Envisioning our Future

In early 2018, faculty, staff and learners from across the School were invited to participate in the first phase of a multi-year project that would position the School for continued success.

The specific task before those that chose to participate was to review the School’s financial and operational systems, identify new opportunities for growth and identify program improvements for the education and research streams throughout Schulich.

More than 100 faculty, staff and learners were divided up into six different groups (Clinical, Basic Science, Research, Education, Development, Operations & Administration) each with a specific focus.

Following discussions over several months, the groups presented a list of more than 160 recommendations to the School’s leadership. Those recommendations were categorized into 11 theme areas and an executive sponsor was identified to advance the work for each theme area as we moved forward into the next phase of the Project.


Project Theme Name

Executive Sponsor(s)

1. Initiating international admissions for the Doctor of Medicine Program and Expanding international admissions for Postgraduate Medical Education and Dental Programs
Expand opportunities to engage with international undergraduate dental students and postgraduate learners and initiate opportunities with medical students.

Jay Rosenfield,
Bertha Garcia

2. Expanding Graduate Training opportunities
Expand programs for self-funded international PHDs, seek opportunities for micro-credentialing and develop new mission focused graduate programs.

Candace Gibson, Susanne Schmid

3. Enhancing Internationally Trained Dentists Program
Improve the success rates in the ITD Program, the School will develop and offer a new PLA preparatory course, and expand use of the Dental Simulation Laboratory.

Bertha Garcia

4. Optimizing course offerings
Complete an audit on courses and review learning outcomes for course and work to reduce or combine redundant courses.

Candace Gibson,
Susanne Schmid,
Jeff Frisbee

5. Faculty workload review
Complete an overview of faculty workload and ensure evaluation of performance includes collaborative research activities.

Candace Gibson,
Jeff Frisbee

6. Faculty stipend review
Review and provide rational for all stipends paid to faculty for medical and dental education, and clinical leadership.

Jay Rosenfield,
Andrea Lum,
Bertha Garcia

7. Optimizing organizational and administrative structures
Analyze and review the structures of the medical education program, graduate education, and some central support services, and explore a central services model.

Paul Paolatto,
Davy Cheng,
Jay Rosenfield,
Susanne Schmid,
Candace Gibson,
David Litchfield

8. Convergence of Family Medicine, Epi/Bio and MPH
Bring together aspects of Family Medicine, Epi/Bio and the MPH program because of their aligned goals, missions, and populations.

Candace Gibson,
David Litchfield,
Davy Cheng,
Paul Paolatto

9. Enhancing Robarts Innovation and Commercialization role
Enhance the infrastructure at Robarts to increase the number of clinical trials and studies, and will establish a fee for service for clinical testing.

Paul Paolatto,
Marlys Koschinsky

10. Improving business operations
Explore opportunities to enhance recruitment, reduce the number events and eliminate the use of custom databases.

Paul Paolatto

11. Implementing core management strategies
Implement Lean management strategies.

Davy Cheng,
Paul Paolatto

The overall Project was officially named “Envisioning our Future” which speaks to the original goals at the time it was launched and recently Lisa Johnson took the lead as the Project Manager.

Meanwhile, teams have been also making progress in a number of specific areas. The list to-date includes:

Expanding Graduate Training

  • The components of a new program began several months ago and will be in place in early 2020. As a result, the Provincial review of the new program is underway with a target launch by May 2021. A return on investment is expected to be immediate with enrolment.
  • The brief for a new program in Physiology and Pharmacology has been completed. The target date for launching the program is September 2020.

Enhancing the Internationally Trained Dentists Program

  • The School has developed and offered a new Prior Learning Assessment Preparatory Course. Implementation is expected in the fall of 2020.

Faculty Workload Review

  • A template of faculty workload was developed and shared with departments for feedback. As a result, an accountability framework was developed and distributed.

Faculty Stipend Review

  • Initial review of stipends was conducted and aligned to the undergraduate medical education curriculum redesign. Ensured accountability for stipends paid. Effective July 1, 2019, some initial changes were implemented.

Optimizing Organizational and Administrative Structures

  • An inventory of core facilities and major infrastructure has been conducted to inform a review of operating practices and business models for core facilities that will be undertaken with other Faculties and the Office of the Vice-President, Research. The goal is to ensure that core facilities are operated with sustainable business plans and meet the needs of the research community.
  • The integration of administrative roles with medical education related to competency-based medical education was supported and initiated. As roles turn over, integrated positions are being hired consistently with integrated medical education vision.
  • The co-location of medical education staff is underway to trade office space with CERI. Currently pending renovations for CERI space. There are several benefits to the move for the medical program including better service the learners including a reception area; confidential meeting space; improved collaboration and integration among staff; the operational advantage of staff closer to managers for daily interaction; and improved communication.

Improving Business Operations

  • A process was developed to ensure the right structure is in place when recruiting. There has been some efficiency gained in the hiring process as a joint effort between the Hospital partners and Schulich.
  • The Communications team has established a process for getting events listed on a calendar that is publicly accessible and integrated with a calendar of Western events.
  • An outline of principles for stratifying School research events will be used for determining how best to promote/support these activities.
  • Improvements for promotion and using Acuity STAR have been developed and implemented. Improvements include a function for easier upload of information to reduce inputting again.
  • The implementation of a new faculty orientation.

Several ongoing projects are front and centre in several theme areas.

The ongoing work includes:

Expanding international admissions for Doctor of Medicine and Postgraduate Medical Education programs

  • Multiple components are currently underway including partnership discussions with Kuwait.

Expansion of the Graduate Training

  • A project has begun for a Clinical and Translational Sciences / Epidemiology and Biostatistics program and is in progress.

Academic Convergence of Family Medicine, Epi/Bio and MPH program

  • Bringing the programs to be housed in the same building is targeted for September 2020. The recent sharing of one Manager of Administration & Finance (MAF) between the departments of Epi/Bio and MPH helps with the convergence of the programs.

Implementing Core Management Strategies

  • Lean management strategies include an organizational review, the development of a balanced scorecard, key success indicators, and the creation of metrics.
  • The Dean’s Office recently hired a Financial Officer with decision-support skills to address these strategies.

Optimizing Organizational and Administrative Structures

  • Opportunities for sharing positions across departments is being reviewed and implemented.

The work on all themed areas is continuing and more updates will be available quarterly.