The Memorandum and Clinical Faculty Progress Towards Resolution

PDAD&C #40, 2002-2003

M E M O R A N D U M

TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Faculty Members and Librarians, University of Toronto
FROM:   Shirley Neuman, Vice-President and Provost
DATE:   February 5, 2003

I write to update you on discussions between the University of Toronto and UTFA regarding clinical faculty and the Memorandum of Agreement. Most importantly, we feel we are very much closer to finding resolution than we were following UTFA's initial response last May to the Report of the Task Force on Clinical Faculty.

Indeed, UTFA President George Luste has been clear in his position that he believes that UTFA and the University share the goal of preserving academic freedom for clinical faculty. As you know, clinical faculty and their leadership at the nine teaching hospitals are unequivocal in their support of the Task Force Recommendations and wish to see those recommendations implemented in a timely manner. Feedback I have received from many of you reflects your own belief in the right of self-determination by your clinical colleagues.

Therefore, and with full confidence in UTFA's stated commitment to working with the Administration on a timely resolution to these issues, I have withdrawn the notice of termination of the Memorandum of Agreement with respect to clinical faculty. I do so in order to remove all concerns about process and allow us to focus on the critical issue at hand - moving forward with implementation of the Task Force recommendations in a timely and consultative manner.

My withdrawal of the Dec. 19th letter means that all articles of the Memorandum are in force and will remain so after July 1. This is consistent with my stated intention in my letter to UTFA to preserve the Memorandum intact for faculty.

The need to address the recommendations of the Report of the Task Force on Clinical Faculty remains urgent and UTFA acknowledges this. The University's Administration maintains a deep commitment to the principle of academic freedom for all faculty, including clinical faculty (we note that it is the first characteristic of public research universities described in the "green papers" on academic planning). The Task Force's recommendations provide a mechanism for dealing with this. In addition, negotiations of the alternate funding plans with the Ministry of Health would provide funding that recognizes the very significant contributions that clinical faculty make to undergraduate and graduate medical education. We're pleased with UTFA's commitment to expedite this process.

I trust that this step will allow us as an institution to focus our attention on the many opportunities and challenges before us at this moment.