February 25, 2021

School of Medicine Faculty Advisory Council Re-Established

After a several-year hiatus, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Faculty Advisory Council has been re-established to represent the School’s 3,000-plus faculty.

After a several-year hiatus, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Faculty Advisory Council has been re-established to represent the School’s 3,000-plus faculty. The role of the council is to advise the Dean of the School of Medicine, providing an additional avenue for communication between faculty and the Office of the Dean.

The council consists of elected representatives from departments of the School of Medicine as follows: three representatives from the Department of Medicine; two from the Department of Pediatrics and two from the Section of Surgical Sciences, while all other departments have one representative.

Members serve a term of two years, and elections are staggered in such a manner that one half of the council is elected each year. Continuous elected service cannot exceed four years (two terms).

Julie Bastarache, MD, associate professor of Medicine, Cell & Developmental Biology, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, currently serves as chair of the council.

“School of Medicine faculty have unique professional and personal goals and needs related to academic life. Re-establishment of the council gives all faculty a voice through their departmental representative,” she said.

“As chair of the council my goals are to improve the academic life of all faculty. I want to engage all School of Medicine faculty by soliciting creative ideas for initiatives, programs, policies and other projects throughout the School that can be presented to the Dean’s office. I also want to celebrate and publicize the great work from our faculty through outreach and social media, and to foster a sense of community among all faculty.”

The Faculty Advisory Council meets at least quarterly, but can meet as needed during the academic year and when requested by the Dean, by request of a majority of the council; or upon petition containing the signatures of at least 50 members of the full-time faculty representing at least three departments of the School of Medicine.

“The Faculty Advisory Council was re-established to aid Dr. Balser in his role as Dean, and to increase faculty participation in the formulation of new policies and initiatives for the School of Medicine. Participation by representatives from all departments helps bring unique perspectives and fresh ideas to the process. I want to encourage all members of the School’s faculty to engage with the council members and share ideas,” said David S. Raiford, MD, senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs and chief of Clinical Staff for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “I also want to express my appreciation to Dr. Bastarache, other members of the council’s Executive Committee, and all other council members for their service and for representation of their departments.”

The Faculty Advisory Council may be invited by the Dean to participate in the formulation of major policies of the School by requesting studies and by presenting reports of ad hoc committees to the Dean.

“As a large school of medicine with faculty of diverse training and backgrounds, we have a tendency to cluster in our academic ‘home,’ but often the best ideas — scientific, educational or programmatic — come when we reach outside of our local community. I hope that the council can initiate programs that foster connections and collaborations,” Bastarache said.

“I am particularly excited to work closely with the members of the council who represent every department in the School of Medicine. It is an amazingly talented group of people from across the Medical Center. I have been at Vanderbilt since I started medical school here in 1995. I have made VUMC my professional home for all these years because I cannot imagine working at a better place. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my faculty colleagues as chair of the FAC and look forward to what we can do as a group in the coming year.”

Members serving through June 2022 of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Advisory Council and their departments are:

Julie Bastarache, MD – council chair, (Medicine)

Lourdes Estrada, PhD – council vice chair, (Biochemistry)

Shannon Eastham, MD – Representative, (Section of Surgical Sciences)

Harold Lovvorn, MD – Representative, (Section of Surgical Sciences)

Jessica Turnbull, MD – Representative, (Pediatrics)

John Zic, MD – Representative, (Dermatology)

Adam Wright, PhD – At-Large Member of the Executive Faculty and Executive Committee of the Executive Faculty (Biomedical Informatics)

Other members of the Faculty Advisory Council and their departments are:

Jonathan Wanderer, MD, (Anesthesiology)

Adam Wright, PhD, (Biomedical Informatics)

Matthew Shotwell, PhD, (Biostatistics)

Kurt Smith, MD, (Emergency Medicine)

Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, (Health Policy)

Melanie Schuele, PhD, (Hearing & Speech)

Wonder Drake, MD, (Medicine)

Meredith Pugh, MD, (Medicine)

Lealani Acosta, MD, (Neurology)

Erin Fairbrother, MD, (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Shriji Patel, MD, (Ophthalmology)

William Obremskey, MD, (Orthopaedic Surgery)

Justin Turner, MD, PhD, (Otolaryngology)

Safia Salaria, MD, (Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology)

Ritu Banerjee, MD, (Pediatrics)

Clausyl Plummer, MD, (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)

Kimberly Brown, PhD, (Psychiatry)

Bapsi Chakravarthy, MD, (Radiation Oncology)

LeAnn Stokes, MD, (Radiology)

Nicole Miller, MD, (Urology)

Christopher Wright, DPhil, (Cell & Developmental Biology)

Owen McGuinness, PhD, (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics)

Ron Emeson, PhD, (Pharmacology)