Geisel to lay off 30 employees amidst deficit concerns

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 4/19/16 5:19pm

Updated April 21, 2016 at 1:11 a.m.

This week, the Geisel School of Medicine began notifying employees whose employment statuses will change, the latest step in a series of measures aimed at accommodating the school’s budget deficit.

According to an email to employees from interim dean of the Geisel School of Medicine Duane Compton, human resource staffers and department chairs were scheduled to begin meeting with employees whose statuses will change yesterday. Some employees’ statuses may remain the same, but others will be left without a job after June 30 or be shifted to employees of the state via Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

While a majority of the Geisel employees to be let go will receive comparable offers from DHMC, about 30 Geisel employees will not be offered new positions at either Geisel or DHMC.

College spokesperson Justin Anderson said that he does not anticipate any further layoffs of this magnitude.

The clinical psychiatry department will be transferred from Geisel to DHMC and restructuring will also occur within existing Geisel departments.

In an email to the DHMC community on Tuesday, DHMC CEO and president James Weinstein wrote that the 182 employees of Geisel’s psychiatry department will become DHMC employees and 103 finance and operations employees will also be transferred. By July 2017, DHMC will be the awardee for all clinical research grants, Weinstein wrote.

In September, College President Phil Hanlon announced at a town hall meeting that Geisel would undergo an overhaul due to budget concerns. At the time, Compton shared that he had developed a three-year plan to stabilize the budget and reallocate the school’s resources. Currently, the medical school runs a $26 to $28 million annual deficit, which could soon exceed $30 million if left unchecked.

The restructuring process has been going on since Oct. 2013, Anderson said, when then-dean Wiley “Chip” Souba announced the launch of the Geisel budget improvement group. He added that he hopes that the changes will strengthen collaboration between Geisel and DHMC. In 2011, Souba announced the Geisel 2020 Strategic Plan for Excellence, with the goal of pushing Geisel into the ranks of the top 20 medical schools by the year 2020. On its 2016 best medical schools list, U.S. News and World Report ranked Geisel 37th for research and 29th for primary care.

Several medical schools across the country have faced deficit concerns and restructuring in recent years, including Harvard Medical School and Wayne State University Medical School.