UNC-Chapel Hill is a place known for its collegiality and collaborative spirit. Interviewees and survey responses highlighted a need for continued and improved communication and transparency to ensure members support the overall mission and strategic goals, and to foster a positive outlook.
One area of concern was the number of faculty, in that interviewees reported that some specialties were understaffed, and received insufficient clinical and administrative support.
On the related issue of faculty productivity and rewards, some saw a mismatch between faculty effort and the needs of the department, a consequence of insufficient communication about expectations to faculty. The analysis highlighted variation across divisions on a number of dimensions, including mix of effort across the missions.
Finally, it was noted that while the level of fundraising has increased in recent years, the Department of Pediatrics receives less funding from philanthropy than other leading departments of pediatrics; this is seen as an area of opportunity.
A Departmental Compensation Workgroup was established to better define expectations and rewards for faculty; divisions will also define more explicitly how they will contribute to the overall departmental plan.
A review of the development and fundraising operation was recommended to identify opportunities for increased philanthropic support.
Priorities and Initiatives
Strategic Priority 1: Set clear expectations for faculty with concomitant rewards
- Expectations surrounding faculty productivity (in the areas of clinical care, research and education) should be made clear, with a compensation model that rewards productivity.
- Expectations should be standardized within each division and across the Department of Pediatrics, with the understanding the there are many situations where expectations may need to be adjusted to accommodate special circumstances.
Strategic Priority 2: Establish divisional strategic plans for achieving departmental goals
In order to produce thoughtful plans for the future, division chiefs will present annually a strategic summary regarding their division’s activities during the previous year as well as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of the coming year. The strategic summary should include:
- Opportunities for progress and collaboration in key areas
- Quality improvement initiatives
- Appropriate metrics by which to measure success
- Opportunities for new multidisciplinary approaches to clinical care, advocacy, research and education
Strategic Priority 3: Support and enhance faculty career development
- Support a new, multifaceted Faculty Development Program to optimize the environment for career and academic success for all faculty, regardless of mission focus, to be supervised by the Vice Chair for Faculty Development. The program will aim to be a model within and beyond the School of Medicine. Charges of the program include:
- Provide faculty with support, direction and intentional academic guidance through collaboration with experienced mentors who will facilitate appropriate academic progress.
- Stimulate development of successful career plans based on mission focus.
- Facilitate productive networking and collaborative partnerships.
- Provide written feedback for faculty members, Division Chiefs and Department Chair.
- Implement a Leadership Development program to provide individualized learning opportunities and emphasize “vertical” (developmental stages) development rather than “horizontal” (competencies) opportunities.
- Connect faculty members with existing leadership development opportunities at UNC and in the Southeast region, provide the resources needed to participate.
- Create position within the Faculty Development office to proactively address diversity within the Department of Pediatrics.
Strategic Priority 4: Seek mechanisms for increased communication across the Department of Pediatrics
- Publicize the new mission statement and strategic plan in order to communicate an inspiring outlook and direction for the Department of Pediatrics
- Communicate regularly to the Department of Pediatrics about the progress of the strategic plan and request feedback regularly
- Identify space for faculty to interact, such as a faculty lounge
- Identify spaces for communication with residents on each of the units
- Celebrate successes of faculty at departmental and School of Medicine meetings and in newsletters
Strategic Priority 5: Increase philanthropic support for the Department of Pediatrics
Increase collaboration with the N.C. Children’s Promise development group and clarify departmental strategic priorities on which to focus fundraising efforts.