Three new deans assumed their leadership roles recently and respond to the following questions about “taking the helm”: What have you learned about ATSU? What surprised you? What are your plans for the remainder of 2012?
Christopher Halliday, DDS, MPH, dean, MOSDOH
I’ve learned that ATSU is a special and unique learning institution. I immediately recognized a truly sincere and profound interest from the University in creating and fostering a cooperative, supportive, and collegial atmosphere. The interactions I’ve had, and those that I’ve witnessed, have all been positive, uplifting and inspirational.
I sense an honest mutual respect and high-level of interest among everyone that I have met, and I continue to be amazed and impressed by the friendly, gracious, and cooperative spirit throughout Kirksville.
My immediate plans are to interact with as many community members as I can, and to listen and learn from those that I meet. I want to work with this community to make the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health a globally-recognized leader in dental public health. I have no doubt that we can all achieve that goal.
Kay Kalousek, DO, MS, AAHIVS, FACOFP, dean, SOMA
I have had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the history, mission, and vision of the University and of the role that SOMA has to play in the future of healthcare. I have met with many members of the faculty, staff, and administration of ATSU and have seen the deep commitment that everyone has to creating an outstanding learning environment.
Since I was able to spend a fair amount of time on campus prior to my official start date, I can’t say that I was really surprised, but certainly have been very impressed with everyone’s dedication and cooperative spirit. It’s clear that this is a team with a mission. I guess I was a little surprised by the first Arizona thunderstorm I experienced–it went from clear skies to pouring rain in about 30 minutes!
My plans are to continue to meet with SOMA on-campus and adjunct faculty members to get a better understanding of their various roles, streamline some of the administrative processes within SOMA, talk to as many students as possible to gain further insight regarding their perspectives, visit Community Campuses where our students are training, meet with representatives of other ATSU colleges to plan interprofessional collaboration, and a few dozen other important things!
Margaret Wilson, DO, dean, KCOM
Having been at KCOM for more than 25 years in other professional positions, I am very familiar with most activities at the institution. However, I have learned what a tremendous amount of work and detail goes on in every department and at every level to make the things run smoothly and seamlessly. It has only reinforced my core belief that ATSU has the most dedicated faculty, staff, and students that I could ever hope to work with.
No real surprises other than how much exercise I get running around campus!
My main areas of focus over the upcoming year are accreditation review preparation for COCA, curriculum development, and faculty development. I hope to work with the faculty as we continue to develop a more clinically integrated curriculum and offer faculty development to help enhance what opportunities they have to better our academic environment.