Looking Ahead: The TUSDM Town Hall Meetings

TUSDM faculty and staff had the opportunity engage with the school’s leadership and receive information about major school initiatives during the school’s Town Hall meetings this month.

Dean Huw Thomas (Credit: Alonso Nichols for Tufts University)

The meetings took place on October 7, 8, 9, and 17at noon in Merritt Auditorium and were led by Dean Huw Thomas, and Dr. Nadeem Karimbux, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The meetings, which take place approximately every six months, provide a forum for faculty and staff to learn about important issues facing the school and provide feedback. This year the topics ranged from an update on the 2020! Vision Strategic Plan, and an analysis of the FY13 budget, presentation on the curriculum revision process and a reminder about the Accreditation site visit in 2015.

Dean Thomas presented the completed strategic plan and asked for final perspectives on the plan by November 5, to coincide with the roll-out of the university strategic plan. He thanked the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) which led the development and writing of the strategic plan, and the Strategic Planning Oversight Committee (SPOC), which is charged with implementation of the plan’s primary goals. Several committees have already formed to address initiatives, including continuing education, faculty evaluation, the increasing number of women entering dentistry, and creating efficiencies in the clinic.

Dean Thomas also provided analysis of the FY13 budget, particularly the discrepancy between the clinic’s revenue and expenses. He noted that the school is currently solvent, though the gap between expenses and revenue is closing. While 44 percent of the annual budget goes to expenses related to the clinic, the clinic only yields 35 percent of the budget’s revenue.

Dr. Karimbux presented recent revisions to the curriculum, which were developed to expand the inclusion of interprofessional education and experiential learning, and provide developmental activities within the curriculum. The curriculum will also allow students to apply clinical skills earlier in their time at TUSDM and creates “pods” – a team or group that delivers care together to assist with policy setting and prevent mistakes.

The presentation was closed with a reminder from Dr. Karimbux about the upcoming accreditation site visits from CODA, which are set to take place February 24-26, 2015. While more than a year out, Dr. Karimbux stressed the importance of including these dates in any travel planning or vacations to ensure that all faculty and staff members are present for the visit.

The next Town Hall Meetings are scheduled for April 2014.