On Campus

Teachers’ union investigates UAlberta medicine

Faculty complaints allege dean diverting resources from teaching into research

University of Alberta’s new Dean of Medicine, Philip Baker, is being accused of trying to alter faculty agreements by putting more focus on research and less on teaching.

James Turk, executive director for the Canadian Association of University Teachers, says several faculty members have complained about the dean. “The allegation is (faculty are being told) if you’re doing 30 per cent or less research, you’re not going to be doing enough research that you’ll ever get tenure so you better abandon the tenure track position,” Turk told the Edmonton Journal. “If it was understood when they were hired that 60 per cent of their time was going to be spent doing clinical work, 30 per cent teaching and 10 per cent research, then it’s not fair for another group of administrators to come along three years later and say, well, I’m sorry, the agreement we made when you were hired is no longer operative.”

Baker denies the allegations. “While I’ve been dean, we’ve given more tenure promotions to people who are getting those on the basis of education than on research,” he said. The university’s provost says CAUT, as a third party, does not have “any legal basis for even being involved in this discussion.”

CAUT’s findings are expected to be made public within nine months.

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