May 2011 President’s Corner

May 24, 2011

Office of the President and
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
John B. Connally Building
301 Tarrow, 7th Floor
College Station, TX 77840-7896

May 24, 2011

Hello to my HSC family!

How in the world can another academic year have flown by? Here it is early May with a record number of graduations on the horizon and hundreds of new Texas A&M Health Science Center graduates waiting to step across the threshold from student to provider and change the world – if not the big one at least that of the patients for whom they will care!HSC President Dr. Nancy W. Dickey

We remain poised to hear the final numbers from the Texas Legislature and then begin slogging through the process of creating a budget from too little. However, as fatigue threatens to engulf me, I need only look around at the tremendous work that you are each doing, and I realize that we will weather this storm and continue to teach, discover and provide care.

Perhaps one of the clearest reminders of that is personified in Dr. Alicia Dorsey, vice president for program development and community outreach. Alicia has been with the Texas A&M Health Science Center for more than a decade, and she has never found a job too small or too unimportant. She has brought organization, color-coding and élan to many corners. Without her, the first CEPH accreditation of the School of Rural Public Health would have been bumpier…the College of Pharmacy might have struggled harder to be born…and the College of Nursing would have had to learn many lessons on their own! And she does it all with a smile, an encouraging word and a Levenger tablet!

Dr. Dorsey is leaving the health science center to go – of all places – to UT. No, not The University of Texas but The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She is following Leroy, who has a great opportunity at the University of Memphis, and we wish both of them well – though they will both be missed. Leroy has been a key part of convocation, speech writing (that is what he does!) and Second Life. Alicia, as I said, has been a part of virtually everything. I hope Memphis knows what a great pair they are getting.

So, what does that have to do with the president’s message? Simply that hard work, a can-do attitude and a hearty spirit are what will get us through the shortages of cash. It is the great faculty that makes this a good experience for students. It is the dedicated staff that makes it possible for the faculty to teach and the doors to be opened. It is the committed administration that seeks to find the extra dollar, stretch the ones we do have and cheers on those of you who do the real work. And none of us could have a better role model than Alicia Dorsey!

Meanwhile, we are set to graduate a record number and to welcome in a record number of new students in the fall. We have new buildings and facilities continuing to come online, which hopefully make the learning/teaching more fun.

Tough times bring out the best in people, so there is no doubt all of you will meet the upcoming challenges with vigor. The best is yet to come!

Prior to going to print, the chancellor announced he would be stepping down effective July 1. Dr. Michael McKinney has served as chancellor for The Texas A&M University System for nearly five years. During that time, the System has grown substantially in student count, added two new universities and increased significantly the research funding. During his tenure, the HSC has grown and matured, and Mike has been supportive of that growth and of my leadership. We wish Dr. McKinney well as he leaves the System and thank him for his leadership during his time here.

And kudos to the College of Nursing! NCLEX, the licensing exam group for nursing, sends periodic performance reports, and the one covering October/March 2011 ranks our program based on percentage of graduates passing the exam. The Texas A&M HSC College of Nursing ranked first in our jurisdiction, first compared with all similar programs across every jurisdiction, and first out of 1,035 programs across all jurisdiction/all programs. Way to go nursing, and keep up the great work!

Until next time, best regards. You can always reach me at I value your ideas, learn from your concerns and believe in your commitment.

Best regards,
Nancy W. Dickey, M.D.
President, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Texas A&M University System

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