November 14, 2003

Hazinski named associate dean for academic affairs

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Dr. Thomas A. Hazinski

Hazinski named associate dean for academic affairs

Dr. Thomas A. Hazinski, professor and associate chair of Pediatrics and a member of the Vanderbilt faculty for almost 20 years, has been named associate dean for Academic Affairs for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He will assume the position in January.

In the newly-created position, Hazinski will monitor issues having to do with faculty promotion and tenure and conflict of interest. He will also help identify and eliminate obstacles to faculty productivity and ensure that faculty understand academic guidelines.

“My job will be to help ensure that our operations and processes enhance faculty productivity and do not create inadvertent obstacles,” Hazinski said. “Growth happens best in environments like Vanderbilt’s where there are high expectations and high resources, and both are necessary elements of our success in the future. But even in a high resource-high expectation environment, there are people who can lose their way and there are people for whom success still remains elusive. We have to understand whether that lack of success is something structural in the system, in our operations and processes, or does it lie somewhere else?”

Hazinski, who also directs Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and the Cystic Fibrosis Center and co-directs Vanderbilt’s Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program, will spend half of his time as associate dean and the other half split among his other academic duties.

Dr. Gerald C. Gotterer, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs, will turn over most of the faculty affairs responsibilities of his job to Hazinski and will devote more of his time to the educational needs of medical students.

“Tom has been active in virtually every area of importance to our junior and senior faculty, including chairing the promotions and tenure committee and the Institutional Review Board,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of VUSM. “He has worked productively with faculty in many departments and since he, himself, is a successful investigator, he is incredibly well qualified to take on the responsibilities of this position overseeing faculty development and advancement.”

“The members of the selection committee who met with Tom were very enthusiastic about his candidacy,” Gabbe said.

Hazinski joins six other associate deans on the medical school faculty — Drs. Gerald B. Hickson, associate dean for Clinical Affairs, Bonnie M. Miller, associate dean for Medical Students, Jason D. Morrow, associate dean for Physician/Scientist Development, Fred Kirchner Jr., associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, F. Andrew Gaffney, associate dean for Clinical Affairs; and George C. Hill, Ph.D., associate dean for Diversity.

“I am very grateful to the dean for asking me to help him take our medical center to the next level,” Hazinski said. “I feel like I have been preparing for this job for a long time. What I will be doing for the medical school, I’ve been doing for Dr. [Arnold] Strauss in the Department of Pediatrics. We’ve been in a very high growth phase in pediatrics, and Dr. Strauss has allowed me to help him with many of the same kind of issues that our faculty are facing.”

Hazinski said his work with Dr. Nancy J. Brown, associate professor of Medicine, in the MSCI program has also prepared him for this role.

“Over the last three years, as I’ve helped Nancy with the MSCI program, I’ve met a lot of young faculty and have seen that people can have impeccable preparation for academic careers, yet they still need a better understanding for what the academic rules of the road are,” Hazinski said.

“In my vision for this job, I think of myself as one of the air traffic controllers at O’Hare. They make sure all the planes don’t run into each other. There are big jets and little jets. They all need the same runway. They all need the same maintenance. But if the jets start running into each other, that’s a problem. I think there is room on this campus for a few people who make sure the planes don’t run into collide.”