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Direct from the Dean: Let’s start a conversation


Direct from the Dean October header

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that your fall is off to a good start.

As I look to the future of Indiana University School of Medicine, I feel strongly that meaningful communication is essential for our success, just as effective communication with our patients is essential for their health.

With that in mind, I am working to communicate more frequently and effectively with the IU School of Medicine community about some of the most important priorities and pressing challenges for our school, our profession and the health of our state.

One impetus for this renewed focus on communication is our new strategic plan, which incorporates input from hundreds of individuals in the School of Medicine community. We have set bold goals for the next four years, including improving the health of Indiana’s citizens in specific areas, maximizing the success of all learners, and translating more discoveries into diagnostics, treatments and cures.

In order for us to be successful, plans like this can’t just be embraced by a select group of leaders. They must be shared by all of us—faculty, staff and learners—so there is a collective sense of why these goals are important and what our roles are in reaching them.

I want to help all in the school be familiar with the vision and goals we have for the years ahead, be regularly informed about what progress we are making, and have opportunities to impact our future direction through your talent and ideas.

I know that good communication is bidirectional. We need to create more opportunities for real conversations—about not only what is going well, but what opportunities we are missing to be great.

Here are some examples of what you can expect from me in the coming months:

  • I will be writing a monthly column—starting with this one—about an area of strategic importance. I might share what we are doing about student debt, highlight work underway to address Indiana’s high infant and maternal mortality rates, or address the rationale behind the new funds flow model. If you have thoughts about topics you would like me to address, let me know. My goal is to ensure you are aware of both what is taking place and why.
  • I have held office hours in the Medical Science Building since I started as dean, but have found that I have relatively few takers. I will use that time instead to get out across campus and around the state more. I will be looking forward to visiting labs, rounding with residents, sitting in on classes and hearing your ideas. I have also asked department chairs and other leaders to let me know if there is an event taking place that I should know about.
  • I will include an occasional “Dean’s Spotlight” section in InScope to celebrate a person or program in the school who is doing something truly extraordinary that contributes to our mission.
  • We are a big institution, making it challenging to communicate with so many people spread throughout the state. But I am committed to finding avenues that work, because that will be key to our success. I look forward to our continued conversations.


Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA
Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine
Indiana University

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA

Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs

Jay L. Hess MD, PhD, MHSA became Dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs at Indiana University in September 2013. Read his full bio.