Emails released under the state Freedom of Information Act reveal discussions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
about how to terminate tenure-track and tenured faculty.
The emails predate the Jan. 8 announcement of the terminations of 600 positions, including 258 people. We have asked UAMS if the emails apply to future terminations or those that have already occurred, and will update when we get a response.
When the terminations were announced, UAMS said employees were given 30 days notice unless they were under contract that allowed for greater time.
On Jan. 5, UAMS' chief legal counsel Mark Hagemeier notified College of Medicine administrators that first year non-tenured, tenure-track faculty should be given notice "now (or up to March 1 at the latest) for a June 30, 2018, termination point. On the more than two-year faculty, 12 months' notice is appropriate."
Hagemeier's email was in response to two queries from Dr. Jeanette Shorey, the associate provost for faculty and a professor in the College of Medicine, on how to date "letters of non-reappointment" for tenure-track in their first and second years of service. Shorey asked, "may the non-reappointment letter be dated in January and their job terminated 3 months later? Or must we respect the date in [board policy] 405.1 for faculty in their first year of service – deliver the letter by March 1 and the terminal employment date is June 30, 2018?
"And for tenure track faculty who have worked for the University more than 2 years – they get 12 months’ notice. May the letter be dated in January 2018 with the terminal employment date in January 2019 (e.g., non-reappointment letter dated January 8, 2018 with terminal employment date January 7, 2019)?"
UAMS Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner has called a "town hall" with employees on Jan. 18 to talk about RIF and "rumors":
Dear UAMS Family,
Following the announcement Monday of the elimination of positions, rumors began circulating and continue to multiply. That’s certainly understandable in light of what has happened and the sadness we are all experiencing in the loss of many of our colleagues. Unfortunately, this type of speculation takes its toll on employee morale, and so I think it’s important that we address it and have an open dialog.
I hope you will join me and other senior leaders for a Town Hall meeting at noon, Thursday, January 18, in the Fred W. Smith auditorium of the Jackson T. Stephens Spine Institute. We will be broadcasting the event to our remote locations and will make it available for employees to watch from their desktops. If you choose to join us in the auditorium, please feel free to bring your lunch with you. More information about the Town Hall, and how to connect, will be available in UAMS Announcements.
We are continuing our efforts to help those employees whose positions were eliminated with their job search. Human Resources is providing outplacement services, and we have been in contact with other health care providers and other employers to see if openings they have would be a good fit for our displaced employees. We also held an internal job fair highlighting our nursing openings this week. We will continue to provide any assistance possible.
This is a very difficult time but working together, I know we will overcome our financial challenges and sustain UAMS into the future.
Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D