Geisel Faculty, Staff to Learn Soon About Employment Status

Faculty and staff at the Geisel School of Medicine today learned that they would be notified within the next several weeks about potential changes in their employment status as a result of reorganization of the medical school.

Geisel School of Medicine sign
(Photo by Robert Gill)

During the week of April 18, chairs of the clinical departments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, accompanied by human resources representatives, will meet with employees whose job status will be affected. Employees whose status will not be affected will also be notified during the week, Geisel Interim Dean Duane Compton wrote in a letter sent today to all employees.

“Thank you for your commitment to Geisel and for your patience during our strategic transformation process. As you know, over the past year, leadership teams and working groups across Dartmouth have been engaged in a difficult decision-making process regarding Geisel’s future,” wrote Compton.

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Changes in employees’ status will take effect on June 30. Compton wrote that “only a small fraction of the employees outside of our clinical departments will experience a change in employment status.” The majority of all affected employees are expected to receive employment offers from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) health system.

“I expect that the large majority of those individuals will find employment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and a very, very small minority will ultimately not have employment at either institution,” John Birkmeyer, D-H executive vice president and chief medical officer, said at a March 22 town hall at D-H’s main campus in Lebanon, N.H.

The reorganization allows the school to enhance its research capabilities and provide a more innovative and integrated education to the school’s medical students. Geisel and D-H officials have been discussing the future of the medical school for more than two years, and Geisel employees have attended a number of meetings held to discuss proposed changes.

The reorganization will shift jobs in the clinical practice of psychiatry and clinical research from Geisel to D-H. Geisel will focus its investment on research programs in five basic science departments (biochemistry, biomedical data science, epidemiology, microbiology and immunology, and a newly formed department of integrated biology). The Department of Medical Education, which was created last month, will focus exclusively on the teaching and education of medical students. The changes also address a structural financial deficit that, if unchecked, could soon exceed $30 million a year, according to Geisel leaders.

Dartmouth human resources staffers will be available to answer questions about what the changes mean for employees. In addition, the College has contracted with the employment firm Lee Hecht Harrison to provide services for Dartmouth employees needing employment assistance. At no charge, the firm’s services will be available in Hanover for a period of time, and then through the firm’s regional offices, the closest of which are in Manchester, N.H., and Boston and Framingham, Mass.