College of

Dean's Update

October 11, 2019

Dear friends,

As I have shared with you in the past, being a student in the College of Human Medicine was truly transformative for me. I learned how to channel my desire to make a difference in the lives of people who struggle into an ability to do so. I was embraced by a faculty and staff who were deeply committed to helping every student learn to serve – and to become the best version of themselves. Surrounded by fellow students who were kindred spirits, we were able to learn in an environment where we supported each other. I will forever be indebted to this amazing college.

It was my desire to give back that called me to return to the College of Human Medicine as dean in the fall of 2016. It was an opportunity to return to a medical school committed to serving the people. It was also a chance to help lead a much needed transformation of health for our communities, state and nation. During my time as dean, I have been inspired by this college and all the impactful ways in which you and we make a difference. Ours is an extraordinary organization.

I have also observed a potential for the college and the university that has not yet been realized. Specifically, if we could bring together and harmonize the transformative efforts of those engaged in the provision of human clinical care, education and discovery campus-wide, we could exponentially strengthen the ability of the university to serve all the communities that look to MSU for hope, health and healing.  

President Stanley also made this observation based on his experience as a physician and a university president. President Stanley has implemented this change through the creation of the position of Executive Vice President for Health Sciences – the role he has asked me to assume. I have accepted the position, effective October 25. I see this role as a key to our great university taking its next steps toward excellence and the transformation of health for the people of Michigan, our country and the world. 

In order to be effective in this position, I am stepping down as dean of the College of Human Medicine, and I am happy to report that Aron Sousa has agreed to once again serve as interim dean.

I will miss being dean of the College of Human Medicine. This is my college – my medical school – and I am immensely thankful to the teachers I had when I was a student. I am just as appreciative to my colleagues for their generosity of spirit and intellect since I arrived three years ago.  

To our students:  you are the reason I come to work in the morning. I have great faith in your talent, your hard work and your education. What’s more, I know that for the rest of your medical career, you will meet each patient with an open heart and a dedication to reducing their suffering. You will give them hope for a healthy future. They will know you are a College of Human Medicine graduate because they will know how much you care. 

To our faculty and staff:  I will continue to work with you as the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences to advance the health of our patients, the education of our students, and the scholarship of our faculty. The fact that I am stepping away as dean does not change my interest in, and commitment to, the success of our students, staff and faculty, or my dedication to the health of our patients.

As I reflect on my time since taking deanship, I am very proud of the college’s development, including patient safety and quality, diversity equity and inclusion, culture, and implementation of the innovation cycle. We have recruited amazing people to join the college, increased our ability to support faculty and enhanced shared governance. We have strengthened relationships with our longtime partners and started new collaborations with health science partners who share our vision for transforming health and supporting the Grand Rapids Innovation Park. We successfully implemented the Shared Discovery Curriculum, and it is already a medical education model for others in the country. Finally, our research and scholarship have expanded across the state. These are just a few accomplishments for which our team should be proud. Bravo!

I am looking forward to continuing my work with our partners and collaborators in this new role, as together we help MSU reach its promise as a world leading university.  

I believe with all of my heart that the work we started together at the College of Human Medicine will make people healthier and more successful, and I am grateful to have this opportunity to expand on this work and make an even bigger impact on health as the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences.

For they who have health, have hope. For they who have hope, have everything.

In health and in hope,


Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD MHS
Dean, College of Human Medicine
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President for Health Affairs
Michigan State University

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