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Toolkit: Policy Trends at Medical Schools and Colleges

December 30, 1899

 

The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility

In partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, ACE has been investigating the structural and cultural changes necessary to better balance professional and personal lives for faculty in academic medicine.

Among the 19 Medical Schools and Colleges that applied for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility in 2012, the following encouraging trends were available to faculty. For all of the policies and practices listed below, at least half of the applicant institutions indicated having them in place: 

  • Tenure clock adjustment (stopping, extending, or moving to a non-tenured position)
  • Eligibility that allows a faculty member to work part-time while remaining on a tenure-eligible track
  • Ability for full-time faculty to temporary reduce or modify their duties for reasons related to family care or personal disability
  • Paid leaves for biological or adoptive mothers
  • Paid leaves for biological or adoptive fathers
  • Training for promotion and/or tenure review committees to ensure there is no penalty given for documented dependent care gaps
  • Disability policy for serious illness or injury
  • Eligibility for part-time appointments with proportional pay before faculty achieve tenure/promotion, and after faculty achieve tenure/promotion
  • Phased retirement
  • Accommodations for couples in dual career hiring
  • Commitment to communicate about faculty career flexibility through orientations for new faculty, the faculty handbook, faculty/provost websites, ongoing trainings, and emails to faculty
  • Training for department chairs/division chiefs and others in decision-making positions in career flexibility
  • Committees on faculty career issues that identifies problems, recommends actions, and brings about change to greater career flexibility and a more family-friendly environment for faculty
  • Publicized speeches at faculty/department/division meetings by the Dean and/or other senior leaders declaring that the school of medicine is supportive of the advancement of faculty with dependent care or other personal responsibilities throughout a faculty member’s career

A more detailed description of the common policies and practices at Medical Schools and Colleges is available on this page.

An overview of the American Council on Education's research on the structural and cultural changes for faculty in academic medicine is available on this page.

 

Strategies from Medical Schools and Colleges for Creating and Sustaining Faculty Career Flexibility

Among the 19 medical school and college applicants, many had indicated that they follow these practices for making structural and cultural changes that enhance the climate for faculty career flexibility on their campuses.

Winners of the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility for Medical Schools and Colleges

The 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility recognized medical schools and colleges for their leadership and accomplishments in implementing groundbreaking policies and practices supporting career flexibility for academic biomedical faculty. The awards program was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and conducted by ACE.

Boston University School of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis each received $250,000 that enabled the institutions to expand and enhance flexible career paths for faculty.

In addition, the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, and State University of New York Upstate Medical University received $25,000 awards in recognition of innovative practices in career flexibility.


Back row: Edward Callahan, Associate Dean, University of California, Davis School of Medicine; Molly Corbett Broad, ACE President; Darrell Kirch, AAMC President; Terence Flotte, Dean, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Luanne Thorndyke, Vice Provost, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Craig Brater, Dean, Indiana University School of Medicine; Stephen Bogdewic, Executive Associate Dean, Indiana University School of Medicine

Middle row: Karen Antman, Dean, Boston University School of Medicine; David Duggan, Dean, SUNY Upstate Medical University

First row: Mark Wrighton, Chancellor, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Diana Gray, Associate Dean, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Emelia Benjamin, Vice Chair, Boston University School of Medicine; Paula Trief, Senior Associate Dean, SUNY Upstate Medical University; Caroline Simard, Research Director, Stanford University School of Medicine; Christy Sandborg, Vice President, Stanford University School of Medicine; Hannah Valantine, NIH Chief Diversity Officer, Claire Van Ummersen, ACE Senior Advisor


Career Flexibility for Biomedical Faculty of Today and Tomorrow: A National Conference

Held March 14th-15th, 2015 at the Boston University Medical Campus, Boston MA, this event brought together leaders of medical schools, academic health centers, faculty affairs, and human resources to explor the best approaches and tools to provide flexibility and promote faculty development throughout the career life-cycle. The conference grew out of the creativity and passion of the seven medical schools recognized with Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility, working in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE) and the New England Network for Faculty Affairs (NENFA).1

The Executive Summary of the conference can be viewed here.
 

1Career Flexibility for Biomedical Faculty of Today and Tomorrow at Boston University. (2015). Retrieved September 9, 2015, from http://www.nenfa.org/career-flexibility-for-biomedical-faculty-of-today-and-tomorrow--bu.html.

 

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