While other schools are freezing hiring, GW’s medical school is rapidly looking to expand.
The School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Medical Faculty Associates are trying to fill 32 faculty positions, making up more than half of all the open faculty positions GW has posted on its jobs website.
The departments of surgery and obstetrics and gynecology are making the most hires, searching for four faculty members as part of the MFA. Those hired will also have teaching responsibilities in the medical school.
Only three of the open positions are for departments that are based solely out of the school and have no affiliation with the MFA.
Donald Karcher, the chair of the department of pathology, said the increase in the number of hires was partially because of curriculum changes that began this fall. He said GW needed more faculty to coincide with a stronger focus on interdepartmental work and emphasis on smaller class sizes.
“More small group teaching requires more contact hours on the part of the faculty,” he said.
Other departments, like the department of dermatology, which hired a new chair in the spring, have had to add more faculty as they’ve grown, Karcher said.
The hiring blitz has followed years of steady increases to the number of faculty in the school. Thomas Jarrett said when he first came to GW, the department he now chairs only had one faculty member. The urology department now has 12, and nine are faculty members in the medical school.
“We’ve gone from a relatively obscure department to getting referrals from all over the area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia,” he said.
Anne Banner, executive director for communications at the school, said SMHS was adding faculty so the school could reach its strategic goals.
“The GW SMHS is hiring to meet the demand needed to support the missions of the academic medical center, which are education, research and clinical care,” she said.
The school also has listed 12 open research positions at a time when SMHS is hoping to raise $50 million for research. The school also aims to pull in $50 million for faculty hires.
SMHS’s goal of raising a total of $225 million is the largest out of any other school in the University’s $1 billion campaign.
The medical school, which is the most selective in the country, is ranked No. 60 for research by U.S. News & World Report.
Other schools at GW are being forced to cut down on hiring this year. Only five searches for new faculty are in progress in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, which typically has added up to 20 new faculty members in past years.
The University is also searching for alternative sources of revenue and ways to cut costs across schools to make up for a $20 million shortfall in last year’s budget. The medical school has its own charter and budget system, which meant it was not affected by the cuts.
GW plans to hire between 50 and 100 faculty as part of its decade-long strategic plan.
This article appeared in the October 16, 2014 issue of the Hatchet.