding the annual number of those cases done n the institution since the inception of the program.
  • For the Scholarship of Service it is important that you carefully review the pink rainbow folder as that lists the types of activities that are to be listed, with dates inclusive:
    • Service to the University in terms of intramural committee memberships, leadership roles, etc.
    • Service to society
    • Service to the profession

It is critical to identify at least two of these areas in which you chose to excel. Your Division Chief and the Department Chair should discuss with you the resources that may be available, appropriate for you to achieve those goals. The recently implemented Institutional Compensation Guidelines sets your percent effort on patient care activities at 80% unless you have some form of extramural funding with salary support or you are able to negotiate a different percent effort with the Chair, based on your potential for extramural funding with salary support. This should be taken into serious consideration when you make the decision accept a position on the tenure track or a fixed term appointment.

During the second year of your appointment it is recommended that you participate in the Junior Faculty Development Program which is held Friday mornings and covers a wide array of topics critical to your academic productivity and advancement.

The Department of Surgery has developed a Faculty Development Program that is comprised of senior faculty members, some tenured and other holding fixed term appointments, the goals of which are to assist faculty members, irrespective of the track they are on, to successfully achieve the goals that have been set at the time of appointment.

  • This Committee is responsible for the portion of the Departmental website related to non-clinical activities.
  • This Committee will informally meet with faculty members at regular intervals, (see Process and Timeline).
  • This Committee is available to meet with any faculty member at short notice at the request of the faculty member who might be experiencing obstacles in achieving these goals in an attempt to identify solutions.


Recommendations for successfully moving through the academic ranks:

  • You must identify the track you wish to be placed on at the time of hire, tenure track or fixed term. You cannot change this once the appointment is made.
  • Identify with your Division Chief and the Chair, your goals and make a list of the resources you will need to accomplish those goals.
  • Have the major resource requirements written into your letter of offer.
  • It is highly recommended that you keep a file of rainbow folders in your office that you or your secretary can manage. These may be physical files or electronic files or both. When evidence of scholarly achievement is received, that document (along with pertinent information such as date, location, etc.) should be filed. At the time of dossier preparation, retrieving and organizing critical information will be much easier. Examples of documents are published manuscripts, an email notification of an abstract acceptance for podium presentation, and annual summaries of teaching evaluations. Place all that you can think of in the file. You can remove it later if not appropriate.
  • Be sure to pick a primary research area that shows a great deal of promise and do not change your research focus mid-stream, particularly if you are in the tenure track.
  • Collaborative research can often provide a suitable secondary area of expertise.
  • Seek intra- and extra-mural funding immediately. If you are unsuccessful on the first attempt, try again and again until you have funding. Internal grants are a great way to hone skills at grant writing and gain useful feedback. Take any courses available at the Institution designed to enhance your grant-writing skills. Senior faculty members may also be of assistance in this regard.
  • Be selective and do only a modest amount of service work for the first couple of years. Often committee work is time consuming and of little benefit to you from a Promotion and Tenure standpoint. You should use as much time as possible do get your academic activities running, initially. Service activities can be assumed once your academic productivity is “off the ground.”
  • For those in the tenure track, be sure to carefully read the evaluation and recommendations of the Department of Surgery P & T Committee. These reviews are not meant to be critical, rather they are designed to assess your progress toward the award of tenure.
  • If you find that you are not making the progress you think you should be, speak with your Division Chief, the Department Chair or request that the Departmental Faculty Development Committee meet with you in an attempt to identify solutions. Obviously, finding solutions earlier is better than later.
  • Keep in mind that while there are numerous resources to help you with your academic progress and your preparation of materials for P+T, the responsibility is ultimately yours.
  • When your dossier is complete, you will be asked to sign the face sheet. Your signature confirms that the information is accurate. Thus, it is in your best interest to ensure that this is true!

The HR 40 Process:

PSU HR 40 is not part of your P & T dossier, rather it is a separate annual evaluation of your productivity for the proceeding year and expectation for the upcoming year that occurs between your Division Chief and you.

In the spring of each year, your Division Chief will request information from you which will serve as the basis for her/his letter or HR 40. You have the opportunity to meet with her/him to discuss any issues that you feel should be amended.

This document has a similar content format:

  • Teaching.
  • Research and Creative Accomplishments.
  • Patient Care.
  • Service.
  • This meeting is a perfect opportunity for your Division Chief and you to discuss the expectations that both of you have.
  • The HR 40 document is then signed by both your Division Chief and you, then reviewed by the Department Chair and maintained within the Department Office.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) Helpful Hints:

  • Your CV should be a working document to which you add every academic accomplishment you have made. With each change, you must also update your P & T dossier, as well.
  • After each change, note the date of your revision on the top.
  • Your CV is not a part of your P & T dossier. Like the dossier however, it is much easier to keep your CV current if you have a physical or electronic file to collate documents and information related to scholarly achievement.
  • The Department format consistently uses one format for developing and maintaining CVs.
  • The AAMC also has a helpful template and information for preparation of a CV.


Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians. Four-year postdoctoral research awards are offered to historically disadvantaged physicians who are committed to developing careers in academic medicine and to serving as role models for students and faculty of similar background.


Career Development Opportunities in Surgery

Surgical Education and Simulation

Colon and Rectal Surgery

GI Surgery / Surgical Oncology

Trauma Surgery

Plastic Surgery

Pediatric Surgery

Minimally invasive Surgery and Bariatric Surgery


Surgery of the Breast

Vascular Surgery