Discussion with Vice Chancellor Phyllis Horns

On November 4th, the Health Sciences Staff Senators had the amazing privilege to sit down and have a discussion with our Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences, Dr. Phyllis Horns.  This meeting was casual and relaxed as Dr. Horns had discussions with individuals as well as the group.  Dr. Horns made a point to ensure we all officially introduced ourselves and then she addressed each of us by name during the meeting.  In 13 years of employment, I have never been afforded an opportunity such as this and I am so glad I was able to participate.

Dr. Horns began our meeting with a reminder for each of us to complete our HealthCare Enrollment. Open Enrollment has been extended to November 15th, 2013, so there’s still time!  Dr. Horns joked that she had to enlist help from Christy in order to complete her enrollment, but assured us that the difficulties have been addressed and the enrollment process should be smooth now.

There were some in-depth discussion regarding:

  • The new Health Sciences Student Center –  Construction should begin soon with an anticipated opening of 2014-2015.  This facility will include meeting and fellowship spaces for the Health Sciences Students, as well as a Student Recreation Center, and an “official” dining hall.  Dr. Horns then went on to explain that the scheduling for construction has been a bit soft, because they are making sure that the Health Sciences Student Center project will be in tandem with a new Student Center on main campus; no preferences given to either side.  Dr. Horns also mentioned that this project will cost approximately $160 million and will be completely “Fee Funded” by the students.
  • Recognition and Celebration of CMAs, CNAs, MOAs and MAs – These folks work in the clinics along side the providers and nurses.  They are credentialed and certified and would like to have recognition in the form of a week to celebrate them and others in these professions (like Nurses Week).

Many people brought specific concerns and questions to Dr. Horns’ attention, such as the lack of lighting in the Dental School parking lot; the current Health Sciences parking situation and the possibility of a parking deck (Dr. Horn’s stated with the price of a parking deck being 9X’s the price of surface parking, that Health Sciences would be taking advantage of all the space possible for surface parking before considering a parking deck, however a parking deck is not out of the question.).  There was also discussion regarding confusion about the Community Service / Child Involvement Leave Policy and a question about the plans to have a School of Public Health (anticipated to open in 2017 with accreditation in 2020 (multi-year planning process); and inefficiencies around the University such as the travel system, Pro Card System and EPAFs.

This discussion was both enlightening and productive.  Dr. Horns was funny, gracious and very receptive to every issue that was discussed.   Since the meeting, she has already begun to work on some of the items and has requested to schedule another discussion in the spring.

For those of you that have upcoming discussions with the Vice Chancellor’s of your divisions, you definitely have a lot to look forward to!  I would recommend that everyone makes attending such discussions a priority; opportunities such as this don’t present themselves very often, so don’t let yours pass you by!

By the way – When you have your division Vice Chancellor meetings, PLEASE be sure to send me information regarding what was discussed, your Vice Chancellor’s name, etc….so we can post it on the Blog!!  OR if it would be easier, I would be happy to attend as an observer only in order to get the information necessary to Blog….either way.