Dean's Update

April 19, 2024 - Aron Sousa, MD


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Norm Beauchamp has transformed much at the college and the university since he arrived in the fall of 2016. You can find information on the Grand Rapids Innovation Park, the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building, the creation of the Office of Health Sciences, and our partnership with Henry Ford Health all over the interblags. But, I doubt you can read about him bonding with CHM students at the gym, nor will you find the stories of how he helped a friend of the college search the country to find a solution to a troubling chronic medical condition. If you were around at the time and held your ear to the ground, you might know his work mitigating 2018. He instigated the college’s Culture of Caring effort. Some folks, but not many, know he was very important in promoting the need for the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion plan and supporting its integration in the university’s strategic plan. He has always cared about people and their families, especially when their families struggle. The buildings and partnerships are fancy, but I think you get to know and appreciate a person more when the world isn’t watching. As he moves toward his next challenge, we will celebrate his work, friendship, and partnership. As he would say, Godspeed, Norm.

Thanks to the work of many people, including the leadership of EVP Beauchamp, the university has created and implemented a system for reimbursing the university recreation fee for medical students who live outside of East Lansing/Lansing, which is home to the recreation facilities the fee supports. As you might imagine, students in our other communities chafed, as from the woolen bathing suits of old, when paying a fee from which they could not benefit. We’ve been working on this for more than a year, but the university will now reimburse non-East Lansing/Lansing students for some recreation costs. It’s a bit complicated, but this is better than it was before. Importantly, more than 400 college students have received some amount of refund. My thanks to Dr. Beauchamp and Karen Crosby for helping this over the finish line. And, let’s hear it for Drs. Wendling, Lipscomb, and DeMuth and the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee for keeping the pressure on. As a group, we appear to have fixed the health insurance waiver debacle, the financial aid debacle, and the rec fee issue in the last year – it is progress.

Over the next days and weeks, the university will sort out the next steps for OHS leadership. I believe the college is well positioned for whatever comes next, and the university will look to us as educators, clinicians, scholars, and community collaborators. That will serve us well.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP
Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

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