During two open forum meetings Wednesday, Dr. Gold met with faculty and staff to discuss the announcements and answer questions in-person and via livestream from each institution.
The initiatives, which were the recommendations of faculty, staff, students, community and leadership teams collected by CFAR, a respected management consultant group that interviewed dozens of UNMC and UNO and community members over the past several months, "serve to strengthen the brand and mission of each campus with effective leadership integration in a resource-constrained world," Dr. Gold said.
At the same time, the distinctions, he said, that make UNO and UNMC unique "need to be preserved and strengthened, not blurred in any way."
The UNMC-UNO integration strategies include the following key areas:
- Shared leadership of business and finance. The two open vice chancellor positions will become one, with the position expanded to include a focus on economic development and internal business development functions. A search for this position will commence shortly.
- Shared leadership of student affairs. UNO's leadership in student affairs will be leveraged to strengthen those functions on the UNMC campus. Dan Shipp, Ed.D., will lead this effort as vice chancellor for student success, a new joint leadership position created to strengthen and coordinate these functions across the campuses. In this new role, he will report directly to Dr. Gold.
- Changing the role of the UNMC vice chancellor for academic affairs. As part of this strategy, the UNMC deans will report to Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dele Davies, M.D. This strengthens UNMC's campus-focused academic leadership.
- Utilizing the strengths of each campus to better align communications, marketing, public relations, and government relations -- with coordination with alumni relations -- under UNMC Vice Chancellor for External Relations Bob Bartee. As part of this change, UNO's Office of University Communications will report to Vice Chancellor Bartee.
In spite of existing challenges, there is much to applaud across the medical center campus, he said, referencing a number of successes, including record enrollments, high levels of community engagement, the recent launch of a new College of Medicine curriculum, various program accolades and an increased volume and quality of care at Nebraska Medicine.
"Your university is involved in all of that," he said. "You should be proud!"