Town Hall updates key themes at Rady Faculty

November 29, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Safety, inclusion and transparency were among the key themes at this year’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Town Hall, held Nov. 19 in Theatre B with a live video link to Helen Glass Centre.

I opened the session by updating faculty and staff on the new decentralized budget model – which increases transparency. We will see all of the revenues coming into the university and expenses for central administrative units based on various drivers such as student head count, sponsored research or square footage. A “tax” will be applied to faculties to support strategic initiatives but faculties are currently in a “hold harmless” position whereby we will receive a subvention if expenses are more than revenues.

In response to security issues that have arisen at Bannatyne campus, a number of initiatives have been undertaken including increased security guards to three per shift and the assistant director, security is now full time at Bannatyne. Campus hours have been reduced, a lighting audit is underway and we’ve added 60 security cameras throughout campus.

We have also expanded the Safe Walk and Safe Ride Program, which will now walk or drive a student, faculty or staff member to their vehicle within the following boundaries: north to Logan Ave., south to Sargent Ave., west to McPhillips St. and east to Isabel St. In October, Safe Drive was used 122 times and Safe Walk was used 572 times.

I announced that we will be adding the a new Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion starting in January who will work with colleges, units and departments to improve representation of diverse groups across the Rady faculty as leaders, faculty, researchers, staff and learners according to the principle of EDI and develop an EDI strategy.

Dr. Sara Israels, vice-dean, academic affairs shared promotion and tenure stats and talked about the Women in Science, Development, Outreach and Mentoring (WISDOM), a new initiative affiliated with the Society for Canadian Women for Science and Technology that was launched earlier this month with more than 300 people in attendance at an opening lecture and information session. “We are trying to support women in science and medicine as they move through their careers and at all levels,” Israels said.

Dr. Christine Polimeni, vice-dean, continuing competency and assessment (CCA), reported on CCA’s inaugural five-year framework and top priorities, including accessibility. “This will be the first time external users can come in Continuing Professional Development website and use UM Learn by interfacing with our website and with our event management system.”

Dr. Christine Ateah, vice-dean, education, spoke about Office of Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) activities including how the first group of Rady Faculty students from nine health profession programs completed two years of IPC programming .

She noted the Clinical Learning and Simulation Program will be announcing a new director and new Mindermar Professor soon, and thanked Dr. Cheryl ffrench, who has served as interim director since last year.

Dr. Hope Anderson, vice-dean, graduate studies, reported on top priorities: visibility and recruitment, student experience and efficiencies. Following last year’s successful inaugural graduate open house in June, which attracted 85-95 undergraduate students,  the open house will be moved to February 20, 2019 during  Reading Week.  Feedback from participants included: “I wish the rest of the university would do something like this more often.”

Dr. Catherine Cook, vice-dean, Indigenous health, spoke about the faculty’s Reconciliation action plan in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s health-related calls to action. She said the implementation committee, chaired by Dr. Marcia Anderson with representation from all Rady Faculty colleges, began its work earlier this fall, working through five themes: honouring traditional knowledge systems and practices; safe learning environments and professionalism; student support, mentorship and retention; education across the spectrum; and closing the gap in admissions.

Dr. Kevin Coombs, assistant dean, research, Max Rady College of Medicine spoke on behalf of Dr. Peter Nickerson, vice-dean, research. He reported on an emerging complex data strategy and discussed a milestone reached in funding in 2017. “Last year was the first time that we, as a faculty, broke the 100 million dollar barrier in extramural funding, and although it’s still only part way through the year, it looks like we’re headed there this year also,” he said.

Click to view the full Town Hall presentation.