Job Changes for Employees at Geisel School of Medicine

The Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system (D-H) have embarked on a linked restructuring process that builds on a commitment to align their clinical, educational, and research activities.

Geisel School of Medicine
The Geisel School of Medicine’s administration building is located on Rope Ferry Road. (Photo by Robert Gill)

As part of this process, a number of faculty and staff members at Geisel are being notified this week that their positions at Dartmouth College will end on June 30. Most of these employees will be offered comparable positions at D-H. Approximately 30 Geisel employees will not be offered positions at either institution.

Geisel and D-H have worked closely for the past year to transfer the employment, financial responsibility, and operational support for research that has a specifically clinical basis, as well as the clinical practice of psychiatry, from the medical school to D-H, its clinical partner. The transformation anticipated on July 1, 2016, will strengthen the clinical academic enterprise at D-H, and promote enhanced collaboration between the two institutions.

“The challenges presented by today’s health care environment compel us to work more collaboratively than ever before with our strategic partners,” says Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon ’77. “By aligning research strengths and teaching expertise with resources, the strategic transformation of Geisel offers a future of focused excellence in education and basic science research, and a clear alignment with our strong and valued clinical partner. In addition, it offers a roadmap for developing the physician-leaders of the future and for maximizing Dartmouth’s impact in the world.”

The Geisel reorganization will help address a structural financial deficit that, if unchecked, could soon exceed $30 million a year, say College officials.

The reorganization will be most visible in the transfer of the clinical academic enterprise, including the clinical department of psychiatry, from the medical school to D-H. Reorganization has also occurred within departments and institutes that will remain within Geisel, including the five basic science departments, the new Department of Medical Education, and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Geisel’s restructuring takes place in the context of national efforts to address widely acknowledged problems in U.S. health care, significant reductions in federal research funding, evolving changes in American medical education, the promise of technology to transform research and therapies, and dramatic expansion in biomedical knowledge that is no longer bound by disciplinary silos.

“There isn’t a medical school in the country that isn’t grappling with the same set of challenges,” says Geisel Interim Dean Duane Compton. “These changes will position Geisel to improve physician training, medical education, and research. They will also allow for stronger collaboration between Geisel and D-H.”

Locally, faculty and staff will be affected in the following ways:

  • The majority of affected employees are expected to be offered employment by D-H. Approximately 30 individuals will not receive jobs offers from D-H and will not remain at Geisel.
  • Outside of Geisel clinical departments, only a small number of the medical school’s faculty and staff will experience a change in employment status.
  • There will be no change in faculty tenure commitments. 
  • Geisel’s restructuring will not change its academic affiliation with D-H or affect clinical research with Geisel’s other major clinical partner, the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
  • Also not changed will be academic status. Faculty titles and membership in graduate programs will continue for individuals who are active participants in the research and educational mission of the medical school.
  • Dartmouth’s Office of Human Resources is providing support for all affected employees and has contracted with the firm Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), to provide career transition services for Dartmouth employees needing assistance. These services, which are free of charge, will be available in Hanover for a period of time, with further assistance available online and in LHH’s regional offices in Manchester, N.H., and Boston and Framingham, Mass.
  • D-H Human Resources will hold a series of informational sessions beginning on April 21 and extending into May.

While most of the affected individuals will become employees of D-H or re-employed by the College, since this restructuring process involves the termination of employment by Dartmouth, the College is obligated by the federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Acts, or “WARN Acts,” to notify affected individuals 60 days in advance of their termination by the College.