VP&S Launches Additional Initiatives to Support Faculty Careers

Over the past decade, VP&S has worked with input from faculty to create an environment that supports the success of all faculty. Two committees recently were convened to discuss specific career issues of special relevance to women and diverse faculty.

Lee Goldman, MD, executive vice president and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine, convened the Dean’s Advisory Committee for Women Faculty and the Dean’s Advisory Committee for Faculty Diversity & Inclusion in April 2018, asking committee members to develop recommendations that would strengthen ongoing efforts to be sure all faculty have equal opportunities for career success at VP&S. At a meeting with committee members earlier this year, Dr. Goldman reviewed the recommendations submitted jointly by the two committees, accepted them in full, and pledged to provide the resources needed to implement them. 

Chief among the recommendations is creation of an Office for Women and Diverse Faculty, which could open over the summer. 


The committees also recommended that the school:

  • Expand the work of successful faculty development programs, such as the Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society for Women Faculty and the Kenneth A. Forde Diversity Alliance.
  • Require each department to submit an annual diversity update.
  • Emphasize broad engagement with faculty and the VP&S community around issues of gender and diversity.
  • Further expand implicit bias training.
  • Seek funding to create an endowment to expand leadership training and other ongoing development programs for women and diverse faculty.

The committees also recommended that the dean strengthen the medical school’s existing successful initiatives, such as regular salary equity reviews, expanded parental leave, and work/life services, including child care options. 

Convening the committees was part of the medical school’s ongoing effort in recent years to be sure that career development needs of women, diverse faculty, and all faculty are well served. Earlier efforts have resulted in measurable progress. For example, 47% of faculty at VP&S are women compared with the national average of 39%. Even at the highest ranks, 29% of our professors are women compared with 25% nationally, and 35% of the medical school’s tenure-track faculty are women, well above our peer group of medical schools. Diverse faculty compose 11% of our faculty, compared with 8% nationally. Analyses also have been conducted to assure equivalent promotion rates and salary equity for women and men. VP&S has been a leading participant in ongoing university-wide efforts to recruit women and diverse faculty and recently committed another $50 million to these ongoing programs.

“We value equity, diversity, and inclusion at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons because an inclusive culture is important in educating the next generation of physicians and scientists, in culturally competent patient care, and in pursuing research that will change the practice of medicine for everyone. Our student body has been half women for many years, and our percentage of diverse medical students has been at the top of our peer group,” Dr. Goldman says. “The faculty committee members devoted considerable time, effort, and dedication to studying the issues as they relate to faculty and developing thoughtful recommendations. We have made much progress in recent years, but I enthusiastically support these recommendations to enhance our efforts and have committed the requested resources to be sure they are implemented expeditiously.”

More than 40 of the nearly 60 people on the committees are women faculty at the medical school. Both committees were supported by Anne Taylor, MD, the medical school’s vice dean for academic affairs, and the Office of Faculty Development, Diversity, and Inclusion. Dr. Taylor will be responsible for creating and operating the new Office for Women and Diverse Faculty.

“The work done by these two advisory committees—and Dr. Goldman’s immediate acceptance of their recommendations—reveals how strong our commitment is to implementing programs that will build upon the successes we have already achieved in ensuring fairness and equity in our faculty ranks,” says Dr. Taylor. “Research shows that diversity in teams improves problem solving and outcomes, and this is especially important at the research bench. One of our responsibilities and opportunities as a research institution is to train a generation of diverse researchers who will examine questions that have broad relevance and make sure the outcomes apply to all populations. Being inclusive is not just a value to aspire to; it’s necessary for cultivating the future of medicine.”

Watch a video about the work of the two new committees.