Understanding How Universities Work and the Needs of FacultyRobert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, CHMM, CPP, ARM Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Associate Professor of Occupational Health The University of Texas School of Public Health BackgroundEH&S programs play an important role withinuniversities, but….EH&S staff understanding and appreciation forhow universities work is often lacking Patently obvious from recurrent discussions in the UTS EH&S Academy courses and multiple EH&S program peer reviewsThe better we as a profession understand ourclients, the better service we can provide
Covey’s 5th Habit“seek to understand, then beunderstood” (The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People) ObjectivesDescribe the three main universityconstituencies, and the relative importance ofeachDescribe how a person becomes a facultymemberDescribe what a faculty member does, and howthey are measuredExplain the underlying basis for some of thecommon critiques of facultyDiscuss measures that can be taken by EH&Sprograms to improve services to faculty
Three Main ConstituenciesStudentsFacultyStaff (Administration)Who is most important?What group is “necessary and sufficient” toachieve the missions of the institution? University Core Missions Teaching Research Service Where do the funds come from to do this work?
Revenue at Public Institutions (from NACUBO Website) Major Current-Fund Revenue Sources for All Public Degree-Granting Institutions 100% 80% Other Percentage Distribution Federal Grants and Contracts 60% Tuition and Fees Sales and Services 40% State Appropriations 20% 0% 1980-81 1985-86 1990-91 1996-97 2000-01Source: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics 2003 . Revenue at Private Institutions (from NACUBO Website) Major Current-Fund Revenue Sources for All Private Degree- Granting Institutions 100% 90% 80%Percentage Distribution 70% 60% Other Endow ment Income 50% Private Gifts and Grants 40% Federal Grants and Contracts Sales and Services 30% Tuition and Fees 20% 10% 0% 1980-81 1985-86 1990-91 1995-96 Source: U.S Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics 2003.
What is it EH&S Wants from Faculty?Complete training, have staff trainedRead, understand and comply with rulesMaintain inventoriesFill out, return formsWork safelyReport events, accidents, injuriesClean up messesDispose of waste properlyServe as model for othersBecoming a Faculty MemberDevelop a keen interest and aptitude in anareaComplete terminal degreePost doctoral fellowship?Job search (Chronicle of Higher Education)Recruitment, promises?HiringContract, perhaps yearly or 5-7 yrs
Tenure Track vs. Non Tenure TrackFaculty positions come in two mainclassesTenure definition a statement by the university: “we place value on what you have to say” establishes securityFinite number of tenure track positionsNon tenure track positions can be added(or deleted) more easily Faculty HierarchyAdjunctInstructor, Lecturer, or ResearchAssociateAssistant ProfessorAssociate ProfessorProfessor
Faculty Hierarchy Non Tenure Tenure Track TrackAssistantProfessorAssociateProfessorProfessor How Faculty are Measured?Teaching Class taught, guest lectures, student evaluationsResearch Funded grants, scholarly (peer reviewed) publications, abstractsService Editorial boards, committees, advisory panels
Generic Process StepsSchool, school, school Seeking supportDissertation, defense who funds your kind of work?Post-doctoral trainingPost- what’s the business plan? what’Land faculty position what’s the science? what’ sign contract what will it cost? teaching, research, necessary reviews service Initial rejection (success rateStart up money? may be 1 in 3 or 1 in 4)Preliminary results? Re-apply, more forms Re- Remember, inherent Teach, service to research is failure Generic Process StepsNotification of award Renew, continue? not as much as you On track for promotion, needed tenure, career change? not coming when you need itPeriodic progress reportsEventual resultsInability to bank fundsSubmit for publication,critical review
Why Be a Faculty Member?Rewards of teachingExcitement and rewards of discoveryIntellectual stimulationElevated status by being associated withuniversityProfessional achievement Peer ReviewFaculty are “hard wired” for critical reviewScholarly work must be constantlydefended – it’s the basis of the processHence, faculty often apply critical review toother institutional aspects as wellExpect critical review, but don’t take itpersonallyAddress concerns and move on
Faculty FrustrationAnything that interferes with actualteaching, research, or service Interruptions Apparent bureaucracy Chores, meetings “Pushing down” of tasks Impediments to getting grants out the door The Great IronyResearch, by definition, is doing work thathas not been done beforeYet, funding agencies and institutionsdemand timelines and budgets to describehow this will be doneThus, from the onset, faculty are frustratedwith the process, yet it is essential tosuccess
Indirect Cost RecoveryThe cost of overhead negotiated betweenthe university and the funding agencyAn amount of money above and beyondthe direct cost of the researchA constant source of contention betweenfaculty and administrationFunds awarded to institution, but wouldn’thave been awarded without faculty effort Contracts vs. GrantsA “contract” is a business arrangement for thesupply of certain goods or services at a fixedpriceA “grant” is the formal bestowing or transfer offunds, in hopes that some societal benefit mayoccur (“cast money upon the waters…”)What about “grants” with “subcontracts in” or“subcontracts out”?
Pre-award and Post-awardPre-award processPre- Post award process Division, department, Award receipt school reviews and Account set up approvals Subcontracts in or out Scientific reviews Time and effort reporting Human subjects, animals, Expenditure reviews hazardous materials Progress reports Other collaborators and associated ICR, reviews Subcontractor compliance Cost sharing, waivers Renewals Deadlines terminations Promotion and TenureAt pre-determined time, faculty memberwill apply for promotion, tenure or both – ineffect “up or out”Teaching, research, service outcomesassessed by peers both internal andexternal to the universityVote (secret ballot?)Outcome – promotion or no promotion,tenure or no tenure
Conceptual TimelineAssume complete bachelors degree at age 22Pursue masters, doctorate: +6 yrsPost doctoral fellowship: +4 yrsFirst faculty job – sign 7 yr contract, by 5th yearwill be able to predict PT success or failureThat’s 15 years of career uncertainty! (now atage 37)If one fails, professional options greatly limited,given the time and effort investedTalk about stress!!!!! Other Faculty ComplaintsNot enough time – too many demandsGenuine love for one aspect, but impactsoutcomes in others –balance is important“Didn’t realize I would be a small businessoperator”Too much paperworkAbsence of “bridging funds”Interfering with academic freedomLack of mentoring
Common EH&S Complaints About FacultyLast minutePack ratIrritableDoesn’t complyConstantly criticizes policies“Creative”Typical Administrative Response to Client Concerns1 person - a fruitcake2 persons – fruitcake and friend3 persons – troublemakers5 persons – let’s have a meeting10 persons – we’d better listen25 persons – our dear friends50 persons – a powerful organization
Suggestions for EH&S ProgramsEnsure that every staff member understands theneeds of facultyInvite faculty to department to talk about theirwork and the challenges they faceMake the department apply for a grant or two,and manage it Even better if some portion of salary “put at risk” risk”Have department staff attend seminars and“research days” to see the outcomes of the workthey supportSuggestions for EH&S ProgramsHave director (and others if possible) getactive faculty positionsDesign systems with faculty challenges inmind – make it simple and non-invasiveSolicit faculty feedback – don’t assumeyou know what is best
SummaryThe faculty are key component of any institutionof higher learningThe challenges that face faculty are daunting –must constantly demonstrate success inteaching, research and serviceDevelop and understand of the faculty, anddesign systems with these needs in mindSolicit feedbackShow how your program furthers the mission ofthe institution!