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April 13, 2005

Plan for Bylaws Implementation and Appointment of Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

As you know, the revision of the Bylaws of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine (SOM) were completed in January 2005 and, by March 1, 2005, were approved by the Dean’s Advisory Committee (unanimously), the SOM Council (77% approval), the voting faculty of the SOM (84% approval), and the Board of Directors of the University of Connecticut Health Center (unanimously).

I have asked the members of the Guidelines Revision Committee as well as the members of the Steering Committee of Council to serve on the Bylaws Implementation Committee, chaired by Mary Casey Jacob. This committee has a significant amount of important work to do, since the Bylaws require significant shifts in the “governance culture” for both faculty and administration. They require that faculty and administration work together to develop policies and plans and solve problems. They require that the various domains (Education, Clinical Affairs, Research and Public Issues) integrate their policies and plans with one another. They emphasize smaller committees than in the past, but much greater communication with faculty. They ask for accountability including regular departmental and center reviews with term limits (renewable) on the appointment of department chairs and center directors

Implementation tasks to accomplish include:

  1. Assisting faculty to understand the coming changes and consider personal participation;
  2. Developing the nomination processes;
  3. Holding elections; and
  4. Transitioning from current governance structures to new ones.

Our timeline is as follows:

  1. All transition planning to be completed by June 2005.
  2. All parts of the Bylaws and the appendices not requiring elections go into effect July 1, 2005.
  3. “Cultural shift” activities to be completed by September 2005.
  4. Nominations completed by October 2005.
  5. Elections in November 2005.
  6. Implementation in December 2005, including the dissolution of the Dean’s Advisory Committee and the School of Medicine Council.

I take this opportunity to again thank all those who have worked so constructively on this revision of the Bylaws of the School of Medicine. Your accomplishment is very important not only now but also for many students and faculty in years to come. I further thank Mary Casey Jacob for her leadership of this effort. It was exemplary. In recognition of that, effective immediately, Dr. Jacob is appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. The relevant job description is attached. Please join me in congratulating Mary Casey.

Finally, just as the Guidelines Revision Committee kept you informed as their work progressed, the Bylaws Implementation Committee will also regularly inform you regarding progress. Please join with the Bylaws Implementation Committee to facilitate the transition, and, thereby, make governance here at the Health Center a more collaborative process.

Duties and Responsibilities – Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (PDF)

Peter J. Deckers, M.D.
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UConn School of Medicine