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Dean Reece Delivers His First State of the School Address

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

 The soundtrack of the speech included the Steve Miller Band's hit "Fly Like an Eagle," emphasizing Dean Reece's theme of soaring to greater heights.

Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA gave his first State of the School address September 25 in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the MSTF auditorium. The theme was "Soaring to Greater Heights, Together." In his speech, the dean compared the School of Medicine to the majestic eagle, who will continue to fly in the face of all kinds of adversity, just as the school continues to succeed despite continuing challenges.


After reviewing the highlights of his first year as dean of the School of Medicine, including special segments on bicentennial events and faculty accomplishments, Dean Reece got down to business. He was proud to reveal that in spite of NIH cutbacks and other funding challenges, grants to the School of Medicine increased 6.2 percent in FY07, to $344 million.


These numbers did not include funding for the two new institutes added to the School of Medicine in 2007, the Institute for Human Virology and the Institute for Genome Sciences, which together are expected to bring more than $25 million in funding to the school. These institutes will also add almost 400 staff and 60-70 faculty members to the school workforce, which also saw an increase this year, particularly in the areas of women and under-represented minorities.


The School of Medicine currently ranks 19th out of all 126 medical schools in the country in direct grants and contract expenditures. It leaps up to 7th place when compared to all 75 public medical schools. The school's total revenue, which includes grants, tuition, state funding, faculty practice and philanthropic gifts, was $676.3 million. Its economic impact on the state of Maryland was an astounding $1.5 billion.


Among the other highlights of 2007:


  • Private gifts to the school increased from $43.6 million to $46 million.
  • Endowments rose from $133 million to $166 million, enabling the establishment of five new endowed professorships. There are currently 45 endowed chairs and professorships at the School of Medicine.
  • The Bicentennial Campaign's goal of $200 million has already been reached, two years before expected.
  • Clinical revenue increased 9.4 percent, to $175.7 million.
  • Applications to the medical school were up 7.7 percent, to 4,503. Of these applicants, only 160 were accepted. 56 percent are female;  44 percent are male, and 15 percent are under-represented minorities. The GPAs and MCAT scores for these accepted students are both well above the national average.
  • Applications to the Graduate Program in Life Sciences increased 85 percent.

 Dean Reece is not one to rest on his laurels, however. He has an ambitious plan for the future of the school, including finding funding to build a third Health Sciences Facility. "Together we will use our past to fly toward a better future," he said at the end of his speech. The standing ovation from the crowd proved they're anxious to see just how high the school will soar under his leadership.

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 Dean Reece compared the school to an eagle because both have proven they can persevere in spite of challenges.

 Even the sweets had an eagle theme at the reception following the dean's speech.

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