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1.  Contextual adaptation of the Personnel Evaluation Standards for assessing faculty evaluation systems in developing countries: the case of Iran 
Background
Faculty evaluations can identify needs to be addressed in effective development programs. Generic evaluation models exist, but these require adaptation to a particular context of interest. We report on one approach to such adaptation in the context of medical education in Iran, which is integrated into the delivery and management of healthcare services nationwide.
Methods
Using a triangulation design, interviews with senior faculty leaders were conducted to identify relevant areas for faculty evaluation. We then adapted the published checklist of the Personnel Evaluation Standards to fit the Iranian medical universities' context by considering faculty members' diverse roles. Then the adapted instrument was administered to faculty at twelve medical schools in Iran.
Results
The interviews revealed poor linkages between existing forms of development and evaluation, imbalance between the faculty work components and evaluated areas, inappropriate feedback and use of information in decision making. The principles of Personnel Evaluation Standards addressed almost all of these concerns and were used to assess the existing faculty evaluation system and also adapted to evaluate the core faculty roles. The survey response rate was 74%. Responses showed that the four principles in all faculty members' roles were met occasionally to frequently. Evaluation of teaching and research had the highest mean scores, while clinical and healthcare services, institutional administration, and self-development had the lowest mean scores. There were statistically significant differences between small medium and large medical schools (p < 0.000).
Conclusion
The adapted Personnel Evaluation Standards appears to be valid and applicable for monitoring and continuous improvement of a faculty evaluation system in the context of medical universities in Iran. The approach developed here provides a more balanced assessment of multiple faculty roles, including educational, clinical and healthcare services. In order to address identified deficiencies, the evaluation system should recognize, document, and uniformly reward those activities that are vital to the academic mission. Inclusion of personal developmental concerns in the evaluation discussion is essential for evaluation systems.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-18
PMCID: PMC2680845  PMID: 19400932
2.  Requirements for effective academic leadership in Iran: A Nominal Group Technique exercise 
Background
During the last two decades, medical education in Iran has shifted from elite to mass education, with a considerable increase in number of schools, faculties, and programs. Because of this transformation, it is a good case now to explore academic leadership in a non-western country. The objective of this study was to explore the views on effective academic leadership requirements held by key informants in Iran's medical education system.
Methods
A nominal group study was conducted by strategic sampling in which participants were requested to discuss and report on requirements for academic leadership, suggestions and barriers. Written notes from the discussions were transcribed and subjected to content analysis.
Results
Six themes of effective academic leadership emerged: 1)shared vision, goal, and strategy, 2) teaching and research leadership, 3) fair and efficient management, 4) mutual trust and respect, 5) development and recognition, and 6) transformational leadership. Current Iranian academic leadership suffers from lack of meritocracy, conservative leaders, politicization, bureaucracy, and belief in misconceptions.
Conclusion
The structure of the Iranian medical university system is not supportive of effective academic leadership. However, participants' views on effective academic leadership are in line with what is also found in the western literature, that is, if the managers could create the premises for a supportive and transformational leadership, they could generate mutual trust and respect in academia and increase scientific production.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-24
PMCID: PMC2374778  PMID: 18430241
3.  Organizational role stress among medical school faculty members in Iran: dealing with role conflict 
Background
Little research has been conducted to investigate role stress experienced by faculty members in medical schools in developing countries. This becomes even more important when the process of reform in medical education has already taken place, such as the case of Iran. The objectives of this study were to investigate and assess the level and source of role-related stress as well as dimensions of conflict among the faculty members of Iranian medical schools. Variables like the length of academic work, academic rank, employment position, and the departments of affiliation were also taken into consideration in order to determine potentially related factors.
Methods
A survey was conducted at three different ranks of public medical schools. The validated Organizational Role Stress Scale was used to investigate the level of role stress and dimensions of role conflict among medical faculty members. The response rate was 66.5%.
Results
The findings show that role stress was experienced in high level among almost all faculty members. All three studied medical schools with different ranks are threatened with relatively the same levels of role stress. Specific differences were found among faculty members from different disciplines, and academic ranks. Also having permanent position and the length of services had significant correlation with the level of role stress. The major role- related stress and forms of conflict among faculty members were role overload, role expectation conflict, inter-role distance, resource inadequacy, role stagnation, and role isolation.
Conclusion
The most role-related stressors and forms of conflict among faculty members include too many tasks and everyday work load; conflicting demands from colleagues and superiors; incompatible demands from their different personal and organizational roles; inadequate resources for appropriate performance; insufficient competency to meet the demands of their role; inadequate autonomy to make decision on different tasks; and a feeling of underutilization. The findings of this study can assist administrators and policy makers to provide an attractive working climate in order to decrease side effects and consequences of role stress and to increase productivity of faculty members. Furthermore, understanding this situation can help to develop coping strategies in order to reduce role-related stress.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-14
PMCID: PMC1892550  PMID: 17535421

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