Trustees discuss medical school priorities & issues

At its March 3 meeting in the Eric P. Newman Education Center, the University’s Board of Trustees focused on School of Medicine priorities and issues, including presentations by medical faculty and breakout sessions to discuss medical education, biomedical research and patient care, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

The meeting extended the board’s normal half-day program to a full day of activities, beginning with an overview of medical school priorities and issues by Wrighton and Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

Immediately following were presentations by Shapiro on the medical school’s facilities master plan and presentations by three prominent medical faculty: Samuel A. Wickline, M.D., professor of medicine, spoke on the applications of nanotechnology to cancer and heart disease; Kelle H. Moley, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, discussed early embryonic development and stem-cell research; and R. Gilbert Jost, M.D., the Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt professor of radiology and chair of that department, talked about the Center for Clinical Imaging Research.

The breakout groups were organized as follows: A discussion on medical education was chaired by Alison J. Whelan, M.D., associate dean for undergraduate medical education, associate professor of medicine and of pediatrics. Co-chairing the session was Trustee William B. Neaves, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research of Kansas City.

A research discussion was chaired by Philip D. Stahl, Ph.D., the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. professor of cell biology and chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. Co-chairing was Trustee Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., chief executive officer of Neurome Inc. of La Jolla, Calif.

Shapiro chaired a patient care breakout group, and the co-chair was Trustee Andrew E. Newman, chairman and chief executive officer of Race Rock International of St. Louis.

Each of the co-chairs then reported the results of these discussions to the entire board.

The trustees received a report from Wrighton noting that the University is planning to begin a comprehensive strategic planning process over the next three years. He provided updates on facilities and on MetroLink construction, as well as the University decision to provide free Metro passes to full-time students, benefits-eligible faculty and staff, and to full-time contract workers, effective July 1.

He reported that more than 22,000 applications have been received for the freshman class for fall — a record for the University. Wrighton also updated the trustees on the status of searches for deans for the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the College of Architecture/Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design.

In other action, the trustees received reports from the following committees: audit, development, educational policy, medical finance, undergraduate life and University finance.