Dear Colleagues-Friends,

This week marked a milestone in our strategic planning efforts. On Monday, 80 faculty, staff and students who are serving as representative stakeholders for our school gathered virtually via Zoom to kick off the second phase of our rebooted planning process.

As you might remember, our School of Medicine community launched our strategic planning process prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when we wrote and confirmed our mission, vision and values. We were then poised to add strategic aims, strategies, goals and action items until the pandemic necessitated a shift in priorities.

With the most acute phase of our COVID response (hopefully) behind us, we rebooted our strategic planning process a few weeks ago. Among the many, I am particularly grateful to Dr. Anita Navarro and our entire Dean’s Senior Leadership Team for their collective input as we drafted several strategies and goals to serve as a starting place for further discussion and input. Initial feedback is now coming from a series of six mini-retreats being held this week and next. These have been structured to maximize broad input and discussion while being respectful of people’s time and many commitments.

During the mini-retreats, stakeholders representing a breadth of perspectives will focus on each of our six strategic aims individually: undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, graduate education, research, staff and faculty development, and financial management. Designated group leaders then will take the groups’ input and refine the goals, which we will share broadly over the next few weeks.

We hope that you will provide your insight and feedback when the time comes as we will arrive at a better product through this collective effort. Our final plan will be shared on our SOM strategic planning website.

Many thanks to all who are participating in and leading the mini-retreats as well as to the leadership team who got us to this next step. This process has not been straightforward, but we are well on our way to charting our path for the next four years.


Pter F. Buckley, M.D.; Dean, VCU School of Medicine; Executive vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System