In 2015 the Indiana University School of Medicine was awarded with a $250,000 grant for excellence in faculty career flexibility from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. IU School of Medicine was one of five medical schools in the nation to receive this award at ACE’s annual board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

The award was meant to recognize and reward medical schools demonstrating policies and promising practices that provide unbiased opportunities for work/life balance that can be adopted by a larger number of medical schools in the future.

IU School of Medicine was recognized for its innovative culture of support for faculty at all phases of the career life cycle, from recruitment to senior faculty and institutional leaders, by focusing on three main factors identified in previous research as critical to workplace flexibility: clarity of role expectations, social support for work-life demands and workplace schedule input.

Project Goals

Social Support

  1. Enhance recruitment across the institution and create a school-wide system for recruiting dual career couples
  2. Engage senior and emeritus faculty more regularly in opportunities for coaching and mentoring
  3. Investigate ways to increase support for dependent caregiving demands

Role Clarity

  1. Communicate policies and procedures through a web-based Work-Life Portal
  2. Revise faculty appointments and promotion and tenure criteria so expectations match work realities
  3. Clarify policies regarding part-time faculty and advocate for change in part-time faculty benefits and engagement

Schedule Control

  1. Promote opportunities to increase the use of technology for working and attending meetings remotely
  2. Partner with departments and clinical units to develop a shared understanding of preferences for work-life integration and the structure of work

Megan Palmer

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development