April 2019 Provost Office Newsletter


Message from Dr. Lisa Saladin

I am extremely excited to begin this regular communication cascade to all students and faculty, so to provide more visibility on academic happenings, opportunities for growth, and resources to support you on your road to success.As the playwright George Bernard Shaw stated,"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Therefore, this is a direct channel to share information stemming from my office. Based upon recent feedback from faculty and the Student Government Association, this newsletter will focus on stories of a more strategic nature to include trends in academia, financial impacts and new programming. The newsletter is in it's nascent stages, however, so your input will be valuable in ultimately creating a publication that's meaningful. So, please suggest stories and share content ideas with us.My communication goal is to continue developing better methods for educating our students and supporting our faculty and staff, so we can surpass our academic excellence benchmarks. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Imagine 2020 Goal Outcomes

MUSC has a coherent, coordinated, and comprehensive plan to transform its educational environment to support new ways of teaching and learning (Outcome 1). This statement is one way MUSC is making progress in its goal to “Foster innovative education and learning” (one of the five goals of MUSC’s strategic plan called Imagine MUSC 2020). Our intention (impact statement for the big goal) is that “MUSC be a recognized innovator in health sciences education and lifelong learning”.

Commencement 2019

Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019, in the Horseshoe on the Medical University of South Carolina campus at 171 Ashley Ave. Charleston, SC 29425.Please periodically check the commencement website for updated information. We have collected everything you will need in one place to make the most of the university's commencement experience.Faculty are highly encouraged to attend to support their graduating students.

Employee Engagement Survey Results

Survey participation rates improved significantly this year (from 67% to 76%), especially among faculty (65 to 78%). The overall academic engagement score remained steady at 4.17, which is in the53rd percentile for academic health centers.Thanks to all who provided feedback, so the university can continue to make positive changes to best support our greatest asset, our people.Please note, this information only reflects responses from university employees.

New Sexual Harassment Prevention Council

According to the National Academies report on sexual harassment of women in science, "the academic workplace has the second highest rate of sexual harassment at 58%; military holding the highest rate."To better address sexual and gender harassment on campus, the provost has charged a group to examine the current climate, resources available, and overall culture regarding this issue.The group composed of faculty, staff and a student representative is examining recent research, as well as peer institution initiatives, to ultimately make recommendations for improvement.Not only is respect one of our institutional values, it is MUSC's core responsibility to provide a safe and harassment-free environment for employees and students.While there is work to be done, here are some steps already taken:

  • Listening sessions done by MUSC's department of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Climate survey sent to students

Digital Accessibility

MUSC is committed to the application of universal design principles and practices in order to make all of its digital content readily accessible and user friendly for all users, including but not limited to, those users who have auditory, visual, motor or cognitive disabilities. To this end, the provost has charged the Committee on Digital Accessibility to lead the development and implementation of best practices, guidelines, principles and resources for the MUSC enterprise. A great deal of work has been accomplished since the committee’s charge June 2018, and a great deal of work remains ahead. For details about next steps and specific goals, please contact Drs. Willette Burnham or Mary Mauldin. You may also visit this website on the MUSC horseshoe for information.Exciting opportunities to learn about digital accessibility will continue throughout this year! In person trainings will include one on one, small group hands-on and open assistance sessions.Online training opportunities will include the Fundamentals of Digital Accessibility course in Moodle, MyQuest modules, a series of webinars offered through Apple Tree and open virtual assistance through the Blackboard Collaborate platform.For information regarding these opportunities, please consult your educational and information technology teams or contact Alex Walters with the Department of Instructional Technology & Faculty Resources.

New COP & Interdisciplinary Building Re-design

As announced in October 2018, MUSC is moving forward with the design of a new College of Pharmacy, as well as renovations to instructional space in the Basic Science Building (BSB) and the Colbert Education Center and Library.


The investment in new technology and infrastructure is crucial to the growth of the university and future expectations for high-quality educationComply with College of Medicine accreditation guidelines.


Now — Internal stakeholder meetings are currently underway to assess space and technology needs.

June — Final design will be presented for approval.

August — Progress will be presented to and approval needed to proceed from MUSC Board of Trustees.

May 2020 (post commencement) —Construction is expected to begin.

Early 2020 — Project completion.

The Provost Office will provide regular communications on the project, major decisions made, milestones, and relocation strategies.

SGA Update

In the past month, the Student Government Association (SGA) has wrapped up the year with the election of six new executive officers from four of six colleges. We have two officers from the College of Pharmacy, two from the College of Medicine, one from the College of Dental Medicine, and one from the College of Nursing. We are especially excited to have Hope Beebe serve as the incoming VP of Programs, because College of Nursing has not recently been represented on the board.Another aspect of this board that is exciting is the mix of officers who are new to SGA (three officers) and those who have served on SGA over the past year (three officers). As the incoming president, I can say with confidence that this team will work hard to represent our student body and to improve the student experience with our efforts. Improved communication is key in these efforts, so I encourage you to reach out to your class representatives or any of our executive officers with suggestions or concerns. I look forward to our partnership over the next year.

Submitted by Austyn Roberts, incoming SGA president, doctor of pharmacy candidate

Contracts Reminder

Faculty contracts will be dispersed soon and need to be completed by June 30; except for College of Nursing (CON), which is on a different contract cycle.Except for CON, all colleges should receive their contracts between June 1 and June 15. CON faculty receive contracts August 1.

Faculty Highlight

Effective June 30, Jennie Ariail, Ph.D. will be stepping down as executive director of the Center for Academic Excellence and Writing Center. Tom Smith, Ph.D. will be assuming that position. We are delighted to have Tom bring his expertise and leadership skills. We are also happy that Jennie will continue to work with students approximately 10 hours per week.

Foundation Teaching Excellence Awards

Developing Teacher: David Fitzgerald, Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Director Cardiovascular Perfusion Program College of Health Professions

Educator-Lecturer: Gilbert A. Boissonneault, PhD. Professor, College of Health Professions

Educator-Mentor:Academic/Scholarship: Yuri K. Peterson, PhD. Research Associate Professor Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Employee Appreciation Week

May 13-17

Monday, 5/13 – Gift handout

Tuesday, 5/14 – RiverDogs game for employees

Wednesday, 5/15 – Coffee & treats

Thursday 5/16 – Awards day

Friday, 5/17 – Picture contest