Weekly Features


IU School of Medicine's dean reflects on his first 100 days on the job

Dec. 19, 2013


People often view the first 100 days in a new leadership role as being a time to learn all that is possible about the organization, to take stock and then begin to identify areas of opportunity and set priorities. Indeed that time has arrived for me.

Jay Hess

Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D.

In short, after 100 days, I am proud to be here. I have never worked with a more talented and dedicated group of people, including not only our deans, chairs, faculty and staff but also our many clinical partners and supporters in our local community and across the state. It has been a great pleasure to begin working with you to understand all that you do on behalf of the school. President McRobbie, Chancellor Bantz and the IU Board of Trustees continue to recognize the importance of the School of Medicine and the other health sciences schools, not just for the university but also for the residents of Indiana and beyond.

While we are navigating challenging times in medicine, there are many opportunities for the School of Medicine to become stronger, and with this kind of support, we have every reason to be confident about our future. A major part of my attention in the year ahead will be to:

1. Communicate the mission, vision and values of the School of Medicine in a way they are understood (and embraced) by all, including faculty, staff, university and community leaders, alumni and donors, and clarify the roles and expectations for each.

2. Work with each executive associate dean and chair to understand their responsibilities, challenges, strengths and opportunities, and to develop mutually agreed-upon goals. An important part of my job is to identify and, whenever possible, provide them with the resources, professional development or other support needed in order to realize those goals.

3. Recruit outstanding talent to serve in open leadership positions including deans, chairs and center directors.

4. Increase chair and other faculty engagement with IU Health and IU Health Physicians, and our other clinical partners, through improved communications, increased transparency, shared decision-making and mutual accountability.

5. Facilitate deeper, more productive collaborations with the other health sciences schools and campuses at IU as well as other universities and the private sector.

6. Prioritize investments in the research and education missions and develop tools to assess the impact of those investments, to ensure that every asset is deployed to its best and highest use, moving the School of Medicine closer to its vision of national pre-eminence.

I’m pleased with the progress made thus far. A few of the highlights include:

  • Successful renewal of NIH funding for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).
  • Appointment of Dr. Anantha Shekhar, director of the Indiana CTSI, as associate vice president for university clinical affairs, who is leading an initiative to position Indiana University as a leader in clinical trials and innovative clinical research.
  • Launch of the IU Health Strategic planning process in coordination with the IU School of Medicine.
  • Initiation of plans for redeveloping the former Wishard Campus as a health sciences campus.

I look forward to sharing news of more of our accomplishments soon.

I moved to Indiana to help advance one of the country’s outstanding academic health systems to greater heights. After three months on the job, I remain very excited and energized by that challenge -- because we have the talent, the dedication and the heart to be successful. 

My best wishes to you for a restful and joyous holiday. 

Best regards,


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