Voluntary Teaching Faculty Policy


Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is committed to providing the highest level of training for students and residents, which requires exposure to different clinical settings, career types, and care delivery systems. Providing broad and high-quality experiences requires the involvement of not only full-/part-time university faculty but also community-based voluntary educators. Such individuals perform a valuable service to WUSM and, as such, should be prepared, supported, and recognized for the work they do to educate our learners. This policy applies only to School of Medicine Voluntary Teaching Faculty and specifically excludes full-/part-time faculty and other voluntary faculty appointments.

In accordance with LCME Element 9.2, WUSM must ensure that medical student clinical learning experiences are supervised by members of the school’s faculty. Therefore, community-based voluntary educators for medical students and/or residents/fellows will be appointed as Voluntary Teaching Faculty. Voluntary Teaching Faculty are neither employed nor compensated by WUSM. They are expected to participate in the education of medical students and/or residents in order to maintain the Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointment.

In keeping with LCME Element 4.4, all medical school faculty must receive regularly scheduled and timely feedback on their academic performance and progress toward promotion. This includes Voluntary Teaching Faculty.


  1. Department heads may appoint Voluntary Teaching Faculty for the specific purpose of participation in the education and training of medical students and/or residents/fellows.
  2. Voluntary Teaching Faculty may be appointed at the following ranks. The initial rank shall be commensurate with the level of professional/teaching accomplishment relative to other individuals within their relevant peer group.
    • Voluntary Teaching Instructor
    • Voluntary Teaching Assistant Professor
    • Voluntary Teaching Associate Professor
    • Voluntary Teaching Professor
  3. Voluntary Teaching Faculty may simultaneously hold Voluntary Clinical or Research Faculty positions. The appointment, review, and termination process for Voluntary Clinical or Research Faculty positions lies solely with the department.
  4. All Voluntary Teaching Faculty shall have a biannual (every 2 years) management review performed by the appropriate course/program leader or other designated administrative faculty member, which shall include an assessment of continuing participation, available learner feedback, adherence to teaching/assessment/faculty development requirements and policies, and progress toward promotion. Should issues or other needs arise, a review may occur at any time.
  5. Voluntary Teaching Faculty may be considered for promotion after 6 years of annual participation with at least satisfactory teaching evaluations and compliance with policies, procedures, and practices relevant to their teaching role.
  6. Two consecutive years of nonparticipation in an educational program may result in forfeiture of the Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointment.
  7. In all activities carried out in connection with their appointment, Voluntary Teaching Faculty members must comply with the standards of conduct contained in all WUSM policies (including but not limited to the Code of Conduct and policies concerning abusive conduct, discrimination and harassment, mistreatment reporting and monitoring, and clinical supervision), except insofar as those policies apply only to employed faculty.
  8. Voluntary Teaching Faculty must notify the Office of Education immediately if they voluntarily or involuntarily relinquish their license, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration, clinical privileges, or malpractice insurance.
  9. Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointments may be terminated by the department head or designee or by the Office of Education in collaboration with the department before the end date of the appointment for any reason at any time. The Voluntary Teaching Faculty will ordinarily be notified in writing 30 calendar days before the effective date. Termination of a Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointment will not necessarily result in termination of a simultaneously held Voluntary Clinical or Research Faculty appointment. A Voluntary Teaching Faculty member whose appointment is terminated may appeal the decision to the Dean of the School of Medicine or their designee.


  1. Voluntary Teaching Faculty are recruited by course/program leaders who will oversee their work with learners and ensure their readiness for the role.
  2. Course/program leaders propose Voluntary Teaching Faculty to the Office of Education.
  3. The Office of Education will collect the required data (a Proposed Voluntary Teaching Faculty Appointment form and a curriculum vitae) and present the proposals to the appropriate department head or their designee. Failure of the proposed Voluntary Teaching Faculty to submit required information will result in a delay or denial of the Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointment. The Office of Education will propose Voluntary Teaching Faculty as soon as practical after recruitment.
  4. The Office of Education will conduct biannual (every 2 years) reviews of all Voluntary Teaching Faculty and provide summaries to department heads. The reviews will be conducted in collaboration with course/program leads. These reviews will include consideration for promotion and discussion of criteria for promotion.
  5. The appropriate department head or their designee must approve or decline all Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointments and recommended promotions.
  6. After receiving final approval from the department head or their designee, the Office of Education shall formally offer the appointment or promotion to the proposed and approved Voluntary Teaching Faculty by sending, as appropriate, a Voluntary Teaching Faculty Appointment (or Promotion) Letter. The appointment or promotion will not be official until the candidate returns to the Office of Education a countersigned copy of the letter accepting its terms and conditions. The Office of Education must forward the countersigned letter to Human Resources and the respective department.
  7. When terminating the Voluntary Teaching Faculty appointment of an individual who also holds a Voluntary Clinical or Research Faculty appointment, the department chair will decide whether the latter will be terminated along with the former. This information will be included in the letter of termination provided to the individual.

Last approved February 2024

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