Frank and Jeffrey shared some of the highlights from the School of Medicine executive faculty meeting:
  • The Vanderbilt-Meharry alliance will be restructured around the CTSA.
  • Employees were encouraged to use existing charities (e.g., the Red Cross) to make donations to the recovery effort in Haiti, rather than creating a new Vanderbilt initiative for collecting donations.
  • Departments are required to have diversity plans; our department is very diverse.
  • Jeff Balser is aware that the most recent community survey was very clinical service-oriented, with many questions not relevant to non-clinical departments such as ours.
  • The number one complaint from faculty (arising from the community survey) was use of the word “employee” to refer to faculty members.

Everyone should take a minute to review the full minutes from the executive faculty meeting, available at


Recruitment update

We have offered assistant professor positions to Christopher Barr and Wenyi Wang, and are looking for a way to make use of Robb Muirhead’s expertise to meet our needs. Don’t worry! Linda has a plan for where these new employees will sit!

The names of our recruiting committees have changed; the PhD search committee is now the Faculty Search Committee, and the MS search committee is now the Staff Statistician Search Committee. Angel An and Sharon Phillips are the new leaders of the staff committee. Many thanks to Jennifer Thompson and Cathy Jenkins for their leadership of the MS search committee over the past few years!


Chris Fonnesbeck will join the department as an instructor in biostatistics on June 1st. Seth Martin and Audrey Carvajal have recently joined the department, as financial analyst and temporary office assistant, respectively. Lisa Kaltenbach’s last day with the department will be March 22nd.

MS biostatistician retreat

Dan Byrne reported that the MS biostatistician retreat was a great success. Quality improvement and team building were key themes at the retreat. A full summary of retreat activities will be available soon.


A retreat for supervisors is being scheduled. The goal of the retreat will be to provide general instruction on techniques for successful supervision.

On April 7th at 1:30 PM (seminar time), all supervisors should plan to meet to discuss evaluation standards for supervisees. The department also will be evaluating supervisory skills.


Elizabeth Koehler has initiated a new CQI project, with the goal of recruiting more experienced staff biostatisticians.

Ayumi is leading a supervisory effort project, with the goal of describing who supervises whom, and on how many projects.

Everyone, including faculty, should have a CQI project. There are great choices available for all.


Lily is submitting an R21 grant application; Pingsheng, an RC4.

The department’s annual budget proposal was submitted February 19th; many thanks to Linda and Donna for their work on the budget submission. Frank met with medical school leaders on March 5th to discuss the budget proposal; a key issue for discussion was the budget for the new graduate program.

We are requesting start-up funds for the biostatistics collaboration center (BCC, also known as the recharge center).

Basic science department chairs have formed a Basic Science Operation Committee.

Vanderbilt will engage in no new building construction for at least another two years. Meanwhile, the medical center is expanding to leased buildings in Green Hills and Cool Springs, and our department may be allotted some space in the 2525 West End building. The annual space survey is due March 31st; as a metric for budget utilization efficiency, medical school leadership will look at grant funding divided by space, which will favor our department.

Best regards,
CQI Communications Team
Frank Harrell, Yu Shyr, Dan Byrne, Linda Stewart, Tatsuki Koyama, and Lynne Berry

-- JohnBock - 01 Apr 2011
Topic revision: r2 - 26 Apr 2013, JohnBock

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