Revista chilena de anatomía
versión impresa ISSN 0716-9868
MONTES, Gregorio S.; CAVALLIERI, Angela C.; FAVARETTO, Patricia M. S. y DEL SOL, Mariano. AN EXPERIMENT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION OF ACADEMIC PRODUCTIVITY OF THE FACULTY STAFF AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAO PAULO, BRAZIL. Rev. chil. anat. [online]. 2002, vol.20, n.2, pp.215-230. ISSN 0716-9868. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-98682002000200018.
SUMMARY: The University of São Paulo compares favourably with a middle-ranking research university in the United States. Peer review at its School of Medicine is basically honest. However, in today's world of intense specialization, most medical subdisciplines are simply too small and close-knit to allow for objective peer review from within. Moreover, the biomedical sciences have come to the point where there is no real separation between the disciplines. Most university faculties are poorly paid public servants who have a job for life, and a salary paid by the government. In São Paulo, Brazil, state universities receive around 10% of the state taxes; sooner or later they will have to have something to show for it. Following three decades of very low wages, the present system pays salaries to non-productive staff and results in poor peer review of academic productivity. Our School of Medicine receives substantial support through a private foundation set up for that purpose. An efficient use of resources should include a budgetary system that provides the faculty staff with incentives to excel in academic activities. This has been obtained by complementing the low wages through the awarding of fellowships, grants and prizes (on top of salary) in order to raise the ceiling up to international standards. To spend part of the budget in complementing university faculties salaries would require special programs, including adoption of routines for regular assessment of academic productivity. Reliable performance indicators permitted the classification of faculty staff into quality categories in order to differentially complement their salaries according to productivity. The selection of individuals is based strictly on merit, with explicit guidelines helping the faculty to understand the criteria by which their requests will be judged. Budgetary priorities should be intended to enhance the ability to deliver high quality health care to patients and to provide medical education as a whole, and combine a more equitable distribution of clinical and basic research. Thus, several parameters were defined for monitoring productivity in health-related areas, including the activities of the Clinical Hospital's medical labour force, in addition to the formal academic career at the School of Medicine. Trends for performance indicators presented here can be useful to inform the decision process about policies directed at health science research, medical education and public health priorities, because the parameters employed were intended to extend the analyses of the results of academic activity (frequently based on publication outputs) to its educational impact and the quality of health care to patients. This evaluation program, and the resulting focused investments, have played an important role in boosting morale in the academic community by offering the right combination of pressure and incentives to allow dramatic improvement in productivity. The implementation of the evaluation method proposed here should, thanks to its objective approach, free Deans and managers of the usual political issues involved in decision-making
Palabras clave : Academic productivity; Academic performance; Academic evaluation; Incentive programs; Medicine.