November 22, 2016 Update

Greetings from the Senate! As brought up last year by Dr. Walker, Senate Leadership is working making our presence better known to faculty. This includes updating our webpage and getting this blog started.

Progress is being made in the Academic Time Initiative, put forth by the University of Texas System (UTS) Faculty Advisory Committee Health Affairs division. This Initiative is analyzing the nationwide issue facing academic health care institutions on the trend of moving clinician time and effort primarily to the profitable clinical mission, and away from research and education efforts. While we all know there’s no mission with no margin, the reason most faculty choose to practice in an academic setting is to contribute to these varied missions. The danger is that limiting clinicians to only clinical practice prompts some to leave academia for better paying private practice positions. The Initiative wants to put UT institutions on the map by taking the national lead on creating innovative ways to address this complex issue. This endeavor reflects Chancellor McRaven’s quantum leap to Win the Talent War by retaining and recruiting excellent faculty. Great strides have been made in the Initiative by joining with Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs (AAMC GFA) to co-sponsor the UTS Symposium on this topic as part of their Professional Development Conference July 13-16, 2017 in Austin.
While at this time the Initiative is focused primarily on physicians in clinical practice, I am hopeful that it will have a trickle down effect to other UTMB Schools. For example, in the School of Nursing and School of Health Professions most faculty are .9 education, without effort in clinical practice or research. Other missions and scholarship activities are fulfilled only by using personal faculty time.

David Niesel, PhD, Sr. VP and Chief Research Officer and Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was our guest for November. He updated Senators on the direction research is going at UTMB. The top priority areas are Neurodysfunction and Infection and Immunity. These are followed (in no special order) by Physical medicine & rehabilitation, Population health, Pulmonary and Cardiovascular, Burns, Diabetes, and Maternal fetal medicine. Other goals are to optimize the clinical research infrastructure, and expand imaging capabilities and informatics. Budget estimates have been worked out to align with UTMB priorities.

As always, the Senate is interested in faculty question and input. Please click the “Faculty Feedback” link to deliver a message straight to the Chair. We are here to represent you!

Dr. Suzanne Alton
School of Nursing