Awards Recognize Contributions of Academic Affairs Leader Anne Taylor

August 27, 2021
Anne Taylor, MD
Anne Taylor

When Anne Taylor, MD, joined Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2007, the school had no professional development programs for faculty. In the 14 years since joining VP&S as vice dean for academic affairs, Dr. Taylor has created faculty development programs to support the professional development needs of all faculty, but has included programs for women and diverse faculty that have earned recognition from the NIH and, most recently, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

“VP&S hires some of the most gifted faculty members in the country, so it is our responsibility to support their career success and satisfaction,” Dr. Taylor says. During the course of her 14 years at Columbia, she also was appointed senior vice president for faculty affairs and career development for all of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, making career growth, satisfaction, and recognition a CUIMC priority for all faculty.

In November, Dr. Taylor will receive the AAMC’s 2021 Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award for an Individual. “Your wonderful track record of academic leadership clearly demonstrates a career-long commitment to developing women leaders, and the impact of your efforts to support and advance women’s careers is far-reaching,” wrote Toi Harris, MD, chair of the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science, in informing Dr. Taylor of the award. “This award recognizes your profound influence.”

The Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Awards recognize both individual and organizational contributions toward advancing women leaders in academic medicine and science. The awards, given since 1995, have honored more than 30 individuals and organizations for their impact on professional development of women at the local, regional, or national level. The award recognizes contributions that promote women’s leadership, encourage and advocate for women in academic leadership, improve the educational and professional environment for sustaining women in academic medicine, or inspire women to be leaders.

“Dr. Anne Taylor meets all of those criteria for the award,” says Anil K. Rustgi, MD, interim executive vice president and dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine. “As an advocate for women, she has promoted the recruitment, promotion, mentoring, and retention of women faculty at VP&S, all the while acting as a role model for women who combine medicine and academic leadership. This award deservedly honors Dr. Taylor’s accomplishments and also brings credit and honor to Columbia.”

NIH Prize

Dr. Taylor also is credited for creating programs that have been honored with a National Institutes of Health Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science. VP&S was one of 10 organizations recognized by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health in August.

The award honors VP&S for programs that have led to improvements in gender diversity and equity among faculty members within departments, centers, or divisions. The new NIH award aims to promote the broad adoption of replicable, evidence-based institutional approaches to promoting gender diversity. Data from the VP&S submission will be shared at a national NIH meeting in October.

The VP&S submission for the award highlighted the college’s ongoing efforts to bolster gender diversity among faculty members. At VP&S, 49% of approximately 2,150 full-time faculty are women, while women make up 41% of faculty at U.S. medical institutions. The Office of Academic Affairs led by Dr. Taylor uses faculty-driven, multidimensional approaches to support overall faculty well-being, vitality, and satisfaction, with attention to the unique challenges faced by women and faculty from under-represented groups.

Actions to address gender inequity at VP&S have included changes to governance and policies, particularly those that might inadvertently negatively impact women, with increased transparency of academic advancement, recruitment, and mentorship. Academic Affairs also has focused on salary equity, enhanced work/life support, faculty recognition, and regular review and reporting on gender and diversity metrics. The office also has developed a robust portfolio of programs to support faculty advancement, networking, and peer support.

“The award from the AAMC is such an honor,” Dr. Taylor says, “and my team in Academic Affairs and I are also enormously proud to be one of the recipients of the NIH prize.” She credits work done by the Academic Affairs team over a decade to the support and commitment of VP&S leadership and faculty who have embraced the goals of equity and inclusion for women and diverse faculty. “We are energized by this success to continue to find new ways to support a more broadly inclusive faculty, one that is reflective of those whom we will serve in the 21st century.”

Efforts by the Academic Affairs office includes tracking numbers of women and men employed in various categories, whether women are included in organizational leadership, honors, awards, key decision-making committees, and academic advancement of women. “These data provide evidence of progress made toward gender equity,” Dr. Taylor says. The office oversees orientation programs; leadership and management training, including sessions for women and diverse faculty; workshops focused on career development and academic advancement for educators, researchers, and clinicians; and workshops focused on teaching skills, negotiation skills, and management of research teams.

The programs Dr. Taylor has launched and her individual accomplishments have made Columbia a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion, providing an impact far beyond the medical center and Columbia University. “The AAMC award and the NIH award illustrate the impact being made nationally by Dr. Taylor’s leadership and the work of a team of dedicated faculty and staff members who work hard every day to move programs from ideas on paper to sustainable resources with measurable outcomes,” adds Dr. Rustgi.

Among the programs Dr. Taylor developed is the Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society for Women, created to serve, support, and celebrate the careers of women in science and medicine at CUIMC. It is named for a 1922 VP&S graduate, Virginia Kneeland Frantz, a noted surgical pathologist, researcher, and educator who was the first woman to pursue an internship in surgery at Presbyterian Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital) and the first woman to become president of a major national medical organization, the American Thyroid Society.

Dr. Taylor, who holds the VP&S faculty title of John Lindenbaum Professor of Medicine, will be honored by the AAMC during a Nov. 5 virtual awards ceremony.