College of

FAQs | New Structure for Health Colleges

On Oct. 10 President Stanley announced a new alignment between the university’s three health colleges and the creation of a position for executive vice president for health sciences. Dr. Norman Beauchamp is promoted to this position and resigning as dean of the College of Human Medicine. 

This important change will:

  • strengthen each individual college through shared resources and administrative efficiencies;
  • establish a shared culture of accountability;
  • address situations that led to patient vulnerability; and
  • synergize their strengths to bring the best educational opportunities to

What does this mean for the College of Human Medicine?

As Dr. Beauchamp takes on the executive vice president for health sciences role, he will step away from his position as the College of Human Medicine dean and Dr. Aron Sousa will assist in this transition as interim dean for the college.

Dr. Sousa has held the position of interim dean in the past and is seasoned in this capacity. He has been meeting with chairs regularly and, most recently, has served as the executive associate dean of the college. In the coming weeks, EVP Beauchamp will work with the college on next steps in the deanship.

Dr. Beauchamp will continue his important work on the behalf of the university in our communities and the nation. As an example, he has had active presence in Grand Rapids, and this will continue. The new Grand Rapids Innovation Park has been a key project of Dr. Beauchamp's, and there will be no change in leadership for that effort. In addition, Dr. Beauchamp has engaged health systems across the state and that will continue albeit with a broader mission and scope than before.

What happened to Dr. Beauchamp’s appointment as MSU associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs?

Those roles are subsumed into this expanded position as a natural evolution of the new MSU health sciences structure.

When does this change go into effect?

This is pending approval from the Board of Trustees at their October meeting.

Are the College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine merging?

No. Each college has a separate accreditation agency, and therefore each is responsible for maintaining its respective standards in order to meet accreditation requirements.

How will this affect students?

It won’t. A student’s education will remain the purview of the faculty and deans of the respective colleges. This is a change in the reporting structure for the deans in the health colleges.

Will this change affect my duties or reporting structure?

No. Faculty and staff will not notice a change in their day-to-day jobs or to whom they report. However, the deans of the colleges of CHM, COM and CON will now report to the executive vice president for health sciences.

Will faculty and staff still have a relationship with the provost in some way?

Yes. Until academic governance bylaws and faculty and academic staff policies are revised. However, there is the expectation that the provost will consult with the executive vice president for health sciences on all decisions related to the reappointment, promotion and tenure review processes of faculty and academic staff within the CHM, COM, and CON.

How will this affect budgets and resources?

Colleges and departments will continue to manage their own budgets. As part of this change, supervision of college budgets will move from the provost’s office to the EVP office. Deans and their staff will work with the EVP office to set their budgets and priorities. The EVP will work with the president and other senior university leadership on major capital decisions.

What does this mean for our educational mission?

Educational programs are run by faculty, and that will continue. Curricula will continue to be determined and evaluated by the faculty of the colleges. For a health educational program to achieve excellence, the clinical, research and outreach missions also have to be excellent. To that end, the office of the EVP will be meeting with students, staff and faculty in the colleges to hear their concerns and to seek opportunities for excellence.

How does this affect the colleges’ curricula?

Faculty of the colleges will continue to set, run and evaluate their curricula. The role of EVP will be able to ensure that best practices, particularly around student mistreatment and patient safety, are shared across colleges. The EVP will be meeting with students, staff and faculty in the colleges to hear their concerns and to seek opportunities for excellence.

What does this mean for the research mission?

The colleges and departments will still manage their research efforts. As with education, outreach and the clinical missions, there are advances to be made through collaboration, and the office of the EVP will work to advance research across the colleges and the university.

Will unit operations – for example, development or academic affairs – be consolidated across colleges into one group?

While no immediate changes are anticipated, there may be opportunities and areas that present themselves for enhanced synergy and collaboration.