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What's Going on Here?

July 28, 2014


Dear Colleague,

It is the last Monday of July and that used to mean there was a baseball game in Cooperstown, N.Y. – the annual Hall of Fame Game. The three managers who are being inducted into the Hall today are all about my age and I remember watching all of them as players years ago. I even remember attending the Hall of Fame Games in 1955 and 1956 when the “Intermediate Group” took a yellow Blue Bird bus from Equinunk, Penn., where I was a camper, to Cooperstown (with an overnight stop in Oneonta, N.Y.).  We saw Joe DiMaggio inducted in 1955 and Hank Greenberg in 1956. I have no idea who played in the games; it really didn’t matter much. 

I think a lot of people have been away on vacation these past few weeks. Email traffic is down, the number of daily meetings is down and I haven’t had to go to a single dinner all week. And none are on the horizon this coming week either. 

Last Thursday afternoon I met with the Department of Anesthesiology to discuss the process for the upcoming search for a new chair. Because there are a few searches underway at the moment, I thought I would share my thoughts on how to maintain our momentum as a School, a department or a division when change is in process.  First and foremost, our faculty, students, residents, fellows and staff are the strength of this institution. You are the people who make this institution as great as it is.  Losing a leader, whether by that person’s decision to move on or someone’s decision to replace him or her, is rarely catastrophic to an organization. The vast majority of the work that goes on here every day is important, productive and is unseen by most of us in administration. We tend only to see those things that are not going so well or that need our intervention. Second, there is a myth that being interim or being in a job after announcing you are going to step down at the conclusion of a search means you are a “lame duck.” The institution cannot afford to have its administration stand still and wait for the next person to get here. Third, while searches sometimes take a little longer than we anticipate, we should remember that we are a place that is attractive to a lot of really good people around the country and it is up to all of us to recruit our next leaders and support them when they get here so they can work with all of us to take our School to the next level.

Because I was meeting with the Department Anesthesiology, I missed the Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)’s executive committee meeting where a bottle of champagne was popped to honor Bob Eckel, MD, professor of medicine (endocrinology). Bob is stepping down from leading the UCH Clinical Research Center core after two decades of overseeing the inpatient and outpatient UCH clinical research center program and going to half-time Aug. 1. Bob was also the program director for the General Clinical Research Centers, which preceded the CCTSI. We thank him for his long career fostering investigator-initiated clinical research here.

Private contributions to support the University of Colorado totaled $298.4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, a 15.3 percent increase from the previous year and the fourth consecutive annual increase from the previous year. The CU Anschutz Medical Campus was the beneficiary of $69.5 million of the $154.1 million that was donated to the University through the CU Foundation. We remain grateful for the generous support that strengthens our School and provides benefits to the many people who depend on us to provide excellent care, to teach the next generation of medical professionals and to discover new ways of understanding the world around us.

Erica Irene Martinez is the recipient of the first Ridgway Medical Scholarship. Erica will matriculate into the class of 2018 on Aug. 8, 2014. She is a graduate of George Washington High School in Denver and of Macalester College with a degree in anthropology and a minor in biology, community and global health. In her application essay, Erica noted that she has been interested in health disparities and that she hopes to use her background in cultural anthropology and public health to work on these issues in underserved communities. The scholarship was created by a donation from Chip Ridgway, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, as part of the president’s challenge for medical scholarships. We express our thanks to Chip and congratulations to Erica. 

Have a good week,

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


"What’s Going On Here" is an email news bulletin from Richard Krugman, MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service.
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