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Latest message from President Bruininks about vp/dean...

I've earlier posted on this situation. For background, please see: "Faculty governance at the University of Minnesota is an oxymoron."

July 29, 2010

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this month, I wrote to update you on transition plans related to Dr. Frank Cerra's retirement from the University of Minnesota as senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School, effective December 31, 2010.

As I mentioned in my earlier correspondence, I have convened an outstanding group of advisors to assist me in planning for this transition and in identifying the best possible candidate to fill this leadership position. The advisory group includes:

* Macaran A. Baird, professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine/Community Health
* Bruce R. Blazar, assistant vice president for Clinical and Translational Science, director of the University's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Regents Professor of Pediatrics
* Bobbi S. Daniels, chief executive officer, University of Minnesota Physicians
* Gary L. Davis, regional campus dean, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota Duluth
* Connie W. Delaney, dean and professor, School of Nursing
* Timothy J. Ebner, professor and head, Department of Neuroscience
* John H. Kersey, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Laboratory Medicine/Pathology, and founding director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center
* Elizabeth A. Malkerson, president and chief executive officer, Minnesota Medical Foundation
* Wesley J. Miller, professor and chair, Department of Medicine
* R. Timothy Mulcahy, vice president for research
* Nancy C. Raymond, professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine/Community Health
* Marilyn K. Speedie, dean and professor, School of Pharmacy

Based on the extensive consultation process I conducted this year in preparation for this transition, as well as feedback I received from the advisory group earlier this month, I am pleased to issue this call for nominations of individuals to consider for the position of vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School for an 18-24 month interim period until such time as a national search for a permanent vice president and dean may be completed (the position description is available online). Please send your nominations to me through Kate Stuckert in my office at stuck005@umn.edu by August 13, 2010.

You will notice that the responsibilities for this leadership position have been reshaped to reflect consistent themes I heard during the consultative process--that the strength and vitality of the Medical School is of paramount importance, that a strong dean focused on the future of the Medical School is critical, and that a strong Medical School is essential to the continued vitality and growth of the other health sciences colleges and schools. The primary responsibilities of the vice president and dean will be as dean of the Medical School and overseeing the strategic issues and challenges that will help ensure its ongoing progress and continued success. The vice president and dean will also be responsible for advancing interdisciplinary and inter-professional work among the health sciences colleges and schools and other disciplines; for fostering relationships such as those with University of Minnesota Physicians, Fairview Health Services, and other external relationships in the healthcare community; and for advancing health care policies and clinical practices for the University, the state, and surrounding region to address the state's health care workforce issues. The vice president and dean will also be a member of the president's academic executive leadership team to advance systemwide strategic priorities of the University.

For this interim period, I will appoint a strong, assertive leader to advocate for, and advance, the excellence of the Medical School and the broader health sciences. There is a tremendous amount of important work to be done, and this is no time for the University to sit idle. The start date for this appointment is January 1, 2011, but I expect to announce a final candidate in the month of September so that the nominee can work with Senior Vice President Cerra during the remaining months of this calendar year to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.

This fall, I will also be setting the stage for appointing a team of academic and administrative leaders to conduct a comprehensive review of the organizational infrastructure of the Academic Health Center (AHC), including its academic centers and programs, to begin in January 2011. Until then, management responsibility and authority for the AHC as currently structured will remain with Senior Vice President Cerra through the end of this calendar year.

Thank you for your continued engagement and support during this critically important year for the Medical School, the lasting strength and vitality of the other academic health colleges and schools, and the University of Minnesota system. I look forward to working with you over the coming months and will continue to provide updates and more information on the transition as we move forward.


Robert H. Bruininks

Robert H. Bruininks

This message was sent by the President of the University of Minnesota to Academic Health Center faculty and staff and members of the Administrative Email Lists (AEL)

It should be noted that this course of action is in direct contradiction to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of medical school faculty. Thank you Mr. President for once again demonstrating your concept of shared governance...

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