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We are excited to announce the launch of a new Strategic Planning Initiative at the UNC School of Medicine.   This is a real opportunity for faculty to influence the significant investments the SOM will make to do some important things in the academic and research missions of our school over the next five years.  We invite all faculty to participate.

The vital first phase of the project is beginning now and will include information gathering via surveys, focus groups, and interviews. This is an opportunity for faculty to have their voices heard on changes that they believe will help make the School of Medicine an even better place to work and learn.  All faculty members are encouraged to provide their strategic input by completing the survey at this link:

Our last Strategic Plan, published in 2012, informed the development of several new initiatives that have become integral parts of what makes the UNC School of Medicine one of the nation’s best. We are confident that this Strategic Planning effort will help set the course for our institution over the next five years and beyond.

The new Strategic Planning effort will be centered on the areas of education, research, faculty affairs and leadership development, and diversity and inclusion.  The clinical mission, while of course important to our work, is not in scope for this strategic planning process.  In all, we expect to invest approximately $60 million on strategic initiatives born out of this effort over the next five years.

Indeed, input collected during our last Strategic Planning effort resulted in major initiatives including:

  • The development and implementation of the Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) curriculum.
  • The strategic investment in research of over $20M in the last 6 years
    • Started the Translational Team Science Award (TTSA) and the Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research (ECBR) pilot programs for targeted investment in research and team science. Also support for bridge funding for research faculty in the SOM
    • Helped launch  a Children’s Research Institute in the SOM
    • Initiated the Computational Medicine program in the SOM
    • Integrated Computational Biology and Bioinformatics to meet faculty needs including sponsoring bioinformatics workshops on a regular basis to the community
    • Streamlined organization and management of research infrastructure. Developed an annual research equipment acquisition/replacement plan to maintain SOM research unit capabilities
    • Implemented systematic evaluation and reorganization of cores and also developed new research core facilities. Invested in many new technologies throughout the SOM including the purchase of an Arctica cryoEM microscope.
  • Sustained institutional investments in interdisciplinary research training through the Office of Graduate Education. Invested in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) and the MD/PhD training programs.
  • Creation of the UNC Center for Healthcare Innovation and UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement
  • The establishment of the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development, an institutional focus on wellness, and the adoption of the Quadruple Aim
  • The establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Back to Carolina program and the Resident Diversity Initiative

The new Strategic Planning efforts will allow us to identify focus areas that we hope will spur equally positive initiatives over the next several years.

Drs. Julie Byerley and Blossom Damania, Vice Deans for Education and Research respectively, will serve as co-chairs of the effort. A Strategic Planning Oversight Committee has also been established. Members of the Committee include Byerley and Damania as well as Wesley Burks, Katie Eimers, Cam Enarson, Paul Godley, Joanne Jordan, Leslie Nelson, Ernie Schoenfeld, Michael Sledge, and Leeanne Walker. The consulting firm of AltshulerStaats has been engaged to help facilitate certain aspects of this project.

Updates on progress will be shared via Vital Signs throughout the project. If you have questions or would like to give feedback on strategy please contact Julie Byerley or Blossom Damania.

And again, we would greatly appreciate it if faculty took a few minutes to fill out this survey

Thank you,

Burks Signature

Wesley Burks, MD

Executive Dean, UNC School of Medicine