Pitt medical school to refine faculty policy
Leaders at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School have agreed to grant professors a greater voice in decision making, following faculty complaints about potential salary cuts.
University officials haven't detailed their plans, but medical school professors said they hope to moderate what some have called a “draconian performance review” process.
Dr. Arthur Levine, dean of the medical school, sparked faculty concerns at his “State of the School” speech in May when he announced the medical school had set a school-wide goal of bringing in 75 percent of faculty salaries from research grants.
Levine previewed a new faculty performance evaluation that spells out quotas for faculty members to cover their salaries through a combination of teaching, research and patient care. He warned that those who failed to meet goals could be subject to salary reductions of up to 20 percent.
Faculty members are hoping to gain a greater voice on the executive committee that sets policy for the medical school. Elected faculty members hold three seats on the committee that is dominated by 31 medical school department heads.
“The faculty right now is outnumbered worse than Custer,” said Dr. Nicholas Bircher, a medical school professor and past president of the Pitt Faculty Senate.
Dr. Thomas Smitherman, the current faulty senate president who has been handling negotiations on faculty concerns, did not return a call for comment.
John Baker, a professor in Pitt's dental school, said faculty members were concerned that changes could put tenured faculty members at risk of salary cuts as pressure to maintain research funding grows in the face of federal budget reductions that have cut support for research nationwide.
Bircher said worries about how policies were changed was as much a concern as the financial ramifications of those changes.
Levine, who is weighing proposals to increase faculty input on medical school decisions, insisted there were no policy changes with regard to salary, only a refinement of performance evaluations “so as to be more fair both to the faculty member and the institution.”
“This has been done mainly in the interest of objective and fair assessment, but it also recognizes that the nation's economy, and our own, have constraints,” Levine said in an email.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. she can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Falling bricks close 2 Squirrel Hill businesses
- Owner of Penn Hills tombstone business pleads guilty to swindling the bereaved out of $90K
- Brookline 12-year-old crashes mother’s car
- Carnegie Mellon University’s Speck device monitors indoor pollution
- Shortfalls sabotage promise of union retirees’ pensions
- Mt. Lebanon native, Iraq war hero’s action goes unrewarded
- ‘Swing Night’ has feel of Prohibition-era dance hall
- 17 Pennsylvania veterans inducted into Hall of Valor
- Scaife additions to elevate status of two museums
- Man shot in Hill District
- Pa. woman charged with forging docs to claim she was an attorney