July 26, 1996

Faculty input still being sought as strategic plan nears completion

Faculty input still being sought as strategic plan nears completion

Time is running short for faculty and staff to take advantage of the opportunity to have input into crafting Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Strategic Plan for the Academic Enterprise.

Next week, on Aug. 2, the co-chairs of the plan's nine separate task forces will submit final reports to the effort's parent oversight committee. From these reports, a single, all-encompassing draft of the proposed strategic plan will be written.

"One of the exciting things we've learned during this process is that there is quite a bit of overlap among the different task force initiatives, indicating an opportunity to efficiently advance multiple agendas" said Lee E. Limbird, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of Pharmacology.

"The ultimate goal of the effort is to properly integrate the strategic planning mission, which will support Vanderbilt's primary goals of research, education, patient care and technology transfer for the next decade."

Limbird, along with Dr. Harold L. Moses, B.F. Byrd Professor of Clinical Oncology, chair of the department of Cell Biology and director of the Vanderbilt Cancer Center, chair the effort's parent committee and are overseeing the strategic planning process.

Moses, Limbird and the leaders of the task forces will meet on Aug. 13 to review the final document before it is presented to the Vice Chancellor on Aug. 15.

The draft of the committee's single report will be available for review by the VUMC community on Vanderbilt's E-mail network on Aug. 9, Limbird said, at the same time it is under review by the task force co-chairs.

Like a blueprint, the strategic plan for academic enterprise – related in spirit to VUMC's strategic vision plan addressing the rapidly evolving environment in health care delivery – will serve as a guide to where the institution should go in the future and how it will get there. The ever-changing health care environment, coupled with changes in the sources and amounts of funding available, mandate a strategic plan to enhance the institution's place among the leading academic health centers nationwide, leaders say.

Continuous input is essential to the success of the strategic planning process. All faculty and staff are encouraged to share their thoughts by Aug. 15 in one of the following ways: call 343-0423 and leave a message which will be transcribed and distributed; E-mail to force.task@mcmail.vanderbilt.edu+INET; contact the appropriate task force co-chair. Call 343-8729 for a task force listing.

Here's a brief look at the previously established task forces and some of the questions each leadership committee will be pondering during the coming weeks:

Graduate and post-graduate education in the major basic science disciplines – Co-chairs: Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology; Dr. Jacek Hawiger, Oswald T. Avery professor of Microbiology and Immunology and chair of the Department.

This group will assess the importance of basic science research training programs to the institution and to plan for their future.

Infrastructure priorities; access to technologies/technology transfer – Co-chairs; Lawrence J. Marnett, Ph.D., Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research and chair of Biochemistry; Dr. Thomas O. Daniel, associate professor of Medicine.

This task force will examine the need for a technology transfer office as well as the establishment of core resources dedicated to technology development.

Medical education – Co-chairs: Dr. Doyle G. Graham, professor and chair of Pathology; Dr. Gerald B. Hickson, associate professor of Pediatrics; Dr. Kenneth W. Sharp, associate professor of Surgery.

This task force will identify the profile of current programs and recommend modification or new approaches to undergraduate and graduate medical education. All four years of medical school, residency and clinical fellowship training are to be addressed.

Basic science initiatives – Co-chairs: Michael R. Waterman, Ph.D., Natalie Overall Warren Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and chair of the department; Dr. Daryl K. Granner, Joe C. Davis Professor of Biomedical Science and chair of the department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

The enormous growth of research programs in the basic sciences is largely responsible for keeping VUMC solidly within the top 20 academic health centers in the country, Limbird has said. This committee will develop five- and 10-year strategic plans for enhancing the basic sciences such that we improve our competitiveness for the future to rank among the best in the country.

Basic research in clinical departments – Co-chairs: Dr. Raymond N. DuBois Jr., associate professor of Medicine; Dr. Alfred L. George Jr., associate professor of Medicine.

Clinical research – Co-chairs: Dr. David H. Johnson, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Oncology and director of the division of Medical Oncology; Martin P. Sandler, M.B./Ch.B., professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences; Dr. Joseph A. Smith Jr., William L. Bray Professor of Urology and chair of the Department.

While clinical trials should, and will, remain an important part of clinical research efforts at VUMC, new discovery relevant to disease mechanism and treatment is also critical. This latter type of clinical research holds promise for patients and provides potential opportunities for technology transfer.

Promotions, tenure, evaluation of faculty performance – Co-chairs: Lynn M. Matrisian, Ph.D., professor of Cell Biology; Dr. Martin J. Blaser, Addison B. Scoville Jr. Professor of Medicine; Dr. Neil E. Green, professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.

This committee will examine a wide range of questions ranging from tenure's role in supporting the medical center's academic mission to how to fairly and objectively measure faculty contributions to the multiple missions of VUMC.

Culture, diversity, infrastructure and outreach – Co-chairs: Dr. Mark A. Magnuson, associate professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics; Dr. Agnes B. Fogo, associate professor of Pathology.

This task force will examine VUMC's role in the community and what needs to be done to strengthen the institution's involvment.

Outreach to the larger Nashville community – chair: Virginia L. Shepherd, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine and Biochemistry.

This task force will increase the lay public's awareness of the importance of biomedical research and of school children to the excitement of science and medicine and how this will have a long term impact on the missions of VUMC.