Senate Position Statement on Anti-Racism
We, as faculty, staff and students at Baylor College of Medicine live in the most diverse city in the nation. Likewise, the BCM community proudly reflects the diversity of Houston. The recent deaths of George Floyd and others have forced each of us to confront the issue of racism and social inequality in our homes, communities, and work environment. It is important that we use this opportunity to engage in inter-cultural and inter-racial dialogue that will increase awareness and understanding of the issue, as well as inspire action that will result in meaningful change. As clinicians, educators, researchers, and scientists, we have an influential voice that can be used to advocate for groups that have been marginalized, oppressed and disenfranchised in our society. Given the national and global response to recent events in our country, we cannot remain quiet.
The strength of the BCM community lies in each of us, irrespective of race, age, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, or ethnicity. It is our individuality, unique talents and different perspectives that create an environment that cultivates new ideas, spurs collaboration, and enhances knowledge. Therefore, we join the collective efforts of our partnering institutions to promote a culture of anti-racism in health care, education, research, and science. Now more than ever, it is important that we reflect on our BCM values of respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork and excellence as we continue to lead during this challenging time with compassion, empathy and love.
The Faculty Senate
June 15, 2020
Senate Position Statement on Chinese Visa Restrictions
Recently, the White House released a Presidential Proclamation calling for the blocking of entry into the United States of certain Chinese post-graduate students and postdoctoral trainees engaged in research, as well as a review of comparable Chinese J and F visa holders already in the U.S. We, the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, cannot support these restrictions on access to education, patient care, and scientific discovery by qualified individuals. This proclamation is significantly antithetical to the BCM’s multiracial and multicultural environment. Our Chinese students, faculty and researchers are critical to the success of Baylor College of Medicine and are valued by us.
We are here to support you in this difficult time. If any faculty, student, researcher or staff member experiences xenophobia, racism or discrimination, please reach out to your chair, senate representative, program director, dean, or anonymously to the Integrity Hotline (855-764-7292), Center for Professionalism or Ombuds Office. In our response, we pledge to uphold the values of respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork, and excellence that define Baylor College of Medicine.
The Faculty Senate
June 15, 2020
Faculty Senate Meeting Notes
Aug. 13, 2020
Senators welcomed their new and returning colleagues in the class of 2023 and quickly got down to business:
- In his COVID-19 update, Dr. James T. McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs, described three metrics to gauge Houston’s progress in the pandemic. The first is an effective reproduction rate or R(t) below 1.0 – meaning the virus spread is slowing – for 14 days. Fewer than 200 new cases per day for 14 days is another metric. The third is a test positivity rate of less than 5% for 14 days. The metrics are reported daily by the Texas Medical Center.
- Provost Alicia Monroe said that because the coronavirus hospitalization rate has stabilized, Baylor elected not to renew the ACGME emergency status that allowed residents and fellows to be reassigned to COVID-19-related patient care. She reported that the schools are delivering virtual standardized patient exams and didactic classes, while procedural skills simulation and anatomy labs are held in small groups on site. In the clinical environment, faculty resources have been developed to optimize safety and learner education.
- Dr. Eric Storch, professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, discussed mental health and wellness support available to the Baylor community. Faculty, staff and learners may access counseling services and a self-guided cognitive behavioral therapy app to help cope with anxiety and stress during the pandemic by calling (713) 798-0292. Free, parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy for children expressing anxiety and stress related to COVID-19 is available by calling (832) 206-4034.
- Dr. Nancy Moreno, chair of the Department of Education Innovation and Technology, described the new department as the academic home of education as a discipline. Its focus is educational research and scholarship, with translation and application of evidence-based practices to science, medicine and health professions education. The department will appoint and train up to 30 inaugural faculty members in the first two years.
June 11, 2020
- In response to recent events of concern, Senate Chair Christie Lincoln introduced two position statements for discussion at the meeting. One strongly promotes a culture of anti-racism, the other commits support to Chinese trainees and researchers at risk of visa restrictions. Senators discussed the statements during the meeting. The Senate voted June 12-15 to endorse both statements, which have been disseminated to the Baylor College of Medicine community and posted above.
- The Senators heard updates on the mission areas’ coronavirus recovery efforts. Addressing concerns about the rise in local COVID-19 cases, Clinical Affairs Dean Jim McDeavitt detailed the ways the College and the TMC are better prepared for the surge than they were in April, including good supplies of PPE, readily available testing, a proven ability to protect employees and trainees, established protocols and effective treatments for patients, and the comfort of knowing that contingency plans exist if the health system becomes overwhelmed.
- Research Dean Mary Dickinson reported that the main campus will be open three more hours a day to accommodate researchers starting June 15. Weekend lab access will be expanded as soon as possible. All Advanced Technology Core labs are open and research requiring surgical procedures is resuming with a new scheduling tool.
- Provost Alicia Monroe said teaching faculty should prepare to conduct all courses and lectures virtually. The Education Innovation Core's Keep Teaching webpage provides resources to enhance online course design and teaching methods. She asked that grand rounds, faculty meetings and conferences continue to be virtual so that teaching facilities can be reserved for in-person courses following social distancing guidelines.