HomeHealthMedicineDean's Update: December 2, 2022 | College of Human Medicine

Dean’s Update: December 2, 2022 | College of Human Medicine

December 2, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD

Dean Sousa spoke at the Midland Regional Campus reception earlier this week.
Dean Sousa spoke at the Midland Regional Campus reception earlier this week.


As a college, we are a national leader in community education; indeed, we were the first medical school to be accredited as a community-based medical school. It is always a pleasure to visit our community campuses, and this week I had the pleasure of visiting our Midland Regional Campus. We met students, residents, faculty, and MSU colleagues at MSU St Andrews research facility and the Axia Institute.

I got to see CHM alumni like Paul Berg, MD (CHM ’05), who is assuming the role of chief medical officer for the MyMichigan Health system, and caught up with Paula Klose, MD (CHM ’86), the recently retired Founding Community Assistant Dean (CAD) for the campus. Another alum, Dave Buzanowski, MD (CHM ’11), has taken over the CAD job for the campus and has an infectious enthusiasm for our students, community and university. Our visit and reception celebrated our long association with MyMichigan Health and the new leadership of CEO Dr. Lydia Watson, who has been a longtime ally of the medical school there. It is clear how much the students value their experience in Midland and in the communities as part of our premier Health program for rural communities.

We are involved in community work all over the state and it helps the university if we report that work. Many of our teachers teach courses with community involvement, for example internships or courses with service learning or clinical activity. The Center for Community Engaged Learning is collecting information about this work, and I hope you will complete it community-engaged learning index questionnaire.

The past few weeks have been busy for the Executive Board and the Academic Board…

The University Faculty Senate unanimously approved our proposal to transform the Department of Public Health into Charles Stewart Mott’s Department of Public Health. This process began last winter with the approval of the proposal by the College Advisory Council (CAC), and we expect and hope that final approval will occur within two weeks, when the MSU Board of Trustees votes to approve this transition. Together with the departmental faculty, I am working on the search process for an interim chair and then on a search for a founding chair.

At its meeting this month, the CAC unanimously approved proposals for six new departments in the college, including dermatology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, pathology, radiation oncology and urology. These proposals are now moving on to university academic management. The approval process for new departments takes the better part of an academic year, and I hope these proposals will complete the process next semester. But this is a big improvement for the university, and we should be prepared for some of the proposals to be approved next fall.

I’ve done this before, but I want to make one more appeal to the CHM faculty who lead academic governance at the university level:

These faculties have been strong voices for our faculty and all faculties on campus. I thank them on behalf of a grateful college.

If you get a chance, I suggest you take a look at the university’s faculty meeting intake. You will find the summary of CAC work for the semester to date by CAC President Scott Counts, PhD. Scott’s summary includes an announcement of college faculty awards. In the days when faculty meetings were usually in-person, we had a post-meeting reception for faculty award winners, but that just doesn’t work in the Zoom world. Instead, this spring we are organizing a dinner for prize winners from teachers and staff. You can find a list of the award winners here.

My portion of the faculty meeting focused on the college’s proposed strategic plan. We emailed the plan to the faculty on Wednesday, but you can find it here. The next steps in the approval process are a CAC decision to submit the plan to the faculty for approval, followed by a faculty vote to approve the plan. I expect an update on our progress soon.

My thanks go to the faculty, staff, students, and community members of the Strategic Planning Committee, as well as the additional people who served on workgroups. A total of 44 people in the college contributed to the plan. I would also like to thank the 25 collaborating institutions, hospitals and university leaders, as well as numerous students, faculty and staff in focus groups, who were interviewed as stakeholders by our intrepid consultants from Lansing-based HLA, Nicholas Williams and Michael Butler. They were great. And to bring this to a close, I extend my deepest respect and appreciation to Carol Parker, PhD, and Kris Stroud for organizing the entire project and enabling our next strategic work. Thanks everyone.

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