A new dean is set to take the helm of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry following a rocky year that saw former dean Philip Baker resign over allegations of plagiarism.
Douglas Miller, a cardiologist and former dean of the Medical College of Georgia in the United States, is set to begin his term at the U of A in July, more than a year after Baker was accused of plagiarising a convocation speech to a class of medical school graduates.
A graduate of McGill Medical School, Miller says his knowledge and experience will lead to effective leadership that will allow the faculty to thrive.
He also says he’ll bring a measure of stability to the position, and plans to get started by listening to the ideas of students, faculty and staff about their vision for the faculty.
“I certainly want to take the pulse of the university and the community, and (make) sure that I understand their aspirations for the (faculty),” Miller said.
“I consider medical and dental education to be the core activity of the medical and dental faculty, and I want to talk to students ... to get their views on the student experience, and to try to be sure that we can always keep their point of view top of mind as we go forward.”
Miller says he found the U of A appealing because he wanted to lead a medical faculty that was part of a large research-intensive university.
“I believe that increasingly medical education is enhanced by collaborations with the other faculties of the university, such as social sciences and public health and engineering,” he said.
Miller plans to form a solid action plan that will help to advance what he sees as the three major components of a medical faculty — education, research and clinical service.
Even though it will be Miller’s first time working in Alberta, he says he’s ready for the challenge.
“It’s a great foundation, and I think that the people I’ve met with are certainly committed to continue moving the university forward.”
“There is strong leadership in the President’s Office,” Miller added, “and I have met a number of engaged and very outstanding faculty. I think the combination of good leadership and good faculty brings the best student experience.”
Over the past year, Miller has been on sabbatical working at the Association of American Medical Colleges. His research there has included focusing on evaluating the effects of economic and governmental policy changes on medical student career decisions.
The remnants of chivalry still linger today, especially in the dating world.