Key Takeaways from RWJMS – 2019 AAMC Standpoint Survey

As most of you are aware, the Rutgers-RWJMS administration just released the results of an independent survey conducted by the AAMC that sought to determine the views of faculty toward the governance of our medical school. Results from the Standpoint Survey were recently presented in a series of town-hall meetings, where the administration acknowledged the many areas of concern that were raised by faculty in their responses.

We are currently negotiating with the administration on your contract, a process that has dragged on now for more than a year. Although not specifically addressed in the survey, we believe that the apparent unwillingness of the administration to provide RWJMS faculty with the same terms and conditions found in recent agreements with your colleagues in other Rutgers faculty units, as well as other reasonable provisions, contributes to the evident discontent. We hope that the administration will take the many areas of concern that our faculty expressed to heart, and will come to the negotiating table with a renewed motivation to complete a fair and equitable contract.

Below is a summary of some of the key takeaway points from this survey and how they relate to specific issues we are negotiating with the administration. We believe it will be difficult to make progress on faculty morale and other issues when the administration insists on contract proposals that could, for example, decrease pay, underfund professional development, and negatively impact work/life balance.

Overall: only 52% are “satisfied with the medical school as a place to work”, compared to 74% of those surveyed at peer group medical schools and 68% in all cohort schools surveyed.

Compensation: One area where faculty expressed strong dissatisfaction is in the area of compensation. Only 41% are “satisfied or strongly satisfied” with their overall compensation. In the area of incentives (bonuses), satisfaction was only 19%. This to us is strong evidence that we need a fair and equitable contract that fixes systematic inequities and funds incentive programs adequately. If you agree, please sign our petition at https://nothingless4rbhs.org/what-we-are-fighting-for/equity/

RWJMS Medical School Governance: Faculty feel that school-wide governance is poor, especially in areas of communication and transparency. Given that interim Dean Robert Johnson has been with the school less than a year, we take this to be more of a reflection of the Chancellor and his leadership performance.

We also hope that the Administration draws the correct lessons from the report. Low marks concerning “communication” clearly show that faculty are frustrated with the lack of shared governance and generally feel that their voice is being ignored. Scores concerning the involvement of faculty in decision-making are also low.

In our contract negotiation, we propose a committee to evaluate inequitable compensation and to permanently monitor the issue going forward. The RBHS Faculty Council recommended the same. We are also strongly advocating for faculty to play a larger role in the upcoming RWJBH alignment.

Faculty Recruitment and Diversity: Retention and recruitment of faculty were identified as areas of concern by the faculty. We compare favorably to cohort and peer groups in terms of recruiting and retaining faculty members based on race/ethnicity. However, we do poorer when compared to these groups on recruiting and retaining female faculty members. Many medical schools are revamping maternity/paternity leave policies to attract new talent. We have proposed such a policy. If you would like to express your support of this to the administration, please sign our petition at http://nothingless4rbhs.org/familyleave 

Annual meeting: We want to hear from you and get you involved in bettering our school. Come to our annual meeting Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6pm in CAB 1302. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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As of July 1, 2013, based on the integration of SOM with Rowan University and the integration of the remaining units of the former UMDNJ with Rutgers University (as per the New 
Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act as of 2012) AAUP-UMDNJ became AAUP-BHSNJ.

 Faculty and Librarians of the former UMDNJ at both Rutgers and Rowan (and those hired into units of the former UMDNJ) are now part of the Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey American Association of University Professors unit, AAUP-BHSNJ.