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

December 2, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD

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


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

I got to see CHM alumni like Paul Berg, MD (CHM ’05), who takes on the role of Chief Medical Officer of MyMichigan Health System, and catch up with Paula Klose, MD (CHM ’86), recently retired Assistant Dean Community Founder (CAD) of the campus. Another alumnus, Dave Buzanowski, MD (CHM ’11), has taken over CAD work for the campus and has an infectious enthusiasm for our students, the community, and the college. Our visit and reception celebrated our long partnership with MyMichigan Health and the new leadership of CEO Dr. Lydia Watson, who is a longtime ally of medical education there. It’s clear how much students value their experience in Midland and in the communities as part of our first Rural Community Health Program.

We are involved in community work throughout the state, and it helps the university when we report this work. Many of our teachers organize courses with community involvement, for example, internships or courses with service learning or clinical activity. The Center for Community Engaged Learning is gathering information about this work, and I hope you will complement their community engaged learning index investigation.

The past two weeks have been busy for the college and its academic governance…

The University’s Faculty Senate unanimously approved our proposal to transform the Division of Public Health into the Charles Stewart Mott 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 take place in two weeks when the MSU Board of Trustees votes. to approve this transition. I work with the faculty of the division on the process of finding an interim chair, then on finding a founding chair.

At its meeting this month, the ACC unanimously approved proposals for six new college departments, including dermatology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, pathology, radiation oncology and radiation oncology. ‘urology. These proposals now move on to academic university governance. The approval process for new departments takes the better part of an academic year, and I expect these proposals to complete the process next semester. But, it’s a big boost for the university, and we should be ready for some proposals to be approved next fall.

I have done this before, but I would like to once again thank the CHM faculty who lead academic governance at the university level:

  • Karen Kelly-Blake, Ph.D., is Chairman of the Faculty Senate and of the University Governing Board
  • Jack Lipton, PhD, is chair of the University Committee on Academic Governance
  • Jamie Alan, RPh, PharmD, PhD, is chair of the University Faculty Affairs Committee
  • Sue Barman, PhD, is chair of the University Committee on Faculty Tenure

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

If you have the chance, I suggest you take a look at the college faculty meeting registration. You will find the summary of the ACC’s work for the semester so far by the ACC’s President, Scott Counts, PhD. Scott’s summary includes an announcement of the college’s faculty awards. Back when faculty meetings were mostly in-person, we would host a reception for faculty awardees after the meeting, but that just doesn’t work in the Zoom world. Instead, we will host a dinner for faculty and staff award winners this spring. You can find a list of winners here.

My part of the faculty meeting focused on the college’s proposed strategic plan. We distributed the plan to teachers via email on Wednesday, but you can find it here. The next steps in the approval process are a CCC decision to submit the plan to the faculty for approval, followed by a faculty vote to approve the plan. Hopefully there will be an update on our progress soon.

My thanks to the faculty, staff, students, and community members of the Strategic Planning Committee and to the others who served on the working groups. A total of 44 people from the college contributed to the plan. I would also like to thank the 25 partner institutions, hospitals and university leaders as well as the many students, faculty and staff in the focus groups, who were interviewed as stakeholders by our intrepid consultants at HLA, based in Lansing, Nicholas Williams and Michael Butler. . They were great. And, in closing, I extend my deepest respect and gratitude to Carol Parker, PhD, and Kris Stroud for organizing the entire project and making our next strategic work possible. Thank you all.

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