A new leaf.
The start of a new school year feels like the beginning of another new calendar year. It’s a time to set goals and establish positive habits—it’s
a fresh start.
On campus we’ve certainly been doing that. We’ve begun in earnest fulfilling the objectives put forth in the Division of Biology and Medicine’s strategic plan, which you’ll read about in this issue of Brown Medicine. We’ve been enlisting partners in the effort, establishing new collaborations, and making great progress on a number of objectives. It’s going to be exciting to watch this unfold over the next several years.
I’ve also taken the opportunity of this new school year to recommit ourselves to our statement of institutional diversity. We know that the inclusion of multicultural perspectives in medicine contributes to greater access to care for patients with low incomes, racial and ethnic minorities, and non-English speaking patients. In that way, diversity in the physician workforce helps to overcome health care disparities. As a community, we need to cherish all forms of diversity and be inclusive of others’ experiences, perspectives, and ideas.
Right before going to press we received the results of the Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. This survey was conducted last spring and included medical and graduate students. The survey results were troubling and supported the conclusions of the Brown University Sexual Assault Task Force convened earlier this year. In response, the University has enacted a comprehensive policy addressing sexual assault and misconduct that applies to all Alpert Medical School faculty, students, and staff; created a new process for the receipt and investigation of complaints; established a Title IX office, and we have appointed a deputy Title IX coordinator for Alpert Medical School; and created a new website where all of the information related to these policies and procedures can be found easily.
Every incident of sexual assault or harassment is egregious and is a violation of our ethics and community values. The associate deans and I are meeting with our faculty leadership, medical students, and other parties who must work together to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment for all of our students.
Jack A. Elias, MD
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences