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Pursuing the Next Chapter

By Dean Richard Krugman, MD

(November 2014) When a book ends, we don’t stop reading; we reach for something new. And so the time has come for me to pursue my next chapter, too. Since 1990, I have had the privilege of leading this wonderful School of Medicine, and together we have accomplished many great things.

We updated the curriculum to improve the quality of education our student body receives. Students today receive a competency-based, integrated four-year curriculum that better prepares them to improve the quality of health of their patients and communities.

We moved to the 217-acre Anschutz Medical Campus from 44 acres on the Ninth Avenue Campus, establishing one of the best centers for medical knowledge, discovery and patient care in the country, and we are poised for achievements that were unimaginable just a decade ago.

We established higher standards for treating one another with respect. The superior quality of care we give our patients should be reflected in the daily interactions we have with one another, and we have made great strides in creating such an environment.

Amid trying economic times, we have secured our future with a high-performing clinical practice and with strong, abiding partnerships with our affiliated providers who are invested in our education and research missions.

We have improved alumni and philanthropic support. We are grateful for the gifts bestowed on the school by those who have depended on us.

In January, I announced plans to step down as dean of the School of Medicine when a new dean is hired. That process has been moving along this year and should soon be completed.

I plan to return to the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. I’m told they have a nice office with a prime view of a nearby parking garage. That’s OK. I’ll be working on a research project in Belgium that I’ve wanted to do since before becoming interim dean in 1990, and I have children and grandchildren to visit across the country and in Japan; I expect I’ll be traveling a bit.

This message should be my final one for this magazine as your dean, and it is my opportunity to say thank you for your advice, your dedication and your financial support over the years. We have had many colleagues on this journey who will continue to guide the school, and they will continue to make this a great place for learning and caring.

I also have had the privilege of working with other leaders, some who are gone too soon.

My friend Chip Ridgway, MD, MACP, distinguished professor of the university and senior associate dean for academic affairs, is chief among them. Chip died this summer after a sudden illness. His willingness to take on challenging projects and his steady, thoughtful analysis were a constant source of strength and inspiration. Look around this campus and you’ll see his works living here.

In his modest way, Chip would want to share credit and to respect the contributions of others. And with good reason: None of the school’s achievements could be done without you. Together we teach and learn, investigate and discover, cure and care.

Our greatest achievement is to build a school that endures, that serves the people of Colorado and that makes our world a better place. I am grateful that we have made this journey together, and I look forward to the many great things you will continue to do.

With warm regards,

Richard D. Krugman, MD
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
University of Colorado