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Q Contract Recommendations

A Q contract is an initial, non-tenured appointment for faculty who join the University as an associate professor or professor. It is only relevant to the  tenure system (RT) and (CT) Tracks. It may be desirable to appoint a new faculty member on a Q contract when the candidate is of relatively senior standing in the field but does not yet possess the record of particular achievement expected of a tenured member in the College. Q contracts allow an initial term appointment for as long as four years.  During the final year of the Q appointment, the faculty member may be approved for indefinite tenure following a review through the campus promotion and tenure process, or not be reappointed.  In unusual circumstances and prior to the final review year, a “Q” appointment may be renewed for up to two additional years.  The terms of a Q appointment should be included in the letter of offer.

Process for Q-Contract Recommendations Heading link

The College of Medicine utilizes a two-tiered process for the review of Q contracts. The intent is to streamline the process for those Q appointments that represent a parallel move from the last position of the faculty member being appointed. For Q appointments that represent a promotion from the last position, the full review process is required.


  1. All Q-contract proposals which represent a promotion of some kind require a full advanced rank new appointment packet and traditional review by the Faculty Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee and the Executive Dean.
    Examples of cases requiring a full review:

    • A new hire who is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at another institution and is proposed for appointment at UIC as Associate Professor on a Q contract.
    • A new hire who is currently a tenured Associate Professor at another institution and is proposed for appointment at UIC as Professor on a Q contract.
    • A new hire who currently holds a non-tenurable position as Associate Professor at another institution and is proposed as Associate Professor on a Q contract in a tenurable position.
  2. Appointments involving a lateral move from a tenured or tenurable position into a Q contract at the same rank are permitted to undergo an expedited review. The packet for an expedited Q contract review is available here. Required documentation includes a current CV, a personal statement from the candidate describing their activities and philosophical perspectives for teaching, research and service, and a minimum of three external referee letters from individuals at or above the proposed rank.  These materials should be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs for review by the Faculty, Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee.  If the abbreviated materials prompt a negative review by the College promotions committee, the department head has the option of a second review following submission of a complete promotions and tenure packet.

Regardless of which of the above two paths are taken, Q contracts require approval by the Executive Dean and  the Board of Trustees before they may become effective.

The process for awarding tenure following a Q contract period for all candidates requires a full p&t dossier be taken through College level review as well as review by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Graduate College Dean,  Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees.

Process Approved by the College Executive Committee, 2/15/06