A “large number” of faculty at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have signed a petition complaining about the school’s leadership, the head of the faculty senate said in an email Monday.
Richard Williamson, a law professor who is chair of the senate, sent the email to faculty assuring them anonymity if they signed and saying that the deadline for submitting copies of the petition is Friday, “in order to make a final report in a timely manner.”
Williamson’s email was the first official confirmation about the size of the protest. The medical school did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A copy of the petition obtained by The Herald stated that faculty decried the “failed leadership” of Dean Pascal Goldschmidt and Chief Operating Officer Jack Lord. “We want to make clear that the faculty has lost confidence in the ability of these men to lead the school.”
Earlier this month, Goldschmidt announced that Lord was “stepping down” as COO but gave no indication what he would be doing next. Last week, spokeswoman Lisa Worley said, “We are working on a transition with Dr. Lord, and it will be resolved in the near future.”
Several anonymous sources have said that the number of signatures has climbed to 700. Total faculty at the medical school is about 1,200. On Monday, a faculty senate spokeswoman said her office “nothing more to add” to the Williamson email. Williamson did not respond to a request for comment.
Williamson’s memo said faculty signing the petition “must include identifying information” but “we have gone to very considerable lengths to protect the anonymity of the petitioners. People who claim to have seen or received the ‘official list’ of those who signed are either misinformed or are being disingenuous, as no such list exists. Once the final report is complete, all petitions will be destroyed.”
Williamson told The Herald last month that only a small number of people had seen the signed petitions and none of them would talk about it.
“Please note that the fact that we serve as a conduit for a petition does not make the petition a Senate document,” Williamson wrote Monday. “Having said that, the Senate is very interested in the well-being of the Miller School of Medicine and its faculty. Indeed, our ad hoc Medical Committee has spent considerable time looking into problems at the School, has already provided one report that the Senate endorsed, and will present a follow-on report to the Senate’s General Welfare Committee shortly.”