First off, let me thank you for your feedback to the inaugural UT 2 Me. I have been impressed by the desire of our faculty, staff, and students to be engaged in addressing the new and old problems of the Medical School. I want to hear your ideas and solutions – working together, this school can achieve its fullest potential.
We had a great turnout at this week’s Administrative Council meeting, which is a monthly update meeting for the department chairs and deans. Involvement by the department chairs is crucial as they are the conduit to the faculty.
During that meeting, I introduced our newest chair, Dr. Dong Kim, who is heading up the Department of Neurosurgery. We welcome him back to our faculty and wish him good luck with his site visit next week regarding a new residency program. Faculty Senate President Dr. Jeffrey Actor reported that faculty are excited about permanent leadership for the Medical School, and I welcome the collaboration of this governing body as together we move the Medical School forward.
Collaboration is key as we look internally to tell our story and good news through the Health Science Center’s Office of Institutional Advancement and also more broadly as we continue to strengthen our affiliation with Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center – a relationship that ultimately benefits the community.
When it comes to the teaching front, we are fortunate to have an additional $5 million in funding this biennium from the Legislature to support resident education and faculty positions. These funds will allow us to help ease the growing national shortage of specialists.
We have the highest expectations for our educational mission and will emphasize new technology and strategies to constantly improve this area. I ask that our students continue to help us determine what is unique about our programs and to report best practices of the outside programs in which they are involved.
As we look at our financial health, please remember that the school as a whole comes above individual departments, and as such, adding positions and adjusting salaries must be predicated upon productivity – and we must be fair to productive faculty. Gone are the days when the state funded the majority of our budget – our reality is different, and we must accept that and implement new approaches.
At last night’s Faculty Honors Convocation, I was pleased to see two of our faculty members – Dr. Dianna Milewicz and Dr. Norm Weisbrodt – awarded top honors. As I looked around in the audience, I saw so many young Diannas and Norms who given the right resources will become great and accomplished researchers and clinician scientists.
Just like these young faculty, our medical school is poised for greatness, to paraphrase Dr. Willerson. The future of our young medical school is all around us, and these are exciting times.
Have a great weekend,