Plan approved for College of Medicine restructuring

At the Dec. 20 meeting of University Council, members approved in principle the document entitled A New Vision for the College of Medicine. This paves the way for the college to develop an implementation plan for changes that will address the critical issues of accreditation, teaching and research.

"I have declared the College of Medicine to be my number one priority," stated U of S President Ilene Busch-Vishniac. "A New Vision for the College of Medicine shows great promise to solve the issues we currently face regarding accreditation, research outcomes, and streamlining service with the health regions.  Securing and ensuring the excellence of our undergraduate medical program is the first step in realigning the priorities of the college with a new vision, a vision that will rebalance the teaching and research mission of the college."

The vision document calls for the creation of three vice-dean positions, a common feature of medical school governance in Canada. The intention is to enhance and ensure accountability through better assignment of duties, closer oversight of academic missions and the collegial processes that support those missions. The three positions are vice-dean research, vice-dean education and vice-dean faculty engagement. Medical departments, with combined academic and clinical heads, will remain the functional units within the college.

"A critical component of our implementation planning will involve a renewed emphasis on distributed medical education," said Lou Qualtiere, acting dean of medicine. "The College of Medicine is a provincial resource with a mandate to serve the people of Saskatchewan. As we train the next generation of physicians, we must also strengthen our training sites across the province."

Efforts to restructure the College of Medicine have been underway since April 2012.  Significant structural change is required to address the critical issues of accountability, assignment of duties and the realignment of resources to significantly improve teaching and research outcomes.

Over the last several months, the Dean's Advisory Committee in the college conducted extensive consultations with college stakeholders about the restructuring and renewal process.  At a special college faculty council meeting recently, the new vision document was presented and received unanimous support.

The first monthly progress report is due in April 2013, with the full implementation plan required by Aug. 15, 2013.

"Our College of Medicine helps define the identity of the University of Saskatchewan and allows us a place among Canada's U15 – the country's top 15 research-intensive institutions," continued Busch-Vishniac. "This is a prestigious position, and one we must appreciate. The people of this province have invested a great deal in this institution. With Council's positive decision today, I have confidence that the new vision, along with focused effort toward its successful implementation, will allow the College of Medicine to take its rightful place as the flagship of the University of Saskatchewan."

All renewal details are available online on the College of Medicine website.
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