Dean's Update

April 29, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD


Before I get into my thoughts on strategic planning, please fill out the Know More Campus Survey for the university, if you have not already. The survey is an anonymous program to understand how people experience the culture(s) of MSU in an effort to reduce discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence. When more people complete the survey, we have better data, which helps us design and improve programs.

This Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Office of Health Sciences Strategic Planning presentation to the MSU Dean’s Council. Those of you tracking the MSU 2030 strategic plan will know that EVP Beauchamp is the executive sponsor for the Sustainable Health pillar of the MSU plan.

Our college will be deeply interested in the implementation of all pillars of the plan (Student Success, Faculty and Staff Success, Discovery, Creativity and Innovation for Global ImpactSustainable Health, Stewardship and Sustainability, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), but Sustainable Health is pretty obviously in our wheelhouse. Each pillar has objectives and some of them overlap. As an example, one of the illustrative outcomes for Sustainable Health is tripling NIH/CDC funding in five years, which dovetails with the Innovation for Global Impact plan to increase university research expenditures over $1 billion by 2030.

Wednesday’s meeting was focused on the process for collecting ideas to achieve the main objectives for the pillar:

  1. Meet the physical and mental health needs of our students, faculty, and staff.
  2. Partner with communities and organizations to reduce health disparities (race, ethnicity, gender, rural-urban) in Michigan by 2030.
  3. Engage the entire MSU campus in a comprehensive approach to improving health, leveraging expertise, and elevating care, education, and research activities.
  4. Lead nationally in devising innovative educational pathways to careers in health, supplementing existing health and premedical majors and evolve curriculum to incorporate commitment to an inclusive and healthy society.
  5. Work with health and business partners across Michigan to ensure patients and families have access to equitable, high-quality, affordable, and safe health care.

We have until June 1 to submit one-page proposals to the EVP’s office, and they have provided an Objective Alignment Form for the proposals. I’ll just note that they are looking for multi-unit efforts that are also applicable to one of the other pillars. The college is going to pull together a group of chairs, faculty, and administrators to help review and improve these proposals for those who can submit early. The timeline is very short, but so are the proposals, and we hope our group of reviewers can find linkages and suggest collaborators. I have every confidence our folks will do a great job, but we will see…we’ve not done this before.

After the June 1 submission date, the MSU Sustainable Health Workgroup (you can find the members here) will spend the summer reviewing proposals before a retreat near the start of the fall semester.

I encourage you all to think about how your scholarship, teaching, outreach, and clinical teams might work together on proposals.

At the same time, the college is working on its own strategic planning process. Our College of Human Medicine Strategic Planning Task Force will have its third meeting next Thursday evening and review the data and feedback about the college collected by our HMA consultants. At the same meeting, I will present about the strategic concerns and opportunities I see facing the college. And, if you are not on the Task Force, you will be able to catch the same presentation, and a little more, during my college update at the Spring Faculty Meeting, Thursday, May 5, at 3pm (ZOOM LINK Passcode: Spring). Do not miss it if you can.

Serving the people with you,


Dean Aron Sousa, MD


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