Distributed on Fridays via e-mail to all Medical School employees, students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows, UT 2 Me is Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo's weekly update of news and items of interest. He also welcomes feedback through this two-way communication.
As we say farewell to 2007, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your contributions to the achievement of our mission and to remind you of some of our accomplishments over the past year. 2007 was an exciting year in the life of this medical school, and I could not be happier than to be your dean during part of this momentous time.
We made great progress with our research mission as we opened our new six-story facility and brought our recovery from Tropical Storm Allison to a close. Our faculty led the way in securing research funding, bringing in almost $115 million, which is a 6 percent increase over last year. At a time when other schools were losing ground in this area, our strength and expertise were revealed.
Our faculty stars shone bright, with several winning national accolades and many more bringing myriad recognition to the Medical School. Our residents, fellows, students, and staff also have been helping doing their part to make sure our school is known for excellence and quality care. Together we are ambassadors for the UT Medical School, and in the coming year we will be working harder on our marketing efforts to lift the stature of our institution.
It has been a year of new leadership on many levels. I am proud and honored to be serving as your dean and have learned a great deal over these last four months. I am also pleased that we have permanent leadership for the departments of Otorhinolaryngology, Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, Neurosurgery, and Orthopaedic Surgery. We also have new direction for Development and Alumni Relations, Institutional Advancement, and our clinical leadership team in the Dean's Office. We will be moving into a new transition of leadership as the selection process for our new president begins. I value the wisdom and experience of Dr. Jim Willerson and will do my best to surpass his expectations.
The clinical side of our mission has been producing excellent patient care at the hands of our world-class specialists, who are focusing on patients first. The practice plan is entering the New Year with respectable numbers, which, once sustained, will help us focus on our academic mission.
Our students continue to impress me with their joy of learning. We all work hard to give them the best educational experience, and they are willing to share their ideas to make it even better. With our intake of a larger class size this year, we are doing our part to help our state and our country as it faces tougher health care issues and a projected physician shortage. Also this year our school was cited for its embrace of diversity, being named one of the top 10 schools for Hispanic students.
We can look at the year gone by in a positive light, as we look ahead to an even brighter tomorrow. We have control of our future – and our mandate is ambitious yet attainable as we further integrate patient care, research, and teaching to fortify this institution. We will create a culture of excellence for all three parts of our mission, providing the best educational experience for those who want to enter the physician profession, becoming a model of clinical care, and molding the next generation of scientific leaders.
I wish you the best for the holidays and the New Year and ask you to please help me make 2008 an amazing year for the Medical School's history book as we work together to surpass milestones individually and collectively.