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June 03, 1981 - Image 1

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-06-03

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e Micigan ai

Vol. XCI, No. 20-S

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Wednesday, June 3, 1981

Sixteen Pages

'U' therapy
program
targeted for
elimination

PHYSICAL THERAPY CURRICULUM Director, Richard Darnell,
discusses the Medical School dean's recommendation to discontinue the
program which supplies 36 of the state's 87 physical therapists each year.
ed school prom otes
our wit out tenure

By ANDREW CHAPMAN
The University Medical School has
stirred up considerable controversy
among faculty over its recent
promotion of four assistant professors
to associate status without the
customary benefits of tenure.
Some faculty say this method of
promotion will upset the University's
entire tenure system.
"WITH THIS system the chairman of
a given department would have no
restraints on who he hired," said Dr.
Bruce Friedman, a professor of
pathology and member of the Senate
Advisory Committee on University Af-
fairs. "This could sabotage the whole
tenure system," he said.
Others have expressed concern that
promoting faculty to associate status
without the job security of tenure
leaves them open to being fired at any
time.
But the medical school promotions
were not a way of skirting the tenure
system, according to Dr. Robert Reed,
the school's associate dean. The
promotions were made, he said,
"because of budgetary reasons."
THE FEAR among some medical
school faculty members is that this type
of promotion may continue and even-
tually bypass the entire tenure system,
Friedman explained. "The concept of
tenure is that it gives the faculty the
autonomy to research or give un-

popular opinions without the fear of
losing their jobs," he said.
Under this system of promotion, he
continued, non-tenured associate
professors would be in constant jeopar-
dy of losing their jobs. "They would
have none of the security that tenure of-
fers."
Officials say at least two recipients of
the controversial promotions were ap-
proaching their seventh year at the
University-the last year for tenure
review. Medical School authorities
refused to release the names of the non-
tenured associate professors.
Reed claimed the four promoted
faculty were not denied tenure because
of questionable quality as professors.
"Their records are very good," he said.
Mort Brown, chairman of SACUA,
said University Vice President Bill
Frye reviews all promotion recom-
mendations, but he cannot review each
as carefully as he would like because
"more than a hundred names come up
for tenure review" each year.
BROWN ADDED that SACUA is
"vigilantly watching such procedures,"
and that it is "opposed to such a
procedure."
Other schools at the University also
promote faculty to non-tenured
associate professors, Friedman said.
"If a school wants to recruit a faculty
person for a position, but they want
See SOME, Page 10

By NANCY BILYEAU
and
ANN MARIE FAZIO
After extensive review, University
Medical School Dean John Gronvall has
recommended the discontinuance of the
University's physical therapy training
program, according to a statement
released yesterday.
The proposal to discontinue the
program-which supplies 36 of the
state's 87 physical therapy graduates
each year-was made last Friday to
University Vice-president for
Academic Affairs Bill Frye for further
review and possible consideration by
the University Regents.
This recommendation tops a three-
year struggle for increases in financial
and administrative support for the
program from the University, accor-
ding to Physical Therapy Curriculum
Director Richard Darnell.
CITING A "decade of neglect"
primarily due to the University's
stronger commitment to medical doc-
tor training and research, the
program's faculty requested that either
the physical therapy program "be
operated within the current educational
realities or be discontinued in an or-
derly and equitable fashion," according
to Darnell.
A joint program of the LSA college
and the Medical School, the two-
semester physical therapy program
graduates approximately 36 students
every year, and currently has six
faculty members.
ACCORDING TO Gronvall's recom-
mendation, the program is "not central
to the mission of the medical school"
and its elimination would not "adver-
sely affect the hospital's ability to
provide physical therapy services to its
patients."
Following the chairman of the
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation's
January 1980 recommendation that the
program be discontinued, a special
Medical School committee reviewed
appropriate documents and conducted
interviews and state-wide surveys to
assess the program's role.
Committee members concluded that
although physical therapy graduates
and faculty are rated "average," the
program provides some service value

to the University Hospital and "a
greater perceived value to the state as
a manpower resource."
THE COMMITTEE unanimously
recommended that the program be con-
tinued with additional University sup-
port, stating that expansions must oc-
cur in areas of content, faculty appoin-
tments, and additional funds.
"If no additional funds are commit-
ted, the committee recommends the
program be discontinued now to avoid
further program deterioration," an
executive summary report stated.
Both University and state officials
cited a severe state-wide shortage of
physical therapists as a strong reason
to continue and improve the prograi.
. RANDALL PHILLIPS, a chief nurse
consultant for the Michigan Depar-
tment of Public Health, said many state
health facilities have a "hard time
recruiting qualified, professional
staff."
Many universities try to discontinue
health programs due to their expense,
Phillips said, despite the short supply of
all health care personnel - except
physicians.
According to Marcia Wightman,
director of physical therapy at Univer-
sity Hospital, there were more than
60,000 job openings for physical
therapists across the country in 1980.
Darnall said there are only 46,000
physical therapists nation-wide filling
those vacancies.
Darnell claims that the program's
deterioration is due to the fact that
neither the LSA college nor the Medical
School feel enough commitment or
responsibility for physical therapy.
The "focus of (physical therapy)
curriculum faculty is on teaching in-
stead of research and revenue
producing activities," according to the
Physical Therapy Program Discon-
tinuance Review Committee report.
"The physical therapy faculty, unlike
other physical medicine and
rehabilitation faculty, do not bring in
funds from patient care," the report
said.
"WE ARE ependable," Darnell
said.
Recent physical therapy graduate
Vince Elie was not surprised by the
See MED DEAN, Page 9

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