“Purposeful Actions, Promising Results: Relentlessly Advancing” was the theme of the 2013 State of the School addressed delivered on September 25, 2013 by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, Dean Reece applauded the way in which the School of Medicine has not wavered from the path of success, in spite of such daunting challenges as sequestration and reduced funding for research from the National Institutes for Health (NIH). “While our progress has been considerable, we faced strong headwinds and challenges, some of which were anticipated and others that were harsh and unexpected,” Dean Reece said. “We nevertheless embraced the charge of the great American author Henry David Thoreau to go confidently in the direction of our dreams. It was against this tide of uncertainty that the School of Medicine persisted to advance relentlessly.”
Much of the forward momentum was the result of a concrete, multi-year plan entitled Shared Vision 2020 plan for UM Medicine, which has been implemented to keep the School of Medicine moving in the right direction. “Throughout the past year, we refused to be slowed down by outside forces that threatened to undermine our progress,” said the dean. “We took bold, purposeful and strategic actions. We were nimble and wisely opportunistic, pursuing the most promising opportunities, while also taking some calculated risks. We advanced relentlessly, always with a goal toward maintaining our strong, competitive advantage.”
This approach was most evident in the protracted but ultimately successful efforts to secure funding for a new School of Medicine research building, Health Science Facility III (HSF-III). Showing a slide of an artist’s rendering of the building, Dean Reece said happily, “I have a different spin on HSF-III this year – it’s a reality! With support from the Maryland General Assembly, we just broke ground on this $305 million research building, which will serve as a magnet for attracting world-class researchers and will further strengthen the School of Medicine’s biomedical research structure.”