The University Record, March 25, 1998

Clinical faculty are official members of executive faculty at Medical School

By Rebecca A. Doyle

The Regents voted unanimously last week to revise Regents Bylaw 11.13, enabling Medical School clinical faculty and research scientists to be included as members of the executive faculty.

Provost Nancy Cantor presented the request to the Regents, noting that Medical School faculty had previously voted to include the two tracks of faculty members in the voting ranks at the School, and that they had been voting members of the faculty for some time. Since the Medical School is the only one of the University's schools and colleges that does not have its own set of bylaws, the matter must be brought before the Regents for approval.

Cantor also made it clear that being a voting member of the Medical School faculty meant that the researchers and clinical faculty would be "accorded membership privileges in terms of voting rights, but not privileges to vote for or be a member of the University Faculty Senate or the Medical School Executive Committee," as is stated in the handbook at the Medical School.

Cantor explained that the clinical II faculty and primary researchers are hired by the Medical School with at least a 50 percent appointment. All are teaching faculty and all work in a clinical setting.

"It is very important to note that there is a growing sense among the deans, the faculty and the administration that a discussion is needed about faculty rights and privileges and faculty governance," Cantor said. She told the Regents that the Bylaw change to include primary researchers and clinical faculty would not be "carved in stone," and that she expected discussion to take place over the next year that might necessitate its return to the Regents.

Louis D'Alecy, chair of the Senate Assembly Committee on University Affairs (SACUA), asked on behalf of Senate Assembly that the item be tabled, giving the faculty more time to discuss the implication of adding substantially more members to the voting faculty at the University.

He said that tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University are committed to the University's mission of teaching, research and service, but he objected to giving clinical faculty full faculty privileges because "practicing medicine is not equivalent to being a faculty member."

President Lee C. Bollinger told the Regents and D'Alecy that he is "sorry there is a disagreement between SACUA and the administration, but in this case we do respectfully disagree." Bollinger said he is aware that there are serious issues about the composition of the faculty and that it is a very important question.