TransformUs Update - Message from the Dean

Post TransformUS

Although the name TransformUS has disappeared, many of its recommendations will still happen as the University and Colleges continue to focus on how best to prioritize administrative and academic functions across U of S.  This is necessary as a regularly occurring process to enhance the University as well as to avoid a significant structural deficit  by 2016. As it currently stands all plans for the College to become a school within the College of Medicine have been put on hold. Think of the decision to not fold the College into the College of Medicine as a reprieve and we now have an obligation to transform our program to avoid being placed in a similar position in the future.  Let me be perfectly clear: If we do not respond to the challenge to re-invent ourselves, we will again face the threat of losing our independent status as well as significant reductions to our operating budget.  These potential threats may arise sooner than later and we have to be prepared.

We cannot and should not maintain the status quo.

We must ask ourselves why were such recommendations regarding our status and budget made in the first place?  We need to effectively address our shortcomings.

We have spoken about moving to a 3+1 curriculum.  The genesis of this idea predated TransformUS but became a deliverable as part of the TransformUS work plan for the College.  We believe this model will improve both the quality of our education and strengthen the College’s financial health by reducing our reliance on central funding from U of S.  Over the short term, we plan to elaborate and share the concept of the 3+1 curriculum with the idea of developing consensus from our stakeholders and then to move forward with the definitive plan for this new curriculum. The threat of being diminished to school-status and massive cuts to our budget  - while shelved for the moment - should be a wakeup call to us all.  In short order we will need to begin the process to strategically enhance this College for now and for the future.  Failure to do so will mean catastrophe to what we hold dear in this College.  There is no doubt we have the ability to accomplish this metamorphosis.  

We challenge each of you to become actively engaged when asked and to support and participate in initiatives that will enhance our academic programming, raise our research activity and profile, and strengthen our financial position.  This process is necessary to make us better and improve our reputation both here and across the country.

Gerry Uswak