The School of Public Health and Health Services still not in compliance with GW code

The School of Public Health and Health Services is once again under scrutiny for its administrators’ failure to recruit tenured professors, an act needed to bring the school into compliance with GW’s Faculty Code.

A report released by a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate – the highest governing body for professors – questions why after 13 years, SPHHS is still shy of being in compliance with the code by a considerable number of professors.

This is not the first time the Faculty Senate has questioned the SPHHS, but despite the school never being in adherence to the code, the University has yet to threaten the school’s leadership.

“No consequences have been threatened,” Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of SPHHS, said. “There is a general understanding that we, the administration and the Faculty Senate [have.]”

Goldman, who took over as dean in August, inherited the problem from her predecessors.

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 on tenure-track. According to the report, only 67 percent of faculty members in SPHHS are tenured or on tenure-track this year. This number is higher than it was in 2008, when 42 percent of SPHHS professors held these distinctions.

Goldman said the school is on track to reach 71 percent of SPHHS faculty members to have tenure or be on tenure-track by the end of the year.

The report, released by the Joint Senate Subcommittee of Professional Ethics & Academic Freedom and Fiscal Planning & Budgeting Committees, raises several concerns for the school.

Professor Edward Cherian, the chair of the committee, declined to comment further on the report, as it will not be made public.

“We’re not a huge gap away from 75 percent and we do have a plan for getting there, but it won’t happen overnight,” Goldman said.

The Faculty Code additionally states that the number of regular, active-status faculty serving in tenure-accruing positions should not be less than 50 percent in any one department. Goldman said almost every department in SPHHS meets the 50 percent threshold.

In May, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution requiring the dean of SPHHS to develop procedures that bring the school into full compliance with this part of the Faculty Code no later than Dec. 31. Goldman is also required to submit a report to the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee no later than Jan. 31, 2011, detailing the steps the school will take to achieve compliance with the procedures.

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