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Interim dean accepts permanent position

by Megan Fink
Public Relations
The College of Health Professions (CHP) officially named Lisa Saladin, Ph.D., as its executive associate dean and chair of the Department of Health Professions. Saladin had been serving as the interim dean since July 2008.
Dr. Lisa Saladin

An MUSC employee for 19 years, Saladin began her career here as an educator in the physical therapy program. This morphed into an interim director position for the Division of Physical Therapy, followed by official director status. That was followed by an appointment as the interim chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. When CHP restructured last year, Saladin’s role was transformed into the interim executive associate dean and chair of the Department of Health Professions.
In this position, Saladin is responsible for the oversight and operations of the six academic divisions within the Department of Health Professions. She also manages faculty and academic affairs; a focus on existing programs for the latter task.
One of the new projects Saladin is tackling is the revision of the entire faculty evaluation process. Her goal is to engage department leaders in dialogue and identify markers of quality. “It shouldn’t just be the number of committees a faculty member serves on or the number of activities they execute,” said Saladin. “We want faculty to learn to grow through MUSC Excellence. Perform better in what they do, not just do more of what they do.”
In addition to faculty evaluation, Saladin is revamping the promotion process and enhancing career mentoring. She’s looking at mechanisms to assist faculty members with the creation of portfolios and other collections of work to reach their goals.
A strategic plan for the department that achieves national recognition is another major initiative Saladin will embark on this year. This includes the prioritization of projections and allocations of resources.
According to Saladin, the most rewarding aspects to her position are education and remaining an educator while striving to make programs better. “I have a passion for students and academic programs,” said Saladin. “I will continue to teach the neuroscience courses and be minimally involved in a few other courses. In addition, I can maximize learning through my administration role. I enjoy a challenge and have the drive to figure out the big picture.”
One current challenge Saladin faces is the diversity of the academic programs within the Department of Health Professions. There are different degree levels within the department, as well as various needs. Saladin credits her great leadership team that meets weekly to discuss interprofessional development and set and guide policy.  
“Programs are becoming more integrated and we’re sharing best strategies,” said Saladin. “It starts with the directors and then trickles down to the students. We’re seeing improvements already, and we’re learning from each other.”
Saladin attributes the leadership of CHP Dean Mark Sothmann, Ph.D., as a reason for accepting this new position. “He has such a positive regard for leadership and he has a great vision for the future of the college,” Saladin said.

Friday, July 3, 2009

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