Board Plans for Future at Virtual April Meeting

The PAEA Board held its scheduled second quarter meeting last week as planned — albeit online rather than at the national offices in Washington, DC. In a scene that will no doubt be familiar to most faculty members these days, Board members appeared in tidy rectangles at the top of the screen, amid colorful Zoom backgrounds and jokes about Hollywood Squares.

Business proceeded as usual, though — the Board tackled a prioritized agenda, reduced to the essentials from the more typical three-day, face-to-face meeting line-up. High on the agenda was discussion of the likely effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and of institutional travel restrictions on upcoming PAEA events, including the October Education Forum.

The Association’s highest priority continues to be supporting programs through the significant challenges we know they are facing with moving courses online and finding ways for students to achieve the clinical learning outcomes they need to graduate. PAEA is committed to providing resources and shared problem-solving spaces for PA faculty, as well as helping relieve faculty burdens as much as possible. We have suspended our major annual program, curriculum, and student surveys for this year and are instead launching a series of COVID-19 Impact surveys, designed to gather data on how programs are adapting to the current crisis. The PAEA Research team will be accelerating the process of analyzing and reporting this data, which should help member programs as well as inform decisions at the Association level.

Members are also tapping into the enhanced faculty development resources available through the PAEA Learning website. The Professional Learning Communities and Digital Learning Hub are seeing increased traffic and the Response Forums hosted by our Faculty Development MAC have seen more than 600 faculty join in robust discussions and Q&A sessions. Recordings of these and other recent webinars, along with many other resources, can be found in two dedicated channels in the Digital Learning Hub: COVID-19 Resources and Teacher Toolkit.

At last week’s meeting, the Board also:

  • Voted to hold membership dues steady for the FY21 year and to extend the payment period, in recognition of the financial stress some programs are facing
  • Approved funds to engage researchers in contributing information related to the clinical doctorate degree issue raised in a motion passed at the 2019 business meeting.