U of M medical school reorganization memos

The following memos were sent by Academic Health Center Sr. Vice President Frank B. Cerra and Univ. of Minnesota President Bruininks.

Frank Cerra's memo

TO: Medical School Faculty and Staff

I want to share with all of you the memo below from President Bruininks in which he outlines his decision to combine the position of Senior Vice President for Health Sciences with that of Dean of the Medical School. We are at the very beginning of the transitional work this will require, and I?m certain you have many questions about the impact of this news on you and your department or division.

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In short, there is much work to be done before we have answers to many of those questions. However, I can tell you that the University of Minnesota?s Medical School remains one of the most important assets of the University, and the public depends on the work we do to sustain the health of both families and the economy.

We are indebted to Dean Powell for her leadership over the past several years. She and I are working together on transition issues and discussing a future administrative role for her in the area of medical education.

I plan to engage all of you in the work that needs to be done. Please feel free to contact me on my direct e-mail at cerra001@umn.edu with any questions or concerns.

Frank B. Cerra, M.D. Senior Vice President for Health Sciences McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair

President Bruininks' memo

TO: Members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents The Honorable Patricia Simmons, Chair The Honorable Clyde E. Allen, Jr., Vice Chair The Honorable Anthony R. Baraga The Honorable Dallas Bohnsack The Honorable Linda Cohen The Honorable John Frobenius The Honorable Venora Hung The Honorable Steven Hunter The Honorable Dean Johnson The Honorable David Larson The Honorable David R. Metzen The Honorable Maureen Ramirez

FROM: Robert H. Bruininks, President

SUBJECT: Academic Health Center Announcement

Over the past several months, we have devoted a considerable amount of time to an issue of critical importance to the long term future of the University of Minnesota: the ongoing success of the University?s Academic Health Center (AHC), and the AHC?s largest academic unit, our 154-year-old Medical School. The success of both, and particularly of the Medical School, is a crucial component to the University achieving its aspirational goals, and our success in serving the needs of Minnesota and the nation.

After careful consideration, I have determined that a reorganization of leadership in the AHC and the Medical School is warranted as a foundational step in positioning the University?s health sciences for success into the future. For that reason, I have decided to consolidate the positions of Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Medical School into a single position of Senior Vice President and Dean effective July 1, 2009. It is my considered judgment that this combined role will result in a number of key benefits, including strong, focused leadership for the health sciences and the ability to align and streamline resources and core administrative functions in this severely challenged economy. I firmly believe that this change will best position the University of Minnesota and the AHC to play a central role in shaping the future of healthcare for Minnesota and the surrounding region through excellence in our core mission of education, clinical services and health research.

This decision is grounded in extensive research and review of the organizational models of the nation?s major University-based Medical Schools and health sciences operations, and includes consultation with several leading thinkers in this area of academic enterprise, both within and outside of the University community. What emerged from this effort was strong support for the consolidated leadership model that we are set to embark upon with this announcement.

I have asked Senior Vice President Frank Cerra to assume this new position as we move through a period of transition, and he has agreed. As you know, Dr. Cerra is a proven leader in the health sciences, and I believe he is well suited to lead through this critical period of change. I anticipate the following major milestones as we work toward this new leadership structure:

--Review and action on Dr. Cerra?s appointment by the Board of Regents at the May 2009 meeting; --Commencement of a national search for the new senior vice president and dean during the first quarter of 2010, with an anticipated appointment by the Fall of 2010; and --Transition to new leadership (working with Dr. Cerra and other senior University leadership and the leadership of our community partners) during the first two quarters of 2011.

During the next several months leading up to the July 1 effective date, Dr. Cerra and current Medical School Dean Deborah Powell are working together on transition issues and are in discussions concerning a future administrative role for Dean Powell in the area of medical education.

I will address this important transition further at the upcoming February Board of Regents Meeting, and in the months to come. However, given the priority place accorded to the AHC and the Medical School on the Board?s work plan at your retreat last July, and the discussions I have had with many of you in the ensuing months, I wanted to apprise you of this decision at the soonest practicable time. In the meantime, please feel free also to contact me should you have any questions.