Dean's Update

October 28, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD


I had a great visit to the Upper Peninsula this week. It’s always wonderful to meet with our students and faculty. The UP Campus does such a good job for our students and provides remarkable opportunities to students across the peninsula. About a third of all physicians in the UP have graduated from the College of Human Medicine or trained in a CHM residency. And it is beautiful up there. Every trip I make to the UP makes me think of the state’s motto: Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice. Seriously, that is our motto. Of course, it could be worse.

I am pleased to announce that Jack Lipton, PhD, chair of the Department of Translational Neurosciences has been awarded the Lester J. Evans, MD, College of Human Medicine Distinguished Service Award for 2022. This is an award for lifetime achievement and service to the College of Human Medicine and is the college’s highest award. Dr. Lipton is an accomplished scientist and leader, and, in particular, he is receiving the award for his numerous contributions to the department, college, and the institution. You will recall, he was the founding and only chair for the Department of Translational Neurosciences, supported and led the Spartan Spit COVID-19 testing program for the entire university community, and he is a vibrant and courageous leader of academic governance for the benefit of faculty and the whole institution. His work to make our college and MSU a better place to learn, work, and pursue knowledge is much appreciated.

Last weekend, the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians held its annual meeting, and the chapter recognized the excellence of our faculty with a series of awards:

  • Reynard Bouknight, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Laureate Award
  • Ved Gossain, MD, MACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Heather Laird-Fick, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Laureate Award
  • Supratik Rayamajhi, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Raymond Murray Governor’s Award – Early Career Physician

These are great faculty, and they are genuine leaders in their discipline. Congratulations!

This week, someone(s) posted political flyers on walls of the Secchia Center and left them on tables in class and study rooms. Leaflets outside of approved posting areas have been cleaned up and the operations and housekeeping staff will continue to toss them as they find them outside of approved posting areas. The college is part of a non-partisan, state university, and the Secchia Center is a university building. By law, the university and college do not take discrete political positions like endorsing or supporting specific candidates or proposals. The college does not, but its people can and do. After the Dobbs decision, I wrote about the difference between the opinions and positions of the college’s people vs. the position of the college.

Students, student groups, and faculty can take political positions, and they can put up posters in places (see IIA) where general information can be posted. Distributing leaflets in university buildings, like the Secchia Center, also have guidelines (see section III). Material that does not follow the guidelines will be cleaned up regardless of its purpose. The university does not censor political speech, even when some of us do not like it or we think it will be bad for the institution. The college is a part of the university and does not censor political speech even when some, or many of us, think it is unjust or inconsistent with the profession.

And as I close, I want to celebrate the new grant of Jennifer Johnson, PhD, and her Henry Ford/MSU collaborator, Brian Ahmedani, MSW, PhD. Beyond his Henry Ford roles in the link, Brian is a faculty member in the MSU Department of Psychiatry and part of the CHM Epidemiology and Biostatistics diaspora. The new $15 million NIH center grant, “National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention” has studies within the center focused on preventing suicide for people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. This follows on the prior independent work of both Drs. Johnson and Ahmedani. Their collaboration speaks to the opportunities that come with bringing Henry Ford scientists onto the MSU faculty. This work will be important to so many at risk and underserved people in our community.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD FACP


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