Campaign feasibility study provides important insights

By Jennifer Parraga, BA'93

During the first six months of 2018, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry worked with consulting firm Grenzebach Glier and Associates (GG+A) on a feasibility study focused on a capital fundraising campaign totaling $30 million, which would support significant infrastructure renewal for the School. 

The study included several group and personal meetings with Dr. Michael Strong, former Dean, supported by fundraising leadership, engaging School and University donors, as well as leaders in the community. Following these meetings, GG+A conducted a series of confidential one to one interviews.

GG+A provided the School with a detailed summary of the consolidated results of all the briefings and confidential interviews. 

Some of the key findings from the study include

  • strong agreement that infrastructure renewal is a key priority for the School;

  • positive feelings amongst the participants toward the School, with approximately 50 per cent of participants consider their primary affiliation to be with the School as a whole and the other half stated their primary affiliation to be with a specific program, such as Robarts Research Institute, Surgery or Dentistry;

  • significant feedback on the need for clarity around the vision for the infrastructure renewal and how that vision should align with the future training needs of medical and dental students, and with the London hospitals/healthcare system;

  • agreement amongst the participants that the School must continue to distinguish itself amongst its medical school peers across the country, and that

  • construction of a new tower for laboratory and teaching spaces was cited as the highest priority, creating a gathering space in the atrium was the lowest.

This feedback identified that there is a need to spend more time clarifying the vision, working with our faculty and hospital partners on a strategic approach to infrastructure, identifying alternative resources to fulfill all the phases of the project, and building a stronger platform to engage alumni, donors and friends in the region and across the country.

The School will spend the next 18 to 24 months focused on this. We are continuing to move forward with phase one of the renewal and we remain on track to complete the BioMedical Research Facility by the year 2021. As the selection for a new Dean for the School gets underway, we will be building a strong foundation for their arrival and look forward to their early involvement in this major initiative. 

If you have questions about the infrastructure renewal project, you can contact Heather Thomas, Executive Director, Alumni Relations & Development.