Dean’s Corner

Stepping Into a New Position

By Richard DiCarlo, M.D.

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Institutional Affairs

When Dr. Hollenbach asked for a ‘Dean’s Corner’ column for this edition of The Pulse, I considered all of the ongoing work in the Dean’s Office about which I could write. There are new initiatives and ongoing projects in many areas:  Undergraduate Medical Education, Graduate Medical Education, Student Affairs, Diversity, and Clinical Affairs to name a few. These are all exciting changes. It is also exciting that our relationships with University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, the newly opened Veterans Affairs hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and Lafayette General Medical Center continue to grow. All of this is happening in addition to the enormous amount of work many people are putting into preparations for our upcoming LCME reaccreditation site visit. You have heard about curriculum renewal, new pipeline programs, expansion of the clinical enterprise, and other initiatives. These may be topics for future columns and you will certainly hear more about the LCME in coming months. So I decided instead, to write a little bit about the Office of Faculty and Institutional Affairs.

I am still taking stock of the processes in the office and have no new initiatives to report on. I am extremely grateful for the excellent office staff who keep everything running smoothly, and who have been extremely patient with me as I learn the responsibilities of the position. As I reflect on the last few weeks, the first thing that comes to mind is that the scope of operations is enormous and complex. The second thing that comes to mind is the astounding amount of service that Dr. Letourneau provided to the school in her role as Associate Dean in this office.

Walking through the file archives, I see walls of faculty appointment and promotion packets that date back nearly 20 years. It is an impressive sight, and it is overwhelming to imagine that Dr. Letourneau played a role in every faculty appointment and promotion. She mentored countless faculty members for career development and provided valuable advice for advancement. She carefully read every CV and advised changes when necessary to ensure the best chance for success in the promotion process. She provided guidance to every new department head, advised them about all school processes, and assisted them with new hires. She read every letter of appointment and reassignment to ensure accuracy and clarity of expectations. She cultivated good working relationships with our clinical partners that will benefit all of us in the years to come.  The list goes on and on.

At the end of every day, as folders full of letters, PM-11s, credentialing packets, malpractice verification requests, and other forms land on my desk for review, I am reminded of all that Dr. Letourneau did for the school. Throughout her years of service, she treated everyone with respect and remained a strong advocate for the faculty. We all owe her our gratitude for years of hard work and dedication. Every day, I gain a greater appreciation for her perspective and her depth of understanding about the challenges we face. I am grateful for the mentorship and advice she continues to provide, and remain somewhat daunted by the person I am following in this office, and the role I have to fill.