GW Brief: Faculty Senate chastizes School of Public Health and Health Services

A report presented to the Faculty Senate meeting Friday criticized Ruth Katz, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services, for what the report called her weak effort to recruit tenured professors – an act needed to bring her school into compliance with the Faculty Code.

“I find it troubling that the school has been out of compliance for quite some time,” said Arthur Wilmarth, a law professor. “There was a resolution passed in 2002 that required the school to be in compliance with the code, but instead we were presented with a very open plan. We would like to see a comprehensive plan brought forward as to how the school is going to meet the request or be provided with reasons as to why this isn’t possible.”

The current Faculty Code, as agreed upon by the faculty and administration, states that 75 percent of all professors in a school must be tenured or tenure-track. According to the report, only 42 percent of faculty members in SPHHS are tenured or tenure-track this year. This number is slightly higher than it was in 2002, when 35 percent of SPHHS professors held these distinctions.

“I have worked very closely with Vice President (for Academic Affairs Donald) Lehman on this issue, and I can tell you that we are moving as steadily and quickly as we can to meet the 75 percent rule set forth by the University,” Katz said.

She added that factors outside her control make it difficult to attract tenured professors. The report states that the school is seeking to hire 10 additional tenured professors in the coming year.

“We can’t start classes until after 4 p.m., we are spread out over seven locations and I can only pay professors with tuition money,” she said.

As GW seeks to improve its standing as a research university, professors said it is important to rebalance the ratio of part-time to full-time professors.

“(Tenure) is a way to ensure job security and to attract the very best faculty,” said Lilien Robinson, chair of the Faculty Senate.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.