NEOMED Board of Trustees Quarterly Meeting Highlights

The Pulse is happy to announce that we will be providing you with highlights from NEOMED’s quarterly Board of Trustees meetings. As part of the University’s increased transparency, these highlights will be among many additions to The Pulse’s content that will make the news beats for NEOMED a must-read publication, more than ever before.

Highlights from the Board of Trustees meeting June 3, 2020

President Langell announced that NEOMED has officially launched the Exceptional Student Experience ― an initiative that puts the educational, social and wellness needs of our students first. In addition to the development of initiatives to ensure that all students have exceptional experiences at NEOMED, all decisions made must consider the optimization of the student experience first before they are finalized. Dr. Langell announced that the completion of the new medical office building is on schedule (August) and within budget. He also discussed the need for additional classroom space due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements and, as a result, plans to use the NEW Center’s Grand Ballroom and Cook Alumni Hall for classroom space.

Dr. Langell reiterated NEOMED’s position in which it condemns systemic racism and the violence that led to the senseless deaths of members of our black community. He noted that NEOMED has taken a stand against racism and has recognized systemic racism as a public health crisis.

Despite NEOMED revenue losses due to COVID and state share of instruction reductions due to state of Ohio budget cuts, Dr. Langell expressed appreciation that NEOMED was able to resist the approach of most state universities that had to implement salary reductions, large-scale layoffs and forced furloughs. Instead, the University found creative ways to reduce expenses, not only protecting the employment of its full-time staff and faculty but also without compromising the quality of our students’ education. 

He concluded his remarks by thanking David Johnson, a rising fourth-year medicine student, for his service as a student member of the Board of Trustees.

Notes from others

  • Daniel Blain, vice president for advancement, announced several new gifts to the Foundation, including $2.3 million from Fred Davis of Kent and a $25K matching gift challenge by CCG Automation. He added that we still need about $180K by end of June for the Blue Fund to reach its goal of $500,000. Craig Eynon provided an in-depth summary of Alumni Relations and its engagement through the Alumni Association.
  • College of Medicine Dean Elisabeth Young provided dates for next steps with LCME including: Secretariat virtual site visit in July 2020, a limited site visit in January 2021 and the LCME Committee meeting and findings, which will be sent to NEOMED in June 2021. Dr. Young discussed changes in place due to COVID-19 and the progress that has been made by the College ― ahead of many across the state. She provided the following details:
    • Two-thirds of students were back into rotations by June 1, with the remaining third returned by June 15.
    • M3s will move to M4 mid-July; new M3s will start mid-July and do rotations in August.
    • Clerkships will become a 50/50 split to include discipline-based online training.
    • M4s will finish their third year in January 2020. Interviews at hospitals will be virtual; no travel for electives ― they will all occur locally.
  • College of Graduate Studies Dean Steven Schmidt announced that research fellows will begin Monday, June 8.
  • College of Pharmacy Dean Richard Kasmer shared news regarding the rankings of the pharmacy schools in an American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE) article which notes the shortcomings of current models such as the US News & World Report (USNR) rankings. The article calls for development of a meaningful new method. Dr. Kasmer noted the AJPE suggest an ideal measurement system would include multiple measures of quality, with the NAPLEX pass rates for schools of pharmacy being one of them. According to ranking based on the first-attempt pass rates of the top performing pharmacy schools, NEOMED’s College of Pharmacy is 12th (out of 143) in the country instead of 66th as listed on the USNR rankings.
  • Mary Taylor, vice president for operations and finance, proposed a student health services fees of $250 that would give students access to a new University health center ― a need that was cemented by the Ohio Inter-University Council meetings, which determined that state universities would need to establish a safe return-to-campus plan, including the ability to screen, test, diagnose and manage potential COVID-19 pandemic risks. The fee will allow NEOMED to provide students free access to an on-campus primary care physician without any deductibles. It is not health insurance, and therefore does not replace a student’s need for coverage to gain access to hospital or other care provider services, but it will help ensure our students have timely access to a healthcare provider. Taylor also provided details of the University cost reductions, including sweeping all unfilled positions; a hiring freeze; changes to benefits; and changes to auxiliary services, including the elimination of a conference services subsidy. Taylor also announced that the University finalized its purchase of 6.6 acres of ODOT property adjacent to the University for future growth plans.
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