Stuart D. Cook
Thank you, Ms.
Miranda, and thank you Dr. Paz for graciously agreeing to host this
year's University Day. University Day is an occasion to relish the
achievements of the past year and to acknowledge the goals and challenges
that lie before us. It is a pleasure to be here to share my thoughts
our successes, I would like to mention that earlier today Gubernatorial
Candidate Jim McGreevey was at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey
to unveil his plan for expanding CINJ to our Newark and Camden County
campuses. He also proposed the location of a cancer cluster task
force in the UMDNJ School of Public Health.
I would also
like to congratulate this year's recipient of the University Medal
for Distinguished Leadership-- Brendan Byrne. We are a statewide
university due in no small measure to his leadership and we are
forever grateful for his friendship.
are also in order to our 14 new Master Educators and to this year's
recipients of the University Excellence Awards.
to today's address, let me say that the remarkable strides the University
has made over the past 12 months are due to the talents and hard
work of many of you here today. By you, I mean Isabel Miranda and
the Board of Trustees, our eight deans and the senior administration
of the University, our faculty, our students, our staff, our alumni
and the Foundation of UMDNJ. But, in particular, I want to acknowledge
the key role of the faculty in educating our students, making cutting-edge
contributions to science and delivering outstanding health care.
I am very proud of their commitment to this institution. In addition,
I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Fred Humphrey, dean of
the School of Osteopathic Medicine for the past 15 years, and Dr.
Fran Ward, founding dean of the School of Nursing, both of whom
have announced they will be stepping down in June 2002. Dr. Humphrey
and Dr. Ward have each provided the critical leadership which has
led to the successful development of their respective schools. I
wish them well in the coming academic year and continued success
in their future endeavors.
As you know,
we are a University on a five-year mission to raise ourselves to
the elite tier of institutions known nationally for their educational,
research and patient care activities. In 1999 we adopted a strategic
intent and its attendant goals and benchmarks to direct and measure
our progress on this journey. Although many of you have heard these
five goals so often that you can repeat them with me, for those
that have not heard them before, they are:
- To double
- To improve
- To enhance
patient care and patient satisfaction
- To improve
our efforts in community service and diversity, and
- To build UMDNJ's
reputation both statewide and nationally
This past year,
our initiatives have allowed us to surpass expectations in several
areas. Here are just a few of last year's highlights:
In the area of
- UMDNJ competitive
research revenues are increasing at a substantially faster pace
than the growth in federal funding. While funding of U.S. allopathic
medical schools by the National Institutes of Health increased
by a mean of 13 percent last year, NIH research grants to UMDNJ
have increased by two to three times the national average over
the past year.
- During the
past year we also recruited two new University professors and
established six new endowed chairs.
In the area of
- With the induction
of 14 faculty members into the Master Educators Guild today, we
now have 26 Master Educators at the University. These individuals,
chosen by students, faculty and deans for their outstanding teaching
credentials, are working actively to enhance the quality of teaching
throughout the University.
- We have recruited
outstanding new deans for two of our schools, Dr. Russell Joffe,
who became dean of New Jersey Medical School in January after
previously serving as dean of McMaster University Medical School,
and Dr. Cecile Feldman, who became dean of New Jersey Dental School
in February after serving as interim dean for the prior year.
- During its
first accreditation site visit, the School of Public Health received
several commendations, including being the first statewide multi-university
school of public health in the nation to have met accreditation
- The New Jersey
Dental School has become the third dental school in the nation
to implement a digital curriculum, a reflection of the on-going
efforts at all UMDNJ's schools to ensure that our students are
technologically proficient and learning about the latest advances
in their respective fields.
In the area of
- The Cancer
Institute of New Jersey has become the University's first statewide
Center of Excellence, with plans underway to expand our cancer
programs in New Brunswick, Newark and South Jersey.
- The New Jersey
Medical School signed an affiliation agreement with Atlantic Health
Systems designating Morristown Memorial Hospital as a UMDNJ university
hospital and Overlook Hospital as a major clinical affiliate.
Hospital, facing a large projected deficit for Fiscal Year 2001,
actually finished the year with a modest profit. The hospital
also has a excellent new CEO, Mr. Sidney Mitchell, formerly CEO
of the University of Illinois Medical Center Hospital. Welcome
Behavioral HealthCare has expanded from six to 18 major behavioral
health care facilities in New Jersey over the past three years
and is now the largest behavioral health care program in the nation.
- An electronic
medical records system is being implemented University-wide which
will help to better care for our patients, improve our teaching
and optimally position us to attract clinical trials to UMDNJ.
In the area of
diversity and community service:
- We have established
a University-wide Institute to Eliminate Health Disparities which
will be based in the School of Public Health. Its goal is to focus
the University's research and clinical expertise on programs that
will lead to the elimination of health disparities based on race,
gender and ethnicity. The Institute has been allocated money from
the University for start-up funding and I anticipate a full-time
executive director will be named this fall following a national
In the area of
- Last year,
the University initiated a comprehensive advertising campaign,
introduced a new logo, and launched an effective public relations
program that included stories on UMDNJ research which appeared
on all the major networks and in many of the nation's largest
are the highlights, although there is much more I could talk about.
I hope you will agree that since my report to you on University
Day last September, we've had a very productive year. We also have
many exciting plans for Academic Year 2002 and will undoubtedly
face many new challenges, but I believe that working together as
a University family, we can maintain our momentum towards excellence.
First, I'd like
to update you on our $356 million capital construction campaign.
This past year, only a few of our many new projects were initiated,
and one, the research annex on thePiscataway
campus of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School was completed.
On the Newark
campus, the new building for University Behavioral HealthCare will
open in December and the expansion of the emergency room at University
Hospital is about halfway completed. In addition, next March, the
International Center for Public Health, the new home of two major
programs at New Jersey Medical
School, will host World Tuberculosis Day as its grand-opening event.
But this is
just the beginning. By December 2002, we will hold ground-breaking
ceremonies for all of our other planned expansions on the Newark,
Piscataway, New Brunswick and Stratford campuses. This building
program will increase our total facilities by nearly 20 percent,
a rate of growth unprecedented in our 31 years of existence as a
On the Piscataway
and New Brunswick campuses, we will renovate space in the Research
Tower/Kessler Teaching Laboratories and the Medical Education Building;
will construct a new research building which will also house the
School of Public Health, a new building for the Child Health Institute;
and will also erect a 143,000 square foot expansion of the Cancer
Institute of New Jersey.
On the Stratford
campus we have planned a 16,000 square foot renovation of research
space in the Science Center, a 57,000 square foot addition to the
Specialty Care Center for clinical care, and a 25,000 square foot
renovation of the Primary Care Center, which houses
the South Jersey Campuses of the School of Health Related Professions,
the School of Nursing, the School of Public Health and the Graduate
School of Biomedical Sciences.
When this building
program is finished, the University will consist of 62 buildings
with 5.8 million square feet of space set on 181 acres on five campuses.
But space alone
is not enough. To achieve the national stature we seek, we must
continue to recruit world-class scientists, clinicians and teachers
to join the outstanding cadre of faculty already in our ranks. In
order to provide the most cutting-edge therapies for our patients
and enhance our clinical research programs, we are developing a
University General Clinical Research Center. The goal of this program
is to facilitate access to clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical
companies and the National Institutes of Health. I am pleased that
researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the New
Jersey Medical School have submitted a grant to the National Institutes
of Health which, if funded, could provide between $2 and $5 million
annually to further this initiative.
We must also
continually evaluate and improve our curriculum to be able to offer
our students the most relevant education and prepare them to be
life-long problem solvers. Together with the other colleges and
universities in the state, we must strive to work closely with the
pharmaceutical and other high tech industries to educate the workforce
of tomorrow, thereby maintaining the vitality of New Jersey's economy.
In the clinical
arena, the realities of managed care and government reimbursement
for health care services require that we vigorously continue our
retooling of University Hospital, including the development of product
lines and productivity measures that both meet the needs of the
market and are profitable.
We must also
work closely with our affiliated hospitals to achieve mutual success
because we are dependent upon each other in order to offer the highest
quality care in the best educational environment.
government, our affiliated hospitals and the practicing physicians
in New Jersey, we must work tirelessly to ensure that every individual--regardless
of race, creed, color or financial status-- has access to quality
to ensure diversity among our students, faculty and staff is a major
focus of the University this year. In the past, we have developed
a national reputation for our minority student recruitment programs.
We must continue these efforts and strive to find new approaches
for identifying and recruiting disadvantaged students, faculty and
staff to the University family.
And as a society,
we must ensure that our best and brightest students are attracted
to the health care professions and have the resources to achieve
their goals. As a University, we must play our part by providing
more scholarship support and by developing appropriate academic
pipelines. Future generations of New Jerseyans are counting on us
to produce health care professionals who are intelligent, compassionate,
and committed to providing the highest quality care. This year,
with support from the Foundation of UMDNJ, we made $500,000 in new
scholarships available for our students. The deans tell me this
support is making a difference in their recruiting efforts and we
are committed to adding at least $500,000 more each year for the
next four years.
will be unveiling a new and expanded marketing campaign to enhance
our regional and national image. But the degree of success we have
in this arena will also be heavily dependent on continually enhancing
our stellar reputation in education, patient care and research.
As you heard
just a few moments ago from Roger Fine, The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation is contributing a total of three $10
million grants to UMDNJ--the largest private contribution in the
University's history-- to be used for three projects on our New
Brunswick campus-- the Cancer Institute, the Child Health Institute
and the Cardiovascular Institute. We are proud of the confidence
that The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has had in the University
and its ability to address the health care needs of the citizens
of our state. In addition to our support from the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, the Foundation of UMDNJ has performed spectacularly
well under the leadership of Mike Bassoff and Roger Fine.
With the recruitment
of many new fund-raisers, decentralization of fund-raising activities,
and the addition of several outstanding individuals to our Foundation
board, we anticipate continued exponential growth in Foundation
revenues to fuel our ambitious goals.
Finally, I would
be remiss if I did not mention one other major issue we face--the
tightening environment of government regulatory affairs. Over the
past year, we have all read stories in the national news about prestigious
institutions of higher education which have been cited by federal
regulators for violating research protocols, leading in some cases
to the death of patients.
I believe that
thus far our University is ahead of the curve on this issue because
we have aggressively pursued our commitment to patient safety and
medical privacy through two initiatives. An Office of Corporate
Compliance has been established to guide the University in meeting
increased demands for accountability in research
and clinical care. It includes training courses to assure compliance
with the new federal medical privacy laws that will take effect
over the next five years.
to this, the University has developed a human subjects protection
program with responsiveness, training and monitoring components.
The Institutional Review Boards have been restructured to improve
the University's responsiveness to internal and external constituencies.
We have become a national leader in developing innovative training
programs related to new federal guidelines for clinical trials involving
human subjects. Finally, we have implemented monitoring and observation
programs to follow approved human research protocols from beginning
to end. Regulatory affairs will continue to require maximum time
and effort from many sectors within the University this coming year
and into the future.
It is my firm
belief that the pursuit of scholarship by our faculty is the underlying
reason for our success. I have asked Dr. Saporito to lead the development
of an initiative called "Scholarship Counts," which will be the
core of a new qualitative and quantitative assessment plan that
measures research and clinical activity, scholarly effort in education,
degree of community service, and administrative contributions. "Scholarship
Counts" will be our way of evaluating the broad scope of scholarly
effort by UMDNJ's faculty.
My final thought
to leave with you today is that we must continue the momentum of
the past two years. Working together we will create a truly outstanding
health sciences university. To obtain your valued input, I will
schedule a series of meetings with faculty and students on each
campus. These meetings will allow me to hear your thoughts on ways
to improve our environment and stimulate productivity.
I am upbeat
about our future. I believe that over the past two years, we have
experienced phenomenal growth and that we are indeed
a university on the move. I am immensely proud of our programs and
thank all of you for helping to make it happen. With your support,
we will continue on our trajectory to greatness. Thank you.