Dr. Nancy Dunlap will step down as dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine at the end of her term in November. She came to U.Va. in May 2013 to guide the school through a critical transition during the search and appointment of an executive vice president for health affairs.
During her tenure as dean, Dunlap led the Medical School’s academic strategic planning process, a process that included broad participation from faculty and staff, improved communication within the school and increased faculty and staff engagement.
The plan, which seeks to enhance the school’s missions of patient care, research and education, is being implemented with tangible progress. For instance, an Office of Faculty Affairs is being established to assist faculty in a variety of areas, including professional development, promotion and tenure. Additional joint degree programs with other U.Va. schools are being considered, a work group is reviewing ways to more efficiently manage clinical trials and new internal awards have been established to fund innovative and integrative projects in education and research.
Dunlap will also lead next month’s reaccreditation process for the School of Medicine from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
Dunlap is hopeful that the school will build on the positive momentum generated by her tenure. “U.Va. is an amazing institution with committed and collaborative faculty and staff who are doing incredible work,” she said. “I know that our School of Medicine will continue to build on our strengths to make it even better in the years to come.”
Dr. Richard P. Shannon, U.Va.’s executive vice president for health affairs, praised Dunlap for her stewardship and leadership during a period of transition. “Her outstanding service to the school merits our gratitude and admiration,” he said.
John D. Simon, U.Va.’s executive vice president and provost, saluted Dunlap for guiding work on the school’s strategic plan. “Thanks to Dr. Dunlap’s leadership and her engagement with faculty and staff, the School of Medicine is well positioned to enhance its excellence in education, patient care and research in the coming years,” he said.
Simon and Shannon will jointly lead the search for the next dean. The School of Medicine’s dean reports to the provost and the executive vice president for health affairs. A search advisory committee has also been launched, co-chaired by Dr. Karen Johnston, chair of U.Va.’s Department of Neurology, and Gary Owens, director of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center.
“I will work with the provost and the co-chairs to create an advisory committee charged to identify a nationally recognized leader in academic medicine,” Shannon said. “The process will be thorough, inclusive and efficient with the hopes of identifying a new dean by year’s end.”