In the coming weeks, UC Davis will launch a search for the next vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences. When this search concludes successfully, a subsequent search will begin for a new dean of the School of Medicine.
The decision to proceed with sequential searches for the vice chancellor and then dean came after significant discussion with UC Davis Health faculty and staff regarding whether to fill the vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine with one person or whether to hire two leaders to fill the two roles.
Faculty and staff responded with thoughtful and insightful comments. Several described character traits, knowledge base and leadership qualities that leaders in these two roles should possess. The strong consensus was that UC Davis Health needs two separate leaders for the two positions.
Over the past decade, UC Davis Health has grown dramatically in terms of size and complexity. The Sacramento campus has nearly 1,500 faculty and other academic staff, 900 residents and fellows, nearly 900 students, and more than 10,000 staff. The hospital has grown to 627 licensed beds, with 33,000 admissions and nearly 80,000 emergency department visits per year. The clinics experience more than 934,000 visits per year.
In addition, UC Davis Health plays a significant role in the greater Sacramento region’s economy. The health system contributes nearly $3.5 billion in annual economic output and more than 20,000 jobs, according to a study commissioned seven years ago.
UC Davis Health will continue to face challenges over the next decade. It will need to be strategic to survive and thrive in an extremely competitive Sacramento regional market. UC Davis faces difficult choices regarding investments that are necessary to maintain quality and meet state and federal requirements (such as privacy, security and seismic standards), while at the same time funding the academic mission.
The vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences’ responsibilities include serving as half of the hospital governing body, developing new donor relationships and stewarding current donors, setting the strategic direction for the enterprise, serving as “the face” of the institution regionally, and balancing financial investments between clinical and academic endeavors.
The successful candidate must navigate the natural and unavoidable tension between the clinical, research, education and service missions of UC Davis Health to guide the executive team toward strong strategic decisions. The vice chancellor should represent UC Davis Health as a unified organization and a Sacramento presence, allowing the School of Medicine dean and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing dean to collaborate with UC Davis’ other deans and the provost regarding academic issues (such as faculty hiring, research investment, centers, etc).
The dean of the School of Medicine would continue to have significant responsibilities, as the size and complexity of the school has also grown significantly. The needs of a growing faculty, staff and students have made the role of department chair more demanding, requiring the dean to be more available, and more focused on the academic mission and the needs of the school.
As is our normal practice, we will appoint a recruitment advisory committee with representation from all concerned constituencies. More details will be available soon as the search for the vice chancellor gets underway.