I write to inform you of the adoption
of a new policy setting minimum standards for teaching at
the School of Medicine. The work of the three committees
that led to this policy – Curriculum
Task Force 2001, the Committee on a Revision to the Policies
and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure, and
the Committee on Teaching Expectations – is important
and timely. This is a moment of national concern in teaching
at the nation’s medical schools. Economic contraction
of both the research and clinical sectors has made teaching
a less desirable activity than at any previous time. We are
not immune. Despite a full-time faculty of some 1400 and
a part-time faculty of some 3500, and while we have some
remarkably talented and dedicated teachers of our 1935 students,
we have been unable in the last two academic years to recruit
sufficient faculty for our largest courses, interdisciplinary
offerings which are faculty intensive and which cannot be
owned or staffed by a single department.
The policy, which can be seen at http://www.med.nyu.edu/faa/resources/ may
be distilled to the following three elements:
- Full-time faculty members
are obligated to provide at least 50 hours of contact
time with students per year if asked by their chairs;
- Part-time faculty members
are obligated to provide at least 20 hours of contact
time per year with students if asked by their chairs;
- All faculty members
will report their teaching activities annually.
The policy was first suggested seven years ago and developed
extensively by the most recent of the faculty committees, “ Artman II”.
After extensive modifications requested by the Executive Committee of the
Faculty Council over the last two years, the policy was approved unanimously
by the Council of Chairmen and the Academic Affairs Committee of the School
of Medicine Foundation Board, endorsed unanimously by the Student Council
and adopted unanimously and spontaneously by the Executive Committee of the
Department of Medicine. However, the Faculty Council on the advice of the
Executive Committee could not support the adoption of the policy as described
in the Minutes of its meeting of February 7, 2005 at http://www.med.nyu.edu/faccoun/.
While we have worked collegially and collaboratively with the
Council on a host of important and contentious issues, I cannot accept the
advice on this matter, and the Provost and Vice President for
Health, on my request, have accepted the policy on behalf of the University.
We will use the following approach for adoption. The policy will become
effective on September 1, 2005. Since we remain very interested in the support
of the Faculty Council if possible, I will ask Dean Levin to create a working
group composed of members of the Council and other members of the faculty
in an attempt to resolve the remaining procedural issues. I believe that this
method shows clearly that the issue of accountability and obligation in full-
or part-time service to the University is fundamental, and that we remain
committed to consulting with and developing policy jointly with the Faculty
and Faculty Council to the extent possible.
Robert M. Glickman, M.D.