University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Thursday, September 11 th was the groundbreaking ceremony for the new fitness center being built on campus.
Dean search for the Graduate School Continues .
The search continues for a new dean for the Graduate School. There were 65 applicants and 8 will be invited to the campus for an interview in September and October.
The Health Science Center has a task force looking at various ways to turn the campus green.
Clinician-Researcher-Industry-2008 revisions and policy changes:
A committee made up of representatives from all of the schools and compliance revised the guidelines related to interactions with industry. These guidelines are currently under review by the Senate and Executive committee.
XYZ compensation plan:
A guideline document was given to each of the schools to develop their own XYZ compensation plan.
SAHS name change:
The School of Allied Health Sciences is now the School of Health Professions.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Town Hall Meeting
We had a Town Hall meeting on July 28, to discuss Faculty concerns with Administration about infrastructure, particularly, hospital function/capacity issues, and information technology. The Physician-in-Chief (PIC) and the VP for IT were present and featured speakers/responders.
Of major concerns were 1) the hospital bed crunch, where typically by mid-week, access to hospital beds is tenuous, as capacity is exceeded by several percent; and 2) the unreliability/instability of several aspects of our essential communications, including BlackBerrys and our electronic medical records system, called ClinicStation. There have been instances where critical communications among our Clinical Faculty and Staff have been lost for several hours, and involved patient procedures. There have also been instances during down-time where HIPPA-driven confidentiality barriers have been relaxed, due to altered procedures for information access.
Despite these well-articulated concerns, there was little evidence for movement of positions among Administration. For example, the PIC was insistent that the crunches in bed access could still be tactically managed (e.g., earlier vacancy from room on discharge day), as opposed to adopting any new strategies (e.g., relocating less-critical functions away from central hospital/clinics). This remains a concern, as it is projected to be a bottleneck for another 15 months or so. Further, it undermines the opportunity for further growth in volume. With regard to IT, the IT VP remained opposed to development of redundant systems, citing their liability on the overall system stability. Further, there is resistance to the idea of Institution-issued cell phones for the Clinical Faculty to overcome solitary dependence on BlackBerrys or other email.
New Assistant Provost Position-Recruitment
This position will have both line and staff aspects. He/she will deal with various committees that report to the Provost like Radiation Safety, Animal Committee, and others. The Provost will still handle the Research Chairs and the Division Heads.
Drs. Mendelsohn and DuBois were made aware of the initial questionnaire developed by the Faculty Senate Research Affairs Committee (Chaired by the Faculty Senate Chair Elect, Dr. Lance Pagliaro), that asked the Faculty how they have been impacted by the recent changes in institutional policy on Cost Sharing and Effort Reporting. The questionnaire was targeted at Research and Clinical Faculty who have part of their salary on grants. There was a very high level of response to this questionnaire, and it revealed considerable misunderstanding about and irregularity in the process. There was agreement to avoid possible bottlenecks in the grant submission process and to reduce effort spent on the high proportion of grants that will ultimately not be funded, ensuring compliance on the award rather than submission side would be reasonable.
Leftover Revenue from Clinical Trials and Sweeping of Funds
The concern initially raised from the Senate perspective was that current practices could stifle flexibility of Faculty in conducting trials. However, a disconnect was identified, in that, "sweeping" of funds was primarily implemented to address unused funds that have been saved by not paying for the appropriate clinical activities performed under a research protocol. Nevertheless, if this practice occurs across the board to Investigator’s funds, there could be a significant negative impact on having sufficient funds to do start-up investigations requiring preliminary data for submission of the next grant. Many clinical trials require an Investigator to have start-up funds to hire research nurses and others to start the study before the money comes in from an industry contract or grant.
The Senate Leadership visited the Smithville campus in late August, and Faculty from Bastrop also participated. There was a far-ranging discussion, including the role of the Senate in general, as well as specifics, such as new procedures put in place to comply with cost sharing/effort reporting, some of which are viewed as significant hindrances to the grant submission process. The Faculty expressed a high level of interest in being involved in the Senate meetings occurring on the main Houston campus, which has prompted us to relocate these meetings to an auditorium where teleconferencing is possible.
MD Anderson was generally well-prepared for Hurricane Ike, which caused some damage,and clinical operations were only shut down for two days (Friday and Monday). The Ride Out teams performed commendably. The possibility of providing a backup power system for the Rotary House, which houses many patients’ families and which was shut down as the storm approached, is being explored.
Acknowledgment from the Incoming Chair
At the August Senate Meeting, Dr. Klostergaard presented a certificate to Dr. Dunnington, on behalf of the Executive Committee and the full Senate, recognizing his unparalleled contributions to Faculty governance at MD Anderson and at the UTFAC, and to tobacco control statewide and nationwide. The Senate gave Dr. Dunnington an unprecedented standing ovation.
UT Health Science Center at Tyler
Pierre Neuenschwander, PhD, Chair, Research Faculty Assembly
Tim Allen, MD, Chair, Clinical Faculty Assembly
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, former chief academic officer of Partners HealthCare and chief of gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital, became the third president of UT Southwestern Medical Center on Sept. 2. Dr. Podolsky’s appointment is the culmination of a national search for candidates that began after Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of UT Southwestern since 1986, announced his retirement in October 2007.
As chief academic officer of Partners HealthCare for the past three years, Dr. Podolsky was responsible for a $1 billion research enterprise in addition to overseeing its graduate medical education programs encompassing more than 1,800 residents and fellows, technology transfer activities, faculty affairs and systemwide research initiatives. Partners HealthCare was founded in 1994 by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General, the two largest hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and now includes specialty and community hospitals as well. Dr. Podolsky concurrently served as faculty dean of Harvard Medical School for academic programs at Partners and participated in university-wide strategic planning for science and engineering.
After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard, he went on to complete his medical studies at Harvard Medical School in 1978. He finished his residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General and joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital in 1981.
The University of Texas at Tyler Campus Report UT System FAC
Prepared by Jeffrey Mountain, 08-09 Faculty Senate President
University of Texas at El Paso
Transition in Senate Leadership:
After a second term of two years leading the Senate, Larry Ellzey has moved on to other challenges as Chair of the Graduate Council. In that role, he will continue as a representative on the FAC. John Wiebe is now President of the Senate.
The University is undergoing an unprecedented construction effort, with the following buildings in various stages of planning or construction: a chemistry/computer science building, a health sciences and nursing building (which will bring those two units onto main campus for the first time), a bookstore, a childcare center, a basketball practice facility, a fitness center expansion, and a parking garage and transit terminal (which will be shared with the City of El Paso).
Increase in Degrees Granted/Graduation Restructuring:
Aggressive efforts to promote degree completion have led to a 14% increase in undergraduate graduations from 2006 to 2007. This increase is expected to continue during the coming year, and will necessitate moving from the traditional two graduate ceremonies to three ceremonies in one day, beginning this December.
New Graduate Programs:
Two Ph.D. programs, International Business and Rhetoric and Composition, awarded their first degrees this past year, and two new Ph.D. programs, Computational Science and Teaching, Learning and Culture, received final approval to begin enrolling students. UTEP now has 16 doctoral programs and has planning authority for at least four more.
Advances in Research:
More than 500 new grant proposals were submitted last year through the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, which represents a 15% increase over the previous year. A total of $77 million in grants were secured through those proposals. New leadership for the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research has decreased the time necessary for full board review of proposals to one month, and expedited review of proposals is usually done in less than two weeks.
SACS Reaccreditation Evaluation Process:
Efforts are underway to evaluate programs and institutional functions for SACS, and the primary challenge facing the Senate is evaluation of the Core Curriculum. The Provost has expressed openness to working closely with the Senate on this task, but it remains unclear what direction it will take. The Senate is looking at the standardized Collegiate Learning Assessment as one potential tool, and will appoint faculty representatives from each area represented in the core to a committee to be staffed by Associate Provost Sandra Hurley.