UTMB Faculty Senate

December 10, 2018


The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Dr. Lynne Hughes, Faculty Senate Chair. 


Dr. Hughes briefly informed the Executive members of the Senate have meetings with Dr. Bhardwaj where they exchange information.  Update, Dr. Sukal who presented last month, will send in a new You Count Results report, this one will not include APP.

FCIP Update – Phil Strzalka, Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group     

Mr. Strzalka also invited Lee Smith, Director, Huron Consulting Group, to attend.  Mr. Strzalka presented the Senate with a 23 page PowerPoint, which provided an update on the UTMB process for reviewing the FCIP and also included results from the recent all faculty survey regarding the FCIP.  Here are some highlights from his presentation.

The Objectives:

1.  Provide an update on the progress within the Institutional Faculty Compensation Committee (IFCC), led by Dr. Carolyn Utsey and the Faculty Compensation Incentive Plan (FCIP) work teams.

2.  Based on faculty, committee and work team feedback, present the FCIP component guideposts.          

3.  Receive any suggested communication needs for the faculty at large.

4.  Present a summary of the all-faculty compensation survey.

He noted that the general plan structure and design guideposts were developed by IFCC to give direction to the Work Teams as the consider components of the plan.  He reviewed a slide demonstrating individual fixed, individual variable and department incentive components adding up to a faculty member’s total compensation. He made the point that total compensation will always be aligned to market benchmarks by mission to support the payment of market competitive compensation.  He then laid out IFCC established guideposts in the administrative effort, pay for work in multiple missions, flexibility among departments and schools and compensation adjustments.  He then updated the Faculty Senate on the current status of the work teams defining effort by mission. 


Finally, Mr. Strzalka noted that there are data or process challenges which prevented certain analysis to be completed.  He presented a number of examples such as Instructors for specific lab sections not being readily identified. As a result, IFCC requested that the Work Teams recommend process and standardization to improve data quality and application. The goal would be to not track or obtain more information than was necessary and to eliminate manual entry and duplication of work by integrating one primary source of record. 


Meeting attendees then asked a number of questions or provided input into the general plan structure or guideposts established by IFCC. There were a number of comments regarding application to various mission specific scenarios. One participant asked about the percentage allocated to each of the components – individual fixed, individual variable and department incentive. Mr. Strzalka indicated that the percentages were to be discussed by the Work Teams but pointed to the all faculty survey which had a question asking faculty how they would divide the percentage of compensation among these components.  Mr. Strzalka showed the results of the question which indicated that faculty in aggregate indicated 80% fixed/administrative title and 20% incentive/variable.  He noted that the department incentives are generally set around 5%.

 Upcoming OPEN FORUMS are being planned for the following dates and times. To present: Dr.  Bhardwaj, Phil Strzalka, and Dr. Utsey.  The Leads from each of the Work Team will be present  to answer questions if they are able to attend according to their schedules.

               Thursday, December 20, (12 – 1 pm) Levin Hall

               Wednesday, January 16, (5 – 6 pm) Levin Hall

Mr. Strzalka stated that the hope is for the forum in January to be the last one, then IFCC and the Academic Enterprise Core Team will finalize recommendations for modification, if any, and send to Dr. Callender, then Legal needs to review and then final approval must be obtained from the Board of Regents in February. We anticipate individual faculty meetings to take place after Dr. Callender approves.  The plan is for any modifications to be effective September 1, 2019.

         Faculty Compensation Survey (Key Findings and Recommendations)

 The survey had a 63% participation rate, which was launched to understand the faculty view of the current compensation plan in three primary areas:  General, Compensation and Mission Specific.

         Key impressions of the FCIP

         1. Respondents are concerned about the FCIP’s ability to accurately measure and reward performance.

2. Faculty interpret the FCIP focus on revenue generation as a sign that leadership undervalues education and research – core elements to a research university.  Respondents worry this incentive plan may not align faculty efforts with the university missions.

         In addition, faculty observe the FCIP appears to…

         Be more punitive than rewarding; Offer incentives that are too low or difficult to be “worth the effort;”

         Be confusing and not transparent or equitable; and Undervalue education & research and overvalue RVUs.

         Organizational Goals (Most Important Organizations Objectives)

         The faculty feel that the top 3 are:  Improve Clinical Outcomes; Improve Educational Mission; and Enhance Research Funding. 

         Department and Division Goals (Importance of Objectives to Department or Division)

The faculty feel that the top 3 are: Retaining current faculty members; Recruiting new/additional faculty; and Increasing educational and research funding.

Finally, in reviewing the survey results.  Mr. Strzalka noted that there was an opportunity to provide open-ended responses.  He noted that there were themes that UTMB could not solve with compensation.  He highlighted the fact that the institution had a number of other initiatives under way to address these concerns which faculty should be engaged in.

         UTMB Current State (Heavy Workloads & Strained Resources)

  • Faculty expressed concern about their ability to balance high clinical demands with other elements of their jobs as faculty members, including education and research.
  • According to faculty, administration’s incentives continue to increase emphasis on clinical productivity. (i.e., maximizing RVUs from clinicals appears to be incentivized above all other work efforts.)
  • Faculty report feeling frequently overextended in understaffed environments.

v  Faculty describe difficulties of meeting increasing clinical, administrative, educational, and research responsibility, particularly when departments are understaffed.

v  Heavy workloads also leave faculty little time for professional development.

  • Faculty say increases in responsibilities are not adequately supported or compensated.

v  Increases in responsibilities are not always coupled with increased support, leading to “burnout” and feeling “discouraged.”  This is particularly true for education & research, the quality of which suffers when faculty are overstretched and under-resourced.

Mr. Strzalka then heard questions ranging from topics involving Administration’s Objectives, to APP models, Teaching effort, to Researchers funding levels.  One participant noted that it appears that this plan would require Researchers to need to have 2 RO1’s. Mr. Strzalka indicated that that topic had been discussed.  One participant asked if they would go to the Departments and share with them the final revised plan and compare it to the last one and demonstrate individual impact.  Mr. Strzalka said that was going to be a step in the process.  He highlighted the shadow period which will allow for adjustment.  A statement from a Senator, “we are seeing more patients, getting paid less than five years ago and how can we recruit new faculty when there is potential for them to lose money?”

Dr. Hughes thanked Mr. Strzalka and Mr. Smith and asked if the Senators had any questions that they wanted to ask but since we ran out of time, could they email. Mr. Strzalka stated that Dr. Hughes could give the Senators his email. pstrzalka@huronconsultinggroup.com

Committee Reports

Research Committee brought up FCIP and that the new version will not help with burnout; Web of Science is going away, and iSpace is going away and will check to see what the replacements will be.

University Committee brought up endowments with 50% of the money put toward salaries; they will review further.

Education Committee wanted to hear an update from the IPE committee.

Clinical Committee wants to check on the payor mix and institutional comparisons and will bring back to the Senate.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 pm.