Tuesday, October 13, 1998 / 3 p.m. / 817th Meeting
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, John Breitner, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager, Scott Zeger, and Barry Zirkin; and Ms Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody and James Anthony.
Guests: Drs. Alan Goldberg, Sharon Krag and Noel Rose; Mr. Herbert Hansen; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 816th meeting on September 22, 1998 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost: Provost Knapp congratulated Dean Sommer and the School of the gift of $15 million to the School, part of the $35 million gift of Mr. Michael Bloomberg to the University. The gift was announced as part of a gathering of friends and contributors to the University over the weekend. Dr. Knapp noted that Mr. Bloomberg has generously given $100 million to the University. The new University Chief Information Officer is expected to be announced imminently, as the finalists have been identified and interviewed. Remarks by the Dean: Dean Sommer commented that two students of the School spoke beautifully at the weekend gathering. He reminded the members of the Advisory Board that Society of Scholars nominations are due by October 30 and reported that the student headcount for Fall, 1998 has decreased 2% compared to the previous year.
Dr. Black reported on activities of the Committee on Finance as a followup to an administrative retreat of the department chairs and deans. The policy of paying faculty who teach in distance education courses is being revised to alter the amounts paid for condensing existing courses, for developing new web-based courses, and for teaching those courses. Tuition will be returned to departments in "real time", although eventually all distance education courses tuition will be folded into TAM. The COF will also consider changes to tuition charged for distance education courses as part of a reexamination of part-time tuition rate charges. Remarks by the Faculty Senate: Dr. Zirkin reported that the Senate has raised the topic of faculty titles, which will be discussed later in the meeting.
CEPH Self Study Dr. MacKenzie reported that the draft self study is almost completed, and is due to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) by the end of October. The draft will be circulated to the faculty, and major comments should be provided to Dr. MacKenzie by the end of December. The final self study is due to CEPH by February, 1999. Dr. MacKenzie noted that the self study begins by reviewing the goals of the 1992 strategic plan, and then lists the accomplishments of the School in meeting those goals. The current self study will launch a new planning exercise in the summer of 1999.
Faculty are asked to pay close attention to the educational objectives of our academic programs. The self study will be presented to the Faculty Senate, Student Assembly, Alumni Council and Health Advisory Board. Dr. Zeger remarked on the striking growth of the School's endowment since 1991. Members of the Advisory Board congratulated Dr. MacKenzie on preparing the self study, and Dr. MacKenzie acknowledged the significant contributions of the faculty/student CEPH Steering Committee in overseeing the self study process.
Recommendations from the Faculty Senate regarding titles for non-tenure-track faculty Dr. Zirkin reviewed the rationale for and proposal to change the titles of public health scientist faculty de facto to research assistant professor (from assistant scientist), research associate professor (from associate scientist) and research professor (from senior scientist). He noted reluctance among the Senate to vote on the proposed change in title due to concerns that the change would bring the School closer to having a "silent track" and doing away with tenure commitments.
Several members of the Advisory Board noted that Dr. Krag's committee, which is studying the functions and responsibilities of faculty in the scientist track, is due to report their findings by January, 1999. Dr. Zirkin thought it might also be possible to better classify some scientists into different professorial tracks based on their primary area of activity such as research, public health practice and teaching. Dr. Knapp suggested that the titles under consideration be made more synchronous with those of other divisions of the University, in particular the non- tenure-track research professor track in the divisions of Arts and Sciences and Engineering which has the ranks of assistant research professor, associate research professor and research professor.
He further reported that scientists in those schools do only research, and that research professors do both research and teaching. Dr. Zeger raised concerns about the current proposal. He felt that a uniform change from the title of scientist to the title of research professor would not adequately represent the functions of many faculty now in the scientist track, some of whom do little research.
He noted that the Committee on Appointments and Promotions has considered the appointment of every scientist against a specific set of criteria, and that those criteria are not the same as those used to evaluate professorial appointments. Instead, he formally proposed that the Advisory Board work with the Faculty Senate and Committee on Appointments and Promotions to determine what new titles should be, develop the criteria by which faculty will be evaluated for the new titles, and then charge the A&P committee to evaluate each faculty member as nominated individually by their department according to the criteria. He felt that the title of professor is a special one only to be given to faculty who are intrinsically involved in the Schools educational programs, and that national searches should be carried out for all professorial faculty.
After animated discussion, the Advisory Board voted against this proposal by a majority vote. Dean Sommer reminded the Advisory Board that Dr. Mosley's 1993 Committee on Faculty Titles called for faculty who were significantly involved in both teaching and research and/or practice activities to be called professor, and that faculty only involved in research or practice be called scientists, but that there were many objections at the time to a new non-tenure track professorial title.
While many members of the Advisory Board agreed that no one title would be likely to capture all responsibilities of the scientist track, Dr. Zirkin remarked that many of the scientist faculty are being asked to fulfill the same role as their tenure-track counterparts, including teaching and advising. Some scientists feel the new responsibilities were added without their input or assent, and without commitment from their departments or from the School. Dr. Samet commented that a number of scientists are superb young faculty who may be recruited elsewhere, and that there is a compelling need to change titles to better reflect their responsibilities in a timely fashion.
Dr. Zeger felt that creating new non-tenure-track titles would not solve the problem of faculty fulfilling similar or the same responsibilities with different levels of commitment from the School. Following more discussion, the Advisory Board then voted on the original proposal to change the titles of public health scientist faculty de facto to assistant research professor (from assistant scientist), associate research professor (from associate scientist) and research professor (from senior scientist).
The only change from the proposal as originally stated by Dr. Zirkin was a change in the proposed new titles from research assistant professor to assistant research professor and research associate professor to associate research professor. The Advisory Board then voted in favor of this proposal by a close majority vote. Due to the continued controversial nature of the discussion and outcome of the vote, the Advisory Board felt that the vote should be non-binding. They will further consider this issue at the upcoming Advisory Board meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.
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