Friday, July 23, 2010

A Retreat To Remember

The Institute's academic and administrative leaders have just completed their annual retreat for purposes of planning, thinking about our future, discussing emerging trends and issues. To my knowledge, almost every organization engages in similar planning and "big thinking" activities. While you will be hearing more about the future from President Bellack, I want you to know that we are looking ahead, thinking about the year 2020, considering what the profile of our school will be, and what the necessary "culture" will be to support the future.

I would ask that in the coming weeks each member of the Institute community begin to think about how he or she deals with change, why change is viewed as positive or negative, and how we can all be more comfortable in dealing with changes. Your leadership is in agreement that change is are required for the vitality of the Institute, the fulfillment of our desire to be leaders (and to prepare leaders) in the health professions, and to be responsive to trends in the economy, higher education, and in the practice of health care (including its reform).

I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on some of these topics and comment in the postings section to this item.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Deans and Schools

In the coming academic year we will be giving lots of attention to our new academic organizational structure. For the first time in the Institute's History, we have two schools. We have two Deans in place. Our new Dean of Nursing and the Interim Dean of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences have been appointed and have begun to work together. A Dean's Council including the two new Deans and the Dean of Students will begin meeting with me after July 1. Our system is moving into place!

Many faculty members have asked what it means to be a school. Some have asked, "what's the big deal? What is different since we have moved to schools? I acknowledge that for the typical faculty member or student, there is probably minimal notable difference to date. I hope that next year at this time we will all see the benefits of the new organizational structure (and celebrate them). Here are some questions that we might consider as we look to the future and judge the effectiveness of this new model:

1. What are the distinctive characteristics of each of our schools and are they being communicated clearly to our various stakeholders?
2. Are we observing programmatic distinctions in Nursing and in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and are these being "talked about"?
3. Are we experiencing simultaneous growth in our two schools as evidenced by additional programs and departments?
4. Are faculty members and students experiencing customized communication and services that help them do their jobs?
5. Do faculty and students experience the "voice" of their School and their discipline in their dean and leadership?
6. Are scholarship, teaching, and service enhanced through our new schools?
7. What efficiencies have been gained by having new schools and having Deans in place?

I welcome thoughts and reflections from all stakeholders as we move ahead!