by Mark Wheeler
City of Hope is establishing a new advisory body that has long been an established presence within academia: a faculty senate. Set to debut this month, its purpose is to formalize the input given by City of Hope’s doctoral-level faculty into the academic and research endeavors of the institution.
“We are borrowing the concept of ‘shared governance’ from the university setting,” said Jack Shively, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Immunology and associate dean of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences. Shared governance is the concept in which the faculty of a university actively participates with the administration in decisions about the operation of their institution. Shively and Robert Morgan, M.D., professor of medical oncology and chief of adult neuro-oncology, are spearheading a 14-member committee of seven research faculty and seven medical faculty that are finalizing the charter that will detail how the faculty senate will function.
“The time is long overdue to have an active faculty senate at City of Hope,” says Ted Krontiris, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for medical and scientific affairs and director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, who championed the idea. “Our M.D.s and Ph.D.s are the lifeblood here, they have enormous creativity, and it’s vital we have a system in place to make their voices heard.”
While still subject to final approval, plans call for the senate to be composed of about 140 faculty members in the professorial track, which ranges from assistant to full professors, with an executive committee of four research faculty members and four medical faculty members. The senate’s primary areas of responsibility will be fourfold: oversight of the graduate school and its curriculum; input into new areas of research to initiate; input into faculty hiring, promotions, appointments and grievances; and long-term strategic planning.
Morgan sees an additional benefit from the establishment of a faculty senate. “In the recent past, collaborations between the Beckman Research Institute faculty and faculty in the medical center have been increasing,” he said. “The establishment of a faculty senate will continue to serve to bring both groups closer together and strengthen the translational research that takes place here.”
The faculty senate will begin operation this month on a provisional basis, pending final approval from the administration and the board of directors.