Restructuring of academic tracks to create successful career paths for the faculty of rutgers biomedical and health sciences

Robert Wieder, Jeffrey L. Carson, Brian L. Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We report faculty affairs lessons from the formation and academic restructuring of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Our approach may be a blueprint for development of a new track system that can be adapted by other institutions, after consideration of their own special circumstances. Methods: We created new Appointments and Promotions guidelines consisting of one Tenure Track and four Non-Tenure Tracks, each with different missions. We restructured faculty performance evaluations to include mission-based criteria, an expanded rating scale, and specific expectations. After negotiating these new processes with our faculty union, we enacted central oversight to ensure uniform application of these processes and their associated criteria. We communicated the guidelines and the evaluation system widely. We created programs for universal mentoring, publishing education, diversity, and faculty development. Results: All faculty in our seven schools went through track selection. Anxiety and incomplete understanding improved after implementation. Evaluations with expectations for the following year and an expanded scale for more nuanced assessment served as mentoring tools. Requirements for mentor assignments and diversity education created an atmosphere of nurturing and inclusion. Publications, extramural support, and faculty satisfaction increased after implementation of the guidelines. Conclusion: Lessons included the need to review and learn from guidelines at other institutions, to create tracks that align with different jobs, the necessity for central oversight for uniform application of criteria, the need for extensive and frequent communication with faculty, and that fear of change is only reduced after evidence of success of a new structure. The most important lesson was that faculty rise to expectations when clear, ambitious criteria are delineated and universally applied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Healthcare Leadership
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Keywords

  • Academic restructuring
  • Faculty development
  • Faculty diversity
  • Faculty evaluations
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Faculty tracks

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