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A Message from the Dean


									A Message from the Dean

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Members of the College of Medicine Community:

On the heels of Dr. Dickey’s recent announcement about the status of the Health Science Center budget, I want to
tell you about what this means for the College in general and all of you individually.

The news we are hearing from Austin about the state’s budget is ominous. While we hope for the best, prudence
dictates that we prepare for the worst. In keeping with that strategy, the Health Science Center has asked us to
prepare a 5 percent reversion in the current fiscal year and plan for the potential of an additional cut of up to
10 percent in the next biennium. In terms of dollars, that means we must cut $1.7 million from our budget for the
current 2011 fiscal year and make plans for a further reduction of $5 million in fiscal year 2012 and thereafter.

This indeed is a very challenging situation, and we will need to make difficult decisions about positions and
programs. As is consistent with my leadership style I intend to be entirely transparent with you in this process.

To help deal with our budget situation I have appointed Matt Brown as Vice Dean for Finance and Administration
effective immediately. Many of you know Matt from his excellent work as Assistant Vice President for Finance for
the Health Science Center. I welcome Matt to our leadership team, and I look forward to working with him in this
new role. I have charged him to convene a Budget Strategy Task Force to advise me on how best to structure the
budget reductions we must make. This group includes a cross section of the College of Medicine community to
ensure that all perspectives are represented:

                        Matt Brown, Chair
                        Paul Ogden, M.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
                        Van Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
                        Karan Chavis, Assistant Dean for Planning and Evaluation
                        Don Wesson, M.D., Vice Dean of the Temple Campus
                        Kathryn Kotrla, M.D., Associate Dean of the Round Rock Campus
                        Chris Cargile, M.D., Associate Dean of the Bryan-College Station Campus
                        Siegfried Musser, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
                        Bill Griffith, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics
                        Alex Arroliga, M.D., Chair of Internal Medicine
                        Rachel Bramson, M.D., Associate Professor of Humanities in Medicine and Family &
                           Community Medicine
                        Vernon Tesh, Ph.D., Professor of Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis
                        David Michel, Class of 2014 President

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A Message from the Dean

My first priority will be to protect medical student education, the reason why we exist as an organization, however,
cuts of this magnitude will impact all aspects of what we do. Business as usual is no longer tenable. We will need to
reinvent ourselves as an organization, and some organizational restructuring will no doubt be necessary. That said,
let me be entirely honest. As the majority of our budget is allocated to personnel related expenses, some positions
will need to be eliminated. Although this may seem small consolation to those directly impacted, I pledge to do
everything in my power to help those who lose their positions to move on to other opportunities. Even our students
will be impacted by this situation, as I will have to recommend a tuition increase to partially offset the funding cuts
that will be required.

Despite cuts in particular programs, I expect that additional across-the-board cost-cutting will be necessary to meet
our budget reduction targets, and everyone in the College of Medicine will be called upon to contribute to the
budget reductions we must make. Although I wish otherwise, at the end of the day my first priority is not to any
individual employees but to the College as a whole. We must do what needs to be done to preserve our ability to
train the next generation of physicians and scientists for Texas.

Although the storm clouds crowding around us are dark there is a silver lining. As Shakespeare noted, “Come what
come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.” We will get through the present difficulties and
emerge stronger for having endured these challenging times. I appreciate your continued support.

T. Samuel Shomaker, M.D., J.D.
The Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of Medicine and
Vice President for Clinical Affairs for the Texas A&M Health Science Center

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